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Mound and Conventional Septic System Costs

A toilet equipped with everything you need is one of the first signs of civilization. It is not enough to just have the room, because the domestic water cannot be drained anywhere. And the septic tank is one of the most used sewer systems in regions where there are no central sewage networks.

Unlike the latrine and the dump, the septic tank is an ecological and modern solution, which can minimize the elimination of household waste, but also water losses, because the filtered water, resulting in at the end of the treatment process, returns back to nature.

How much does the mound septic system cost compared to the conventional septic system?

Conventional septic systems are much cheaper than mound septic systems because they are not that sophisticated. The total price is also influenced by the price of the sand and the electric pump. The average cost of a conventional septic system would be anywhere between $3,100 and $15,500, while for a mound septic system you will have to pay anywhere between $10,500 and $21,000.

Though, a mound septic system may cost even more if it is exceptionally large. Also, it is very important to periodically maintain the septic system, with annual pumping and maintenance costing around $550. This type of septic system is known also as above the ground or sand mound septic system.

You might also like our articles about the cost to pump out a septic tank, to connect to a public sewer, or to install an aerobic or anaerobic septic system.

When talking about the cost of a conventional septic system we must say that this depends on the geographical location, the soil conditions, and the size of the septic system. For instance, the cost of a conventional septic system in the Midwest would be anywhere between $2,100 and $5,500, while in the areas where material and labor costs are higher you will have to pay anywhere between $4,300 and $16,000.

Depending on its size, the price of a septic tank on its own is anywhere between $550 and $1,900.

For piping and other materials, you will have to pay $110 to $250.

What are the extra costs?

Before installing a septic system, you should consider also additional costs as well, such as those with the permits, which would be anywhere between $270 and $1,100.

Every one to three years the conventional septic system has to be inspected and you will have to pay anywhere between $220 and $650 for it. Also, the septic system has to be pumped periodically and this costs $220 to $450.

Advantages and disadvantages of a conventional septic system

Septic System Mound and Rock bedA conventional septic system is made of a drain field and a tank. In the tank, the solid waste is separated from the liquid waste. After that, the liquid goes through the drain field and filters into the soil.


Diversity: There is a large variety of conventional septic systems you can choose from, like stainless steel, aerobic, fiberglass and concrete septic systems. This diversity helps you choose the best possible systems to respond to your needs.

Eco-friendly: These types of systems are better for the environment because they don’t use any power source or chemicals to break down waste.

Cost: Compared to the mound septic system, conventional septic systems cost less.


Rust: If you don’t maintain it properly, the piping of conventional systems tends to rust. In case your pipes become corroded, most probably they will collapse and cause leaks of the septic system.

Ruptures and leaks: You have to take action as soon as you see there are any problems with the busted pipes or the leaks. This may result in major problems for your septic system and costly repairs. Common causes of ruptured pipes are the roots of trees and digging.

Buildup: The sewage buildup may be a real problem for your home (without mentioning the smell) and affects everything from sinks, showers, and toilets.

Advantages and disadvantages of a mound septic system

The mound septic systems require the building of an above-ground pile of sand or gravel in order to hide the septic system. So, the system’s absorption area is located above the ground and requires an electric pump to bring the waste to the mound for treatment.


Discharge: This type of septic system does not directly discharge the liquid waste into a body of water, a hole, or a ditch.

Building: If it is done properly, the construction and installation of a mound septic system will cause minimum damage to your yard, as you will need just a little excavation.

Climate: Compared to conventional septic systems, mound septic systems experience fewer problems and work well in moist climates.


Rebuilding: You may have to partially or totally rebuild the mound system if there is any amount of seepage or leaking.

Land use: In general, the mound septic systems limit land use and affect drainage patterns. In order to work properly, they need siphons and pumps.

Cost: Even though the building and installation process produces less damage, it tends to cost more than the conventional installation. Also, the cost of the system itself is higher.

Important things to consider

There are many different types of mound and conventional septic systems you can choose from. For instance, you can choose between the anaerobic and the aerobic septic systems, which refers to the type of bacteria used to break down waste.

You will have to hire a professional to inspect and pump the septic system periodically, regardless of the type of system. How often this has to be done depends on the amount of waste you need to handle and the size of the tank. However, you should have your septic tank pumped every two to three years on average.

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