A permit is required for any alterations/repairs to an existing septic system or the installation of a new septic system. A septic system permit must be obtained before a building is constructed, installed or occupied. Here we will go through the general steps for some of the common situations.
A Vacant Lot That You Wish To Build On
If you have a vacant lot, a lot created prior to May 15, 1972 or a lot that was created through the planning process, and you wish to install a septic system you will need to obtain a permit.
If your lot has not been tested for a septic system:
The first step would be to schedule a time with our office when you can have a backhoe and operator on your property at the same time our representative is there (you are responsible for hiring the backhoe and operator). Someone who can make decisions about the property will also need to be present. This could be you, a family member or someone that you have hired as a consultant.
When we are there with the backhoe we will need to have holes dug for us to evaluate the soil. The number of holes will be determined by the size of the development and soil suitability. We do not charge per hole, we charge per equivalent dwelling unit (EDU). One EDU is 400 gallons per day (GPD) which is the equivalent of a 3 bedroom home. If suitable soils are located then a percolation test will need to be done. You do not have to have anyone present for this test.
If your lot has already been tested for a septic system:
You will need to get a septic system design done and submitted to our office. Our office has a design service, but you do not need to have our office do the design. Once the design is submitted it will get reviewed by a Sewage Enforcement Officer (SEO). Once the review is done and the design is acceptable and all fees have been paid and the application is complete, the permit will be issued. Permits are valid for three years. If work has not started on the septic system within those three years the permit will expire and a new one will need to be obtained. Once the septic system is installed our office needs to do an inspection prior to any part of the system being covered. When the system is final inspected and approved it must be covered within 5 days.
You Have An Existing Home And Wish To Update Or Repair Your System
At first, this may seem like a simple question. However, each repair or alteration to a septic system is site specific. What your neighbor did may not work in your situation. Some systems can be repaired and some cannot. Some replacement systems are more expensive than others. There is no “one size fits all” answer. If your septic system is in need of repair or updating you will need to contact our office to find out the steps required for your situation. Please do not try to fix the septic system without contacting us first. Most likely you will need to get a permit. Installing, repairing or modifying a septic system without first obtaining a permit is illegal and may result in fines.
You Have An Existing Septic System That You Wish To Connect To
If there is an existing septic system on your lot you may be able to connect to that system with your new house. If you are simply replacing a house with a new house with the same number of bedrooms, and it has been less than 1 year since the system has been used, you do not need to get a permit from our office. If the system has not been used within the past year, you will need to contact our office to set up a time to have us come and inspect your system. You will need to have the septic tank uncovered and pumped. We will need to see the inlet and outlet of the tank and be able to verify that there is a drainfield.
If there is another house already connected to the system you may not be able to connect your house to the same system. In order to add a house to a property that already has an existing house on it you will need to go through the planning process. If a property has gone through the planning process and the system is sized accordingly, then a second house may be added to it. If the property in question has not gone through the proper planning and sizing for multiple homes then you are not allowed to connect a second home to it.
These are only guidelines and are not meant to be all inclusive. We suggest that you contact our office to see what steps need to be taken for your situation.