Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Is the Process for Septic Tank Installation in Tampa?
- 2 How Does Permitting Work for Installing Septic Tanks in Tampa?
- 3 How Much Does Septic Tank Installation Usually Cost in Tampa?
- 4 What Type of Septic Tank Is Best for Residents in Tampa?
- 5 How Often Do Homeowners in Tampa Need to Have Their Septic Tank Inspected?
- 6 Are There Any Rebates Available for Septic Tank Services in Tampa?
What Is the Process for Septic Tank Installation in Tampa?
A septic system consists of a specific septic tank, the drain field, and plumbing that will attach toilets and sinks to the system.
Whether building a new home or renovating a historic property, a proper drain field is always required in Tampa. Know that a sufficient drain field is a vital feature of your septic system, as it helps remove the contaminants from the liquid in a septic system. Put another way, there will be some serious digging happening in your yard.
The process typically involves a soil inspection to ensure your property can safely handle a septic system, excavation to unearth the area where the tank and drainage system will be installed, backfilling, and a final inspection to ensure the system is up to code and functioning safely.
But your first step is getting the permits to install a septic system.
How Does Permitting Work for Installing Septic Tanks in Tampa?
Septic tanks handle high volumes of human waste and potentially dangerous bacteria like E. coli and others. Therefore, septic tanks are heavily regulated by local, state, and federal requirements across the U.S. Here in Tampa, a homeowner must first fill out an application with Hillsborough County to install a septic tank. Without that permit, we cannot legally build your new septic system.
Additionally, these permits help the local health department know where each septic system is located in an emergency.
In Tampa, the Hillsborough County Environmental Health Services department handles all septic permit applications, investigates complaints, and inspects septic systems. They note that “all persons who install new or repair on-site sewage treatment and disposal systems must first obtain approval from this department.”
How Much Does Septic Tank Installation Usually Cost in Tampa?
The national average cost for a residential septic tank installation is about $6,500, but here in Tampa, the average price for a septic tank installation is higher, around $7,500 for most homes.
Homeowners should know septic tank installation in Tampa can vary based on several factors. On the high end of the price range, we’ve seen some homeowners spend $15,000 for enormous septic systems at multi-family homes. Permitting, septic system size and the details of a job site all come into play. Let’s take a closer look.
In Hillsborough County, permit expenses must come first. The permit for a smaller residential septic system – for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage in Tampa – will cost much less than a septic system for a larger structure, like a multi-family apartment complex, a small church, or a charter school.
Size and Style of Septic System
A conventional concrete septic tank costs anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 in Tampa for the material alone. But there are a variety of different styles and sizes of septic tanks on the market. At a rough glance, they could cost:
- Anaerobic septic tanks: $2,000 – $5,000
- Aerobic septic tanks: $6,000 – $15,000
- Gravity septic tanks: $1,500 – $4,000
- Chamber septic tanks: $1,500 – $5,000
These costs are for the tank alone and do not include any labor, permitting, or other supplies. While the basic concept is the same among all septic tanks, each one of these works a little differently. Let’s explore them now.
Anaerobic Septic System
Anaerobic systems are a common choice for Tampa residents, thanks to their simplicity. Anaerobic septic systems contain bacteria that do not need oxygen, and you don’t need to measure any chemicals or tie the system into power. Bacteria break down the solid waste, and the remaining liquid waste is piped out and distributed under the city’s sandy soil.
Aerobic Septic System
Aerobic systems use bacteria that need oxygen to survive. So oxygen must be pumped into the tank to activate the bacteria, which feed on waste. Aerobic systems work best where the soil in Tampa isn’t favorable for other systems and the groundwater table is high – so they’re popular in the city given the proximity to the ocean. They are more expensive to install.
Gravity Septic System
A gravity septic system relies on gravity for filtration and flow. They must be installed on a gentle slope or hillside. They aren’t hugely popular in Tampa because our topography here is mostly flat.
Conventional Septic Systems
The conventional septic system consists of a septic tank and a trench that acts as your drain field. These are arguably the most popular septic system in Tampa. The trench is constructed of gravel and allows water to pass through.
Chamber Septic System
Chamber septic systems are growing in popularity in Tampa. They’re much like conventional systems, except plastic chambers are used in the drain field instead of gravel. They are easy to construct and manufacturers claim they create a smaller carbon footprint.
Remember, the more bathrooms your home has, the more expensive your septic tank will be.
At this point, a Tampa homeowner has invested anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 between permits and supplies. But sometimes, issues can crop up once we start to dig.
Details of a Job Site
Hiccups can occur when installing a septic tank in Tampa. Sometimes a homeowner may have incorrect information about the location of an old septic tank that needs to be removed. Perhaps a new homeowner has old paperwork that shows the wrong place for a system. Our technicians find themselves on a wild goose chase for a mysterious roaming septic tank.
Other times, the drain field is overloaded, and it becomes an additional cost for hazardous material cleanup and removal.
Finally, there are a few natural challenges homeowners face when installing a septic system in Tampa. While the soil here is mostly very sandy, we run into the occasional tree stump or large rock. While our professional excavating equipment can make quick work of a palm tree stump, an individual homeowner installing their system alone might find these issues more frustrating.
What Type of Septic Tank Is Best for Residents in Tampa?
Septic tanks are available in concrete, fiberglass, and plastic/polyethylene blends. As a general rule, we believe classic concrete septic tanks are the best choice for Tampa residents. Concrete septic tanks are the most heavy-duty and durable style. They are unlikely to crack or float, and that’s important in sandy-soil neighborhoods so common in Tampa.
Sand tends to shift. And, depending on where you live and the weather, the water table in Tampa is not far below the surface of your yard. That means Tampa homeowners need the most durable septic tanks on the market. We believe concrete is the best answer, as it will withstand shifting sands and pressure from groundwater.
How Often Do Homeowners in Tampa Need to Have Their Septic Tank Inspected?
Tampa has no city ordinance that says “a septic tank must be inspected every X years.”
However, you should always have a septic tank inspected by our team before you buy a home. Replacing an entire system for a large house with several bathrooms might cost $15,000! This is a significant cost, and cash always feels tight after any real estate transaction.
Beyond that, we suggest that you contact us to have your septic tank inspected every 3 to 5 years or any time you suspect trouble. (We’ll talk about that more in a moment.)
When we inspect a septic system, we examine each part, including the septic tank and your drain field. Our job is to ensure your system is functioning correctly. That means no corrosion or cracks. The goal is to identify potential problems and be proactive with prevention and repairs.
How Important are Septic Tank Inspections in Tampa?
Septic system inspections are the key to preventing future problems. Without regular inspections, septic systems can, and do, break down and cause damage and expensive repairs. These challenges always seem to crop up at the worst time for homeowners.
It’s also a good idea to have a septic system inspected by our team before putting your home on the market. A recent report gives potential buyers a sense of security, knowing that a septic system has been well maintained. They’ll feel more comfortable making an offer, and you won’t need to backtrack on your asking price later when it turns out the septic system needs attention.
What Are the Signs of Septic Tank Trouble Tampa Homeowners Should Look for?
Schedule an inspection with us if you notice any of these issues:
- Water is draining slower in your sinks, or your bathtub takes an exceedingly long time to drain.
- Water is pooling around your drain field, or you see puddles appearing even if it hasn’t rained (We know, it’s a rare day that Tampa doesn’t get any rain.)
- You smell that “sewage” smell in your yard. You know that smell.
These are all cues to watch for; they mean your septic system needs attention right away.
Are There Any Rebates Available for Septic Tank Services in Tampa?
No. Unfortunately, there are no municipal resources for septic tank services in Tampa at the time of writing. And that makes sense because Tampa taxpayers support a massive municipal sewer system. Still, we don’t speak on behalf of the city, so you could always contact the city directly and ask.
There is a national program funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that might help with septic tank installation for agricultural endeavors, tribal lands, or community development projects, but it’s not aimed at private homeowners.