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Contact Ground Water Protection

Alan Schwendimann, Director
10th Floor, L&C Tower
401 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37243

The Division of Ground Water Protection's duty is to regulate onsite wastewater disposal in a manner that is protective of the ground water of Tennessee and in such a way as to minimize the possibility of endangering the health and welfare of the public.  The Division regulates the permitting of new conventional and alternative subsurface sewage disposal systems and the repair of systems that have failed to function properly. The Division oversees the construction of and grants final approval for these systems in areas of the state where a municipal wastewater treatment plant is not accessible. This obligation has its legal authority in T.C.A. 68-221-401 et.seq.

In cases where soil conditions are inadequate to support a conventional onsite wastewater disposal system, the Division will consider the site for an approved alternative system.  In order to determine site suitability for alternative system permitting, detailed soil information from an approved soil consultant is required.

The Division investigates complaints pertaining to malfunctioning onsite wastewater disposal systems and takes appropriate enforcement action to insure corrections are made.

Additionally, when onsite wastewater disposal systems fail, the Division permits and inspects repair construction.  More permitting information can be found in the Environmental Permitting Handbook.

The importance of protecting the unseen ground water system in Tennessee is often overshadowed by the states many beautiful rivers. The ground water system in Tennessee is comprised of regional aquifers. A large amount of the state’s public water supply is provided from ground water. It is notable that Memphis is one of the largest cities in the world that relies on ground water for its public water supply.

For contact information in your area, please click the regional map. If additional information is needed, you can contact an Environmental Field Office in your area by calling 1-888-891-8332.