To protect the public's health and the environment by preventing the contamination of ground and surface waters through inspections, monitoring,and consultation on septic systems and by issuing permits for the proper construction and installation of septic systems.
On-Site Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) Regulations - August 13, 2012 Draft for review
To make comments on the draft, please use this comment form
Regulations and Fees
- Reviewing plans for proposed septic systems.
- Assessing suitability of soil characteristics, depth to groundwater or bedrock, sizing, and type of septic system for the proposed use.
- Issuing permits for individual septic systems in accordance with State and County regulations.
- Investigating possible failures of existing systems.
- Providing for a system of inspections, monitoring and enforcement of state and local regulations.
Licensed Septic Installers
Licensed Septic Cleaners
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a septic system?
A septic system is a method of dealing with household wastewater in
areas where public sewers are not available. The standard type of septic
system involves a septic tank (to hold wastewater from toilets and drainpipes
until solids settle out in the tank), and a system of pipes that distribute
the remaining liquid waste underground over a large area --the leach
field--where the wastewater "percolates" through the soil,
which helps to clean the water. The goal is to make sure that this filtration
though the soil is sufficient to clean the wastewater before it reaches
drinking water well sources or surface waters.
- What do I do if I need a septic system?
Contact the Environmental Health Division for a permit. We can refer
you to several engineering firms who do soils tests according to current
state and local regulations. Upon receiving the soils tests from your
engineer, we will do an inspection of your site to insure the system
can be constructed in compliance with state and county regulations and
that soil and ground water conditions are satisfactory for a septic
Once your septic system has been constructed by a licensed septic
system contractor, we will perform an inspection to insure that the
contractor constructed the system to meet current regulations.
- What do I do if my septic system is failing?
Contact the Environmental Health Division of the department. We will
consult with you on the causes for failure and advise you on how the
failure can be remedied. We can also advise you on contractors who
are licensed to perform repairs. A repair permit is required before
beginning any system upgrade.
- Is a septic system permit required and how much does it cost?
State and County laws require that a permit be issued by the department prior to constructing or making repairs to a septic system. The cost for a permit to construct a new system varies as follows: New residential permits are $1,023.00. New commerical/industrial/or multi-use permits are $1,023. The costs for residential repair permits are $298 for minor repairs and $548 for major repairs. Commerical/industrial or multi-use repair permits are $1,023. A new sealed vault/privy permit is $375.
- How often should my tank be pumped?
Regulations require that septic tanks be pumped by a licensed pumper
every 3 to 4 years. An average of every 3 years is recommended for
- Why is it necessary to have my septic tank pumped?
The cost of a septic system is a major investment. To protect that
investment and prolong the life of your system, it is necessary to
have the septic tank pumped out every 3 to 4 years. Since all solids
in your household wastewater settle out in the tank, it's important
to have the tank pumped to avoid having sludge block the pipes that
allows the liquids to move on to the leach field for filtration. Failure
to routinely pump the septic tank may result in the clogging of your
leach field and cause a premature malfunction of the system.
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