The Belmont County Health Department regulates household sewage treatment systems for one, two or three family dwellings. In order to install, alter, or replace a sewage treatment system in Belmont County, a permit must be obtained. Please contact our office for information on how to obtain a permit. For public or commercial sewage information, contact the Ohio EPA’s Division of Surface Water.
Please contact the BCHD for the current fees in the sewage program 740-695-1202
- Permit to install, alter or replace –
- Renewal of operation permit –
- Registration for installer, hauler, service provider –
- Septic hauler vehicle permit –
- Variance application –
- Loan evaluation inspection –
- Loan evaluation re-inspection –
- OEPA NPDES Permit for discharging systems –
- Contact the BCHD for specific information on STS permitting or when beginning to plan for land development with a STS. Local health district staff will visit your site to begin the initial site evaluation process.
- Obtain a site and soil evaluation. The natural soil is the most commonly used media for final treatment of sewage effluent from a home. A complete evaluation of the soil on the property is needed to determine how much usable soil (thickness) is present and where it is located. Other site conditions must also be determined such as slope, topography and the location of nearby water sources and drinking water supplies. Some local health districts provide site and soil evaluation services. These services are also available from many private companies and local health districts can provide a list of experts that provide these services.
- Work with a sewage treatment system designer to evaluate the different system types available for your lot. Most lots can accommodate more than one system design. Homeowners should carefully evaluate all system costs including installation, long-term operation and maintenance requirements and service contract costs before making a final system decision. Please refer to the list of STS types on the page below.
- Obtain quotes and bids from registered STS contractors. The BCHD can provide a list of locally registered STS contractors. The BCHD requires bonding of contractors through ODH. Always obtain a written contract and fully discuss all steps of the construction process and services the contractor will provide, example, final grade and seeding may not be in the initial bid. Once a contractor is selected and work on your system begins, try to observe as much of the construction process as possible, and even document the installation with pictures.
- The BCHD will perform a final inspection of your system and approve or disapprove the installation. If installations problems occur, work with the system contractor and your local health district to resolve installation issues. The BCHD’s role is to ensure proper system installation that protects your investment in your STS and public health and prevents disease. The BCHD will perform a 12+ month inspection of your system in the future to check on the system’s performance.
- Proper operation and maintenance of your new STS is essential to ensure the system works, does not create odors or other nuisance conditions and prevents exposure to sewage effluent. Depending on the complexity of your system, a service contract may be required. Proper operation and maintenance of your system protects the investment you have made in your property and your system. Your system includes an operation permit which will expire and need renewed in the future dependent on the type of your sewage treatment system.
-Soil Scientist Society of America list as per OAC 3701-29-07
-Soil Professionals registered in other states meeting OAC 3701-29-07
-Soil Professionals demonstrating compliance with criteria established by the director of health under rule OAC 3701-29-07
Know Your Household Sewage System
- Learn about your household sewage system. Obtain and keep a sketch of the system with a detailed record of repairs, pumping, inspections, and other maintenance activities.
- Have your household sewage system inspected and maintained regularly.
- Keep your septic tank cover accessible for inspection and cleaning. Install risers if necessary.
- Call a registered sewage system contractor or your local health department if you experience problems or if there are any signs of system failure.
- Always obtain required permits when making or allowing repairs to your system.
- Divert sources of water, like roof drains, footer drains, and sump pumps away from the system. Excess water saturates the soil leading to system failure.
- Keep a good vegetative cover over the system in order to help remove excess water and prevent erosion.
- Do Not allow anyone to drive or park anything over any part of the septic system.
- Never dig or build anything over your system. This includes hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt.
- Conserve water to avoid overloading the system. Promptly repair leaky faucets or toilets, and install water saving devices.
- Don’t use septic tank additives. These products usually do not help and can be harmful to the operation of your system.
- Eliminate or reduce the use of a garbage disposal. The additional waste produced by a garbage disposal will lead to extra maintenance requirements.
- Don’t use you toilet or disposal as a trash can. Coffee grounds, dental floss, disposable diapers, kitty litter, sanitary napkins, tampons, cigarette butts, condoms, fat, grease, oil, automotive fluids and paper towels should never be disposed of in the system.
- Never pour chemicals or cleaners such as paints, varnishes, thinners and pesticides down the drain/toilet. Harsh chemicals can kill beneficial bacteria that treat wastewater.
- Never climb down into a septic tank. The natural treatment process in septic tanks produces toxic gases that can kill.
Rules and Regulations regarding sewage treatment systems:
Operation and Maintenance of your sewage treatment system:
WHY WAS THIS PROGRAM STARTED?
As of January 1, 2015, local health departments are required to develop a program for the management of the operation and maintenance of Sewage Treatment Systems (STS), including Gray Water Recycling Systems. Operation Permits, increased homeowner education, and routine STS maintenance are requirements of the program. Owning a STS is a big financial investment in your property. Proper operation and maintenance of your system is very important to make sure it operates effectively and efficiently for many years and does not create nuisance conditions or pollute the environment.
WHO IS AFFECTED BY THIS PROGRAM?
All properties with a STS installed after January 1, 2015 are now affected by this program. Our existing properties with a STS prior were issued an installation permit, which included an operation permit without a defined expiration. If an existing system installed prior to January 1, 2015 is found not operating properly may have their existing operation permit revoked and be issued a new operation permit under the new operational program requirements.
WHAT IS THE COST TO HOMEOWNERS?
The fees and length of time the Operation Permit is good for varies among health departments. Our current renewal fee is $50.00 and the operation permit renewal is issued based on type of STS you have. Permit applications are mailed out prior to the expiration date and go directly to the property utilizing the STS, unless otherwise instructed by the property owner.
WHAT IS THE PERMIT MONEY USED FOR?
Our program aims to promote awareness of the importance of properly operating your STS and to minimize sewage pollution. STS maintenance information is provided to better educate homeowners on how STS are designed to operate. The fees obtained from the Operation Permits are also used to administer this program. Program costs include materials and supplies, postage for mailings, and staff time. A large amount of time is spent on the review of service and maintenance reports, maintaining a program database, possible visit to the STS for compliance check and the issuance of permits.
WHAT ARE THE MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS ON MY STS?
Proof of STS operation and maintenance is a new requirement and can be demonstrated through having a service contract with a registered service provider. Service maintenance reports must be submitted to us by the provider. This information is entered into a database for tracking purposes. As we develop our program, information will be available for reviewing septic tank cleaning dates and other STS maintenance.
WHAT IS OUR AUTHORITY TO CONDUCT THIS PROGRAM?
Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 3718
Ohio Administrative Code, Chapter 3701-29
Belmont County General Health District Sewage Treatment System Rules, Board Resolution 2015-4
What do I need to make sure my operation permit will be renewed for a NPDES HSTS?
Operate the HSTS under an appropriate Operations and Maintenance Service contract from a manufacturer trained/certified service provider that is registered with your local health department. Proper operation and maintenance of your system is very important to make sure it works effectively and efficiently for many years and does not create nuisance conditions or contaminate water resources. Your local health department or HSTS installer can help you find a registered service provider in your area. Maintain a copy of the service contract with your important household records.
Have annual diagnostic sampling performed to evaluate performance of the HSTS. This sampling can be completed by the service provider as part of the operations and maintenance service contract or through the local health district, but not all local health districts provide this sampling service. The purpose of the sampling is to make sure the system is working properly and to help manage operation. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure that a sample is collected and reported to the local health district. Samples must be collected and tested for:
- Total Suspended Solids (TSS)
- Five-Day Carbonaceous Biochemical Oxygen Demand (CBOD5)
- Dissolved Oxygen (DO)
- E. coli
- Chlorine (if applicable), for example if utilizing UV Light Disinfection, chlorine test not applicable
Permit Renewal — By federal law, NPDES permits can only be issued in five-year increments and must be renewed to continue coverage through the OEPA. The Operation Permit from your local health department is a separate permit that must also be renewed annually with your local health department.
Permit Transfer — If your property changes ownership, you must submit a General Permit Coverage Transfer form to Ohio EPA.
Additional information on this program, or your individual STS, can be obtained by contacting us at (740) 695-1202. Thank you!