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Septic Systems in South Carolina

Individual septic systems are a practical necessity when properties do not have the convenience of public sewer systems. In the state of South Carolina, owning a septic system is bound by certain rules and regulations to ensure health standards are maintained.

Regulation of Septic Tank Systems

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is in charge of regulations regarding installation of septic systems. The County Health Department checks suitability of terrain and soil for the construction of the septic system.

Homeowners may contact their local planning and zoning office for information on more permits and clearances required depending on individual requirements or special cases and the fees and expenditure involved.

Licensure Requirements for Septic System Contractors

Construction, repair, maintenance, or cleaning of a septic system and any related work in South Carolina requires a valid license from the DHEC. But a person is allowed to construct or repair a sewage treatment and disposal system at his own place of residence for personal use without a license. Licenses are required to be renewed annually and this entails a renewal fee. Failure to do so 90 days after due date results in cancellation of the document. The person is then required to apply for a new license and meet all criteria to be eligible. Licenses are not transferable.

Applicants for a license are required to take an examination. On failing to successfully complete the examination, a retake is possible after a period of 30 days. If in the unfortunate event of failing a second examination, a third attempt may be made after 60 days. Those intending to only engage in the job of cleaning onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems are not required to take this exam.

Installing a New Septic System

Even though homeowners do not need a license, they must get a permit application for a Permit to Construct a septic system from the county health department. The permission is awarded by the DHEC. The county health department has to attest whether the terrain and soil on site is suitable for the construction of a septic system. They ensure there’s no fear of ground water contamination and other health hazards. Construction has to adhere to the parameters in the permit.

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