Home Sewage Treatment Systems
Please do not flush wipes! Click here to read a special PSA from Seneca County Sewer District.
There are more than 5,000 household sewage treatment systems in Seneca County that if properly maintained, can be a safe and effective mean of wastewater disposal. However, failed or improperly discharging sewage systems can cause sewage to contaminate our surface and ground water, the same water that we all swim in and drink.
The mission of the Seneca County General Health District is to minimize the threat of surface water and ground water contamination from malfunctioned or improperly designed, installed or maintained household sewage treatment systems (HSTS). This will prevent disease transmission and protect the quality of surface and ground water. Seneca County General Health District performs inspections, regulates contractors, educates homeowners, and enforces sewage regulations.
Important Information for Homeowners Regarding Changes to the Household Sewer Treatment System Operation and Maintenance Program (Updated 08/27/20)
In order to simplify and reduce confusion with the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) program for homeowners with a Household Sewer Treatment System (HSTS), the Seneca County General Health District (SCGHD) is changing the manner in which homeowners will be notified that their HSTS require their annual or biannual inspection as outlined in their O&M permits.
Previously, for HSTS’s that required biannual inspections, reminders were sent to the homeowner at specific six-month intervals, and systems requiring annual inspections were sent at specific 12 month intervals. Included with the reminders were instructions on what components required inspection, if a registered service provider is required, and finally the timeframe in which they were to be completed and reports of inspection returned to SCGHD. If the inspection was not complete and reports not received within the timeframe, late fees would be assessed, and if needed, the SCGHD would complete the inspection via registered service provider, resulting in additional charges to the homeowner.
Starting with 2018, homeowners with systems that require biannual inspections will be notified in a first-half/second-half manner. Reminders will be sent to these homeowners in January for their first half inspection, and July for their second half inspection. Just as before, the homeowner will be notified which components require inspection and if a service provider is required to perform these inspections. For homeowners who require annual inspections to their system, they will also be notified in a first-half/second-half manner but will only be sent a reminder once a year in the first or second half.
For homeowners with biannual inspections, the first-half inspection must be completed, and reports received in this office or postmarked no later than July 15, 2020. Second-half inspections must be completed, and reports received in this office or postmarked no later than January 15, 2021. Homeowners with annual inspections required in the first-half must have inspections completed and reports received or postmarked no later than July 15, 2020. Homeowners with annual inspections due in the second-half must have inspections completed and reports received or postmarked no later than January 15, 2021.
If the homeowner fails to complete and have the reports of inspection sent to SCGHD within the timeframe provided, a registered Service Provider will be contracted by the SCGHD for the purpose of conducting the required service, The property owner will then be charged the Service Provider fee plus a fee from the SCGHD, which will be double the Service Provider contracted amount. In addition to these charges, a late fee will also apply for failure to report.
The key thing for homeowners to remember is that the reminders are a “courtesy” from SCGHD and will not necessarily arrive the month that service to the HSTS is due, so homeowners must assume responsibility for getting service done when required – mark your calendars!
Should homeowners have any questions regarding the updated O&M reporting policies, please contact Matt Beckman (ext. 331) or Laura Young (ext. 325) of the Environmental Health Division.
The Seneca County General Health District(SCGHD) is beginning the process of renewing the Operation and Maintenance permits that were purchased in 2015. These permits have a 5 year effective time frame and are now requiring renewal, the renewal fee is $175 and the permit is good for an additional 5 years. If renewal fee is not paid and permit returned inspections will continue to be required and appropriate penalties will be imposed.
Home Sewage Treatment System Grant
Eligible county residents could get financial assistance through a grant program administered by Seneca Regional Planning Commission on behalf of the Seneca County General Health District. The Home Sewage Treatment System grant assists income-eligible homeowners in repairing failing septic systems. A pool of money is available and funding is dependent on household income. For more information or to see if you are eligible, contact the Regional Planning office at (419) 443-7936, ext. 1108.
To begin the process of installing a septic system, please read the Homeowners guide to installation (2023). This document is an overview of the process of installing a septic system. The specific sewage rules for the Seneca County General Health District are available here.
Review fees and permitting fees associated with septic systems.
Operation and Maintenance Program
All new septic systems installed after Jan. 1, 2007 are required to maintain an Operational Permit. Lot splits and real estate inspection requests will also require an Operation and Maintenance Permit (O&M) regardless of the system’s age. The SCGHD is continually expanding the O&M program (as required by law) and eventually every Home Sewage Treatment System (HSTS) in Seneca County will need to have an O&M permit. The Operational Permit outlines what specific inspections are required to ensure your septic system is operating properly. Depending on the type of septic system installed, registered service providers may be required to perform these inspections. Septic tanks are also required to be pumped on a regular basis as determined in the O&M permit. A list of licensed pumpers can be found here.
The Seneca County General Health District(SCGHD) is beginning the process of renewing the Operation and Maintenance permits that were purchased in 2015. These permits have a 5-year effective time frame and are now requiring renewal. The renewal fee is $175 and the permit is good for an additional 5 years. If the renewal fee is not paid, permit returned inspections will continue to be required and appropriate penalties will be imposed.
The discharge of untreated sewage to the ground surface or a ditch poses not only a pollution issue but a public health concern with disease transmission. Our department receives dozens of calls and reports annually from private citizens and others about suspected sewage nuisances. Anonymous complaints are accepted, and may be submitted here.
Real Estate Transactions
When homeowners sell their property, many lending institutions require that the sewage system be evaluated/inspected to assure the system is functioning properly for the new buyer. The health district staff conducts dozens of these evaluations annually. Please contact our office for the information that needs to be completed and for the associated fee for this evaluation. For more information, visit our Real Estate Program page.
Environmental Health Division
92 E. Perry Street
Tiffin, OH 44883
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
(419) 447-3691 ext. 6321
- Home Sewage Treatment System Grant Brochure
- Homeowners Guide To Septic Installation (2023)
- Ohio Administrative Code 3701-29 Regarding Sewage System Rules
- Sewage Treatment Systems Information from Ohio Department of Health
- Approved Septic System Installers 2023
- Approved Septic Haulers 2023
- Approved Septic System Service Providers 2023
For Installers/Service Providers