How Much Does a Septic System Cost?

Posted on: August 9th, 2016 by mike No Comments

Whether you are looking to install a septic system on a new piece of property or need to replace an aging or broken septic system, the first question on your mind is how much it will cost. The truth of the matter is that a septic system can be a costly investment. When it comes to price, it really isn’t a wise idea to cut corners, as you want to ensure that your septic system will last for years to come and perform well throughout the duration of its lifetime. With that being said, there many factors that will affect the cost of purchasing and installing a septic system. Let’s take a look.

The size of the system.

The larger the septic system, the more it will cost. So, what determines the size of your septic system? Well, it all depends on the size of your home and the number of people living there. For example, a five-bedroom house with three bathrooms that six people call home will require a much bigger septic tank than a two-bedroom, one-bathroom home that only houses two people.

The type of tank.

There are different kinds of septic tanks. While most are made of concrete, there are also models available in steel, fiberglass, or polyethylene. Some of these materials are more expensive than others are. However, a 1,000-gallon precast concrete tank — which will typically suffice for the standard three-bedroom home — will generally cost $600 to $1,000.

Drain gravel.

Gravel trenches are commonly used as septic absorption fields. Generally, you can expect to pay $12 to $30 for 1 ton of drain gravel. The larger your drain field, the more gravel you will have to purchase.

Permitting costs.

Depending on the local regulations regarding permitting requirements, you may need to get permits to install a septic system. Permits will ensure that your system is installed up to code, but they could tack on a couple hundred dollars to your overall budget.

Labor costs and installation fees.

Many people are tempted to go the DIY route when installing a septic system in order to save a few bucks. This really isn’t advisable. In fact, it could end up costing you money in the end, as a septic system that is poorly installed will have more problems down the line. Remember, septic systems have to move biodegradable wastes to a place where they are able to break down naturally, which is pretty complex. Your best bet is to leave room in your budget for labor costs and installation fees.

So, what does all of that add up to? As a general estimate, a standard septic system will typically run anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000, assuming you have a three-bedroom home and good soil quality. Of course, this is just an estimate, and the total cost in your situation will depend on the factors discussed.