to installing a septic system, your contractor must obtain a permit from
your county health department. Your contractor will know how to obtain
the permit, but here is an overview of the process in case you have questions
you want to ask your contractor. The specific process will vary from county
Overview of Permit Process
STEP ONE: The first step is to have a soil scientist evaluate your
site to determine if the soils are suitable for a septic system.
The soil scientist will take core samples and will mark the areas where
core samples were taken. When done, the soil scientist will send a report
to the county health department. Your contractor should also receive a
STEP TWO: The county health department must make sure that your
septic system will be large enough to handle current and future needs.
This could save you many headaches in the future if your family grows or
you sell your home to a larger family. It will also help to prevent contamination
of the local surface and groundwater supplies.
To determine the required system size, the county health department
will most likely need the following information:
In the past 30 years, the U.S. population has grown 52% while the total
water use has tripled. On average, Americans use approximately 75 to 80
gallons of water per person per day. Much of this water eventually returns
to the water supply after having passed through a wastewater treatment
facility or residential septic system.
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms
Other Requirements: Some counties require a second site for a
backup septic system in case the first system fails. Some require a minimum
lot acreage, such as one-half or one acre. There may be other requirements
as well, such as the requirement to hook up to the sewer system should
it become available in the area.
STEP THREE: The county health department will decide whether or
not to issue a permit. Sometimes permits are issued with conditions on
minimum size and other design factors. For example, a mound system may
be required for some sites.
STEP FOUR: If a permit is issued, inspections will be required throughout
the septic system installation process. These inspections will help ensure
that the system is properly installed.
Indiana State Law Addressing Residential Septic Systems
Currently, the Indiana regulations are being updated by regulators on a
daily basis. The Indiana State Department of Health and Indiana Department
of Environmental Management (IDEM) will not disclose the revised regulations
until the revisions are completed.
Federal Law Addressing Residential Septic Systems