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Environmental Permits Handbook

Septic System Construction Permit

* Who Needs One? * What Information Must I Provide?
* How Will My Application be Processed? * What Fees are Required?
* What are My  Responsibilities
After the Permit is Issued?
* What are the Division's Responsibilities
After the Permit is Issued?

Who Needs One?

Any individual or property owner who desires to have a subsurface sewage disposal (septic) system installed on their property or requiring repair to an existing faulty system must get a Septic System Construction Permit.

What Information Must I Provide?

Applicants must submit the following information:

  • "Application for Ground Water Protection Services" form (Form CN-0971). The application includes the following information: the landowner name and address, location of the lot or site, size of lot, number of occupants, number of bedrooms, water use amounts, whether there is an excavated basement, whether there are basement plumbing fixtures, whether house and lot are staked, and name of installer (if known).
  • A rough sketch of the property lines, house site, well location, spring location, planned driveway and utilities as well as directions to the site.
  • Soils maps by a soil scientist (if required) and system design by a licensed engineer for large conventional or alternative systems.

How Will My Application Be Processed?

Completed application forms and application fees should be sent to the Division of Groundwater Protection at the local county office. A detailed review of the application is conducted, and the applicant is notified when the review is complete. The review process generally takes 10 days and must be completed within 45 days of the date the application was submitted.

What Fees Are Required?

New Conventional or Large Diameter Gravelless Pipe SSDS Permit

$250 up to 1000 gallons per day design flow
$100 for each additional 1000 gpd flow

New Conventional or Large Diameter Gravelless Pipe SSDS Construction Inspection


New Alternative SSDS Permit

$300 up to 1000 gallons per day design flow
$150 for each additional 1000 gpd flow

Alternative SSDS Construction Inspection


Experimental SSDS Permit


Repair Permit

No permit fee

Repair Construction Inspection


What Are My Rights and Responsibilities After the Permit is Approved?

The applicant has the right to proceed with activities outlined in the approved permit. They must notify the Department of any changes to application information. The applicant is responsible for following all applicable state statutes and regulations. The applicant or SSDS installer must notify the Division when a system has been installed so that it can be inspected and approved. Applicants have the right to appeal a permit that has been denied, suspended or revoked.

What Are the Division’s Rights and Responsibilities After the Permit is Approved?

The Division inspects each SSDS installation to ensure that it was installed in accordance with permit conditions and regulatory requirements. The Division has the right to revoke, suspend, or deny the issuance of a permit to any applicant who violates the state statutes or departmental regulations. Any person who violates or fails to comply with the state statutes, rules, or regulations may be subject to civil penalties.

Whom Do I Contact For Applications, Assistance and Other Information?

Applicants may obtain applications and information from the Tennessee Division of Ground Water Protection.

Applicants may refer to the following publications for further information:

Permitting Home

What Environmental Permits Do I Need?

Prudent Site Checks

Permit Application Forms

Standard Operating Procedures

Division of Ground Water Protection

TDEC Rule 1200-1-6:exittdec3.gif (1060 bytes) Regulations to Govern Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems

TCA Section 68-221-401..414:exittdec3.gif (1060 bytes) Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems