Going from sewage contamination to a spotless property takes professional cleanup. Here’s how much it costs to get there.


Few stenches are as alarming to homeowners as that of raw sewage rising from the basement. Just imagine being greeted by a cellar flooded with smelly water from your septic tank.  That black water is a serious health hazard – but that’s not the only concern.

A sewage backup also raises the question: how much does sewage cleanup cost?


Whether tree roots burst a sewer line or floods caused sewage backup, and whether it’s your home or commercial property, you’re going to need sewage cleanup services ASAP.  Every second wasted gives wastewater time to:

  • contaminate your property with pathogens that become long-term health risks.
  • infiltrate drywall and cause mold growth, another health hazard.
  • cause structural damage and property devaluation.


Immediate remediation avoids health risks and renovation costs further down the line. You’d say those reasons justify any sewage backup cleanup cost. Nonetheless, property owners should ask themselves, “How much does sewage cleanup cost?” to avoid financial surprises. 


In this detailed guide, we give property owners an informed idea of the average cost of sewage cleanup. We cover:

  • How much does sewage cleanup cost? A breakdown of sewage cleanup costs
  • What does my insurance company cover? Insurance policies for sewage damage 
  • How do you clean up sewage? Using professional restoration companies 


Want to know how much sewage cleanup costs? Read on to understand the cost range of sewage backup cleanup on your property.


[A Sewage spill requires immediate response. Call Lux Restoration to have our emergency sewage cleanup crew on your doorstep in 60 minutes.]


How much does sewage cleanup cost? A cost breakdown

Property owners need to have an idea of the total cost of sewage cleanup services – especially now that sewage backups are more frequent around New York, according to news outlet The City.


Rainier and more extreme weather causes frequent floods. These floods can, in turn, cause sewage backups. Between 1980 and 2024, the state of New York had a growing number of severe weather events with costs exceeding $1 billion each, data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association showed. 


Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)


But how much does sewage cleanup cost? 


Most professional companies charge about $7-15 per square foot


In practice, however, the cost of sewer cleaning varies wildly. While property owners on average pay between $2,000 and $10,000, sewer backup costs can skyrocket up to $50,000 or more.


Why such a broad cost range for sewage cleanup services? Let’s have a look at some of the main factors that influence pricing:

  • Extent of the damage
    Extensive water damage restoration takes time and effort. Small spills confined to a small area are manageable and can total $1,000 for cleanup. Meanwhile, a widespread contamination with a bigger affected area of multiple rooms or floors quickly exceeds $10,000.


  • Location of the affected area
    The ground floor and other easy-access areas are less expensive to clean than basements and crawl spaces. Treating them requires special equipment, which is why sewage cleanup under the house costs more. For instance, crawl space sewage cleanup costs are easily twice as much as general cleanup costs.


  • Type of damage
    Sewage can cause damage to floors, drywall, and personal property. This is where costs really start to rack up, with repair and renovation costs varying widely – from $1,500 for a simple drywall repair to $10,000+ for extensive structural repair.


  • Amount of standing water
    The volume of sewage water also affects the extraction time and equipment needed. Just a few inches of standing water can already cost $2,000-$3,000 to remove, while a few feet can push the cost much higher.


  • Elapsed time since the incident
    Immediate cleanup and remediation(within 24-48 hours) is often cheaper because it prevents secondary damage such as mold growth or wood rot, which can add thousands of dollars to the final bill.


  • Wastewater type
    Repair costs can rise depending on the level of contamination of the water source. Highly contaminated water requires much more sanitizing and mold growth remediation than clean water. 

    • Clean water (category 1): This is the least contaminated water source and typically comes from broken or leaky pipes.
    • Grey water (category 2): This type of water can contain chemicals or microorganisms and comes from sources like washing machines or dishwashers.
    • Blackwater (category 3): Black water contains harmful bacteria and pathogens and comes from toilets or sewage backups.


These and other factors explain why no average cost estimate ever seems to apply to your property and why professional sewer cleaning services provide customized quotes rather than fixed rates.


What does my insurance company cover? Insurance policies for sewage damage

If you’re wondering how to cover a potentially hefty bill, make sure to first check your home insurance policy. It might be that you’re fully covered for repair costs


Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute, warns that “Sewer backups or the inability of sump pumps to handle runoff water from major downpours are not covered under a typical homeowners insurance policy, nor are they covered by flood insurance.”


Worters recommends looking at insurance riders for better coverage: “Those types of coverage must be purchased either as a separate product or as an endorsement to a homeowners policy.”


Insurance riders (or endorsements) cover perils otherwise excluded from an insurance policy. They can also increase the coverage limit of included protection – which helps when the extent of the damage pushes restoration costs beyond your policy’s limits. 


These insurance riders can help property owners with coverage for sewage removal

  • Water backup rider: You might have noticed that the standard policies mentioned don’t cover the mitigation costs of water damage caused by sewage backups. Many insurance providers offer additional coverage for this type of water damage.


  • Flood insurance: Standard insurance doesn’t cover flood damage and most insurance providers don’t have add-ons that do. Instead, many insurance companies offer separate flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.


How do you clean up sewage? Why professional cleanup is essential

How much does sewage cleanup cost when you treat the issue yourself instead of using a professional restoration company? Homeowners might be tempted to save money when facing a sewer blockage, especially one involving steep basement sewage cleanup costs. 


But the risks of DIY sewer backup restoration far outweigh any potential cost savings


Professional restoration services aren’t just convenient – they’re necessary to avoid further damage and ensure that your home is free of health hazards. Besides, professional sewage cleanup services can reduce the total cost compared to hiring multiple services. 


Professional sewage cleanup typically involves:

  • Pumping out wastewater
  • Plumber services
  • Removing contaminants
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Drying out the area with fans and dehumidifiers
  • Mold remediation
  • Deodorizing the space
  • Removing and replacing damaged materials
  • Further Structural repairs


When facing a sewage backup, turn to the trusted experts at Lux Restoration. We have the expertise to handle the entire restoration process from start to finish – from emergency services within one hour to efficient water removal, structural drying, mold remediation, reconstruction, and more.


[Is water seeping into your home? Get in touch with us for immediate help. Lux is Long Island’s trusted sewage damage restoration service with 17+ years of experience in water damage, from fixing flooded basements to restoring storm-damaged roofs.]