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Septic Systems in Virginia

Nearly 550,000 households in Virginia depend on onsite systems to take care of sewage disposal. Treated sewage is discharged into the soil or sometimes into various water bodies. Operating a septic system requires several state or federal permits.

Regulation of Septic Tank Systems

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has extensive rules to make certain septic systems do not cause health issues. They have also instigated the mandatory septic tank pump-out every five years in areas that are in danger of contamination from septic discharge. Franklin county and Chesapeake Bay area come under this rule. Homeowners are required to obtain a certificate verifying their pump-out from authorized personnel certified by the Virginia Department of Health.

Michigan Licensure Requirements for Septic System Contractors

In accordance with the VDH Sewage Handling and Disposal Regulations, the Office of Environmental Health Services runs courses on sewage handling and other related topics. Sewage handling permits are issued based on application, interview, and inspection of sewage handling equipment.

Installing a New Septic System

Virginia State laws dictate that an application for a certificate has to be filed with the State Water Control Board (SWCB) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) before any sort of sewage work or treatment is to be done. They, in consultation with the VDH, then decide on the merits of the application before granting the certificate. The house owner then has to apply for permission to construct the sewage system to DEQ. The next step is to apply for authorization to operate the system, again from DEQ. Permits have to be renewed every year.

How to File a Complaint

Any concerns regarding septic tank contamination should be brought to the notice of the local town hall. If needed, a formal complaint may be given to the DEQ.


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