When planning your septic system, you will need to carefully lay out the plans for the field lines and the proper placement of the tank itself. All of these pre-installation tasks are critical to an efficient system that will give you years of trouble-free service. Just as key is your ability to properly budget for the installation.

The Materials

Assuming you already have piping coming from your home, you will need a septic tank, enough 4" PVC pipe to reach from the tank to the field lines, and then an adequate amount of perforated PVC pipe to make up the field lines. You will also need gravel as well as a geotextile material to line the top of each field line. The amount of materials you will need will depend on the amount of field line you must install. This can only be determined after a perc test has been completed on the property. The information from the perc test combined with the number of bedrooms in the home will be used to determine the amount of field line required.

The Tank Itself

Once again your cost will vary, in this case depending on the size and type of tank you are installing. The most popular style is a cement tank with the most popular size being a 1,000 gallon tank. The standard 1,000 gallon tank will cost you between $500 and $700, depending on where you live. If you want to step up to a 1,200 gallon tank, a very nice option, the price goes up approximately another $100. A 1,000 gallon tank is usually enough to accommodate most homes and is the minimum size allowed in many areas.

Installation Cost

The cost for installation will vary depending on the area of the country you live in and the amount of materials your specific design calls for. The minimum you should expect to pay for a septic system installation is $2,000. In moderate areas this cost can go as high as $5,000. In areas where material and labor rates are higher the cost can go up considerably. Estimates of $8,000 to $12,000 are not uncommon. For systems that require special engineering or construct, your cost can go as high as $20,000, perhaps even higher. For an average installation, you should expect to pay somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000.