Things to Review and Consider in an Aerobic Septic System Costing: Types, Maintenance, Service, Installation, Operating Cost, Spacing, and Materials



Aerobic septic systems, also known as aerobic treatment systems which employ natural means to treat wastewater. It uses an oxygen-rich environment to break down sewage inside the aerobic treatment unit. How does an aerobic septic system work exactly?


It involves four treatment processes. The first process is called the pre-treatment, a designed chamber that separates the liquid wastes from the solid ones. The second process is called the aeration chamber. Under this, the wastewater is supplied with air either by an air compressor or a blower. The air aids the growth of bacteria inside the chamber, leading to the digestion of the wastewater. 


The third process includes disinfection, which uses chlorine or ultraviolet light to treat the effluent discharged by the aerobic treatment unit. The last method is called the final treatment disposal, where the effluent is released into the drain field. A drain field can be an evapotranspiration bed, sand filter, or absorption field. 


So, why exactly are we discussing the treatment processes? Understanding how an anaerobic system works and its different types will help you know and list the possible cost for the maintenance, installation, service, operations, and materials needed. 


Aside from the treatment processes, there are other factors to consider before purchasing an aerobic septic system crucial in cost determination. On average, you can spend about $10 000 to $20 000. 


If you are planning on installing an aerobic septic system, this article is for you. Apart from what is mentioned above, here are also some things you need to consider when it comes to aerobic system cost:


  1. Types of Aerobic Septic System


There are different types of aerobic systems that you must know of before purchasing one. Choose not only what suits your personal preference but also practical and fits the area you will be installing it. You might as well consider the budget you have in your wallet. 


Here are the two types of aerobic system:


Composting toilet aerobic septic system

Composting toilet utilizes coconut coir, sawdust, and peat moss to eliminate odor as the air is vented outward. This process helps increase micro-organism production, which is beneficial for agricultural areas. 


The price starts at about $1 400 depending on your location and establishment. However, if you are handy enough to build your own, your expenses can be cut down from $1 400 to $50. The cost will cover your expenses on the materials such as composting bin, bucket, particleboard, medical toilet seat grade, etc.


Portable aerobic system

A portable aerobic septic system is also known as a retrofit septic system. This type is commonly used to remediate failing or failed anaerobic systems by retrofitting a system equipped with aerobic features. 


The process is called aerobic remediation. It involves the reduction of biochemical oxygen demand and the total suspended solids from the effluent. This procedure reverses the amount of bio-mat. A bio-mat is a slimy greyish layer with a foul odor. It forms on the drain field, bottom, and sides of the septic tank and trenches.  


The price rates can vary depending on your location and septic tank provider. It can also depend on the quality and type of material you choose to use. 

2. Maintaining an aerobic septic system.

Maintaining an aerobic septic system can give you a boatload of expenses. If you forget to schedule a regular inspection and care, you will end up spending more money. Worse, you might even resort to replacing it entirely. However, septic installments usually come with contracts that cover the maintenance, repairs, and replacements. 


The cost will depend on the procedures and levels of maintenance utilized. They can start at $5 to $700. This will cover minor concerns such as on-site inspections, maintenance, repairs, chlorine disinfectant maintenance, etc. 


The inspection can cost between $200 and $800 per year. Moreover, this contract can take care of the major concerns such as septic disinfectant, outlet effluent filter cartridge, electricity, and septic pumping. 


Under maintenance, consider the materials, service cost, and equipment that need to be replaced or changed. The price also depends on the amount of time required for the maintenance operations. 


Furthermore, if you want to save a little extra from maintenance, make sure to keep a record. This will help you determine the specific needs of your septic system, such as the dos and don’ts. You can also document the exact dates of all the tests and services, which can serve as your basis for putting chlorine or having them pumped.  

3. Service cost for aerobic septic system

Whether it be installation or maintenance, you will need to pay for the service cost provided by a company and its contractors. Some companies include their service cost, maintenance cost, and installation in one package, but others opt to charge individually. 


Their rates vary from one place to another and depending on the type of activity processed during the visit. For instance, you will need a plumber under installation and repair, which typically charges from $45 to $200 per hour. 

4. Installation of aerobic septic system


An aerobic septic system installation considers the excavation cost, company or contractor service, and equipment used in the procedure. The equipment can include light to heavy machinery such as bulldozers, backhoes, trucks, shovels, etc. 


Depending on the service you availed, the cost can be in one package or are individually charged. Installation can be expensive given the heavy equipment used in the process, as they need transportation and maintenance. 


The aerobic septic system cost also includes the site inspection, space, size, aerobic septic system size, and aerobic septic system type. Moreover, it also covers the materials such as electricity that need to be installed inside the septic system. 


Also, another expense to note would be the building permits. The permit rate depends on your location, and typically, they are not more than $1000. Hiring contractors for installation can range from $1 500 to $4 000. This will include the design, permits, excavation, and installation. They charge per hour from $150 to $200. A typical installation takes up at least five days to finish or 40 hours. 


5. Operation and materials of an aerobic septic system

Electricity plays a crucial role in running the aerobic treatment unit to operate the aerator pump. This is also needed to run the effluent pump, which releases the sludge and wastewater to its final destination, the drain field. The cost can range from $25 to $250 depending on the electricity rates of your location. 


To operate, the aerobic septic system will need materials such as the chlorine tablet solution and filters. They can cost about $200 to $300 in an annual purchase.  

6. Replacement Cost

Over time, an aerobic system or some parts can become weary, get old and fail to work efficiently. A tank is always susceptible to leaks, damage, and cracks. A regular maintenance can improve the longevity of your septic tank, but everything has an end. 


If your tank lid, tank pump, and tank filter gets broken or cracked beyond repair, you will need to replace them. The tank lid can cost up to $23 to $44. A tank pump can cost about $500 to $1,200. And a tank filter can cost from $230 to $280. 


Another more expensive aerobic septic system part to repair is the drain field system which can cost $3 500 to $11 000. However, if the entire aerobic septic system is damaged by natural calamities or has already reached its limit, a complete replacement is needed. 


The replacement can cost $10 000 to $20 000. Nevertheless, you are lucky if your company offers a discounted price for septic system replacements. 

7. Drain field cost

The drain field is an integral section of any septic system. It is where the final processing of wastewater is done. Whatever the cost of your chosen drain field system, it is always best to use the practical type and suit the location of your residential home or commercial estates. 


The cost depends on the topography, home/commercial estate, and the septic system service provider of your choice. Here are samples of the estimated cost of drain field systems:


Dripline range- can range from $25, 000 to $35, 000.

Evapotranspiration bed- can range from $25, 000 to $40, 000.

Sand filter drain field- $6 000 to $10 000.   


The aerobic septic system may work if you have a small lot, but it can be expensive to install and maintain considering the need for electricity and so on. There are also several aerobic septic systems. Each with varying price ranges and operational costs. Their price range also depends on your location and aerobic septic system providers. 


Before installing an aerobic system, you will need to determine the factors that affect the price range. Also, it will help you decide whether it is the right septic system to purchase for your residential home or commercial estates. 


You may also consult with a professional septic system service provider to have more detailed information regarding the costs. Lastly, if you want to get the best but an affordable aerobic septic system, keep your choices open. Search on the aerobic system cost in the different states in the US, and you will get a lot of options to choose from. 


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