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How much does a septic tank cost?

How much does a septic tank cost?

Exterior renovationsHow much does a septic tank cost?

Thinking of having a septic tank installed or the one you currently own changed? As you can imagine, this is a considerable expense and there are several costs associated with it.

To plan your budget accordingly, here are all the costs involved in the installation and maintenance of a septic system.

The Cost of a Septic Tank

septic tank

Source: Canva

Soil Analysis

Before proceeding with the installation of a septic system, a soil test (percolation test or hydraulic conductivity test) may be necessary to determine the soil permeability level.

A professional will show you the different types of septic tanks corresponding to your needs. For this soil test, you’ll need to shell out between $600 and $2000. However, this amount may differ depending on your area of residence.

Septic System Installation Costs

When it comes to installing your septic system, the amount you’ll pay will vary widely. But generally, it’ll be between $10,000 and $45,000 and can be as high as $60,000. This amount will vary depending on several factors including:

  • the type of installation (a more or less sophisticated model);

  • accessibility to the site (the presence of difficulties or additional measures to access it);

  • the size of your septic tank (evaluated according to the flow of water to be treated);

  • the cost of the rented equipment;

  • the materials used.

Septic System Inspection

An inspection may be necessary to confirm that your septic system does indeed comply with current standards. For this, you’ll have to pay between $400 and $500.

In this regard, you should know that some municipalities may require the construction of your septic tank to be supervised by a designer throughout the duration and that they must submit a certificate to confirm the end of the work. Of course, these additional costs will increase the final invoice amount.

Septic Tank Maintenance

septic tank

Source: Canva

Now, when it comes to emptying your septic tank, you should expect a charge of between $150 and $700, as this is the average price for a house with three bedrooms. However, be aware that you should be careful when you choose to empty your septic tank.

Indeed, it’s good to know that additional costs are applicable during holidays and weekends, as well as for emptying that exceeds a certain number of cubic meters, for unnecessary trips, and for the deployment of a pipe more than a certain distance.

Since these excess charges differ from region to region and depend on the company you’re dealing with, do plenty of research so you don't have a nasty surprise when your eyes find the bill.

If the home where the work is being done is your primary residence, your septic tank should be emptied approximately every two years. Sometimes more often depending on the number of inhabitants inside the home. If this is your seasonal residence, this change can only be done every four years.

Advanced Secondary and Tertiary Treatments

In some situations, you will need a septic system with advanced secondary or tertiary treatment. The former is often recommended in cases where the land is close to a waterway or its area is small. In addition, this type of treatment meets higher purification standards. Tertiary treatment, for its part, applies in cases where your land is little or not permeable.

Moreover, be aware that if the septic tank you’re purchasing contains an advanced secondary treatment system (such as Ecobox or Ecophyltre for example) or a tertiary treatment system (Ecophyltre with disinfection bed), you may have no choice but to conclude an annual maintenance contract with the manufacturer. Thus, you will have to consider the cost of pumping sludge in addition to the regular maintenance costs.

Why change my septic system and my septic tank?

Since a septic tank is designed for a specific number of inhabitants, a change in the number of bedrooms may cause your septic tank to non-comply with current regulations. Therefore, you may need an upgrade.

Also, if your septic tank is located too close to a water table, the land on which it’s located will not be suitable (which may be the case for certain types of soil containing clay). Also, if it’s too small, you may also have to have your septic system replaced.

Type of service
Soil test
between $600 and $2000 (will differ depending on the region)
Septic system installation 
between $10,500 and $45,000 (can be as high as $60,000)
Installation inspection
between $400 and $500
Emptying your septic tank
between $150 and $700

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Last modified 2024-04-19

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