Looking for an affordable septic tank company in Santa Cruz, CA? Great! Mr. Blue Plumbing is at your service 24/7.

In this guide, we cover common questions including:

  • How Much Does Septic Tank Installation Typically Cost In Santa Cruz?
  • How Does Permitting Work For Septic Tanks?
  • Are There Rebates Available For Septic Tank Installation In Santa Cruz?
Septic Tank Installation Santa Cruz, CA

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Santa Cruz, CA


Hours: 8:00am - 8:00pm (EST)
Area Served: Santa Cruz, CA


General Plumbing
Septic System Servicing
Drain Cleaning
Hot Water Heater Install & Service
Well Pump Service

What Is the Process for Septic Tank Installation in Santa Cruz?

Septic tanks in Santa Cruz County are regulated by the Santa Cruz County Health Officer through the Environmental Health Division of the Health Services Agency. Since the San Lorenzo River already has alarmingly high levels of pollutants, the State Regional Water Quality Control Board strictly follows the regulations set forth by the Environmental Health Service. If your septic system shows signs of failure that include sewage backing up into your home or seeping onto the surface of your yard, you’ll need to have it repaired right away. Other signs include bad odor and lush which are green grasses growing above where your septic tank is.

Septic tanks can last for decades with proper care, but they will need to be replaced and repaired after a while. If you need to have your septic tank upgraded or have a new system installed on your property, you’ll have to follow strict procedures and remain compliant with the Santa Cruz County Code of Ordinance. Before we begin the actual work, you’ll need to obtain a permit from Environmental Health. With your consultant and our septic tank specialist, we’ll create a detailed plot plan to submit to the County. Most often, they will also require that we perform soil and groundwater tests before they’ll give you a permit.

Once your permit is approved, we’ll have the green light to begin digging. After the work begins, the Environmental Health Inspector will stop by occasionally to inspect our progress. That way, they can make sure our installation process is meeting every standard in the county’s Code of Ordinance. It may seem like overkill to you, but septic systems installations are held to a very high standard since a poorly done job can cause serious health conditions for your family and surrounding neighbors.

Sometimes we encounter soil conditions and groundwater levels that are different from what we’d planned to work around. If that’s the case, the Environmental Health Inspector may require that we stop work until we’ve created an updated plan. This can be frustrating, but just like with any construction job, it’s best to take things slowly and do it the right way.

Santa Cruz County offers site evaluations for every parcel with a septic system already installed. If you choose to buy a house, make sure you get a site evaluation before making an offer so you know what condition the septic system is in before you buy it. These evaluations are also a great way to protect yourself as a homeowner should you choose to sell your house.

How Does Permitting Work for Installing Septic Tanks in Santa Cruz?

Since properly installed septic systems are crucial to the safety of our drinking water, you’ll have to jump through several hoops before work can get underway. You’ll need a permit for any work that replaces, repairs, or installs a new septic system on your property. The city refers all septic tank permits to Santa Cruz County and the review process can take four to six weeks to complete. To obtain a permit, call Environmental Health at (831) 454-2022 and they’ll give you a detailed list of requirements for installation that include a detailed plot plan and soil and groundwater testing. Once they’ve approved your permit, it will be good for six months.

Although it can seem cumbersome, this process is necessary for the safety of everyone in the community. The last thing we want is to have other contractors cutting corners and accidentally causing dangerous wastewater to leach into the San Lorenzo River. Since we have to follow a multitude of procedures in Santa Cruz, you can be confident that your septic system will be safe and of the highest quality when hiring Mr. Blue Plumbing.

How Much Does Septic Tank Installation Usually Cost in Santa Cruz?

In Santa Cruz, you can expect to spend, on average, around $6,000 for a new septic system. Since there are so many factors that go into determining your specific price, it’s best to contact our experts for a quote. Some of the factors we consider include the size of your house, the size of the tank we’re installing, and the location of your home. Let’s take a look at how these factors determine your price. 

House Size

When we install a septic system for a large house, we want to make sure we accommodate the family’s needs. Large homes typically have more people inside, use more water, and create more waste. Smaller homes, on the other hand, typically inhabit fewer people with fewer needs. Our plumbers measure the home’s size based on the square footage or the number of bedrooms inside. The bigger your home, the more you should expect to pay. This will likely be the largest factor in determining your final price. 

Tank Size

A standard-sized septic tank can hold around 750 gallons, but they only really accommodate a home with one or two bedrooms. Your unique family’s needs may require that you purchase a larger tank. If your home is large, we’ll recommend that you choose a septic tank that complements its size. Remember that a larger tank will cost more money. 

In Santa Cruz County, homes with one to four bedrooms are required to have a 1,500-gallon tank and with each additional bedroom, your tank must increase its capacity to 250 gallons more. We work closely with homeowners to choose the septic tank that fits their family’s needs the best and meets all of the city’s requirements. 


Your location can greatly impact the final cost that you will pay for a new septic system. Depending on where you live, it may take our plumber extra time, gas, and resources to get to your place. If that’s the case, you can expect to see it reflected on your bill. 

Sometimes, your location will add extra obstacles for our plumbers as well. If you live in an area with a high water table, for example, we’ll have to bring in lots of aggregate to get your leaching area’s height up to standard. The extra supplies and the labor needed to bring them to your worksite will cause your final bill to get higher.

What Type of Septic Tank Is Best For Residents in Santa Cruz?

Santa Cruz County only allows septic tanks that are made from the following materials:

  • Concrete
  • Fiberglass
  • Polyethylene

Any of the above options are acceptable choices, but your tank must be purchased from an approved manufacturer. If your septic tank is only in need of repair and it’s made of chambered redwood fiberglass or concrete, you will be permitted to keep it as long as it is still in good condition and passes inspection.

When it comes to choosing the right tank, there are many pros and cons to consider. Concrete septic tanks are the most expensive choice, but they’re workhorses in the septic tank world. They’re heavy, durable, and aren’t affected by environmental threats prevalent in Santa Cruz like changes in the soil saturation. They also stand up to tree roots and compaction from the weight of your car. 

Fiberglass and polyethylene are cheaper options, but they can be less durable and don’t typically last long. Septic tanks made from these materials can also suffer damage from penetrating roots from trees or a change in soil conditions. There are also several benefits to choosing a fiberglass or polyethylene tank. They’re much easier to install and they aren’t affected by corrosion or cracks like their concrete counterparts.

We’ve installed septic tanks made from all types of materials and there are benefits and downfalls to each choice. It all depends on your budget, your family’s needs, and your unique location.

How Often Do Homeowners in Santa Cruz Need to Have Their Septic Tank Inspected?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you should have your septic system inspected every one to three years by a septic service professional like us. You’ll also want to have your septic tank pumped every three to five years. Both of these services are crucial to keeping your septic system in working order. Without regular maintenance, your tank can back up, causing sewage to enter your home or seep up through the ground in your yard. Neither experience is fun nor safe.

If you don’t mind messy work, you can test your tank’s sludge level with a measuring device. If your septic tank has excessive sludge and scum, it’s time to have it pumped. Several factors will determine how often you need to have it pumped. If you have several people in your home, you’ll likely be using more water and creating more waste. The waste will accumulate more quickly in your septic tank and will probably need to be pumped out more often than in a home with one or two residents.

Your septic tank size will also help to determine how often it needs to be pumped. A big tank will hold more sludge and scum, and on average, it will need to be pumped less often than a small tank.

Recent Requests We Received From Customers In Santa Cruz, CA

Date of Request: November 28, 2023

Location: Santa Cruz, CA


I have two RO systems that don't quite seem to be working properly. Could you come by and take a look to see if you can fix it?

Date of Request: November 30, 2023

Location: Santa Cruz, CA


Shower and toilets are backing up, leaking in the crawl space.

Date of Request: November 27, 2023

Location: Santa Cruz, CA


Drain line is overflowing {sometimes } Bambo.

Date of Request: November 27, 2023

Location: Santa Cruz, CA


New Septic System for new house.

Date of Request: November 27, 2023

Location: Santa Cruz, CA


I think my pump is frozen. No water.

Date of Request: November 27, 2023

Location: Santa Cruz, CA


Septic system dug up and replaced.

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