Septic Tank Pumping Cost - The Ultimate Guide to Pumping Cost




In regard to septic tank pumping cost, companies give a lot of different price estimates and “guesstimations”. As someone who likes facts and figures, I’ve searched for a website or tool that would provide a list of actual prices in different locations and perhaps averages for each state. Since I couldn’t find one, I decided to create one myself.

The following resource is the result of several weeks worth of work visiting the websites of hundreds of local septic tank pumping companies in every state. Please see the bottom of the page for methods and assumptions. Here are the results:

 

Based on 170 actual, advertized septic pumping prices,
the nationwide average is $228.02.

 

Pumping Costs by State

Alabama $227.50
Alaska $181.67
Arizona $285.00
Arkansas “no data”
California $310.00
Colorado $232.00
Connecticut $244.00
Delaware $200.00
Florida $202.50
Georgia $228.14
Hawaii $311.00
Idaho $225.00
Illinois $197.50
Indiana “no data”
Iowa $215.00
Kansas $250.00
Kentucky $170.00
Louisiana “no data”
Maine $200.00
Maryland $223.00
Mass $209.00
Michigan $229.80
Minnesota $161.36
Mississippi “no data”
Missouri $218.75
Montana $201.67
Nebraska $225.00
Nevada $315.00
New Hampshire $230.00
New Jersey $266.00
New Mexico $164.75
New York $232.50
North Carolina $216.25
North Dakota $300.00
Ohio $174.00
Oklahoma $237.50
Oregon $317.50
Pennsylvania $237.14
Rhode Island $195.00
South Carolina $232.75
South Dakota $180.00
Tennessee $212.50
Texas $265.00
Utah $200.00
Vermont $242.50
Virginia $206.60
Washington $396.03
West Virginia $160.00
Wisconsin $160.00
Wyoming

$200.00

 

Complete Listing of Pumping Prices

Alabama    
  Arab (1000 gal) $180
  Baldwin County $275
     
Alaska    
  Anchorage $160
  Anchorage $165
  Wasilla (1000 gal) $220
     
Arizona    
  Mesa $300
  Scottsdale $300
  Tuscon $295
  Apache Junction $180
  Scottsdale $350
     
Arkansas    
  “no data”  
     
California    
  Pine Mountain Lake $375
  Temecula $300
  Ojai (special) $195
  Lakeport $410
  Scotts Valley $440
  Sonoma County $200
  Northern (1500 gal) $250
     
Colorado    
  Longmont $200
  Boulder (1000 gal) $225
  Larimer County $180
  Carter Lake Heights $280
  Conifer $275
     
Connecticut    
  New London County $275
  Granby (1000 gal) $275
  Burlington (1000 gal) $260
  Hartford (1000 gal) $235
  Northeast (1000 gal) $175
     
Delaware    
  New Castle County (1500 gal) $225
  Nanticoke Watershed $175
  Wilmington $200
     
Florida    
  Tallahassee $180
  Holiday $185
  Brandon $225
  Clermont $250
  Miami $175
  Solivita (1000 gal) $200
     
Georgia    
  Atlanta (locate, dig and pump) $295
  Atlanta (special) $199
  Duluth $189
  Lilburn $350
  Athens (1000 gal) $195
  Valdosta $180
  Forsyth (1000 gal) $189
     
Hawaii    
  Maui $330
  Maui (Government) $582
  Waialua $200
  Honolulu (City) $132
     
Idaho    
  Idaho Falls (1000 gal) $195
  Homedale (1000 gal) $180
  Coeur d’Alene $300
     
Illinois    
  Davis Junction $245
  Northwest $150
     
Indiana    
  “no data”  
     
Iowa    
  Glenwood $180
  Des Moines $250
     
Kansas    
  Northwest $250
  Central $250
     
Kentucky    
  Versailles $200
  Southeastern Kentucky (1000 gal) $150
  Bardstown $160
     
Louisiana    
  “no data”  
     
Maine    
  Kennebunkport $200
  Solon $200
     
Maryland    
  Mechanicsville $220
  Southern $220
  Northern (1500 gal) $225
  Worcester County $200
  Wicomico County $250
     
Mass    
  http://www.mass.gov/ $200
  cape cod (1000 gal) $259
  Mashpee $215
  Worchester $190
  Western (1500 gal) $200
  Seekonk $190
     
Michigan    
  Traverse City $324
  White Lake (1000 gal) $220
  Livingston County (1000 gal) $235
  Southeast (1000 gal) $220
  Mid State $150
     
Minnesota    
  Big Lake Twp $165
  Dayton $220
  Ramsey $200
  Baldwin Twp $125
  Blue Hill Twp $125
  Elk River $180
  Livonia Twp $125
  Nowthen $180
  Oak Grove $180
  Princeton $150
  Zimmerman $125
     
Mississippi    
  “no data”  
     
Missouri    
  St Louis (1200 gal) $225
  St. Louis $225
  Gravois Mills $200
  St. Louis $225
     
Montana    
  Missoula $250
  Helena $175
  Manhattan (1500 gal) $180
     
Nebraska    
  Prague $200
  Southwest $250
     
Nevada    
  Gardnerville (1000 gal) $350
  Las Vegas (1000 gal) $280
     
New Hampshire    
  Antrim (1000 gal) $240
  Hampton $200
  Derry $250
     
New Jersey    
  South $295
  Blairstown (1300 gal) $295
  Belle Mead $240
  http://www.state.nj.us/ $300
  Medford (1000 gal) $200
     
New Mexico    
  Albuquerque $110
  Las Cruces (1200 gal) $185
  Rio Rancho $199
  Las Cruces (1200 gal) $165
New York    
  Monroe County (1000 gal) $215
  Putnam Valley (1000 gal) $250
     
North Carolina    
  “Triangle” Area $175
  Angier $250
  Jefferson County $230
  Northwest (dig and pump) $210
     
North Dakota    
  Bismarck $300
     
Ohio    
  Hamilton County $140
  Columbiana County (1000 gal) $140
  Alliance (1000 gal) $165
  Cincinatti (1000 gal) $275
  Central (1500 gal) $150
     
Oklahoma    
  Peggs (1000 gal) $250
  Oklahoma City $225
     
Oregon    
  Klamath Falls $300
  Oregon City $300
  Molalla (1000 gal) $370
  Portland $300
     
Pennsylvania    
  Lititz (1000) $195
  Delaware County (1500 gal) $225
  Jefferson County (1000 gal) $275
  Berwick $300
  Philadelphia $200
  Kennett Square (1250 gal) $240
  Coatesville $225
     
Rhode Island    
  Charlestown (1000 gal) $190
  Warren $200
     
South Carolina    
  http://www.scdhec.gov/ $131
  http://www.scdhec.gov/ $200
  Simpsonville $350
  Gaffney $250
     
South Dakota    
  Rapid City $160
  New Underwood $200
     
Tennessee    
  Northwest $200
  Nashville (1000 gal) $225
     
Texas    
  Ft. Worth $200
  Austin (1000 gal) $325
  San Antonio $235
  Abilene (1000 gal) $300
     
Utah    
  http://extension.usu.edu/ $200
     
Vermont    
  Northern (1000 gal) $235
  Northfield (1000 gal) $250
     
Virginia    
  Fairfax County (special) $189
  Prince William County $199
  Northern (up to 1500 gal) $195
  Annapolis $250
  Caroline County $200
     
Washington    
  Snohomish County $450
  Snohomish (1000 gal) $440
  Battle Ground $411
  http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/ $325
  Long Beach $350
  Coupeville $400
     
West Virginia    
  Eastern Panhandle (1500 gal) $170
  Highlands County $150
     
Wisconsin    
  Waushara $110
  Elkhorn $190
  Houlton $180
     
Wyoming    
  Casper $200

 

Understanding and Controlling Cost

The most important factor to understand in pumping cost is the additional fees for locating the tank and digging down to it. Septic tank are usually buried at least a couple of feet underground, but most modern tanks have risers (tubes that go from the surface into the tank so that the pumper’s vacuum tube can be lowered through the riser instead of having to dig).

If your tank has a riser it probably looks like a green sewer cover; you might think it has something to do with sprinklers. Additionally, it could be covered by a little bit of grass or dirt and might be hard to find if you don’t have a diagram of where the tank is located. You should be able to call the local government and track down the office that handles septic permits; they’ll probably have a copy of the original schematic for the tank.

If you don’t know where the tank is and it doesn’t have risers, then the cost of having the pumping company find and uncover the tank can easily be higher than the actual pumping. If you don’t have the means to find and dig up your own tank, then I would suggest calling around to see who is the most reasonable about locating and digging fees because they all handle it differently. In addition, you might want to find a more sophisticated pumping company that uses an special electronic device they can flush into the tank to help find it; otherwise, they’ll probably use a long, thin metal rod to probe the yard until they find the tank. This process can take hours, and you’ll probably be paying by the hour.

You’ll notice that in most cases pumping cost (like everything) is higher if the home is close to a major city. The one exception seems to be extremely remote areas. For example, one website I looked at said there would be an extra charge if they had to travel deep into the mountains in Colorado.

Local cost is largely based on disposal cost for the septic pumper. Once they have pumped all the waste out of your tank, they take it to a large municipal or private disposal plant where they pay, usually based on gallons dumped. You might live in an area with much higher pumping cost than another. The reason is probably government regulation and/or limited access to disposal.

Be sure that you’re only getting the service you want. Many companies combine the pumping and inspection service. On average, the additional inspection service seemed to about double the cost.

 

Methods and Assumptions

Most septic pumpers don’t advertize their prices; they prefer to give “free estimates” as a way to get you on the phone with them. In my estimation, less than 1/5 of websites give actual septic pumping rates; however, through the use of some special operators in Google, I was able to pull up sites that only advertize their fees.

For each state, I tried to get at least 2 actual stated fees. Of course, you can see that no matter how hard I searched I came up empty-handed on a few states.

Not all estimates come from septic pumper websites. Sometimes local county or city government websites provide average pumping costs for their area. In addition, sometimes the figure came from an online forum where a homeowner shared how much they paid or where someone was complaining about how much they paid.

Occasionally, septic pumpers provide a range instead of an actual number because their fee varies based on tank size, having to find the tank, and amount of digging involved. In these cases, I used an average of the range. For example, if they advertized a fee between $150 and $200, then I used $175 as their average price.

The extra cost for finding the tank and digging varies greatly based on the individual contractor. Some don’t charge anything extra for finding the tank and digging; whereas, others use this additional work to jack up the price considerably.

Almost all pumpers charge based on amount of gallons with 1,000 gallons being the frequent minimum and average tank size. Some charge a set fee up to 1,000 gallons and then a scale for each gallon over 1,000, while others advertize a set price per gallon.

If the website gave the price based on a certain number of gallons, then the number of gallons is mentioned. Many pumpers give their average pumping fee but don’t list the gallons that the fee is based on. For entries where the gallons is higher, those pumpers charged a set fee up to the gallons listed.

Since all septic pumpers want to advertize their lowest fee and since most charge for a minimum of 1,000 gallons, all prices without a specific gallon amount are assumed to be for 1,000 gallons.

Once again since all pumpers want to advertize their lowest price, the amount listed is assumed to be for pumping only and not for finding the tank and/or digging. If the amount listed specifically includes this additional work, then there will be a note next to the number.

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