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Septic System Construction Permit

Who Needs One?

Any individual or property owner who desires to have a subsurface sewage disposal (septic) system installed on their property or requiring repair to an existing faulty system must get a Septic System Construction Permit.

(Division Septic System Assistance County Map)

What Information Must I Provide?

Applicants must submit the following information:

  • Print a Paper Application for a Septic System Permit or Related Services (Form CN-0971). The application includes the following information: the landowner name and address, location of the lot or site, size of lot, number of occupants, number of bedrooms, water use amounts, whether there is an excavated basement, whether there are basement plumbing fixtures, whether house and lot are staked, and name of installer (if known).
  • A rough sketch of the property lines, house site, well location, spring location, planned driveway and utilities as well as directions to the site.
  • Soils maps by a soil scientist (if required) and system design by a licensed engineer for large conventional or alternative systems.

Helpful Lists:

  • Division of Water Resources APPROVED SOIL CONSULTANTS
  • Active Installers - This list, organized by county, represents those individuals with valid permits to construct, install, alter or repair a septic system.  Note that installer permits are valid statewide, not just for the county listed.  However, contract counties  (Blount, Davidson, Hamilton, Jefferson, Knox, Madison, Sevier, Shelby & Williamson) may require an additional permit.  
  • Active Pumpers - This list represents those individuals with valid permits to remove (pump) domestic septage from septic tanks, holding tanks, portable toilets or other similar sewage treatment or disposal facilities.

How Will My Application Be Processed?

Completed application forms and application fees should be sent to the Division of Water Resources at the appropriate Environmental Field Office. A detailed review of the application is conducted, and the applicant is notified when the review is complete. The review process generally takes 10 days and must be completed within 45 days of the date the application was submitted.

What Fees Are Required?

New Conventional or Large Diameter Gravelless Pipe SSDS Permit $400 up to 1000 gallons per day design flow
$100 for each additional 1000 gpd flow
New Conventional or Large Diameter Gravelless Pipe SSDS Construction Inspection $100  
New Alternative SSDS Permit $500 up to 1000 gallons per day design flow
$150 for each additional 1000 gpd flow
Alternative SSDS Construction Inspection $200  
Experimental SSDS Permit $500  
Repair Permit No permit fee  
Repair Construction Inspection $100  

What Are My Rights and Responsibilities After the Permit is Approved?

The applicant has the right to proceed with activities outlined in the approved permit. They must notify the Department of any changes to application information. The applicant is responsible for following all applicable state statutes and regulations. The applicant or SSDS installer must notify the Division when a system has been installed so that it can be inspected and approved. Applicants have the right to appeal a permit that has been denied, suspended or revoked.

What Are the Division’s Rights and Responsibilities After the Permit is Approved?

The Division inspects each SSDS installation to ensure that it was installed in accordance with permit conditions and regulatory requirements. The Division has the right to revoke, suspend, or deny the issuance of a permit to any applicant who violates the state statutes or departmental regulations. Any person who violates or fails to comply with the state statutes, rules, or regulations may be subject to civil penalties.

Whom Do I Contact For Applications, Assistance and Other Information?

Applicants may obtain applications and information from the appropriate Environmental Field Office.

Applicants may refer to the following publications for further information: