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Septic System Ownership in Arkansas

Arkansas has a large number of residents living in rural areas or small towns where access to a public sewage system is limited or nonexistent. The most common option for these residents to handle wastewater disposal is to install a septic system on their property.

Regulation of Septic Systems / Septic Contractors in Arkansas

Septic systems in Arkansas are regulated by the Arkansas Department of Health. This Department oversees construction and installation of septic systems, the licensure of professionals involved in septic system activities, and the correct usage and maintenance of a private septic system.

Licensure Requirements for Septic System Contractors

Installers and manufacturers of septic systems in Arkansas are required to obtain a license from the state and register with the state before beginning work. The licensure process requires contractors to complete a state-administered exam. The annual registration costs $100 and requires participation in an annual state-run seminar. Septic system contractors must continue to demonstrate competency in their field or run the risk of having their license revoked.

Septic system cleaners are also required to be licensed in Arkansas. To obtain a license, cleaners must pass an exam on issues like disease transmission and water pollution.

Installing a New Septic System

Installing a new septic system requires a permit for construction, issued by the Arkansas Division of Health. An application outlining the plans and specifications of the system must be submitted before installation of the system can begin. The first part of the application is completed by a Designated Representative after performing a soil test, assessing the suitability of the lot, and obtaining other information related to the building of the system. A list of these representatives is available through your local health departments. The second part of the application process is the installation inspection, which a Designated Representative performs any time during the installation.

How to File a Complaint

Complaints about a leaking or inadequately functioning septic system can be made to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. Anonymous complaints are acceptable. Complaints can be made online through the Department's website or through the following contact information:

ADEQ Water
5301 Northshore Drive
North Little Rock, AR 72118-5317

Phone: (501) 682-0657
Fax: (501) 682-0910

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