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What Is the Septic Tank Pumping Cost?

septic tank pumping cost

No one likes to think about where your waste goes when you flush a toilet. You just do your business, and then move on with life. But when the toilet lets out a suspicious gurgle rather than doing its job, you begin to care. 

If you live in a town or city setting, then you most likely have a city sewer system that cares for your waste. But if you live in a rural area, away from the city sewer hookups, you most likely have a septic tank. 

When your toilet begins to gurgle or your drains back up, call a septic tank service company immediately. You need to have your septic tank pumped and possibly cleaned when you begin to notice backup such as this. 

At this point, you wonder, how much does septic tank pumping cost? Will I be able to afford the fees? What happens if I just wait?

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the cost of having your septic tank pumped. 

How Much Does Septic Tank Pumping Cost? 

Basic septic tank service which includes pumping your tank will cost between $300 and $700 depending on where you live and the size of your septic tank. Some people will pay up to $700 to have a tank pumped and initially inspected. 

For example, a small 750-gallon tank will cost around $300, while a 3,000-gallon septic tank can cost up to $1,300 for an inspection and pumping. 

The severity of your problems usually does not affect the cost of simply pumping your septic tank. However, if you fail to have your tank pumped regularly, then you’ll end up with serious problems that will cost you more than the fees of a septic tank pump-out cost. 

Signs You Need to Pump Your Septic Tank

You want your tank to work so efficiently that you forget about it. If you put your pumping on a schedule of every one to three years, then you won’t have to worry about the bigger problems that a full tank can cause. Here are a few of the most common reasons people need to have their tank pumped. 


Your tank has sludge and scum that floats above the liquid. When that sludge and scum gets high enough, it will cause a clog that can cause your sewage to back up.

If you don’t have your tank pumped regularly, then the sludge and sum accumulates and will actually leave the septic tank and move over to your drainage area. They then block the drainage area and prevent water from penetrating the soil. 

All of this spells disaster on your end in the house. You will have sewage backup and a big mess to clean up. Pump your tank before this happens. 

High Water

If you’re experiencing an uncharacteristically wet year with lots of rainfall, your groundwater levels will most likely be high. Heavy rainfall can saturate the soil and cause problems with the drain field, which will eventually affect your septic tank. 

Your septic tank is protected from high water and rainfall. However, your drain field is not. The tank holds the solids while the liquids will seep out to your drain field. 

Heavy rains can saturate the drain field and cause problems in your tank. 

Tree Roots

Tree roots can infiltrate drainpipes slowly but effectively. They can shift them and even break or clog them. When this happens, wastewater will release into the field area. 

You won’t fully realize this problem until you have your septic tank pumped and cleaned. The roots can squash your drainpipe and leave the septic tank with high water levels. When this happens, wastewater moves back into the house drain pipe, spelling disaster in your home. 

Pumping vs. Cleaning

Septic service companies will often use the words “pumping” and “cleaning” interchangeably, but they do mean different things. Pumping refers to moving all of the liquid and some of the sludge. Cleaning will remove all of the liquid and all of the sludge from the bottom of your tank. 

You will receive the best service when your septic service company cleans your tank. They will use a vacuum truck to suck all of the liquid and the sludge from the bottom of your tank. If a company leaves sludge behind, you run the risk of having a backed-up sewer shortly after your cleaning job. 

A cleaning job will cost $75 to over $700 depending on the size of the septic tank. Often a company will also inspect the tank as a part of their charge. 

You should have your tank cleaned and inspected no less than every three years. Ideally, you should have a septic tank inspector come out once a year to make sure everything is working as it should. If you just purchased the property and don’t know when the tank was last inspected, call a septic tank cleaning company to have them check it out. 

Signs You Need an Inspection

If you’re worried that you have waited too long and have a full septic tank, you can call an inspector immediately. You also could just look for some of the telltale signs that you need an inspection. Here are a few basic signs that it’s time to have your septic tank pumped: 

  • Slow drains: your drain pipes are moving slowly even after you’ve repaired them or attempted to fix errors
  • Green grass: you have exceptionally green grass near your septic tank thanks to the extra fertilizer seeping from the tank
  • Pools of water: you have water pooling in areas of your yard
  • Backward flow: your toilet, sink, and shower drains have begun to flow backward
  • Sewage odor: your washing machine, dishwasher, and sink all have suspicious smells coming from them

These signs all indicate it’s time to call your septic service company and have your tank inspected and possibly pumped and cleaned. A septic tank service company will look at all parts of your septic system and not just the tank to make sure you don’t have problems elsewhere. 

Pump the Tank Today

Now that you know how much septic tank pumping cost will run you, you can make an appointment to have your tank pumped today. If you’ve begun to notice any of the signs of a full septic tank, contact us today. 

We are a reliable company you can trust to do the job right the first time. With over 100 years of combined experience along with a proven track record of customer satisfaction, we will give you peace of mind knowing your septic system is running smoothly. 

Give us a call today. We’d love to help you out. 

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