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Septic Systems in Alabama

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, one in four homes in the United States is located in a rural or suburban area that is not served by a town sewer and uses a septic system instead. In Alabama, septic systems are called onsite sewage systems.

Licensing and Regulation

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In Alabama, onsite sewage systems are regulated by the Department of Public Health's Division of Community Environmental Protection (CEP). They work in conjunction with county health departments and the Onsite Wastewater Management Board.

State and county laws in Alabama make it mandatory to get a permit prior to installing a residential septic system. In Alabama, a permit is also necessary to conduct repairs to a septic system. The costs of the permits vary, with residential dwellings having the lowest priced permits. Those requiring a septic system permit for commercial, industrial or multi-use buildings or premises pay more. The cost of a permit to undertake repairs on a septic tank is of course less than for setting up a new septic tank.

Installation and Care of a Septic System

To begin the process of installing a septic system, a soil test is required. Soil tests can be completed by engineers after which the state or the local authorities will perform an inspection. The construction and installation of a septic system must be done by a fully registered and licensed septic system contractor. The completed work undergoes inspection to ensure that all regulations have been met.

Contacting the Alabama Department of Health

Environmental Services
Soil and Onsite Sewage Branch
Alabama Department of Public Health
The RSA Tower
201 Monroe Street, Suite 1250
Phone: (334) 206-5373
Fax: (334) 206-5788


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