How Much Does Septic Tank Pumping Cost

If your house is not connected to your town or municipality’s central sewer system, this means you have a septic tank. Whether you are aware of its existence or whereabouts, what is certain is that this needs a regular pumping every 3 to 5 years. Telltales that it is about time you have it pumped could be a strong odor, sluggish toilet draining action, or worse, water leakage above the area of the drain field. A professional can help assess the health of your tank, having it pump can revive its condition and having it pumped on a regular basis can maintain it for a long time and ultimately save you the trouble of having it repaired or replaced.


Before septic tanks were invented, people used to just funnel their waste straight into rivers and creeks, which of course did not help the environment at all and rampantly aggravated water pollution. The very first septic tank system was designed by John Moudras in 1860, he created a tank made out of concrete and connected this to his home through pipes made of clay. He used this system of waste management for a good number of years then afterward dismantled the tank, perhaps out curiosity, upon inspection, he discovered that instead of solid waste that should have been accumulated in his system, it had been turned into a liquid effluent. He applied for a patent of this system which was granted in 1881. Throughout the years, through many hits and fails, a system of regulations and standards have been put in place to ensure septic tanks be kept healthy across neighborhoods all over the world.

Septic Tank Functions

Septic tanks are designed to take care of itself normally over long periods of time. Solid waste is broken down by the natural bacteria that is accumulated in the tank, this is further separated into layers divided by sludge, water, and oil. Septic Tank PumpingHowever, this normal symbiosis can be affected by several factors like an immense amount of water activity, or certain materials or chemicals that could have been drained into the system, these can affect the bacteria’s breaking down capacity which can then let the septic tank fill up faster than it should. Items like chemotherapy drug, anti-bacterial soap, bath oils, detergents, and even detergents can pretty much affect the natural bacteria that breaks down waste inside the tanks. It would be best to avoid dumping these down the drain, but since these are basically everyday items that are present in almost everyday households and are practically dumped down the drain, it is inevitable to get a little extra help to get a malfunctioning septic tank back to normal working condition.

Pumping Septic Tanks

Septic tank pumping essentially cleans out the sludge accumulated in the tank. It is pumped out, siphoned into a container, transported away, and disposed of properly following safety procedures. Septic tank pumping cost normally should cover the fees for all these procedures. Some companies that offer this service, however, would separate the septic tank cleaning price from the other peripheral services that is involved in getting the job done, knowing the coverage of the company you are hiring before signing them up can greatly affect how much does it cost to pump a septic tank, this is why it is best to compare companies and have at least three to choose from, this way you can be sure you are getting the best deal for your money.


Septic tank pumping cost on average costs around $350, but the lowest septic tank cleaning price can amazingly start at less than $200 but can alternately rise up to $900. Though these prices can be greatly affected by the size of the tank and the severity or the amount of sludge that needs to be disposed of, sometimes the location of the tank can also yield other issues that can further affect how much does it cost to pump a septic tank. However, there are certain things that homeowners can keep in mind which can ultimately help save money on costs and fees.

First off, locating the tank can already entail certain fees for the pumping service, homeowners can save money by doing this themselves, identify the exact location of the tank and exposing it by opening the lid before the pumper arrives. This might seem easy enough but not all property owners would readily know where their tank might be that is until problems have become too evident for their tanks to be ignored like maybe a foul smell seeping through.

Knowing beforehand how the whole pumping and cleaning of septic tanks work, the homeowner can readily ask questions from the pumper before hiring them. Determine right away the scope of the fees, if it already covers the siphoning, then later on the transporting, and the dumping of the waste. Ideally, it is best to get a company that has comprehensive service and a fee that covers everything. However, if the company charges separately for different procedures, it is best to calculate the fees that might get accumulated and assess if it would be worth it. Like any other service that is for hire, it is best to look for professionals that have a good record from past clients. Septic tank pumping can be a messy job if not done correctly, quite literally. Nobody wants sludge from their septic tank dripping all over their property, assess how the pumper would be transporting this waste and if their methods are the most efficient and neat way to do it.

Afterwards, as septic tank pumping supposedly should be done at regular intervals, three to five years, it would help the homeowner to ask the pumper they hired to measure the sludge in their tank, these measurements can help determine how fast is the rate of accumulation and therefore determine when they can have the septic tank pumped again to further ensure proper maintenance. 

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