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Sewage Treatment Systems Program


U.S. EPA Encourages Homeowners to Maintain Septic Systems.


Nearly one-fifth of American households depend on septic systems to treat their wastewater and failure to maintain a septic system can lead to backups, malfunctions and early failures that can result is costly repairs.  The EPA's SepticSmart programs educates homeowners about the proper system care and maintenance all year long.


Below are links to the EPA SepticSmart Web page along with other information for the proper care and maintenance of your septic system.


EPA SepticSmart   The Do's and Don'ts of your Septic System   Homeowners' Guide to Septic Systems


Do's and Don'ts of your Advanced Treatment Unit (ATU)    Proper Landscaping on and around your system


The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) regulates sewage treatment systems across the state through statutory authority established under Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Chapter 3718 and Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3701-29, which was updated and became effective on Jan. 1, 2015. Permitting, inspections and enforcement are conducted by the local health districts and local health districts may adopt more stringent rules and standards. 

Sewage treatment systems include one, and three-family dwellings and small flow on-site sewage treatment systems (facilities that treat up to 1,000 gallons per day).  Proper system siting and design, soils evaluation, system owner education and operation inspections and maintenance of systems are essential to help prevent future contamination and public health nuisances.



The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) has released the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) funding announcement. The amount has yet to be finalized, but Ohio EPA expects between five and ten million dollars to be made available in principal forgiveness funding for local health districts to request funding for the repair and replacement of failing home sewage treatment systems (HSTS) for eligible residents throughout Ohio in 2017. 

In 2016 the WPCLF funding program provided over 13 million in principal forgiveness funds to local health districts for projects that repaired or replaced failing HSTS systems in Ohio. 

Each local health district will be eligible for a maximum award of $300,000 and the deadline for local health districts to nominate their projects and apply for this funding is August, 31, 2016.  Additional information and the forms required to nominate a project can be found on the Ohio EPA's website at:

Ohio EPA will use a process similar to that used previous years to evaluate, score and award HSTS principal forgiveness projects.


2012 Report on Household Sewage Treatment System Failure Rates in Ohio.
This new report summarizes local health district survey responses for the 2012 Clean Watersheds Needs Survey. The report provides information on reported sewage system failure rates by region of the state, by system type, and reasons for system failure.

Program Activities

  • The ODH Sewage Treatment Systems program provides technical assistance and training to local health districts, industry and the public on all aspects of sewage treatment systems, and supports the local health districts on registration of installers and septage haulers.
  • The program promotes collaborative efforts with state agencies, academic institutions, watershed groups, professional industry and public health organizations to further recognition of sewage treatment system issues, decentralized wastewater infrastructure, protection of public health and water resources and management practices.
  • The program works with stakeholders to develop administrative rules for the siting, permitting, installation, alteration, operation and abandonment of sewage treatment and disposal systems.
  • The program provides technical review, coordination and support for the Sewage Treatment System Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to review and approve components and systems whose function differs in design or application from those authorized in rule.  The TAC is a relatively quick process for reviewing and approving or disapproving new technology sewage treatment systems for Ohio.
  • Program staff participates as the director of Health's representation on the TAC and advises the director on the approval or disapproval of sewage treatment system products and components.

Ohio Department of Health
Bureau of Environmental Health and Radiation Protection
Residential Water and Sewage Program
246 N. High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Telephone: 614-644-7551
Fax: 614-466-4556


Program Staff:

Rachel Townsend, Program Manager:

Dusten Gurney:

Andrew Thomas:

Kyle Bianco:


Page updated: 11/04/16