Septic System Engineering Services

In the United States, approximately 25% of homes rely on septic systems to remove and dispose of wastewater that comes from the home. However, septic systems are not one size fits all. Many times, a home is purchased with a septic system that doesn’t fit the needs or requirements of the property. This costly mistake can be avoided by hiring a specialized septic system engineer to create a fully functioning and efficient wastewater removal system based on the location of the drain field, the slope and geography of the land, the geology of the surrounding soil, and the size and purpose of the house and outbuildings.

It’s important to note that not all septic system maintenance & installation companies provide engineering services. Acuantia has the ability to provide all septic system services in a one-stop-shop process, including septic system engineering services. No matter what property or soil type, our septic design engineers have the ability to evaluate, design, install and maintain a septic system that fits perfectly with the home.

Do I Need A Septic Design Engineer?

Certain sites with limited space and poor soils would require an engineered system based on county code, and so many regulations only permit a certified engineer to design the septic system prior to installation. This is mainly due to the significant environmental and health impacts that a septic system can create if it is not fully operational or is built poorly or illegally. Our septic system engineers will design the septic system, submit your design to the county and usher it through to approval (if needed), oversee, and sometimes even perform the installation of the system. In many cases, an engineered septic system is required when certain site features like rivers, streams, ponds, and water wells can greatly limit the ability to design a standard or conventional system, since the space left over may end up being very small, so local code would require the sewage to be pretreated before being discharged to that limited area. This means that a septic tank civil engineer will have to take each individual aspect of a septic system and custom design it in a way that properly functions and also suits the property type.

It takes a great level of expertise to design a septic system. An improperly designed and installed septic system can leach harmful bacteria into the soil which can eventually contaminate local bodies of water. This harmful bacteria can cause serious illness and even death to humans and animal populations. A poorly installed system can also cause odor, standing sewage, backups into the home, and other complications. Therefore, it is essential and in many cases legally required to hire an experienced septic design engineer.

Septic Engineering Costs

When designing and installing a newly engineered septic system, the cost of labor plays a huge role in the cost.

Engineered septic systems will require a different installation process compared to that of a conventional septic system. This is because the septic system is designed and installed to fit the property and home type specifically. Overall, homeowners who need an engineered septic system will have to pay for the septic engineer’s time, experience and skills used to design and install the septic system properly. This will save you money down the road because the more modern systems treat wastewater more efficiently and safely for the environment, which also means lower maintenance and pumping costs over the life of the system.

Homeowners who live in an area where the home is placed on a hill or the ground is too permeable or not permeable enough may need to have a septic tank engineered to avoid sewage migrating to a water source, above ground or subsurface, or potentially breaking out and causing a nuisance or health hazard. In addition to the design, a homeowner will need to have a drawing, as well as site and soil tests, performed to obtain a permit for installing their septic systems.

Septic tank engineering costs begin with labor. Typically, labor fees for designing and installing a septic tank will range from $45-$200 an hour. The average cost for an engineered septic system ranges between $8,000 and $20,000.

Septic System Engineering Cost Breakdown

Designing a septic system requires a hefty financial commitment, and it’s hard for homeowners to justify a huge lump sum. However, once the cost of an engineered septic system is broken down into individual cost factors it’s easier to see that it is necessary. An engineered septic system will provide decades worth of use if maintained and treated properly. It will also add additional value to the home once the homeowners decide to sell.

Here is an estimated cost breakdown of an engineered septic system:


Typically, labor costs take up a significant portion of an engineered septic system budget. Hiring a certified, licensed and insured septic system company costs between $45 and $200 an hour. Labor costs account for the time it takes to:

  • Excavate the area of the property where the septic system will be placed
  • Dig a pit for septic tank installation
  • Build the drain field
  • Obtain permits for design and installation
  • Install the septic system
  • Document any differences between the plans and what was actually installed to go on the as-built plans
  • Test the septic system and demonstrate correct installation and operation to the county

With this in mind, the cost breakdown for labor is:

  • Excavation – $1,200 – $4,500
  • Land Prep – $1,600 – $10,000
  • Perc Test – $750 – $1,850


Drain fields are also commonly known as leach fields. The two terms are interchangeably used to refer to the underground wastewater disbursal system. This is where treated effluent from the septic tank is distributed underground. The effluent substance is cleaned through a naturally occurring sewage digestion process with the help of bacteria deep in the soil.

Drain fields are the second most important aspect of a septic system, as it is responsible for safely cleaning the wastewater that comes from the home. The cost to excavate, build and cover the drain field can range between $3,000 and $15,000.


Engineered systems are tailored to meet the needs of the home and property. Typically a septic tank, pump, and piping are common materials used when installing and operating a septic system. Other systems like mounds and sand filters may require sand that will cost between $15 to $20 per cubic yard, and the gravel can cost between $15 – $75 per yard.


A civil engineer is required to design a fully functioning and environmentally safe septic system. Not only will they design the septic system, but they will also often oversee the system’s installation to ensure what is installed matches what was engineered and approved by the county. This can cost between $500 and $1,000. Homeowners can expect to dedicate 5% to 15% of their project’s design budget to engineering fees.


Local and state building codes will require a permit to install an engineered septic system. In most counties and states, obtaining the proper permits can cost between $400 and $2,000; however, the actual cost varies by jurisdiction.


We solve homeowners’ onsite wastewater needs by:

  • Providing a one-stop-shop experience
  • Partnering with trusted, high-quality service providers
  • Affordably managing your project end-to-end
  • Simplifying the complicated onsite wastewater experience
  • Managing and completing your job to the highest standard
  • Maintaining your system to keep it running into the future

Let us help you find the right professional to help with your septic tank system engineering, design and installation. Call or contact us today.

Share this post: