If you don’t regularly clean your home septic system, it can lead to bad smells in the house, sewage leaking up into your yard, or even wastewater backflow into your home. 

Different septic tank cleaning methods are appropriate for different situations. You may have to do some kind of preventative maintenance every few months. Every few years, you will need to pay to pump out your septic system.

Read on to learn the septic cleaning cost for different cleaning methods.

Biological Additive

Septic tanks work by using bacteria to break down organic matter. A properly functioning tank will maintain sufficient bacteria levels on its own, but if you flush harsh chemicals down your toilet, you may need to add extra bacteria.

A biological additive is the cheapest kind of septic tank maintenance, starting at around $20. Depending on the severity of the issue and the size of your tank, prices can reach up to $300.

Chemical Treatments

If a large amount of scum or debris has collected in your septic system’s pipes, you may need to flush it out with a chemical treatment. The chemicals are relatively cheap, as low as $20.

One caveat is that you should consult with a professional before using either chemical treatments or biological additives. They can actually worsen your septic system’s performance if applied improperly.

Drain Field Hydro Jetting

Wastewater from your septic tank gets pushed into a series of perforated pipes called a drain field. The drain field allows wastewater to slowly absorb into the soil. If these pipes clog, your septic system will back up.

A hydro jet uses a stream of high-pressure water to blow gunk out of your drain field pipes. You need to call a pro for this job, and it requires special equipment, so it’ll cost at least $250 on average.

Septic Tank Pump

Even with proper care, septic tanks need to be pumped out every two to five years depending on use. That’s because, over time, the tank fills up with enough solid waste to crowd out the wastewater. 

A technician will bring a pump connected to a tank with a long hose. They will open the manhole cover over your septic tank, insert the hose, and empty out all the solid waste.

The average price for a septic pumping service is around $400. As always, the price will vary depending on the size of your system and the length of time since your last service.

Geography also plays a role, with septic cleaning prices fluctuating in different regions. Check out these tips on choosing a septic cleaning company for help selecting the right person for the job.

Choosing a Septic Tank Cleaning Pro

If you avoid flushing stuff like chemicals, wipes, trash, and food waste down your system, the only septic tank cleaning you should need is a pump-out every few years.

Looking for more tips on home maintenance? Check out the Homes section of our website, where you’ll find helpful articles on all kinds of DIY projects.