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Septic System Ownership in North Carolina

Many types of septic systems and wastewater treatment exist to help keep our public water sources safe. In North Carolina, most homeowners elect conventional systems, which hold capacities of approximately 1,000 gallons, located in underground trenches. Such a system costs between $1,000 and $2,500.

Installation and Maintenance

The North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (NCDENR) oversees the certification of professional wastewater contractors through the Office of Education and Training. Certification is offered on four Grade Levels and an Inspector Level. These certification levels limit the scope of service each professional contractor may offer.

A qualified, licensed contractor is required for septic system design, installation, and for most modifications or repairs.


Before issuing a permit for a new septic system installation or for a repair on an existing system, the county health department will conduct a site inspection to evaluate the suitability of the property for on-site wastewater treatment. This usually includes taking measurements and soil samples.

Getting Started

The Cooperative Extension Service in each local county health department has more specific information on permits, regulations and fees.

Filing a Complaint

To file a complaint regarding a specific wastewater professional, contact the North Carolina Onsite Wastewater Contractor Inspector Certification Board (NCOWCICB) at the following address:

PO Box 132
Lawsonville, NC 27022

Phone: 336-202-3126
Fax: 866-651-8102

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