A septic system price will vary around the country according to local labor and material rates. There are three kinds of costs associated with a new septic system: the original installation costs, the maintenance and repair costs, and the replacement costs if things go wrong. Proper steps taken in the installation and maintenance will prevent many of the replacement costs.
In the mid-west where materials and labor rates are reasonably priced, a standard, gravity-fed tank and trench septic system price will run $3,000 to $5,000. In certain parts of the country these figures can increase by 50-100%.
A cluster system, where each home has their own septic tank but empty into a community drainfield will generally cost $5,000 to $8,000 for the initial install.
Engineered systems, like mounds, sand/peat filters, aerobic systems and constructed wetlands will run $6,000 to $10,000. Occasionally they can run in the $15,000 dollar range or more.
The typical annual costs of a new septic system drainfield or mound system range from $30 up to $500 with the high end including replacement costs of pumps in mound systems. Standard, gravity-fed tank and trench systems typically only need to be pumped/inspected every 1-3 years and will cost $75 to $150 per pumping. The annual costs with systems including constructed wetlands or sand and peat filters are often $50 to $1,700, depending on the discharge method and monitoring requirements. Annual costs for multiple-household systems are typically $200 to $1500 per household.
The typical total cost for a new septic system over a 20 year period is $6,300 to $13,000 for trenches and mounds, or $13,500 to $32,000 for alternative treatment systems. For multi-household systems, typical trench or mound systems range from $18,500 to $25,000. Alternative treatment systems typically range from $18,000 to $44,500 for 20 years of service.
Any type of new septic system, if it built and used properly, has the potential to last 20, 30, 40 years or more. Some systems will need pumps replaced periodically and treatment media rejuvenated.
Of course the proper operation and management of any system is dependent on educating the people that use those systems how to properly use those systems...something that has been missing from the equation from day one.
In most cases the cost of a new septic system is a much better option than a public sewer, from a financial point of view. A sewage treatment facility will usually cost $12,000 to $30,000 to get hooked-up and $350 to $1,000 per year.
As you may know from researching this topic, failing septic systems are a major financial and environmental problem in this country. Expensive septic repairs can often run from $5,000 to $20,000 or more and a large number of systems are failing throughout the country. For news stories related to failing septic systems and tightening regulations you can go to: http://www.laundry-alternative.com/failingseptic.htm
You also can't sell your home if it has a failing system. For more information on how to properly maintain your septic system, go to: