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Owning a Septic System in New Jersey

Septic systems are as important to New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection as they are to homeowners. Why? Because septic systems keep harmful materials out of the environment and the public water supply.

New Jersey Septic System Regulation

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Water Quality develops the regulations concerning commercial and residential septic systems. The local health departments are then responsible for implementing these statewide regulations to ensure that water quality is maintained. The local health departments oversee the following:

  • on-site septic inspections;
  • licensure of septic system designers and installers; and
  • managing complaints.

Requirements for Septic Contractors

The New Jersey Division of Water Quality maintains a voluntary registration program for septic designers and installers. This program allows the Division of Water Quality to keep a current list of licensed professionals in the state. Designers and installers must be properly licensed in their field before providing any septic system related services. Licensure is gained through the individual's appropriate education and training and is not governed or coordinated by the state.

Installing a new Septic System

Homeowners need to obtain a septic system permit, from their local health department, prior to locating, designing, constructing, installing or altering a septic system. A list of local health departments is available from the New Jersey Division of Water Quality.

If you are interested in finding out about innovative and alternative septic systems, the New Jersey Division of Water Quality has informative guidance documents, as well as a list of dealers, available.

How to file a Concern or Complaint

In the event you are concerned about the operation of your, or any, septic system, please contact your local town hall or health department. You may also contact the New Jersey Bureau of Nonpoint Pollution Control at (609) 633-7021.

If you have a complaint about your septic system company, you may contact the Attorney General's Office or the Better Business Bureau.

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