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Septic System Ownership in Mississippi

Mississippi state regulations deem that property owners have the responsibility to provide for sanitary disposal of sewage waste if their building is not serviced by a public sewer system. In rural areas, especially, homeowners often need to construct onsite septic tanks to take care of sewage disposal responsibly.

Regulation of Septic Tank Systems

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is the governing body that regulates the installation and operation of all subsurface sewage systems. The County Health Department is responsible for the administering of rules and guidelines involved in the installation of a private septic tank system in various counties.

Licensure Requirements for Septic System Contractors

Any person engaged in the business of constructing, installing, maintaining, or repairing onsite sewage systems has to undergo training and be certified as authorized by the MSDH. An application for such certification has to be submitted on approved forms to the Division of Onsite Wastewater with the prescribed fee. Installers have to attend a basic courses approved by the MSDH and pass an examination with a score of 70%. The certificate thus won is valid for a year and subject to renewal on condition of having attended a three-hour continuing education in the course of the year.

Those engaged in the job of disposing septage also need to be licensed by the MSDH to do so. License application along with the required fee has to be submitted to the relevant Public Health District in the area of operations. Vehicles used for the purpose have to be registered to do so and display the name, address, and license number of the contractor on both sides.

Installing a New Septic System

Homeowners wanting to install an onsite septic system have to apply for a permit to the County Public Health Office. A positive soil test result is a necessary first step in constructing a septic tank. This has to be conducted by authorized soil scientists and the results appended to the application along with the required fee. The permit will be issued once the application is approved and a preliminary site inspection is carried out by the Department of Health.

After construction has been carried out, another inspection is required and once all requirements have been met satisfactorily, permission to operate is granted.

How to File a Complaint

Complaints can be forwarded to the State Health Officer. The outcome will depend on the oral, written, and documented evidence presented.


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