In this article, we’ll be comparing the costs of aerobic and anaerobic septic systems.

Septic systems are of different types.

The popular classes are aerobic and anaerobic septic systems. Although both of these systems perform the same function which is the treatment of waste or sewage, they operate differently.

Aerobic Vs Anaerobic Systems: Basic Concepts

Before we delve into your discussion, it’s necessary to first explain certain basic concepts. While the terms aerobic and anaerobic septic systems might be well understood by some readers, it isn’t for others.

If you understand what they mean, you can skip this section to the next to find out the cost differences.

  • Basic Differences

Whenever you hear the terms aerobic and anaerobic septic systems, you should understand that these refer to their basic functioning principles. Here, the basic difference between the two is seen in the presence or absence of oxygen.

While aerobic septic systems require the presence of aerators to provide or inject oxygen, anaerobic septic systems don’t. The presence or absence of oxygen in a septic tank will attract certain types of digestive bacteria.

In the case of aerobic septic systems, aerobic bacteria are introduced.

For anaerobic bacteria, digest or breakdown organic waste without the need for oxygen. Such septic systems are known as the traditional septic systems most people grew up with.

Having clearly distinguished their basic differences as regards how they function, it’s time to focus on the cost aspect.

Comparing Costs Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Septic Systems

In discussing or comparing costs between aerobic and anaerobic septic systems, we’ll be looking at certain factors. These include the system costs (for both aerobic and anaerobic septic systems) as well as installation costs.

Other cost factors include pumping and maintenance as well as assessment & permit costs for both types of systems.

Let’s begin our discussion thus;

1. Septic System Costs

Septic system costs are quite substantial.

The costs incurred depend on the type of system being installed. Since we’re comparing costs between aerobic and anaerobic septic systems, we’ll proceed to provide the cost details for each of these as follows;

  • Aerobic Septic System Costs

When seeking to purchase a septic system for your property, you’ll need to know beforehand what you need. You may have to seek expert advice on what to go for as each type of septic system operates differently.

The cost of aerobic septic systems ranges from $10,000 to $20,000.

Compared to anaerobic septic systems, this is quite high. This is due to the additional components such as aerators and timers that need to be installed. The size of your aerobic septic tank will determine its costs. Bigger tanks attract higher costs.

You’ll normally end up paying anywhere between the price range stated above. With installation comes the need for maintenance. This too attracts certain fees that will be discussed shortly.

  • Anaerobic Septic System Costs

Anaerobic septic systems do not need oxygen supply for bacteria to digest waste.

As such, this eliminates the need for additional components like aerators as is the case for aerobic systems. The price incurred will depend on your soil condition, the tank size as well as your location.

Anaerobic septic system prices usually range from $2,000 to $5,000. This is considerably lower compared to aerobic systems. However, costs may become substantially higher depending on where you live.

In other words, labor rates will likely drive the cost higher or push it lower.

In areas or locations with higher labor rates, you may end up incurring material and labor fees as much as $4,000 to $15,000.

2. Installation Costs

Like the system costs, installation costs are also different.

In some situations, septic system installation costs can be significant. It all depends on the complexities of the job during installation. Sometimes, installation charges will be added to the total cost of purchasing the system

In situations where a tank isn’t professionally installed, it develops faults which incur more installation fees for a professional to have the problem rectified. The average system and installation cost for both types range from $2,000 to as high as $20,000.

If you prefer to have an aerobic septic system installed on your property, you’re likely to incur system and installation fees of about $10,000 to $20,000. Such combined services (both sales and installation) are offered by some companies that deal in the sale of septic systems.

Anaerobic septic system installation won’t attract as many fees as aerobic system installation.

In most cases, you’re likely to spend around $2,000 to $5,000 for the system as well as its installation. Sometimes, installation costs may be charged differently and can be as high as the cost of the systems.

Installation Costs By Location

Irrespective of the type of septic system you wish to install, installation costs will vary by location. While this is higher in certain areas, it’s significantly lower in others.

For example, if you live in New Hampshire, expect to pay an average septic system installation fee of around $9,235.

Persons within the state of Massachusetts are likely to pay a septic system installation fee of around $6,487. This is just a brief illustration of how installation costs are determined by location

3. Pumping & Maintenance Costs

Every septic system that’s installed will need to be maintained to keep it in good working condition. Maintenance includes the replacement of faulty components such as aerators and pumps.

Pumping the tank is also among the maintenance services.

To have your aerobic septic system pumped attracts an average pumping fee of $200. Also, the replacement of the timers will cost around $100. If the motor becomes faulty, it will need to be replaced.

To have this changed will cost around $500 to $600.

Maintaining an anaerobic septic system involves inspections and pumping. These will cost around $200 to $600 and $200 to $400 respectively.

4. Assessment & Permit Costs

Before any aerobic or anaerobic septic systems are installed, an evaluation or assessment of the site is necessary.

There are also permit costs involved. Both of these will cost you anywhere from $200 to $400.

Now that you know about the differences in cost between aerobic and anaerobic septic systems, you’re better equipped to choose as to which best serves your needs and budget.