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Septic System Ownership in Alaska

Solid waste disposal is a major problem in Alaska, particularly in rural areas. Open landfills often do double duty as waste disposal sites. The governing bodies have turned their attention to this problem and have come up with various measures to take care of it. As a result, septic systems are currently widely in use.

Regulation of Septic Tank Systems

The Division of Water in the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) is the regulating body that administers sanitary systems in the State of Alaska. Information about installation permits, certified installers, and septic system maintenance can be found at DEC offices.

Licensure Requirements for Septic System Contractors

To become a certified installer of septic systems, individuals have to own a current contractor's license, work for a government or health corporation, or work under a licensed contractor. Licenses are granted to people who attend ADEC approved training classes and pass an examination that covers the course comprehensively. In addition, there is an annual certification fee. To retain the license, certified installers must attend refresher classes and retake the exam every two years.

Individuals can be authorized to install a system on their own property by attending a four-hour lecture on the Onsite Wastewater Installer's Manual and passing a written examination. Following the exam, a homeowner is authorized to install one septic system within the following year.

Installing a New Septic System

The ADEC maintains a listing of certified professional installers. All septic system installations, whether by a certified homeowner or a professional, require that a professional engineer conduct soil tests and determine other criteria before excavation.

How to File a Complaint

Complaints regarding septic systems or any related issues need to be taken up with the Division of Environmental Health at the following address:

State of Alaska, Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Environmental Health
Drinking Water and Wastewater Program
555 Cordova St.
Anchorage, Alaska 99501

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