Septic System Cost: List of Average Septic Costs and Explanation of Each




There are multiple costs associated with a Septic System. I’ll start with a list of estimated costs and give a more detailed explanation at the bottom:






Listing of Estimated Septic Costs:

Cost to Pump Out the Septic Tank: $150 to $250
Cost of Septic System Testing with Dye: $75 to $125
Cost to Remove Clog in Pipes to Tank: $50 to $250 (or more, if it’s serious)
Cost of Complete Visual Inspection: $300 to $600
Cost to Replace Pipe from to Tank: $60 per foot
Cost of Permit to Repair Septic System: $200 avg (low of $30, high of $444)
Cost of Permit to Install New System: $350 avg (low of $180, high of $577)
Cost of Replacing Septic Tank Baffle: $200 to $400
Cost to Pressure Clean Distribution Pipes: $400 to $600
Cost of Replacing Distribution Box: $600 to $800
Cost of Installing New Septic Tank: $1,500 to $2,500
Cost of Replacing Drain/Leach Field: $3,000 to $10,000+



Cost to Pump Septic: Homeowners should have a licensed septic contractor pump out their septic tank every 3 to 5 years. If the tank is never pumped, then grease and other particles will flow into the leach field and clog the distribution pipes and the surrounding soil. Once that happens, he will need to have a new leach field installed at a cost of $10,000+.

Cost of Septic Testing with Dye: Septic testing involves adding dye and running water in the house for approximately 30 minutes. Then, the contractor can check for flooding and see where the dye appears. There can be a variety of problems with a septic system, and these problems don’t necessarily mean that the whole system must be replaced. This test will help the contractor diagnose the problem.

Cost to Remove Clog in Pipe To Tank: If the homeowner notices slow flushing toilets, he might assume there’s a problem with the septic system, so they have a dye test done. If the dye test doesn’t cause water and dye to show up in the leach field, then the problem might be a simple clog. A clog will require the assistance of a licensed plumber.

Cost of Complete Visual Inspection: Some septic contractors offer a complete visual inspection of the septic tank with a pumping. Needing this type of inspection is rare because problems with the actual septic tank will usually cause the leach field to fail, and once the leach field fails, you’ll start noticing sewage in the yard.

Cost to Replace/Repair Pipe from House to Tank: Particularly on an older home, the pipe or the connection points may need to be repaired or replaced.

Cost of Permit to Repair Septic System: The local county or city government usually requires a permit for repairs to a septic system. The fee for the permit varies wildly, even for counties in the same state.

Cost of Permit to Install Complete System: Permit fees for an installation are usually higher than for repairs and also vary wildly.

Cost of Replacing Septic Baffle: The septic baffle is a critical component inside the septic tank. The baffle is like a sideways “T”. The top of the “T” is under water inside the septic tank, keeping grease and oil at the water’s surface from flowing into the leach field. If broken, the homeowner should replace it as soon as possible to avoid more costly repairs.

Cost of Pressure Cleaning Distribution Pipes: Once waste water flows out of the septic tank, it moves through the distribution box into the distribution pipes. These pipes are usual made of plastic and have multiple small holes; their purpose is to evenly distribute waste water into the ground for absorption. If they become clogged, a contractor can force high-pressure water through the system to unclog them.

Cost of Repairing/Replacing Distribution Box: If cars or machinery drive over the leach field, they may damage or tip the distribution box causing waste water to distribute unevenly. The soil in the leach field receiving an uneven flow may not be able to absorb it all, and the uneven flow may also cause the soil and pipes to clog faster.

Cost of Septic Tank: Septic tanks, especially older, concrete tanks, can crack. A cracked and leaking septic tank is a safety hazard because the raw sludge, not just waste water, is seeping into the ground and ground water. A leak also messes up the operation of the baffles and could allow grease and oil to flow into the leach field, so replacing a septic tank could save the cost of replacing a whole leach field.

Cost of Replacing Drain/Leach Field: The purpose of septic maintenance and smaller repairs is to avoid the cost of replacing the leach field. Grease, oil, and fine particles (particularly lint from the washing machine) can actually cause the soil to clog. If the soil around the pipes can no longer absorb waste water, then the leach field will have to be replaced. The cost is usually in the range of $3,000 to $5,000 but can be over $10,000 in difficult cases.


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4 comments to Septic System Cost: List of Average Septic Costs and Explanation of Each

  • Mike

    Great website. I have a quick question about tan estimate I had received on my Norweco singular repair. Unfortunately the company that had given me this estimate is the only company that is licensed to service Norweco in my area however I would still like your professional opinion on the cost. I live in Louisiana and my system is 25 years old. I have been told that my system is not up to code and that there are roots coming through the plastic of my holding tank and that several roots have also invaded the risers and inlets which will require replacing the risers and sealing the inlets. It also has been recommended that my holding tank be replaced with a 500 gallon polyurethane tank and a new sump pump with four sprinkler heads expanding out app.1 acre. I had requested a way to turn off the pump if needed and they offered a on/off switch for the pump for an additional $80.00. Here is how this all breaks down on my copy of their invoice:
    1 – 500 gal. holding tank with four sprinklers – $3595.00
    1 – risers and inlet reseal – $250.00
    1 – on/off switch for pump – $80.00
    Total with tax: $3925.00
    Please let me know what you think.
    Thanks, Mike

  • Scott Hughes

    Thanks for the information in this website. We plan to add a small room and deck and will likely need to move the septic tank out farther from the house. It works fine now, but it’s probably 30 years old.

  • [...] of gravity, as well as pumps, to ensure that wastewater is filtered adequately.  In terms of installation costs, the size of the tank needed will range from around $600-$1200. In addition to this, each household [...]

  • teresa

    Trying to find out where i can just purchase the actual septic tank and what it cost with delivery.

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