picture of septic tank
Sewage Permits

What do I need to do in order to get a sewage permit? Operational Sewage Permits How do I become a septic installer in Darke County?
 What are the current septic installation requirements? How do I locate a contractor?  How do I become a scavenger or septic hauler?
  Are changes coming to the sewage code?   Sewer Projects Page  How do I become septic service provider?
319 Sewage Grant Project    Sewage Resolution (pdf) Septic Brochure (pdf)

What do I need to do in order to get a sewage permit?

New lots:  The lot must be approved for building before a sewage permit will be issued. See section on Building Lots

Existing lots:  Make an appointment for a site inspection.  The 2014 fee for this inspection is $175.00.
            The Health Department determines the type of system to be installed.
            Submit a plot plan to the Health Department of how the septic system will be installed along with the soil evaluation form.
            Either the homeowner  or a Registered Septic Installer (pdf) may perform the installation.

Existing Homes with failing systems: First, it may be necessary to determine why the system is failing to determine what corrective action may be needed.  The Health Department has sewage records for existing systems installed 1953 or after. The Health Department will first determine if there is a permit on file and if the system can be altered.  If the system cannot be altered and you need to install a new system, you may have to start with having the soil tested to determine the type of system to be installed. Or, if not enough area is available to install an on-site system, the Health Department will guide you in applying for a discharging system through the Ohio EPA.  Please contact the sewage program inspector to learn more.  

Existing lots with existing system and you are placing a new home or adding onto the existing home: The existing septic system will need to be evaluated to determine if it is adequate for the new home or the addition onto the home.  Please see Home Sale Page

How do I locate a contractor?

Septic systems may only be installed by contractors who are registered with the Health Department as a septic installer. Below is a listing of registered installers.   

List of Installers

However, you may perform the work yourself if you know how to install systems.

Operational Sewage Permits

All homeowners who had sewage permits issued after January 1 2007, are included in the Sewage Operational & Maintenance Program of the Darke County General Health District.  This program includes the inspection and operational permitting of systems after they have been installed. The frequency of inspection is dependent upon the type of system. Existing septic systems will be phased into this program. 

How do I become a septic installer in Darke County?

Submit the application to become a Registered Septic Installer.  These applications can be picked up at the Health Department.  The 2014 fee for registration is $175.00, and registration is good for the calendar year.  A $25,000 bond must be submitted with the application in order to be approved.

Installer Registration 2013 (pdf)

How do I become a scavenger or septic hauler in Darke County?

Submit the application and appropriate fee to become a Scavenger.  The 2014 fee is $175.00 plus $15.00 for each truck.  The truck must be inspected before the license will be issued.  Also, all sites of disposal must be approved before waste is permitted to be disposed.  The sites must be inspected initially, and the 2014 fee for inspection is $75.00 per site. For details regarding truck and disposal requirements, contact the Health Department.  These applications can be picked up at the Health Department.  A $5,000 bond must be submitted with the application in order to be approved. Registration is good for the calendar year.

 Scavenger (Septic Hauler) Registration Information (pdf)

How do I become septic service provider in Darke County?

Submit the application, bond, and appropriate fee to become a Service Provider.  These applications can be picked up at the Health Department.  The 2014 fee is $175.00. A $5,000 bond must be submitted with the application in order to be approved. Registration is good for the calendar year.

Service Provider Registration Information (pdf)

What are the current septic installation requirements?

 This is an updated list of requirements for the installation of septic tanks with leach beds in Darke County.  These requirements are either good engineering practice and/or are presently in the home sewage treatment system regulations.  For a complete set of sewage treatment systems rules and regulations, please refer to Section 3701-29-01 to 3701-29-19 of the Darke County Health Department Sewage Rules:

Sewage Rules Effective July 10, 2007 (pdf) (90 pages)

 NOTE:  Items in italic print are changes or updates from previous county septic requirements.

     *                    An on-site inspection will be made for each site after the site and soil evaluation has been done and to scale drawing of the proposed sewage treatment system to be installed has been submitted.

*                    Septic systems must be installed under dry conditions.  Systems installed under wet conditions may not be approved.  Once approved, the system should be covered as soon as possible so that the weather does not damage the system.

*                    Only a registered septic system installer or the homeowner may install the septic system.

*                    Final, to scale drawings of the installed septic system on the enclosed form must be made available to the inspecting sanitarian prior to or at the time of the final inspection.

*                    Risers to grade are required on each end of the septic tank and on the splitter device.  Risers must be of a like or similar material to the tank and splitter box.  Sealant must be used to prevent infiltration at the riser-tank interface.  A third riser over the center lid of the tank may be required for ease of maintenance if deemed appropriate by the Health Department.

*                    The septic system is required to be of split field design. The split field system requires a splitter box to divide the system into two equal sections.  For example, a 900 lineal foot leach field will be divided into two sections of 450 feet each. Header lines must be installed level, and with the contour of the ground.  The splitter box and the riser to the splitter box must be concrete or plastic.

*                    Systems installed on a slope must follow the contour of the hill and use end-to-end serial distribution.  Distribution boxes used to distribute effluent on a slope will not be approved. A continuous manifold run down a slope is not acceptable and will not be approved.

*                    Schedule 40 PVC pipe shall be used on all lines from the house to the tank and from the tank to either the splitter box and/or distribution boxes.  If a header line is used instead of a distribution box, the first 5’ on each side of the splitter box may not be used as leaching.  Schedule 35 PVC or greater must be used to the point where leaching starts.  The first 5’of the lines coming out of a distribution box and the first 5’ of the lines entering the trenches on each side of the drop boxes must be solid PVC pipe of at least schedule 25.

*                    All leach lines, either graveless or with gravel, are to be installed level.  Level means a fall of one inch or less per 100’ of line.  Bottom of trenches must also be level.

 *                    A leach line trench will be 36” wide.  The maximum depth for the bottom of the trench is determined by the site and soil evaluation. A 12” vertical separation distance is required between the bottom of the trench and the limiting condition. The maximum trench depth will be indicated on the sewage permit.  For those systems not requiring a soil evaluation, the maximum depth is 24".  (A system may not be approved if it is installed deeper than 24”, or if the 12” vertical separation distance is not met). 

*                    Graveless systems must be installed per manufacturers installation guidelines.  Only chamber systems are approved.

*                    If the plumber stubs out of the house too deep for the installer to maintain a maximum of the 12” vertical separation, the installer will have to either use a lift station or bring the plumbers stub out of the house at a higher elevation.

*                    Each trench of a gravel system must have 12” of gravel (6” under the line, 4” around the line, and 2” on top of the line).

*                    Gravel must be ” to 1” in size.  Soft crushed limestone is not acceptable; however, hard washed limestone is acceptable.  The top of the gravel shall be covered with a pervious material such as untreated paper or a 2” layer of hay, straw, or similar material before being covered with earth.

*                    All leach lines must be installed on 9’ centers, and the curtain drain on 8’ centers, preferable 10’.

*                    The Tyler chart from the soil profile with special Health Department approval can determine maximum lineal footage for each leach line.

*                    All new systems must have a curtain drain.  This drain must be tied into an adequately functioning county tile, county ditch, or a year-round free flowing stream.

*                    A recorded easement is required for any outlet tile that is not a county tile that leaves the owner’s property.  The easement shall start at the owner’s property line and continue until the tile reaches the county tile, county ditch, or year-round free flowing stream.

*                    The curtain/ gradient drain must be a MINIMUM of 12” below the bottom of the leaching trenches (deeper if possible), and must contain at least (2” under, 4” around the tile, and 2" above the tile). 

*                    An 8” or larger inspection port to grade must be installed on a curtain drain at the curtain drain outlet (point of discharge or exit from owner’s property), unless discharge is above ground.  If discharged above ground, an animal guard is required. 

*                    Some exceptions to these rules may be allowed with prior Health Department approval. 

*                    A septic permit must be purchased before any excavating begins. 

*                    Currently, the 2010 fee for a septic permit is $300.00 and the 2010 fee for a partial septic permit or a repair permit is $200.00. The operational permit fee is $15.00 per year. 

*                    An office, den, etc… may also be counted as a bedroom at the discretion of the Health Department.

*                    Only septic tanks approved by the state of Ohio may be used.

 The septic system shall be a minimum of 10’ from any lot or right-of-way line, 10’ from driveway, 10’ from any building, 10 ‘ from any water service line, 50’ from any water supply source on the lot or adjacent lot, and 50’from any surface water improvement, lake, river, or perennial stream. 

The minimum tank and footage requirements are as follows:

 3-bedroom home less than 1800 sq. ft 1500 gallon tank 675 lineal 3 feet wide
3-bedroom home greater than 1800 sq. ft.  2000 gallon tank     900 lineal 3 feet wide 
4-bedroom home less than 2300 sq. ft.  2000 gallon tank 900 lineal 3 feet wide
4-bedroom home greater than 2300 sq. ft. 2500 gallon tank  1125 lineal 3 feet wide
 5- bedroom home less than 2300 sq. ft. 2500 gallon tank 1125 lineal 3 feet wide

 Please note the basement square footage is no longer included in the square footage total, but it is counted as an additional bedroom when sizing systems. Homes of larger size may require a larger septic system at the discretion of the Health Commissioner.

Environmental Division Page


Page last updated: 2/28/2014