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Onsite Sewage Disposal

Alabama state law requires owners of property to obtain a permit from the local health department prior to installing a new onsite sewage disposal system or making repairs to an existing system.

Steps to Installing a New Onsite Sewage Disposal System

1.

Residents of Baldwin County may choose to have a percolation test performed by a registered engineer or land surveyor or, the owner may have the local health department perform a site evaluation. Please see information below for site evaluation.

2.

Along with an application and the appropriate fee, the results from the soil test are submitted to the health department. Note: if a site evaluation is performed, the results will be on file at the health department.

3.

If the test results indicate some restriction at the site, a registered engineer must design the onsite system.

4.

The health department will then review the material and make a visit to the site.

5.

A permit will then be issued to the owner.

6.

Using the permit, a licensed installer can install the system.

7.

The installer must contact the health department for an inspection before covering the system.

Site Evaluation

A site evaluation can be performed in lieu of a percolation test. The Baldwin County Health Department has six certified site evaluators performing these tests.

1.

The fee of $250 must be paid.

2.

An application must be completed by the owner and accompanied by:

  • a map or directions to the property
  • a legal description of the property or a certified copy of the deed
  • a sketch of the property containing:

          a.  the proposed home
          b.  the proposed area to be tested
          c.  any water wells within 200 feet of the property
          d.  any existing structures or dwellings the driveway

  • 3.

    The site evaluation should be completed within 10 working days. The owner will be contacted by mail.

    4.

    If the evaluation indicates that the site has some restriction that prohibits a conventional system, a registered engineer must be retained by the owner to design an alternative method of disposal. The site evaluation results will be available to the engineer. This design is to be submitted to the health department with the application and the $100 fee for the permit.

    5.

    If the evaluation indicates that the site is suitable for a conventional onsite system, an application and a $75 fee must be submitted. Then steps 4-6 above are followed.

    Steps to Repairing an Existing Onsite System

    1.

    An application for a repair of an existing system must be completed by the owner or the contractor and the appropriate fee paid.

    2.

    The health department will review the available information and make a visit to the site.

    3.

    If the repair is to an alternative onsite system or the repair will require an alternative system, the owner will be referred to a registered engineer for a design to overcome site restrictions.

    4.

    A permit will then be issued to the owner.

    5.

    Using the permit, a licensed installer can repair the system.

    6.

    The installer must contact the health department for inspection before covering the repair.

    The Environmental Health Division has information available to the public regarding the care and maintenance needed by onsite systems.

    For these brochures and pamphlets or for information about workshops, call (251) 947-3618.


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