Steps to Getting a Septic Installed

It takes a Total of 9 Steps!!

Step 1: Site/Soil Evaluation

A qualified professional acceptable to the permitting agency must conduct a site and soil evaluation according to 30 TAC 285.30 (TAC2008). A Site Evaluator or Professional Engineer license is required. A written report must be prepared and included with the application planning material.

Step 2: Selection of an OSSF System

The selection of an OSSF system must be based upon the conditions found during the site and soil evaluation.

Step 3: System Planning

The system must be planned by an individual whose qualifications are acceptable to the permitting authority under current regulations. Standard or conventional systems can normally be planned by installers or, in some instances, homeowner with the assistance of the local designated representative. More complex systems, including surface irrigation, low pressure dosing, mounds, and non-standard systems, will require planning materials to be submitted by a Registered Professional Engineer (PE) or a Registered Sanitarian (RS) TCEQ Rules Table IX 30 TAC 285.91. Several local jurisdictions in Texas require all systems to have planning materials submitted by a PE or RS.

Step 4: Submit Permit Application

A permit application and planning materials must be prepared and submitted in the name of the property owner. The permit application and planning materials must be submitted to and on a form provided by the permitting agency. Planning materials are plans and supporting materials required by the permitting authority for the purpose of obtaining a permit to construct and operate an OSSF. Planning materials include the following:

  • Site Evaluation Reports
  • Copies of maintenance contracts for mechanical components detailing operating, testing, and reporting requirements for the system
  • Design Calculations (Scale Drawing)
  • Affidavits
  • Other materials  requested by the permitting authority

Appropriate fees must be paid at the time the application is submitted. Permit fees are set by local authorized agents.

Step 5: Review of Permit Application

The application and planning materials are reviewed by the permitting authority. This review will consider the site and soil evaluation, the type and size of the system selected, and the other supporting documentation required for permit issuance; it must comply with the rules and good engineering practices. This review may include a visit to the site by the designated representative to verify the completeness and accuracy of the application.  The application shall be approved or denied within 30 days.

Step 6: Authorization to Construct Issued

An authorization to construct must be granted by the permitting authority before construction can begin. This authorization should include specific instructions on the number of inspections, at what stages of construction inspections are require, and the scheduling of the inspections. The authorization to construct is valid for one year.

Step 7: Construction

Construction can begin only after authorization to construct is received. The system must be constructed according to the approved plans and permit application. If changes are necessary, approval of the permitting authority must be obtained prior to change. In some cases, a new review will be necessary, such as when site conditions are different than what was submitted in the planning materials. The installer shall notify the permitting authority five days prior to the date the system will be ready for inspection.

Step 8: Inspection

The system must be inspected by the permitting agency at appropriate stages of construction, based upon the type of systems being installed. Scheduling of inspections should be coordinated in advance based upon local policies. The inspection should be comprehensive and cover all parts of the system. The inspection should be based upon the approved application and plans, the current rules and regulations, and accepted engineering practices. Items covered during the inspection of a conventional system will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • House Sewer – material, depth, grade, and clean-outs
  • Treatment tank – material, size, level, depth, water tightness, tees and baffles, set backs, and clean-out ports
  • Drain fields –  material, dimension, grade, type and size of aggregate, soil barriers, setbacks, back fill, and landscaping

There should be no surprises during the inspection if the approved application was detailed and complete, and if the construction is in accordance with the approved application. A letter listing the deficiencies shall be issued within seven days if the system does not pass the inspection.

Step 9: Notice of Approval

A notice of approval or license to operate will be issued by the permitting agency within seven days when the completed system has passed all inspections. Permits are transferred automatically upon the sale of property; maintenance contracts are not. The property owner must provide a maintenance contract in their name within 30 days of purchasing the property