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What Is the Average Septic Tank Pumping Cost? A Closer Look

Did you know that each person in the United States uses an average of 80 to 100 gallons of water each day?

All that water needs to end up somewhere! Whenever you use water in your house, the wastewater ends up in a septic tank. Like other parts of a house, you need to maintain a septic tank so that it can keep processing the water that you use.

The basic way to maintain your septic tank is to get it pumped when it is full. Are you wondering what goes into calculating a septic tank pumping cost?

We break down this septic service in this handy guide.

How a Septic Tank Works

A septic tank is a water-tight tank buried underground in your yard. Wastewater leaves your house and enters this buried tank through a drainage pipe.

Once in the septic tank, solid waste settles at the bottom, and oils, fats, and grease float to the top. Sludge is the name for the solid waste at the bottom of the tank and scum is the term for the lighter floating material.

The solid waste is eventually broken down by healthy bacteria. Because bacteria can’t eat away at all the solid waste, sludge will get left behind. This sludge will need periodic removal to keep the septic tank running smoothly.

The wastewater in the middle of the tank, called effluent, is then filtered to catch any solid waste. Once filtered, the effluent drains into a leach field made of gravel and soil. 

The gravel and soil in the leach field filter out unhealthy bacteria from the effluent. This results in clean water by the time it reaches the water table below.

What Is Septic Tank Pumping?  

A septic tank can last many years, but only if it is properly maintained. The healthy bacteria in your tank eat away at much of the sludge but don’t completely get rid of it. Having your septic tank pumped removes any excess sludge and scum to keep your tank working well.

If you don’t get your septic tank pumped, you could be dealing with clogs, flooding in your leach field, or bad smells.

Average Septic Tank Pumping Cost

Servicing your septic tank is inexpensive maintenance. This is especially true when you compare it to replacing the entire septic tank system. 

Most homeowners will pay between $500 and $600 to get their septic tank pumped. This figure can vary based on several different factors. 


The size of your tank can impact how much it will cost to get it pumped. The cost to pump a septic tank depends on how many gallons the tank holds. Most houses have a septic tank that is between 600 and 2000 gallons in size.

The average septic tank pumping cost is $0.35 per gallon. Pumping your tank could cost you just a few hundred dollars for a small tank or over $700 if you have a very large tank.

Although pumping larger tanks costs more, they can go longer in-between septic services.


The more that you use your septic tank, the more often you will need to get it pumped. You will need to pump your septic tank on average every two to three years.

If you have many people in your house, use the garbage disposal often, or are using a lot of water, your septic will need more regular care.


The cost of having your septic pumped could vary depending on where you live. It is a good idea to get several quotes from septic companies so that you know you are getting the best price. 

Type of System 

The type of system that you have can impact the cost of getting your septic system pumped. Older septic tanks can be more difficult to access, which can increase the cost of pumping. 

Additional Maintenance

During your septic service, your technician may discover that your septic tank needs cleaning.

Cleaning your septic tank is a good way to check the parts of the tank to make sure they are in working order. This service also helps check for clogs or anything in need of repair like cracked or broken pipes.

Maintaining Your Septic Tank

If you keep your septic tank clean and pumped you will avoid costly repairs to your septic system.

A septic system can handle organic material only. If objects that don’t break down get into the septic tank, the system could clog.

It may be tempting to add chemicals or tablets to help the bacteria in your tank, but this is a bad idea. This can do more harm than good by causing an imbalance to the bacteria that are there already.

Flushing out your septic tank is another practice you should avoid. When you flush your tank you can upset the bacteria and cause problems with the system. This can also cause the scum and sludge to move and cause clogs.

The tank isn’t the only place that needs attention when it comes to septic tank maintenance. Making sure to care for the leach field by keeping it clear of plants or heavy objects can keep it functioning the way it should.

Septic Tank Pumping Keeps Your Water Flowing!

When you keep your septic tank cleaned and serviced, you will avoid problems further down the road. These repairs can be expensive and make the septic tank pumping cost worth it in the long run.

If your septic tank is ready for service, Goebel Septic is the place to call! We can help you with all your septic needs.

Contact us today to get your free quote. Our knowledgeable and professional staff are here to help!