How Much Does a Septic System Cost?

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Fixing buried pipes (Photo: @AZ.BLT via Twenty20)
If you’re building a home and plan to install a septic system, or buying a home that needs a new septic system, how much will that cost you? Here’s what you should know.

How much does it cost to install a new septic system?

The costs associated with having a septic system installed at your home depend on a variety of factors, including the location of the house and where the septic system will be placed. The size of the septic tank itself is also a factor.
In general, most septic tanks fall in between $3,000 and $10,000, with the average being just over $6,000. Obviously that’s a pretty large range, and it’s not impossible for the cost of a new septic tank to exceed $10,000, and even creep up towards $20,000 in some extreme cases.
Septic tanks are expensive for a variety of reasons. First, they’re simply huge pieces of equipment, as they hold thousands of gallons of sewage. Second, they have to be placed underground, which requires a lot of digging and excavating. And finally, there’s a lot that goes into properly installing a new septic tank.

How much money does it cost to maintain a septic system?

While installing a septic system might be quite expensive, there is good news: maintaining a septic system is quite affordable. Septic systems only need to be maintained by being pumped every few years, and it usually only costs a few hundred dollars to have a plumber come out for routine septic maintenance.

How often does a septic system need to be replaced?

Just like with pricing a new septic tank, it’s impossible to put a firm number on the amount of years that a septic system will survive. It depends on a lot of factors, including the tank, the amount of use the septic system gets, and how well you maintain it.
It’s not unheard of for septic tanks to need replacing after 15 to 20 years, but with the right maintenance and a little dash of luck, yours could definitely last 30 to 40 years.

What can you do to prolong the life of your septic system?

There are a few things you can do to keep your septic system happy, and limit how often you need to replace it. The first is to have routine maintenance performed regularly, and on schedule. It’s also smart to pay a plumber to come out every year or two to perform an inspection, so you can spot any potential issues before they become bigger.
Another way to keep your septic system in good health is to watch what you flush. Don’t put things down the toilet that don’t belong there.