What is a septic system and how much does it cost?

The septic system usually consists of two main components: the septic tank and the absorption bed that is sometimes referred to as the disposal, leach, or drain field. The septic system is connected to the house by sewage piping.

The price that you should expect to pay for the system and installation will vary widely depending on the size of the home, soil conditions and the type of system you require or decide to go with. However, most basic residential systems will range in price between $10,000 and $25,000 with more complex commercial or large residential systems ranging from $30,000 to $85,000. 

Typical replacement costs tend to be higher and depend on how much damage has been done to the soil and the specific site conditions that need to be restored after construction.

Factors Influencing the Price of Septic Systems in Ontario

In Ontario, the cost of a new septic system varies depending on several factors such as…

  • Soil Type: Septic systems are usually cheaper to build if you are building on sandy rather than clay soil. You will usually have to reserve a larger drain field if you are building on silty, fine clay soils. Moreover, such soils tend to have higher failure rates. Ultimately, you will need the services of an expert to perform the soil percolation test which determines how good or how bad the soil is.
  • Ground Water Level: A high water table will require the raising of the septic field to prevent the contamination of groundwater. This may also require the installation of a pump and the importation of additional septic sand to the site.
  • The Number of Bedrooms and How Large the Home is: The more bedrooms in the house the more expensive the septic system will be to install. The reasoning for this is that the more people in the house the more wastewater that will be discharged.
  • The Type of Septic System: How much you pay will depend on the type of septic system as the more complex the system is the more expensive it may be to purchase and install.
  • Cost of Design: Ontario requires a qualified septic system designer and contractor to get the required permits. You may also require approval or permission from the applicable conservation authorities. In some cases, a soil analysis will also have to be performed. The cost of design services typically ranges from $1000 to $3000.
  • The installer: Depending on who you call, the prices will vary from contractor to contractor as you have to take into account experience and supplier prices among other aspects.
  • Proximity of Supplies: Septic systems can require a lot of building materials to be transported to the site. Materials such as crushed stone, septic sand and concrete tanks will cost more if they are not to be found nearby.
  • The Geography: Properties with creeks, steep slopes or ones that are very difficult to access will usually cost more in the design and installation of a septic system.

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