Derek Morgan
Derek Morgan
septic tank
Derek Morgan
Derek Morgan
  • Intelligence reports

Cost to Install Septic System

Installing a septic system is a significant investment, with costs varying based on your home's size, tank location, and system type. It's difficult to pinpoint an exact total figure, but the cost generally ranges in a few thousand dollars. While DIY installation may seem cost-effective, hiring professionals is recommended due to the technical nature of the process. Labor costs are a significant portion of the total cost, but it's worth investing in to ensure the job is done correctly.


Factors That Affect Installation Cost

Here are some of the factors that can impact the cost of septic tank installation:

  • Types of Septic Tanks: Septic tanks come in various materials, including concrete, plastic, and fiberglass, each with its own benefits and cost.

  • Soil Conditions: If the soil on your property is not suitable for a traditional drain field, additional measures like drain tiles or sand filters may need to be installed, resulting in additional costs.

  • Location and Accessibility: The location of your property and the accessibility for installation equipment can affect the cost of the installation.

  • Labor Costs: Labor costs are a significant factor in the installation cost, with professional installation typically costing several thousand dollars.

  • Maintenance Costs: Regular pumping and inspections can help prevent more costly repairs of unforeseen issues down the line, such as clogs, leaks, or damage to the system may require repair or replacement.

  • House size: The larger the house, the larger the septic tank will need to be.

  • Waste breakdown system: Certain systems like sand filters or aerobic treatment units may be more expensive to install than traditional systems.

Average Cost & How to Save Money Installation

On average, installation costs range from $3,109 to $9,677, with the national average coming in at $5,828. However, a pressure distribution septic system installed within 2 feet of the water table costs around $7,000 to $10,000. Material fees vary by state, and costs may vary by region due to differences in soil content. Septic tank installation costs usually range from $1,500 to $4,000, with labor costs being a significant factor.

To save money on septic system installation, homeowners can consider options like performing regular maintenance and inspections, pumping the tank regularly, and avoiding overuse of the system. A typical septic tank pumping service costs between $75 to $200, depending on the size of the tank and its previous maintenance. Homeowners can also choose from various types materials for their septic tank. Concrete tanks are the most durable but can be the most expensive, while plastic and fiberglass tanks are more affordable and easier to install but sacrifice longevity. 

Read 7 DIY Projects to Improve Your Home if you're looking to spruce up your living space but don't want to break the bank.

Types of Septic Systems

  • Aerobic septic systems: Use oxygen-rich water to treat wastewater, producing cleaner effluent that can be used for irrigation purposes. More expensive than anaerobic systems, but can be more effective and longer lasting with proper maintenance.

  • Anaerobic septic systems: Use naturally occurring bacteria to break down organic waste into methane gas and solids. Produce wastewater that must be treated before being released back into the environment. Less expensive than aerobic systems, but typically have a shorter lifespan.

  • Gravity septic systems: Relies on gravity to move wastewater from the home into the septic tank and eventually to the drain field. Generally less expensive and simple to install, but may not be suitable for all types of soil and properties.

  • Conventional septic systems: Typically consist of a septic tank and drain field, relying on the natural filtration of soil to treat wastewater. Can be effective and long-lasting with proper maintenance.

  • Mound septic systems: Used in areas with high groundwater or shallow soil. Involves building a raised mound over the septic tank and drain field, allowing for proper filtration and treatment of wastewater. Generally more expensive than conventional systems, but can be effective in certain conditions.

  • Chamber septic systems: Use plastic chambers instead of gravel or rock to provide additional surface area for bacteria to break down waste. Generally less expensive and easier to install than conventional systems, but may not be suitable for all types of soil and properties.

  • Pressure distribution systems or drip systems: Use a pump to distribute effluent evenly throughout the drain field. Can be more effective in treating wastewater than gravity systems, but are generally more expensive to install and require more maintenance.

Permits and Regulations

Before any septic installation can take place, permits must be obtained from the local government. Contacting the local building authority is crucial to understand the specific permitting requirements in your area. The permit will mandate an inspection before and after installation, and filing of necessary paperwork with the local government. The cost of permits and inspections usually varies by location, but ranges between $500 and $1,000.

Local Regulations

Every municipality has its own regulations governing the installation of septic systems. These regulations vary by municipality and specify the allowable size, type, and other requirements for septic systems in the area. It's essential to comply with these regulations to avoid delays or denials of the installation. You can obtain the local building codes from the local government. Consulting with a professional can ensure that you meet all the local regulations.

State Regulations

In addition to local regulations, each state has its own regulations governing the installation of septic systems. These regulations are available from the state government and must be reviewed before beginning the installation process. The state regulations will outline the size and type of system that is allowed in the area, as well as any special requirements that must be met. Failure to comply with state regulations can delay or deny the installation process. Consult a professional to ensure compliance with state regulations.

Environmental Regulations

Federal regulations must be followed when installing a septic system to protect the environment and ensure proper installation and maintenance. The regulations outline the size and type of system allowed in the area and any special requirements that must be met. Failure to comply can delay or deny installation. Consult a professional to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.

Hiring a Professional

Researching Contractors

Start by asking for recommendations from people you know and trust. Check online reviews and ratings, and verify the contractor's license with your state licensing board. It's also important to ask for references and proof of insurance. Get quotes from multiple contractors and compare them to ensure you're getting the best deal. Don't forget to ask about any special offers or discounts.

Questions to Ask Contractors

During your interview, ask important questions such as the recommended septic system for your home, the estimated cost of installation, the type of warranty provided, and the estimated time frame for completion. Request for references to check their experience and qualifications. Ask about any extra fees or costs that may be associated with the installation. Inquire about any additional services the contractor provides, such as maintenance or repairs.

Red Flags to Watch for

Be wary of contractors who offer significantly lower prices than the competition, as this may indicate subpar work. Check that they have the necessary licenses and insurance. Also, watch out for contracts that don't include warranties or guarantees, as well as hidden fees or charges not included in the initial quote.


Even if a professional will be doing the installing of your new septic tank, it's best to be familiar with information and know what to expect. By following the tips in this post, we hope you are better equipped to get the best system for you and your home. 

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