On-Site Waste Water Program

North Carolina general statutes mandate that a person owning or controlling a residence, place of business, or place of public assembly provides an approved sanitary sewage system. The Commission for Health services has compiled rules and regulations addressing the placement, design, installation and maintenance of subsurface ground absorption sewage disposal systems. 

The Environmental Health section of the Rowan County Health Department acts as authorized agents for the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Health branch and ensures that these rules and regulations are enforced and the health of the public is protected.

Permits for Sewage Disposal System

Applications for lot evaluations for a subsurface sewage disposal permit can be made at Environmental Health Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. An application fee is required as well as a plat of the property. The Environmental Health Specialist will make a site evaluation based on the following factors: 

  • Available space 
  • Restrictive horizons 
  • Soil characteristics 
  • Soil depth 
  • Soil wetness 
  • Topography and landscape position 

Soil Evaluations

Soil evaluations are performed to determine the suitability of a proposed site for ground absorption sewage disposal. Septic inspections are performed on existing septic systems for the purpose of acquiring a building permit for structural additions, new mobile homes, swimming pools, etc.

The inspection of installations on all new sewage disposal systems is performed to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations that govern these systems. Permits are issued for both new septic systems as well as any needed repairs. Environmental Health Specialists also investigate complaints relative to onsite wastewater.



Construction Authorization

Once the lot has been evaluated and approved, a Construction Authorization Permit can be issued for a subsurface sewage disposal system (septic system). This permit contains the septic system design and specifications for the installation. This issuance of this permit is required in order to obtain building permits as well as to install the approved septic system. 

Final Inspections

Once a septic system is installed, a "Final Inspection" is performed to verify that the system was installed as permitted. If approved, an Operations Permit (OP) with the final drawing is issued to the property owner. The OP illustrates the septic system installation and is to be signed off on by an Environmental Health Specialist. All Finals must be called in to the office before 9 a.m. on the day of the installation.