ONSITE SEWAGE PROGRAM
The Onsite Program is operated by the health department for the following reasons:
1. To prevent the spread of fecal-borne diseases;
2. The protection of the groundwater supplies in Woodford County and;
3. To make sure the homeowner gets a well designed, appropriate system and get what they pay for.
The program is one of the few that the Commonwealth mandates local health departments to do. About two out of three homes in Woodford County rely on individual onsite systems, better known as septic systems. It is important, as building occurs in less suitable locations, that the most current knowledge and technology be used to assure, to the extent possible, that the homeowner gets a system well suited for their site and is serviceable for many years. All systems must be installed according to state regulations by a Certified Installer or homeowner.
How do I get approval for an Onsite System?
Step 1: Come by the health department and complete a DFS-319 Onsite Sewage Disposal Systems Application for Site Evaluation and pay the site evaluation fee. You will need to furnish the following:
1. A valid address of the property
2. Directions to reach the property
3. Site Drawing containing the following information
a. Property lines and dimensions.
b. Location of any existing structures, wells, ponds, streams, gullies, swamps, etc.
c. Location of any easements, roads, rights-of-way.
d. Location of proposed structures, including pools, decks, patios and outbuildings.
Step 2: Health Department Staff will meet owner/representative at site and do Onsite Evaluation. Health Department will provide copy of results and recommendations to the owner/representative at the site or as soon as possible if they need to return to office to work up recommendations. Health Department Staff will mark area for the system. It is the responsibility of the owner to prevent damage to that area prior to the construction of the onsite system. Should the marked area be compacted or otherwise damaged by grading or topsoil removal, the original onsite evaluation will be declared invalid and the process will have to commence again.
Step 3: Owner/builder negotiates with Certified Installer.
Step 4: Selected Installer, builder or owner comes to Health Department and applies for Construction Permit and pays Permit Fee. At his time, the applicant must submit a drawing of the proposed system showing
1. All system components showing their size, length and type.
2. Location of the system in relation to the structure it serves and the property lines.
Step 5: Installers calls for final inspection. At this time, the installer must submit a legible as-built drawing of the system showing the items listed in Step 4 as well as a triangulated distance of the major components to two permanent objects on the property.
Step 6: Health Department Staff perform final inspection. If system is passed, the process is completed. If the system is not passed, the reason(s) for the failure are given to the installer and a re-inspection is made when the deficit items are corrected.
How much do the permits cost?
Site Evaluation: $200
This pays for the initial site evaluation that will determine the site and soil limitations that may effect the installation and serviceability of the septic system. It involves meeting the owner or his/her representative at the site and making a determination of where the house, driveway, pool, outbuildings and property lines are to be located. It is also determined if there are any drainage ways or wells on the property. The topography is recorded. A complete soils analysis is done, usually in backhoe pits provided by the owner.
Installation Permit-Regular: $275
Installation Permit-Wetland: $280
This covers the time involved for doing the final inspection of the installed system. All materials used are checked for compliance with approved material standards; the tank(s) is/are checked for proper sizing and installation; the distribution box is checked for stability and for uniformity of outlet flow; the distribution system (lines, chambers, etc.) is checked for sizing, proper installation depth and levelness; adequate depth of cover is determined. When using a wetland, the distribution header is checked for uniform flow, rock depth is verified, suitability of the liner is verified and adequate aquatic plant cover is verified.
Experimental Permit: $375
If the Site Evaluation determines that a standard system will not be sufficient, and if the homeowners agree to accept the risk, a state-approved experimental system may be installed. This involves significantly more time on our part hence the higher permit fee.
Why should I use a Certified Installer?
The installation of a modern septic disposal system is a complicated task. Not just everyone can do it correctly, even if they have plumbing experience. Therefore it is important that installers prove they have the knowledge base to provide you, the homeowner, with a competent job. Certified Installers are required to have Continuing Education Units each year so they can stay current with new technology and regulation changes.
Can I install a system myself?
Yes, you can. However, for the reasons stated above, we discourage this practice. You may think you know what to do but one slip-up can destroy a site and cost you many thousands of dollars. We will work with you to see that the system is properly installed but you should do nothing on your own until we have approved it and are sure you understand the correct procedure.
When is the Plumbing Inspector in the office?
The State Plumbing Inspector is here each Monday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The Plumbing Inspector is not an employee of the Woodford Co. Health Department. We merely provide him with office space.