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Sewage Treatment Systems Program

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.   After July 1, 2010, the suspended sections of ORC Chapter 3718 become effective.  On September 17, 2010, SB 110 adopted by the Ohio General Assembly becomes effective and makes additional changes to ORC Chapter 3718.  The Law and Rule Information webpage provides additional information on the changes to state law effective July 1, 2010 and the changes that become effective on September 17, 2010. ODH will develop rules in accordance with the requirements of ORC Chapter 3718 and new rules will be adopted no sooner than the January 1, 2012 date set in statute. The Public Health Council has established state minimum rules in accordance with state law for the siting, permitting, installation, alteration, operation and abandonment of sewage treatment and disposal systems.  Local health districts may adopt more stringent rules and standards.  Permitting, inspections and enforcement are conducted by the local health districts.


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, system owner education and operation inspections and maintenance of systems are essential to help prevent future contamination and public health nuisances.

NEW     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.

Residential Water and Sewage Program
Bureau of Environmental Health
Ohio Department of Health
35 Chestnut Street-7th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215

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


Program Staff:

Rebecca Fugitt, Program Manager:

Dusten Gurney:

Andrew Thomas:

Steven Schmidt:



Last updated 10/03/14