How Much Does It Cost to Clean Your Septic Tank?

A septic system works by collecting all of your home’s wastewater through underground pipes in a buried tank that is typically made of concrete, plastic, or fiberglass. A septic tank collects and filters your wastewater to make the solids separate from the liquids, at a point they will condense into a sludge that will settle to the tank bottom, while the oils and grease will rise to the top and form a scum. To keep this tank working well, you’ll need to have it pumped out every so often to get rid of solid waste. For this job, you’ll need to hire a pro.


A septic tank is important for getting rid of waste, especially if you live in the rural area. It needs to be cleaned often for it to continue to work well. If you don’t clean or pump out your septic tank on a regular basis, you could hurt the tank or your leach field. In this article, there are different levels of septic tank maintenance and different parts of the tank that can be cleaned. These variables, along with the tank’s size and accessibility, may result in a wider range of septic tank cleaning costs. You can get the precise cost from septic professionals near you, but here’s the estimates.


Septic Tank Cleaning Cost

The average price to pump a septic tank is $400, but for most residential tanks, the cost can range from $225 to $625.  When calculating your overall septic tank cleaning costs, take into account the following factors:

  • Gallons of waste: The more waste has accumulated in your tank, the more expensive the pump will be.
  • The tank’s size: Residential septic tanks typically have a capacity of between 750 and 1,500 gallons.
  • Location: Where you live affects the cost of home services, including septic tank pumping.


Septic Tank Cleaning Cost per Gallon

Larger septic tanks, as you might expect, hold more waste and take longer to empty, so the cost of pumping them is higher. Most companies do not charge per gallon, but you may be able to get a per-gallon cost if you want to shop around for the best prices. The typical septic tank cleaning costs to pump an average tank is between $0.30 and $0.40 per gallon.


Septic Tank Cleaning Cost by Size

The size of the tank affects the septic tank cleaning costs, and the size of the tank varies depending on the size of the home. Larger homes with more family members require larger septic tanks than do smaller homes. The most typical septic tank volume in the United States is 1,000 or 1,250 gallons.


Tank Size (gallons) Cost


$175 – $300


$225 – $400


$275 – $500


$345 – $600


$400 – $700


How Often Should a Septic Tank be Cleaned?

Your septic tank’s pumping schedule’s precise timing varies greatly depending on a number of variables. Aim to have it pumped once every three to five years, but depending on the size of your tank and the number of people living in your house, you might need to do so more or less frequently. The more frequently you have your septic tank pumped, the septic tank cleaning costs will be cheaper because there will be less waste to remove. It’s usually more cost-effective, however, to wait until the tank is almost full to pump it


On the basis of the size and occupancy, septic tank companies will typically inspect your tank and offer a recommendation. Most businesses can also call or send you a postcard as a courtesy reminder. Based on the number of people living in the home, the recommended tank sizes and timing are listed below. To create the ideal maintenance schedule for your home, always consult your local septic company. 


House Size Tank Size (gallons) Cleaning Frequency (years)

1 – 2 Bedrooms

750 2 – 5
2 – 3 Bedrooms


3 – 5

3 – 5 Bedrooms


3 – 5

5 – 7 Bedrooms


3- 5

8+ Bedrooms 1,750

3 – 5


Signs That Your Septic Tank is Full

You should consult a septic tank contractor if you notice any of the following symptoms, even though your regular inspection should tell you when it’s time to pump your septic tank:

  • Toilets and drains running slowly
  • Foul odors in your home
  • Pooling water above your drain field
  • Sewer backup
  • Overly healthy lawn above your septic bed


Owning a house with a septic system requires you to pump your septic tank every three to five years. It’s a regular pumping that part of routine maintenance can help you avoid replacing your sewer line or having to make more expensive repairs to your system. Get in touch with nearby septic system service providers to provide more information.