How much does septic tank pumping cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does septic tank pumping cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does septic tank pumping cost?

$300 – $700septic tank pumping
$500 – $1,000septic tank pumping and cleaning

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$300 – $700 septic tank pumping

$500 – $1,000 septic tank pumping and cleaning

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Tamatha Hazen
Written by
Tamatha Hazen
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
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Septic tank pumping costs

Septic tank pumping costs $300 to $700 on average, depending on the tank size, usage, and pumping frequency. The cost to pump a septic tank is typically on the higher end for larger or more heavily used septic tanks. Septic tank cleaning costs an extra $200 to $300.

Septic tank pumping and cleaning costs
Service Average cost Details
Pumping $300 – $700 Removes wastewater and solid waste from the tank
Jet cleaning $200 – $300* Hydro jetting the emptied tank surface to remove solid sludge

*Not including additional pumping costs.

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Septic tank pumping cost factors

Septic tank pumping costs $0.30 to $0.70 per gallon. Pumping removes liquid and floating solids that accumulate in the tank over time. Without removal, these materials build up and obstruct the flow of wastewater, leading to harmful backups, clogs, and potential system failure.

Septic tank jet cleaning costs an additional $0.20 to $0.30 per gallon for an added service that washes away compacted solid sludge from the walls and bottom of the tank once it is emptied. Hydro jetting is typically needed in cases where the septic tank has not been cleaned regularly.

Septic tank system
Septic tank system

Tank size

Tank size is one of the main factors that influences the cost of septic tank pumping. The average sized septic tank for a single-family home is 1,000 gallons, which is sufficient for a household capacity of 3 bedrooms with 2 people per bedroom.

Septic tank pumping cost by tank size - Chart
Septic tank pumping cost by tank size - Chart
Septic tank pumping costs by tank size
Tank size (gallons) Average pumping cost
750 $225 – $525
1,000 $300 – $700
1,250 $375 – $875
1,500 $450 – $1,050
1,750 $525 – $1,225

Tank usage

Tank usage affects the cost of septic tank pumping, since heavily used tanks require more frequent pumping. Households with more people have more toilet flushes and use more water for showers, laundry, and dishes, which all contribute to the amount of wastewater in the tank.


Pumping frequency affects the cost of septic tank maintenance. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends pumping the septic tank every 3 to 5 years, but this also depends on how much wastewater the family generates. Septic pumping removes solid and grease buildup that prevents the efficient flow of wastewater.

Septic tank pumping frequency by household size
Size (gallons) Average home size Typical pumping frequency
750 1 – 2 bedroom 5 years
1,000 3 bedroom 3 years
1,250 4 bedrooms 3 years
1,500 5 bedrooms 2 years
1,750 6+ bedrooms 2 years or less

Common septic tank service costs

Routine septic tank inspections and pumping extend the life of the entire septic tank system and save money by reducing the likelihood of sewer overflows and costly repairs from negligence.

Maintenance & inspections

Annual septic system maintenance costs $150 to $1,000 and typically includes yearly inspections that detect potential problems. Maintenance costs may include hydro jet cleaning, which goes beyond routing pumping when the tank has been neglected for some time. Other maintenance costs include filter cleaning and tank additives.

Septic system maintenance costs
Service Average cost
Septic tank inspection cost $150 – $450
Septic pumping $300 – $700
Septic filter cleaning $100 – $400
Septic tank additives (Pro) $400 – $600
Septic tank additives (DIY) $50 – $200

Contractor inspecting septic tank and system
Contractor inspecting septic tank and system

Septic tank repairs

Septic tank repairs cost $600 to $3,000, on average, depending on the extent of the damage. If the tank is too damaged for repairs, a new septic tank system costs $3,500 to $8,500.

Common septic tank repairs include:

  • Clog removal costs $300 to $1,000, depending on the severity of the clog. Clogs that are caused by tree roots may be more expensive to remove.

  • Septic tank pump repairs cost $250 to $400, while pump replacement costs $500 to $1,300.

  • Leach field rejuvenation costs $1,000 to $5,000 to fracture the soil and introduce oxygen into the leach field of a septic system to reduce odors, improve the breakdown of wastewater, and prevent solids from accumulating.

  • Septic line repair costs $150 to $3,800, depending on the problem, location, and pipe materials.

Sewage overflow

Yard cleanup for a septic system overflow costs $7 to $15 per square foot, which includes the cost of labor, equipment, and hauling away the sewage to a disposal facility. Sewage cleanup requires professional services since sewage can contain harmful bacteria and viruses that cause serious health problems.

Signs a septic tank is full

Some common signs the septic tank is full and needs pumping include:

  • Clogged or slow running toilets or drains

  • Foul odor from drains

  • Greener grass over the drain field

  • Sewer backup in the lawn

Septic service inspecting and repairing a septic tank
Septic service inspecting and repairing a septic tank

Tips for saving money on septic tank service costs

One of the best ways to save money on septic tank costs is to maintain a regular pumping schedule to prevent sludge solids from building up and causing problems. Other tips to save money include:

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  • Avoid flushing harmful items – Items like feminine hygiene products, paper towels, and flushable wipes can damage the tank and pipes, leading to costly repairs.

  • Use water wisely – The less water you use, the less often you will need to pump your septic tank. Reduce water usage by taking shorter showers, fixing faucet leaks promptly, and doing full loads of laundry throughout the week rather than all in one day.

  • Annual inspections – A professional septic tank inspection can identify potential problems before they cause major damage and ensure you never have a sewer overflow.

  • Chemical use – Don't pour chemicals down the drain, including dyes, paint thinners, and sulfates that disrupt the natural bacterial balance preventing the breakdown of solids.

  • Protect the drain field – Don't park cars, lawn equipment, or heavy items in the vicinity of your septic system.

Septic tank pumping FAQs

Who pumps and cleans septic tanks?

Septic tank pumping and cleaning are specialized services performed by the following professionals:

  • Septic tank contractors

  • Plumbers

  • Local governments (in rural areas with no private septic tank pumping companies)

How often should a septic tank be pumped?

A septic tank should be pumped every 3 to 5 years, depending on the size of your tank, the number of people in your household, and how much water you use.

How long does it take to pump a septic tank?

Pumping a home septic tank takes about 20 to 60 minutes for a standard-sized tank. Larger, poorly maintained, or tanks with heavy usage will take longer.

Why do septic tanks need to be pumped?

Septic tanks need to be pumped because solids and grease build up over time and prevent wastewater from flowing properly. If not pumped regularly, sewage can back up into your home or lawn or cause damage to your tank and pipes.

Getting estimates from septic tank services

When seeking the services of a septic tank pumping service near you, be sure to:

  • Get estimates from at least 3 licensed septic companies with several years of septic pumping and cleaning experience.

  • Select from companies that are members of the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA).

  • Compare reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Request a written estimate, contract, and warranty details before work commences.

  • Confirm the company follows all local municipality laws and building codes and acquires the right permits before work begins.

Questions to ask septic tank pumping companies

Consider asking these questions to help you narrow down the list of septic tank professionals near you:

  • Is your company licensed, bonded, and insured for septic work?

  • Are you a NOWRA member?

  • How many years of septic pumping experience do you have?

  • What is your per gallon pumping rate?

  • Does your estimate include locating the tank lids or digging to gain access?

  • Is septage disposal included?

  • Do you inspect the entire system during the visit?

  • Do you charge an extra fee to work with a system that hasn't been properly maintained?