Onsite Sewage Disposal Systems
Local health departments administer the inspection and permitting of onsite sewage disposal systems including septic systems. The Lincoln Trail District Health Department Environmental office provides inspections for septic systems in Hardin, LaRue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, and Washington Counties. Professionals at your health department help with everything from evaluating a potential site for your system to providing advice for keeping your system well maintained.
If properly designed, constructed and maintained, a septic system can provide long-term and effective treatment of wastewater for homes or businesses without access to city sewage. What goes down your drain has a big impact on your septic system.
- Use water efficiently and stagger use of water based appliances to avoid a backup of your septic system into your house.
- Avoid harsh chemicals and use cleaners and detergents in moderation.
- Disposable diapers and wipes, cat litter, paper towels, cigarette butts and many more products should not be disposed of in the toilet.
- If a septic system isn’t maintained it might need to be replaced, costing thousands of dollars.
- A malfunctioning system can also contaminate groundwater that might be a source of drinking water.
Below are some examples of different types of septic systems layouts.
Approval Process for a New Septic System
- Person chooses a building site for their house, mobile home or commercial establishment.
- Person, or their agent, submits an application for a site evaluation to the Health Department. Site evaluation requests may be submitted online or completed at your local Environmental office. For more information about completing a site evaluation request online, see below. Items required on the application include:
- Specific address and/or location of the site.
- Site boundary lines and dimensions of site should be staked and a survey plat copy submitted.
- Locations of existing structures, wells, ponds, streams, easements, roads, drives, etc., if present.
- Proposed or existing location of structure to be served by the system, and proposed system location marked (area to be tested). Also mark any proposed alternative area.
- For homes: Number of bedrooms, if a garbage disposal will be installed and if the house will have a basement.
For commercial use: Type of business, number of employees and shifts, type of plumbing fixtures proposed and related information.
- Site evaluation fee of $300 must be paid when the application is submitted.
- If the site evaluation results reveal that there is a usable area for possible septic system installation, then the inspector will mark that area. This area is not to be disturbed by grading, heavy equipment traffic, placement of building materials or any related action. This is to prevent compaction and soil structure damage that could negatively affect the system’s ability to function. Any disturbance of the approved area in the manner described could void the site evaluation.
- A copy of the site evaluation report will be provided to the applicant. On the report, the inspector’s soil characteristic findings will be listed along with the minimum system option information. Specific system component requirements related to any options are the responsibility of the certified installer. However, should the installer or applicant have any questions regarding such information, please contact the health inspector for additional information.
- If the site received a suitable or provisionally suitable overall rating, then the certified installer may apply at the Health Department for a permit to install the septic system. At that time, all required paperwork must be submitted along with the permit fee. Permit will be based on site evaluation findings regarding site characteristics and the installer’s system design proposal.
- Once the installer puts in the septic system, they must then request an inspection from the Health Department before any of the work is covered.
Existing System Inspections
Existing septic systems may need to be inspected due to sale of the home, building addition, or rebuild of home after a natural disaster. If you are selling or purchasing a home, you can request an inspection of the existing septic system from the Health Department. To request an inspection, please visit your local environmental office and submit your request along with the required fee.
Onsite Sewage Fees
Please click here for a list of fees associated with the onsite sewage program. There are several ways to pay for environmental fees, including cash, check, money order, or credit card. All fees must be paid prior to performing a site evaluation, issuing a permit, performing an existing system inspection, and any other onsite sewage related service performed by the Lincoln Trail District Health Department. Please note that there is a 5% fee for all credit card payments.
Helpful Tips for Homeowners:
- Understanding How a Septic System Works
- New Homebuyer’s Guide to Septic Systems(English)
- New Homebuyer’s Guide to Septic Systems(Spanish)
- Do’s and Don’ts of Your Septic System Fact Sheet(English)
- Do’s and Don’ts of Your Septic System Fact Sheet(Spanish)
- Why Maintain Your Septic System
- How to Care for Your Septic System
- What to Do If Your Septic System Fails
- EPA SepticSmart Poster
Onsite Sewage Regulations for KY
- 902 KAR 10:085. Kentucky on-site sewage disposal systems
- 902 KAR 10:140. On-site sewage disposal system installer certification program standards
- 902 KAR 10:081. Construction standards for components of on-site sewage disposal systems
- 902 KAR 10:150. Domestic septage disposal site approval procedures
- 902 KAR 10:160. Domestic septage disposal site operation
- 902 KAR 10:170. Septic tank servicing
Site Evaluation Requests
Site evaluation requests are now available online. Please save to your computer and complete the fillable PDF form here, as well as submit a detailed site drawing of your property which is also attached to the form.
You may submit these attachments to Onsite@LTDHD.org or fax to your local Environmental office. If you already have a drawing or plat you may take a photo of it and send it as an attachment in your email. Please call the District Environmental office at 270-769-1601 to make payment via credit card (5% fee) after submitting your site evaluation request, or stop by your local environmental office to pay by cash, check, or money order.
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