How Much Does It Cost To Clean Out a Septic Tank?

 
When the time comes to have your septic tank cleaned out, an important question arises…

“How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?”

The answer is not as clear cut as you may think, but it’s also not going to require a 4-year degree to figure out. There are a few factors that affect the price you may have to pay to do the “Mega Flush” that will clean out years of accumulation from your laundry, toilet, showers, sinks, and jacuzzi.

Let’s get started.

First of all, you should know that septic tanks are like people. They come in all shapes and sizes, they range in age from new to ancient, their health conditions vary tremendously, and they have varying manners and personalities.  Some are timid and prefer to remain hidden from view, buried beneath the surface. Others are more assertive, with bold risers, flashing lights, and even audio alarm systems to let others know of their impressive presence. Still, others are geeky enough that in the event of a problem, they can actually call our office and let us know they need to be serviced!

Yes, we are still talking about a septic tank.

And then there are some who, when they get in a bad mood, will belch or burp like a demented old man, or try to talk to you up through the drains, while the more aggressive ones have been known to “spout off” in the back yard like an upset spouse. Not to mention the ones who are more like the teenage boy who had too many burritos for lunch and insists on relieving his flatulence in the middle of the kitchen while you are trying to prepare dinner! What is that awful smell?!!!

At Shankster Bros, we have been sponsoring a clinical study, which should be coming out in journals shortly, entitled, “Various Personality Disorders Common to Septic Tanks.” But that is for another day.

The costs pertaining to the cleaning of a septic tank can be divided, (or multiplied), into 4-5 categories:

1.) Size of tank

2.) Accessibility of tank

3.) Location of property in relation to the service area

4.) Frequency of cleaning

5.) Volume the amount of gallons

Let’s break these costs down:

1.) Size of tank in gallons

As I mentioned, septic tanks come in all shapes and sizes. Some people are surprised to learn that septic tank sizing requirements for homes are based on the number of bedrooms, churches are on the seating capacity of the auditorium, factories on the number of employees, and campgrounds are on the number of campsites.

Current septic tank sizing requirement guidelines in Indiana are as follows:

5 bedroom home: 1500 gallon tank
4 bedroom home: 1250 gallon tank
3 bedroom home: 1000 gallon tank
2 Bedroom home: 750 gallon tank
1 bedroom home: 500 gallon tank

Interestingly, any jetted bathtub like a hot tub or jacuzzi with more than 125-gallon capacity also counts for an extra bedroom. Bear in mind that many systems installed nowadays are equipped with a secondary tank that serves as a pump station to pump your sewage out to the leach field or sand mound, where it is distributed through piping and receives its final treatment before leaching away into the ground. This means you may have two tanks to clean.

2.) Accessibility of tank

Unfortunately, some septic tanks have been installed in very unhandy places. Think…under the deck….under the garage floor…under the new living room that was added on a few years back…under that giant pine tree, I planted 40 years ago….etc! Yes, we have seen all of those situations, and many, many more.

Also having to do with accessibility is whether or not your tank is fitted with a Riser. This is a pipe on the lid of your septic tank that extends to the surface of the ground. All modern tanks are required to use risers, however, many older tanks do not have them. This may require digging to expose the access lid for your tank, and, yes, additional cost. Access risers can be added to older tanks to keep from repeating the effort and cost of digging up the access lid each time the tank needs to be cleaned. Some service providers have extra charges if they have to use more than one length of hose to reach your tank…fortunately for you, Shankster Bros. does not!

3.) Distance from the service area

Many service providers have a sliding scale price depending on the location of the customer relative to their service area. For example, Shankster Bros. is located in Northern Indiana. If we get a call from a client in Kentucky, we will have to charge more than for a local customer in Kosciusko, Whitley, Wabash, Fulton, Elkhart, or surrounding counties.

4.) Frequency of cleaning

Some of our customers are using tanks that only store septage, instead of leaching it out, especially around some of the lakes. This means they have to be pumped out very frequently, even as often as once per week. In these special situations, we can offer discounted prices due to the frequency of the service.

5.) Volume the amount of gallons

Some customers, like campgrounds or large commercial facilities, or even wastewater treatment plants at times have large volumes they need to dispose of. In this case, again, special pricing will need to be quoted. So when you call the office for pricing, have the following information available, and the receptionist will be able to quickly quote your job:

  • Address of the property needing cleaning service
  • Size of the septic tank, (If known)
  • Whether or not your tank has an access riser

Or, if you are one of our more than 19,000 customers, all of that information is already on file attached to your name or address, and we can quickly look up your information on file with either Shankster Bros, Strombeck Bros, North Webster Septic Tank Service, or Shepler Septic Tank Cleaning, and give you an instant quote based on your filed information.

A general average cost to clean out a septic tank in Northern Indiana is as follows, although you can see specific pricing varies according to the parameters I have outlined above:

1000 gallon tank cleaning – $200 – $300.00
Per gallon over 1000 gallons – 7 cents per gallon
Dig fee – $75.00 per hour
Line cleaning – $225 – $300.00
Retrofit Riser – $190.00

If you need to schedule a septic tank cleaning, pumping, or inspection, don’t hesitate to call Shankster Bros. at any time.

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