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Empty Septic Tank Cost & Prices 2023

If you live in a rural area, you’ll know the value of septic tanks. When homes or planed sites too far from the main sewer lines, a septic tank is often a popular choice.

Without mains sewerage, toilets can take longer to flush and pipes can start to produce gurgling noises. If the waste escapes, it can pool above ground and can pollute local watercourses.

Therefore you’ll need to get it emptied. A general rule is once every 3 – 5 years, but once a year is often recommended.

However, if you haven’t hired a professional to empty your septic tank before, you might be wondering about the costs involved.

This article will cover how much you can expect to pay to empty a septic tank, the main factors that affect the cost of it and other commonly asked questions.

Average Cost

We received quotes from 15 different contractors specialising in emptying septic tanks.

Generally, contractors will have a set price that covers the removal of up to 1000 gallons and between 30 – 60 minutes jetting on-site. Prices below exclude VAT.

Empty Septic TankCosts
Typical Range£130 - £220

Factors That Affect the Cost

Extra Gallonage

Most contractors allow 1000 gallons of waste to be emptied before charging extra. This should empty the majority of domestic tanks.

Additional gallonage tends to be priced at roughly £100 per additional 1000 gallons.

Time on Site Required

Most contractors allow up to 60 minutes to remove the waste, but some may only allow 30 minutes. Access to site issues may cause delays for example, particularly if they struggle to get close to the septic tank with their tanker.

If they go over their exceeded time slot, they usually charge extra for labour costs. Additional time is usually around £50 – £60 per extra hour.

Length of Piping

Deeper drains will need longer piping. We found that contractors typically allow for roughly up to 150 ft. This means if your drain is deeper and requires a pipe longer than that, you’ll get charged extra. This could be around £70 – £80 extra.


Labour costs in London and the south of England are generally more expensive than elsewhere.

If the contractor needs to travel beyond a certain radius, then they may add an extra fee on top. There aren’t many contractors that specialise in emptying septic tanks across the UK, so if you live in very rural locations, it’s very likely you’ll need to pay extra to get a contractor to come to you.

Get Prices on Emptying Septic Tank Near You

We’ve done our best to give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay to empty a septic tank.

However, our guides are not a substitute for a fixed quote specifically for you.

We work with all the best septic tank emptying specialists ready to price your job. Get free, no-obligation quotes in your local area and compare prices using the form below.

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About the Author

Alex Johnson is a qualified quantity surveyor and writer with a passion for conducting original research and uncovering the true cost of jobs. His cost data has been referenced by EDF Energy and the Scottish Government.