Cost of septic replacement

Dundee, IL

Has anyone had to replace a septic tank/field lately? Our set-up is over 50 years old and the tank (I'm told) is only about 400-500 gallons. Even though it passed inspection (hah!) when we bought the house five years ago we've had problems from day one with water backing up in the laundry tub and drain in the below ground basement. We have it pumped twice a year and it fails inspection every time from the spetic pump company. They want to sell me a new system but I need to know what is reasonable.

It's only three people living in the house, but if my 5 year old takes a bath and the hubby takes a shower in the same day we're backing up.


Seminole, OK(Zone 7a)

Have you checked for tree roots in your lines? We had backing up problems when we moved into our last house. We found tree roots in the pipe right where it goes into the house. We cleaned those roots out and it worked for quite a while then it began backing up again. We dug the lid free. Had it pumped and found that the opening to the septic lines that takes the water away was just filled up with tree roots. We had to cut out the roots it was so tangled and thick.

We lucked out and didn't have to have it replaced. I was told that the new septic tanks are usually not as large as the old ones.

londonderry, Australia

we have had ours back up befor when flood wateers came but that is about it

Orlando, FL(Zone 9b)

Maybe it's the drain field. If you have it pumped twice a year then that usually means the drain field isn't draining. I am not 100% but just a guess.

londonderry, Australia

ours gets pumped once a week

Orlando, FL(Zone 9b)

Wow!!! We never pump ours. Maybe we just have a large one.

Waddy, KY

I suspect that to have the drain field dug and a septic tank set will cost you between $5000-$7000. I'd have to ask my husband how much a septic tank would run. If the line from the house to the septic tank is intact and the septic tank a real tank instead of a rock walled hole like some of the older systems were, I'd think you could use your existing tank. They should be able to clean the distribution boxes and perhaps just lay new laterals. Get several estimates and talk to folks in the community about who does the best work.


Humansville, MO(Zone 6a)

I put in one 12 years ago it cost 2500 at the time and as much as rook and everything else went i would figure at least 5000 and would say the 7000 figure would be the one to work with this was a 1000 gallon tank which was required by the state I think your system is so old that they will make you replace the whole thing

Sue, RI(Zone 6a)

Our state is very strict on septic systems which = $$$! When we built our house 3 years ago the septic cost us $15, 000. This was with a brother-in-law discount(he did the excavating and hauling the countless loads of gravel. DEM has come up with elaborate systems! I know of people spending $25,000! Our town requires an inspection of the tank every three years-$150 for inspection; if it needs pumping it's another $200!

Seminole, OK(Zone 7a)

I wonder if you could buy just the lid for an existing septic tank. My lid has been broken and I have a make shift lid on it. I hate to replace the whole thing just to get a new lid. Knock on wood I don't have a lot of problems and my lateral lines are really long.

Moundridge, KS(Zone 6a)

Kansas also seems to be pretty strict. About a year ago DD had to have her whole tank and drainfield replaced (turned out someone had done a really bad homemade job) and it cost her between $6,000 and $7,000. I do remember there were several different options available and when the county inspector came out he told her she had to have the most expensive one. Made me wonder if he was in cahoots with the contractor. Good luck with it.


Sue, RI(Zone 6a)

We have different systems here too. Depends if the area is too wet for a traditional septic. One is called a sand filtration system and is very costly. Also you have an increase in your electic bill as the filtration system is always running. I'm thankful that I didn't need that one! We had quick drainage and they still insisted that we needed 6' of gravel across an area of 20' x 50' in which the pipes for the leach field were laid. The entire side yard is the septic system.


Moundridge, KS(Zone 6a)

I do remember there is (I think) a state assistance program when you have to do a complete replacement, where the state will pay a certain amount, up to half the total. I don't remember if that is dependent on income...most likely, but the problem there is once the state or county is aware of your problem they can fine you if it isn't corrected in a certain amount of time. That's the way DD went. I think the state ended up paying about $2500 which made a huge difference, but she got caught because she couldn't find a contractor who would do it within the specified amount of time (they were all busy with bigger jobs) so she was threatened with fines. No one ever actually fined her, but it was very nerve-racking at the time. I also wonder if she really needed the most expensive system, others in the environmental office had not thought she would, but when the inspector came out he said she would and that was that.

I don't know if all states have that program, but it might be worth checking out. I think is was through the EPA.


Renton, WA(Zone 8a)

we had our septic "repaired' with a system Bob Villa recommends. It still requires a big ditch dug, but without the permits for a replacement which are impossible to get now in my suburb. It cost us $6000. They dug the ditch and installed a half circle plastic tunnel at the bottom. so far so good and hoping it lasts another 40 years.

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images