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The Many Costs of a Septic Tank

If you live away from the city, the municipal sewer system isn’t available to handle your waste management needs. For rural houses, a sturdy septic system can be your sanitation-saving grace. You may find yourself asking, “How much does a septic system cost?” 

The answer depends on several factors, including location, design, and tank type; all of these, along with maintenance and repair costs, contribute to the overall price of a septic system.


Tank Design

The next consideration for the cost of a septic tank is the design of the tank itself. You should have a septic system designer formulate a plan for your system, as a poor design will lead to expensive repairs later on. The most common septic tank materials are plastic, concrete, and fiberglass. Plastic is the inexpensive option, averaging $1,100 to $2,100; concrete is the traditional choice, with an average range of $1,200 to $1,800; and the premium option is fiberglass, which costs about $1,600 to $2,000 for a 1,000-1,500 gallon tank.


Tank Location

After installation permits, additional plumbing, and site preparation, location can be a major factor in determining the total expenses associated with your septic system installation. The plumbing costs alone can raise your overall estimate, with an average price of $65 to $80 for every 100 feet of septic-ready PVC pipe you need for your system. When planning a septic system installation, this should be your first concern.


Tank Type

The treatment method and size of your septic tank is the final factor you need to consider when estimating septic tank installation costs. Tank sizes vary as a two-bedroom home needs less space than a four-bedroom to get the job done. The most common tank sizes are 1,000 gallons and 1,500 gallons. Aerobic treatment methods don’t require as much leaching space and are more effective, but they cost significantly more than anaerobic septic systems.


There are many facets to consider when estimating prices for septic tanks and septic systems. Still, these three are the primary factors that determine the cost of septic system installation. Once you have a good idea of how large of a tank you need, what kind of system you want, and where you plan to install it, you’ll have answers when you start asking: “How much does a septic tank cost?”