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Over 60 million people in the US — that’s how many rely on septic systems. These devices are important for proper wastewater treatment.

That said, septic tanks process waste oils, grease, solids, and organic matter. Over time, these can clog tanks with thick layers of sludge and muck. The thicker the build-up, the more plumbing issues you’ll experience.

So, to keep your septic tank in great condition, you should have it pumped periodically.

The question now is, how often and how much does it cost to have your septic tank pumped? How can pumping even help maintain your tank?

We’ll address all these questions below, so be sure to keep reading!

Why Do You Need to Get Your Septic Tank Cleaned?

The Environmental Protection Agency itself suggests periodic pumping of septic tanks. This helps prevent the buildup of “sludge and floating scum”.

If you let your septic tank get clogged, it won’t be long before your toilets and drains get clogged too. Foul odors will start to permeate your home. Worse, you’ll be at a greater risk of sewer backups.

Keep in mind that sewer backups can contaminate not just the ground but also your water supply. Exposure to contaminated water can then lead to acute gastrointestinal illnesses. Acute GI diseases are quite common in the US, with 4 to 32 million cases occurring each year.

How Often Do You Need to Pump It out?

It’s best to call in the pros for septic tank pumping every three to five years. It’s also best to schedule an inspection every three years, to ensure that your tank is in great condition. The cleaners will also make sure there are no leaks in the tank that can be contaminating the ground.

How Much Does it Cost to Have Your Septic Tank Pumped?

The average cost to clean a septic tank can range anywhere from $100 to $300. That’s spare change compared to the cost of replacing an entire septic tank, which can be between $3,000 and $10,000!

Factors That Affect Septic Tank Cleaning Cost (And Frequency)

The size of your septic tank has a huge impact on the pump out costs and frequency. The smaller your tank is, the lower the costs, but the more frequent you may have to get it pumped. Bigger tanks (usually the 1,250-gallon ones) require less pumping but also cost more to clean.

The number of people in your household also impacts your cost. That’s because the bigger your household is, the more wastewater you guys generate.

More wastewater means increased waste materials that your tank has to process. This, in turn, translates to the tank cleaners requiring more time to pump out the tank. In this case, you can expect higher septic tank pumping prices.

No matter how you look at it though, the cost of septic tank cleaning is far lower than repairing a damaged tank. It’s also cheaper than dealing with sewer backups or having to go to the hospital because of an acute GI illness.

Get Your Septic Tank Pumped out Now

There you have it, the answers to your question, “how much does it cost to have your septic tank pumped?” As you can see, it’s not that expensive, especially if you compare it to a new septic tank. If you don’t get your tank pumped periodically, you’ll likely end up needing a new tank.

Ready for more home improvement hacks like this? Then be sure to check out the rest of our posts under the Home section!