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Sewage System Price Guide

Benefits, limitations, & costs of home sewage treatment options

There is no one-size-fits-all wastewater treatment system, each block has unique natural features and each home will have different water usage habits which could make one style ideal and another unsuitable. Express Wastewater take pride in customising the sewage treatment option for each customer, carefully matching the right system with the right property. This process can save customers up to and over $15,000.

The first step of the process is to schedule a design consultation with one of our wastewater treatment specialists. We will take a soil test and carry out a full assessment to work out which will be the best system for you and your property. Regardless of your final choice, whether it is poly or concrete trenches or a treatment plant, our experienced team can help you from complete installation to servicing and repairs.

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Your wastewater treatment options

Below is a sample of some of the main styles of wastewater systems as well as the benefits and limitations of each, and advice on why to choose one over the other.

Old style septic tank and trenches

What are a septic tank and trenches and what do they do?

The septic tank and trenches have been around longer than any other treatment option in Australia. The system works by breaking the effluent down in the septic tank to a liquid form which then soaks into the ground through a series of trenches. This can be done by gravity or pumped up to the trenches if required.

The septic tank and trenches option is generally the cheapest and most hassle-free long term choice to dispose of effluent especially in a gravity-based system.

  • Benefits of the septic tank & trench option – Property owners will save money on servicing (approx $320 per year, power $300 per year) and the cost and inconvenience of breakdowns. (Savings estimated approx $1000 per year.)
  • Limitations of this option – the septic tank and trench system rely on your property having permeable soil, correct distances from natural water tables, creeks, dams, bores etc. as well as the depth of soil over an impermeable barrier.

Approximate range of septic system installation and operation costs -

  • Install cost - Indicative - $7000 - $15,000
  • Running costs - Gravity - $200 - $400 every 5-10 years
  • Running costs - Pumped - $760 - $1,520 every 5-10 years

Breakdown of a septic tank running cost’s

  • Pumping tank - The septic tank will need to be pumped out every 5 to 10 years. The frequency will depend on usage and the size of the septic tank - Cost $200 - $400 ($40 per year)
  • System operation - Power to run the pump (pumped option only) - Cost $30 - $40 per year (estimated - will vary depending on usage)
  • Pump replacement (pump option) - Most pumps will last an average of 5 years with an estimated cost of $600 for a replacement pump and its installation. The costs involved in pump replacement will depend on the type and size of the pump used - $120 per year

Aerated wastewater treatment plant

What is an aerated wastewater treatment plant and what does it do?

An aerated wastewater treatment plant (also commonly known as Biocycle or HSTP) uses an air blower to promote the growth of aerated bacteria which is used to ‘clean’ the wastewater. The wastewater treatment plant then disinfects the water to get it to a standard where it can be safely used for irrigation.

This method of treating effluent is probably the most versatile option and generally means a fairly cost effective installation cost.

  • Benefits of aerated wastewater treatment plant option – This style offers versatility as you can either dispose of the treated wastewater using surface or subsurface disbursement in most council areas. This method allows the reuse of water to irrigate gardens, reducing overall homes water use. These systems also generally offer a lower installation cost.
  • Limitations of this option – Aerated wastewater treatment plants need a reliable source of power which can add to operating costs as well as potentially making it unsuitable for properties which are affected with frequent power outs. As with anything with moving, mechanical parts, there is a risk that something could go wrong causing a breakdown.

Approximate range of aerated wastewater treatment plant installation and operation costs -

  • Install cost surface - Indicative - $7000 - $9000
  • Install cost subsurface - Indicative - $11,000 - $15,000
  • Running costs - Gravity - Approximately $1000 per year over a 15 year period

Breakdown of aerated wastewater treatment plant running cost’s

  • System servicing - approx $300 - $320 per year (first year free)
  • Pumping tank - A tank pump out needs to be carried out every 5-10 years. Due to the larger quantity of water to be pumped (compared with septic), the service agent is  required to be onsite during the pump out and water refill - Cost approx $900
  • System operation - Power to run the pump and aerator 365 days a year - Cost approx $300
  • Replacement pump and aerator - The pump and aerator will last on average 5 years each with an estimated cost of $600 for replacement and installation of the new units. This cost will vary depending on the type and size of the pump used. If for some reason the system floods and requires pumping - Cost $240 per year

Sand filter wastewater system

What is a sand filter wastewater system and what does it do?

The sand filter wastewater systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit a range of applications. The basic principle of the sand filter system is to passively clean the wastewater from your property using the bacteria living in the sand.

Depending on the brand of sand filter system the water will either filter through the sand and then soak into the ground like an absorption trench or filter through the sand then collect into a second tank which can then be used for irrigation.

  • Benefits of a sand filter wastewater system – Due to the lack of moving parts, the sand filter system provides savings on the routine servicing which the more involved treatment systems require. Depending on the wastewater system savings can be between $70 and $320. As this style requires either minimal or no power to operate the reduced running costs also present ongoing savings.
  • Limitations of this option - The sand filter wastewater treatment system and other options that don’t require servicing are enormously reliant on your property having permeable soil, the correct allowance between the system and the natural water table (although there are options around this). The sand filter system is susceptible to blocking up if not used properly. This style also comes with a higher install cost compared with other options.

Approximate range of sand filter wastewater systems installation and operating costs -

  • Install cost - Indicative - $11,000 - $22,000
  • Running costs - Enviro septic gravity or pumped - $200 - $400 every 5-10 years
  • Running costs - Sand filter requiring servicing - $500 per year

Breakdown of sand filter wastewater system running cost’s

  • Pumping tank - A pump out needs to be carried out every 5-10 years depending on the system usage and the size of the septic tank - Cost $200 - $400 ($40 per year)
  • System operation - Power is needed to run the pump (pumped version only) - Cost $30 - $40 per year (est. depending on usage)
  • Replacement pump - A sand filter system pump will last on average 5 years with an estimated cost of $600 for replacement and installation of a new unit. This cost will vary depending on the type and size of the pump used (pumped only) - Cost $120 per year
  • System servicing - If required servicing the sand filter wastewater system generally costs between $170 and $250 per year
Sewage Systems |  HSTP Price Guide | Express Wastewater

Your local sewage treatment specialists

For professional advice on the perfect sewage treatment option with a detailed quote for your property speak to our experienced team at 1300 722 517 or complete our wastewater treatment quote request form today.


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For more in depth sewage systems information visit our Sewage systems Information page

Why Use Express Wastewater Solutions?


    Because we are not a manufacturer and not tied to one particular system we can always offer the best solution for your wastewater needs.


    Because we do this every day we have developed a close knit expert team for every step of the process – from plans and council paperwork to excavations, electrical and plumbing. We handle it all to make the whole process as stress free and quick as possible.


    Most people have never installed a home sewerage treatment plant and don’t know the next step, that is why we offer a free 30 minute phone consult with one of our experts to point you in the right direction.


    We handle your wastewater installation from start to finish we can deal with all the trades, council everything so you don’t have to worry about a thing.


    Have peace of mind knowing that Express are licensed, insured professionals that will do your job right the first time.


    Not sure what system is right for you, or want to know if your system is working properly? Just give one of our friendly wastewater experts a call and they will be more than happy to help.


    We will always look to repair your system rather than replace it if it does not need to be, which will generally save large amounts of money sometimes up to and over $10,000.