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Septic Tank Cost Factors

Septic Tank Cost Factors

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When you’re planning to put a septic system in your home, it’s critical that you fully understand the nature of the costs both during installation and on an ongoing basis. While the national average for septic tank installation is about $4,500, the costs for labor, equipment and permits will vary based on your location and the contractor you use. If you’re not sure whether you’ll fall in line with the national average, the below three cost factors can give you a starting place to estimate whether your system may be on the higher end of the spectrum.

Septic System Design

The way you design your septic system will have a major impact on the overall cost of your septic system. Unfortunately, you may not have much of a choice in the layout because of your property and local ordinances. For instance, having a property with an extreme slope could mean installing a tiered leach field, which is more expensive than the typical setup. Living on a low elevation or close to a water source could also impact the layout of your system.

Septic Tank Selection

Although you can find septic tanks available as small as 300 gallons, the size of your septic tank will depend more on the number of bedrooms in your home and whether you have a garbage disposal in the kitchen than your cost preferences.

While concrete is the most common septic tank material, you’ll find tanks available from other materials that span the cost spectrum. The standard concrete septic tank will give you a few decades of use before it begins cracking, but you can find even more durable tanks if you’re willing to spend more. When in doubt, your contractor can provide guidance on which septic tanks are the most popular and the longest lasting.

Septic System Maintenance

In addition to the costs you incur to install a septic tank and leach field on your property, there are also ongoing maintenance costs. If you have a choice between city sewer access and a septic tank, knowing the maintenance costs in your area can help you make your decision.

Assuming that there were no issues with the system’s installation and you’re dealing with newer equipment, your annual maintenance costs will be fairly low. These can include:

  • Annual septic tank inspection
  • Caring for foliage over septic system
  • Other maintenance and fees as determined by your municipality.

You’ll also be responsible for the cost of pumping the sludge from septic tank when the level starts to get high. Depending on the size of your septic tank and the number of people in your household (and whether you use a garbage disposal), this expense could come around every 2 to 10 years.

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