On-site Septic Systems

On-site wastewater pertains to septic tank systems that are subsurface wastewater systems consisting of a settling tank and a drain field. This system serves to contain the solid waste and sanitize the wastewater produced by the home, business, or other structure. Environmental Health has several responsibilities regarding the permitting, inspection, and operation of these systems. These include:

  • Evaluating a property to determine whether or not it is suitable for a septic system.
  • Issuing or denying a permit based on the results of the lot evaluation.
  • Inspecting septic systems when they are installed to ensure proper installation.
  • Investigating complaints fielded from the public.
  • Evaluating malfunctioning septic systems and determining an appropriate solution to repair the system.
  • Monitoring large septic systems and septic systems with pumps in order to ensure their proper operation.

The Septic System Permitting Process

1 An Application for Service is accepted with presentation of a document from the appropriate planning and zoning authority. When an application is made for a septic tank permit(s), a site plan of the property is required. The site plan is a drawing showing the shape and size of the property, the state road number, and the driveway and house (or other buildings) located on the property. This site plan must include setbacks (or distance) from the highway right-of-way and at least one other property line to give a location of where the structure will be placed. 
2 Fees are assessed and based on requested services. View the current fee schedule. Once fees are paid, the applicant is assigned to an Environmental Health Specialist.
3 The Environmental Health Specialist will contact the applicant to schedule an appointment for the evaluation, or the applicant can contact the Environmental Health Specialist. They are in the office between 8:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. each morning, Monday through Thursday.
4 Before the Department evaluates the property, the applicant should rough-stake the area that needs to be evaluated and stake the location of the structure (house, mobile home, business, etc.).
5 An evaluation of the property is made. If the property is found to be suitable for the intended use a permit will be issued. 
6 Once the applicant has a zoning compliance certificate permit and an Environmental Health permit, he or she may apply for permits at the Inspections Department.

According to 15A NCAC 18A .1938 (c) The person owning or controlling the system shall be responsible for assuring compliance with the laws, rules, and permit conditions regarding system location, installation, operation, maintenance, monitoring, reporting, and repair.
If you have any issues regarding your septic system, please contact us and we will gladly assess the problem to determine if a repair permit is necessary and devise an appropriate solution. Repair permits may be applied for by the property owner or authorized agent.

Engineered Option Permits
(a) An Engineered Option Permit (EOP) on-site wastewater system, as defined by G.S. 130A-334(1g), is available to an owner that provides an alternative process for the siting, design, construction, approval, and operation of the system without requiring the direct oversight or approval of the local health department. An owner choosing to use the EOP shall employ the services of a registered professional engineer licensed pursuant to G.S. 89C to prepare signed and sealed drawings, specifications, plans, and reports for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the wastewater system in accordance with G.S. 130A-336.1 and this Rule. Except as provided for in G.S. 130A-336.1 and in this Rule, an EOP system is subject to all applicable requirements of Article 11 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes and all rules of this Section. Nothing in this Rule shall be construed as allowing any professional to provide services for which he or she has neither the educational background, expertise, or license to perform, or is beyond his or her scope of work as provided for pursuant to G.S. 130A-336.1 and the applicable statutes for their respective profession.

The cost of this permit is $75. 

Click on any of the following to learn more on this option: