Septic Systems

Our mission is 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.

New! 2014 On-Site Wastewater Treatment System Regulations

Are you re-building or repairing after recent fires or floods?

Here's important information you should know about your septic system before applying for a building permit.

Services Provided

  • 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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 ensure the system can be constructed in compliance with state and county regulations and that soil and ground water conditions are satisfactory for a septic system.

    Once your septic system has been constructed by a licensed septic system contractor, we will perform an inspection to ensure that the contractor constructed the system to meet current regulations.

  3. 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.
  4. 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 commercial/industrial/or multi-use permits are $1,023. The cost for residential repair permits are $373 for minor repairs and $723 for major repairs. Commercial/industrial or multi-use repair permits are $1,023. A new sealed vault/privy permit is $440.
  5. 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 most families.
  6. 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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