Septic System Cost, Pricing For BC Residents


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 Septic System Cost, A Free Assessment

There are many factors that govern the cost of a septic system.  From the supplies, materials and installations costs to how difficult the topography is to navigate with equipment.  The sewage system design can call for certain technologies to be used for a better treatment.  This will also affect the pricing.

To sum up a septic system cost we will look at these factors:

  • The cost of a septic tank and or pump tank, lids, effluent filter and risers.
  • If a Type 2 treatment is required then we look at ATU cost (Aerobic treatment units, special filtering, air compressor, blower.
  • Cost of supplies, (piping, fittings, valves, glue, fabric, valve boxes,)
  • The cost of an effluent pump, grinder or other sewage pumps.
  • Cost of drain rock, sand or drain field technology replacing rock (infiltrator chambers)
  • The cost of trucking, sometimes long hauls are necessary and should be considered.
  • The cost of excavation, labour and installation costs.
  • Design costs, field testing and filing with the health department.

Septic system design and installation costs will certainly vary and often an in-depth site analysis are necessary to properly determine costs.

At the bottom of the page, we have a user-friendly questionnaire that will help us determine some of the factors that can contribute to cost.

Before we get there, let’s quickly discuss some of the factors that contribute to a septic system’s cost.

What are the direct costs involved with a septic system:

In identifying the right system for your lot, we first conduct a site assessment.  From the data gathered by the soil testing, we look at the different types of septic systems that would work for the lot constraints and soil permeability.

Let’s run through septic system installation costs from materials, supplies and machinery to the septic design and planning costs.

Septic Tank Cost

In British Columbia we use predominantly poly septic tanks and concrete tanks, although the pricing can vary from each distributor, here is a basic cost assessment for residential:

Poly (Plastic) septic tank cost:

  • Imperial gallons from 1000 to 1450 the pricing can range from $2,100- $2,800

Pre-Cast (Concrete) septic tank cost:

  • Imperial gallons from 1000 to 2000 the pricing can range from $2,200-$3,500

Aerobic Treatment Unit (ATU) Cost:

  • Depending on the distributor costs of course but the approximate residential treatment units average about $9,700-$13,000
  • Shipping costs can range from $150/hr for crane trucking the concrete tanks, the installation of the system tanks are going to add about 50% minimum to the cost.

Septic System Installation Location

From the proximity of your home, where will the septic system be situated?  This can have a factor in the cost.  It can mean more excavating and also having to force the wastewater further away would require more system components.

Septic Tank Size and Material

Septic tank sizing is assessed from the flows coming from the home or property, the more bedroom, occupants and volume coming from the structure the bigger the tank has to be.

Deciding on the material of the tank is important in assessing costs as well.  Is it feasible to use a concrete tank over a poly or fibreglass septic tank?  With some lots, it can be a difficult challenge in navigating a large crane truck to deliver the heavy concrete tanks.

Septic Drain Field Size and Location

With a properly conducted site assessment, we can determine the right size of the septic field.  This is done by finding the percentages of sands, silts, and clays as well as determining restrictive elements such as bedrock, glacial till, high water and more factors.

The sizing of the drain field plays a part in assessing costs.

What Type of Septic System is Required?

In Canada we have type 1, type 2 and a type 3 septic system, check our article on different types of septic systems for more details.

A type 1 system will typically cost less than a type 2 or type 3.  A type 3 system requires an engineer to design the system according to the site conditions.

Additional components such as pump requirements, control panels, and adding pump chambers will certainly add to the septic system cost.  These variables will be determined with a site assessment.

Cost of Materials for Construction of the Septic System

When designing a septic system the construction design could call for certain technologies to be used, the cost of infiltrator chambers, Aerobic Treatment Units, piping (PVC, schedule 40 PVC, SDR rated piping perforated piping for the drain field, distribution boxes, valve boxes, fitting assortments etc.

Cost of Labor

Having the right people in place with the right training is always a challenge, this will certainly have an impact on the cost of the system as well.

Sand Media and Aggregate Costs

Certain above ground septic systems will require a specific sand media, this will directly impact a large portion of the system’s cost.  Drain rock costs make up some of the system’s pricing as well, often multiple loads of drain rock will be required for the drain field.

Trucking Costs

Another element that affects the cost of a septic system is trucking.  How close is the constructions site to a quarry?  Does that quarry have the right materials if not how much travel time will the trucking company require?

Excavation and Machine Costs

When installing septic systems, an excavator is an essential tool in getting the system in place.  Often more challenging lots and constraints will have specific machine sizes capable of handling the task.  Utilizing a Bobcat or skid steer is also another key piece of equipment especially to transport aggregates and sand media.

Engineering Costs

As mentioned above a Type 3 septic system will require an engineer’s plan and assessment, this will certainly increase the pricing for a septic system design and components.

Septic Tank Pumping

We have often run into a situation where the septic drain field is causing back pressure back into the septic tank.  In order for an installer to make repairs or add components to upgrade an older system, the septic tank will often be pumped.  This prevents large volumes of wastewater spreading over the surface.

Site Assessment Costs, Filing and Permit Fees

When initially planning towards the construction of a home or addition, the lot has to be suitable to have a septic system.  This involves a site assessment where soil testing is conducted, a design is drawn and soils data implemented in evaluating the right system for the home and lot.

These plans and reports then go to the Health Authority for the approval process.  These costs typically run from $2,000-$3,000.

Easy Fill in the Blanks Septic System Evaluation for a Cost Estimate

This guide will help us assess and evaluate an approximate estimation of new septic systems and ageing systems in a malfunctioning state.  Please be as detailed as possible in the fields below to give us a better understanding and to help determine an approximate cost.

We’ll get back to you within 24 hours with an evaluation on your septic system.

Contact us with any questions or for a more in-depth assessment.

This evaluation will only give you a basic understanding of how much a septic system could cost for your individual situation.    A proper soil assessment with excavated test pits and percolation testing will give us further data to support a proper septic system estimate for your lot.

When we conduct soil testing, this data is presented in a report along with documents to the local health authority for approvals.  This is the preliminary step prior to the construction of the new septic system or for a replacement system.

When constructing a new home or renovating an existing one, septic approvals must be met.  This is when the soil testing gets conducted to properly evaluate the lot for suitability of a septic system and for the type of system required based on the soils, lot constraints and topography.

Luis Goncalves, ROWP, IN, PL

I fell into this amazing trade quite by accident, I have always loved being around heavy machinery and moving earth and in contrast love working with designing things.  This trade in the septic field has led me down a wonderful path of exploring all of my skills and passions while working hard at achieving success.

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