How Much Does Septic Tank Cleaning Cost?

Septic tank cleaning is an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy and functional home environment. This service is critical for those who live in areas not served by municipal sewer systems. Regular cleaning of your septic tank is vital to avoid the unpleasant and potentially hazardous issues that can arise from a neglected system. The cost of this service can vary, and homeowners need to understand what factors into this cost to make informed decisions.

This guide aims to provide an in-depth look into the costs associated with septic tank cleaning, specifically focusing on the services provided by MKE Drain Cleaning.

Understanding Septic Tanks and Their Maintenance

A septic tank is more than just a holding unit for waste; it’s a crucial component of your home’s wastewater management system. In rural or suburban areas where municipal sewage lines are not available, a septic tank is the primary means of disposing of household wastewater.

The tank receives waste from the home, separates solid from liquid waste, and utilizes natural bacterial processes to partially break down the solids.

However, not all the solid waste is decomposed, which is where cleaning becomes crucial. If the tank is not pumped out regularly, solids will accumulate, reducing the tank’s efficiency and potentially leading to blockages, backups, or even a total system failure.

This can result in significant repair costs, unpleasant odors, and health hazards due to the seepage of untreated wastewater into the ground.

Regular maintenance, which includes cleaning and pumping of the tank, should be done every three to five years, depending on usage and tank size.

During this process, professionals will remove the sludge and scum from the tank, ensuring that it remains functional and efficient.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Septic Tank Cleaning

When considering the cost of septic tank cleaning, several factors come into play, impacting the overall price.

  1. Tank Size: The bigger the tank, the more capacity it has for waste, and thus the more time and resources it takes to clean. A standard residential tank typically ranges from 750 to 1250 gallons, but some can be larger, especially for commercial properties or large households.
  2. Sludge Level: The amount of sludge in the tank is a significant factor. If the tank hasn’t been cleaned regularly, the buildup can be substantial, requiring more effort and possibly specialized equipment to remove.
  3. Location and Accessibility: The easier it is to access your tank, the lower the cost. If the tank is buried under landscaping, or concrete, or located a significant distance from where the service truck can park, this can increase the labor and time needed, thus increasing the cost.
  4. Inspection and Repairs: Often, a septic tank cleaning service will also include a basic inspection to identify potential issues. If repairs are needed, this can add to the cost. Regular inspections can catch problems early, potentially saving money in the long run.
  5. Local Rates: Labor costs, local regulations, and competition among service providers in different areas can vary widely, affecting the overall cost of septic tank cleaning services.

MKE Drain Cleaning: Cost and Services

MKE Drain Cleaning stands out in the septic service industry for its transparency, professionalism, and commitment to quality service. When providing a quote for septic tank cleaning, they consider all the factors mentioned above.

Their team of experts is trained to handle various tank sizes, levels of sludge buildup, and any access challenges that might arise.

Typical Cost Breakdown

While costs can vary widely, homeowners can expect to spend anywhere from $200 to $400 for standard septic tank cleaning. This price range typically includes:

  • Pumping out the tank
  • A basic inspection of the tank for any obvious issues
  • Disposal of the waste in an environmentally friendly manner

For tanks that are larger or require additional services such as deep cleaning, repairs, or extensive inspections, the cost can go upwards.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance

Maintaining your septic system through regular cleaning is a wise investment. A well-maintained system runs efficiently and has a longer lifespan, saving you from the high costs and inconvenience of system failure.

Regular cleaning helps prevent the buildup of solids in the tank, ensuring smooth flow and reducing the risk of blockages and backups. It also safeguards the health of your family and the environment by preventing the potential overflow of untreated wastewater.

Choosing the Right Service Provider

Selecting a trustworthy and skilled septic tank cleaning service is crucial. MKE Drain Cleaning is a licensed and insured company, that provides peace of mind that the job will be done correctly and safely.

MKE Drain Cleaning excels in offering comprehensive services, including drain cleaning and sewer cleaning, sewer scoping, and sewer camera inspections. Their expertise in handling complex blockages and preventive maintenance with advanced technology ensures efficient and reliable solutions for drainage and sewer system care.

When choosing a service provider, it’s also important to consider their experience, customer reviews, and responsiveness to service requests. A reliable provider will be transparent about their pricing and services offered, ensuring there are no surprises during the process.


In summary, septic tank cleaning is a vital, yet often overlooked aspect of home maintenance. The cost of cleaning services can vary based on factors like tank size, sludge levels, accessibility, and local rates.

We offer a blend of quality, reliability, and fair pricing, making them an excellent choice for your septic tank maintenance needs. Regular maintenance not only saves money in the long term but also ensures a healthy and safe living environment.


Q1: How often should a septic tank be cleaned?
A1: Generally, septic tanks should be cleaned every three to five years. However, this can vary based on the size of the tank and the household’s water usage. Regular inspections can help determine the optimal cleaning schedule.

Q2: Can I clean my septic tank myself?
A2: Septic tank cleaning is not a DIY job. It requires specialized equipment and knowledge to safely and effectively remove the waste and dispose of it according to local regulations. It’s best to hire professional services like MKE Drain Cleaning.

Q3: What are the signs that my septic tank needs cleaning?
A3: Warning signs include slow drains, unpleasant odors, water pooling in the yard, and sewage backups in the house. If you notice any of these issues, it’s time to schedule a cleaning.

Q4: Is septic tank cleaning expensive?
A4: The cost varies, typically ranging from $200 to $400 for standard cleaning. Factors affecting cost include tank size, sludge level, accessibility, and local rates. MKE Drain Cleaning offers competitive pricing for its services.

Q5: What happens if I don’t clean my septic tank regularly?
A5: Neglecting regular cleaning can lead to tank overflows, blockages, system failure, environmental contamination, and costly repairs. Regular cleaning ensures the efficient operation of your septic system.

Q6: How long does septic tank cleaning take?
A6: The process usually takes a few hours, though this can vary based on the tank size and the complexity of the job. MKE Drain Cleaning aims to provide efficient and thorough service to minimize disruption.

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