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Septic Regulations in Michigan

A significant part of the suburban and rural population in Michigan depends on privately owned septic tanks in the absence of a public sewer system. Therefore, the state has rules and regulations in place to serve as guidelines and ensure optimum health standards.

Regulation of Septic Contractors and Private Septic Systems in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), in active collaboration with the Water Bureau and county health departments, enforce a Septage Program. To ensure proper installation and maintenance of sewer systems on private properties, they undertake the following:

  • Soil Analysis
  • Issue Permits
  • Conduct Inspections
  • Investigate Septage Violations

In addition to these authorities, each county may have their own regulating bodies with specific requirements that need to be adhered to.

Licensure Requirements for Septic System Contractors

According to the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, only an authorized person holding a valid septage waste servicing license and a septage waste vehicle license can engage in servicing, constructing, or maintaining a sewage system.

A person is not eligible for a license without completion of a 10-hour course undertaken within two years of applying for the license. From January 2010, this may go up to 30 hours worth of classes. Once awarded, both the septage license and the septage vehicle license are valid for a period of 5 years, under normal circumstances. These licenses are not transferable.

Installing a New Septic System

Application for permission to construct a septic system has to be made to the county Department of Public Health by the homeowner. Soil tests are conducted to determine if the property is suitable for construction of a sewage system without causing contamination of ground water and other health hazards.

How to File a Complaint

To file a complaint regarding sewage disposal or any related matter, consumers may contact the MDEQ.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Drinking Water and Radiological Protection Division
P. O. Box 30630
Lansing, MI 48909
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