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Septic Tanks

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Our duty is to regulate onsite wastewater disposal in a manner that is protective of the ground water of Tennessee and in such a way as to minimize the possibility of endangering the health and welfare of the public. The Division of Water resources regulates the permitting of new conventional and alternative subsurface sewage disposal systems and the repair of systems that have failed to function properly. The Division oversees the construction of and grants final approval for these systems in areas of the state where a municipal wastewater treatment plant is not accessible. This obligation has its legal authority in T.C.A. 68-221-401 et.seq.

In cases where soil conditions are inadequate to support a conventional onsite wastewater disposal system, the Division will consider the site for an approved alternative system. In order to determine site suitability for alternative system permitting, detailed soil information from an approved soil consultant is required.

The Division investigates complaints pertaining to malfunctioning onsite wastewater disposal systems and takes appropriate enforcement action to insure corrections are made.

The importance of protecting the unseen ground water system in Tennessee is often overshadowed by the states many beautiful rivers. The ground water system in Tennessee is comprised of regional aquifers. A large amount of the state’s public water supply is provided from ground water. It is notable that Memphis is one of the largest cities in the world that relies on ground water for its public water supply.

For contact information in your area, please click the regional map. If additional information is needed, you can contact an Environmental Field Office in your area by calling 1-888-891-8332.

Think before you flush

Some medicines, while good for you, are killers for your septic tank. Many of us learned in basic biology that there are good bacteria and bad bacteria. There are active bacteria that are ESSENTIAL to the proper operation of your septic system. Play it safe and don't flush medicines down your toilet. There are now many opportunities to properly dispose of expired and unwanted medicines. Please refer to the following to see if your city or county accept unused or unwanted pharmaceuticals — Tennessee's Unwanted Pharmaceutical Take Back Program

This Page Last Updated: October 4, 2019 at 9:53 AM