Septic systems serve rural homes and businesses without access to municipal sewers carrying wastewater to a treatment plant.
A septic system is designed to accept all home bathroom and kitchen drainage. There are two septic system components, the septic tank and the filtration. The septic tank is a large cement box allowing all solids to slowly decay. The tank works with beneficial bacteria that slowly breaks down the solids and remains full. A series of baffles allow only bacteria-laden liquid to carry over to the secondary system. This system consists of a tile bed, trench field, and dry well or mound. From your secondary system the liquid is treated and filtered by soil bacteria and returned to the ground.
Typically, septic tanks should be pumped out every three to six years.
Listed below is the information required to install a new well & septic for vacant land, obtain a permit for a replacement well or septic for an existing home, or to obtain a permit for a "well first" area. Contact the Health Department ((269) 969-6341) prior to completing an application to assure correct form is submitted.
New Well & Septic for Vacant Land
In order to obtain a permit for a new well and septic for vacant land, Environmental Health requires:
Permit fees are required to be paid at the time of site evaluation. If permits are not issued at that time, you will receive a written report. It is possible a permit can be issued at the Health Department office at a later date provided the site evaluation is complete, the location of the house has not changed since the site evaluation, or grade contours have not been altered.
Expiration: Permits are good for one year. Permits can be renewed for a fee.
Disapproval: In some cases, a site may be declined for sewage disposal and/or water well. You will be provided a written report and appeal procedure information.
Property Boundaries: Owners assume full responsibility for property boundaries and any mistakes made from incorrect information provided.
Replacement for Existing Home
In order to obtain a permit for a replacement well or septic for an existing home, contact the Health Department at (269) 969-6341 to schedule an appointment. The owner should plan to meet the sanitarian at the site to obtain permit and pay the fee.
At the time the permit is issued, an explanation and drawings will be issued to explain construction, location, and sizing of the system. Each permit is designed for each site.
Septic and Well Evaluation for Sale of House
CCPHD Environmental Health offers well and/or septic evaluation of sewage systems and water wells for realtors, purchasers, and mortgage companies for a fee. The sewage system must be opened prior to the inspection. A Request for Service
form must be submitted prior to the appointment.
Registration of Septic Installers
CCPHD Environmental Health requires all septic system installers to be registered with CCPHD prior to beginning installation. Septic system installers must complete a Registration Form
and return it to CCPHD Environmental Health.
Burlington and Athens Townships, and Leroy Township south of H Drive S., have been declared "well first" areas. These areas may lack water well volume and possess high nitrates. Therefore, CCPHD will issue a "Test Well Authorization" form giving permission to install a new well for a proposed new home. There is no fee for this authorization. The well must produce at least five gallons per minute and water test with 10 ppm nitrates or less.
The water well driller must provide a four-hour pump test report and arrange for nitrate sampling with this office. If the well shows acceptable volume and quality, CCPHD will proceed with the permit process. If the well results in a dry hole or has elevated nitrates, the well and permits will be denied.