Aerobic Septic System Cost


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

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An aerobic septic system, to put it simply, is a smaller version of a municipal sewage plant that you own as a homeowner.

Similar to most septic systems which treat wastewater using a natural process, an aerobic system, however, will inject oxygen into the tank via a pump, allowing the bacterial decomposition process to become faster, cleaner and much more efficient.

Rarely used for residential properties in the past, today, they have become more popular due to its efficiency.

Aerobic Septic System Cost
Greywater septic tank outlet” (CC BY 2.0) by Sustainable sanitation

How much does an aerobic septic system cost?

The cost of an aerobic septic system will depend on your soil conditions, the size of the system you need, the design, maintenance requirements, your geographical region and the professional you choose to hire.  Based on these factors, it appears the average system, when installed, can range anywhere from as little as $4,000 to more than $17,000, often making it up to three times more than a traditional septic system.  Other fees will apply, which will we get into in our next section.

As many factors come into play, as you can see, all of the quotes obtained will be quite different.  For this very reason, we highly recommend you use the free quote comparison website, HomeAdvisor.com, to gather as many quotes as you can… for free.  Here, you simply explain your job and with this information, contractors will contact you with a no-obligation quote.

According to wholesalesepticsupply.com, the state can play a crucial role as some states will require your system has a control panel, for example, which can increase the costs.  The website mentions that in some states, such as Mississippi, can cost around $3,500 to $3,900, while in Illinois, since there’s rock present beneath the surface most of the time, it can cost in excess of $15,000+.

On this forum thread via TexasBowHunter.com, multiple members talked about what they paid for this type of system, with prices ranging anywhere from $8,500 to more than $15,000+

The additional costs to consider

Site evaluation:  Before the septic system is even considered, a site evaluation will always be required, often costing anywhere from as little as $200 to more than $500 based on the factors mentioned prior.

Pulling permits:  Also, aside from the evaluation, there’s a good chance you will need local permits pulled as well, another cost which can cost upwards of a few hundred dollars.

Required maintenance schedule:  Some cities require you keep a valid maintenance contract at all times or you risk the chance of a fine.  These routine inspections, required about once a year, can cost a few hundred dollars, all depending on the contractor you hire and your geographical region.  Parts can be costly as well, iwth a motor, for example, retailing for more than $500 for just the part.

Older home?  In the case of a newer home, the system can be easier to install since the plumbing setup often runs to the middle of the home, out to one outlet, whereas an older home may have multiple exits, making it harder to connect the system to the home as more work will be required to create the right elevation, etc.  If extensive hand digging is required, this could increase your project by more than $2,000+

The pros of an aerobic septic system

An aerobic septic system will require a smaller-than-average draining field, often making it a fantastic choice for those who are working with a small lot.

Many of the more advanced aerobic systems will have alarms which can alert homeowners in the case of a problem.

As these systems can process waste faster, in comparison to other systems, they tend to be more environmentally friendly.

According to EastTexasSeptic.com, these systems are ideal for sites that are not acceptable for conventional systems, and in the case of poor soil conditions, this can often be your cheapest option.

The cons of an aerobic septic system

Since these systems will require electricity, they can fail in the case of a power outage, especially if you do not have a power backup.

These systems are known to become clogged easier due to the setup and design.

In comparison to other septic systems, the aerobic system will require much more upkeep and failing to do so can often lead to costly failures.

In some cities, these systems are not allowed, so it’s best to talk with city officials before proceeding or even considering one.

Costly in terms of maintenance when compared to other systems, often costing more than $300 a year to maintain.  Remember, many states, by law, require you to have a maintenance contract.

Tips to know

Some cities do not accept these types of systems.  Before considering, check with your local health department for more information.

Check with your local state laws to see if you’re required to have a maintenance contract to avoid costly fines in the future.

An aerobic septic system should run continuously, and if the air pump is not running, then this could be a red flag your system isn’t working as it should.  To know if your air pump is running, you should hear a slight humming noise, but in the case of a louder, obnoxious noise, then it could mean your alarm is on due to no electricity.  If the alarm does come on, check your breakers immediately if your electricity is working.

All systems should be cleaned at least every three to five years.


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