Septic SystemsSeptic system inspections and permitting are conducted by TRHD environmental health staff.
NC DHHS DPH EHS Onsite Water Protection Branch
Frequently Asked Questions:How do I get a septic permit?
Step 1: Fill out a septic permit application at your local health department or download and complete the electronic version.
Step 2: Before an environmental health specialist visits your lot, you will need to mark existing and proposed property lines, your proposed house site, proposed wells, etc. Your property will also need to be cleared to the extent that the environmental health specialist can see the topography of the property and note any items that the septic must meet setbacks for, such as creeks (50'), property lines (10’), etc.
Step 3: The next step will be an environmental health specialist visiting your lot. During this visit, it is helpful if the applicant can be there. It will also speed the permitting process if your selected septic installer or someone else with access to a backhoe/track hoe can be present. This will allow the environmental health specialist to evaluate the soil during this visit. If a backhoe/track hoe is not available for this visit, the environmental health specialist will place flags on your property to designate where test pits should be dug.
Step 4: The environmental health specialist will evaluate the soil revealed in your test pits. Based on soil conditions, lot topography, number of bedrooms per house, etc, we will site and size the septic system and repair area. Repair area is generally 100% the size of the original system area. If lot conditions allow, an Improvement Permit and/or Construction Authorization is issued. If the soil is unsatisfactory or other lot conditions prevent issuance of a permit, the environmental health specialist will inform you of other options for the property.
Step 5: If you applied for and were issued a construction authorization, your system may be installed per the conditions on the permit. Your septic contractor will notify your local health department when the system is installed and ready for final inspection. The environmental health specialist will visit your property to insure that the system is installed per the requirements on the permit and according to applicable state rules. If the system meets these requirements, the environmental health specialist will issue an operation permit for the system. If your project is new construction, this permit will be sent to your local building department. Your local building department must have a copy of the operation permit before they allow permanent electrical service.
How long are well or septic permits valid?
Well and septic permits are typically valid for five years from the date of issuance. If you would like to know the expiration date of a specific permit, please contact your local health department.
How do I find septic or well records?
You may visit your local health department during business hours, or you can fill out a septic/well lookup request and fax or mail it to your local health department.
North Carolina Public Health Law G.S. 130A
Septic Laws and Rules – Environmental Health Section 1
A List of certified septic installers can be found at the North Carolina Onsite Wastewater Contractor Inspector Certification Board website.
If you have additional questions about septic systems or wastewater, please contact your local health department