Sewage Treatment Systems – Residential

The Sewage Disposal Systems division at Richland Public Health protects homeowners and home builders throughout the county from potentially problematic residential and small flow onsite sewage systems. 

The Sewage Disposal Systems division provides: site reviews, permits and inspections for new, replacement or altered systems, and investigates complaints/malfunctioning systems.

Public sewage systems are those systems in households connected to a centralized sewerage system. Public systems are not maintained by Richland Public Health. Public sewage systems are regulated and maintained by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Sewage Disposal Systems Division

Private sewage systems are those found in households that are not served by centralized sewerage. Small flow systems are systems other than household systems that treat and dispense not more than 1000 gallons of waste water per day on the site where it is produced. The Richland Public Health Board of Health, with the help of the Sewage Disposal Systems division, maintains and regulates private sewage systems in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Administrative Code.


  • Approval of lot specifications and system placement as defined by the Ohio Revised Code and the rules of the Richland Public Health District.
  • Analysis of site and soil evaluation to determine sewage treatment system design acceptability.
  • Consultation on functioning and malfunctioning systems.
  • Maintains records of new or altered sewage and septic systems.
  • Addresses sewage system complaints

An opportunity for a hearing will be provided upon written request to any landowner affected regarding the denial of an installation, operation, or alteration permit for a sewage treatment system; the imposition of a condition on the installation of a sewage treatment system; the required replacement of a sewage treatment system; or any other final order or decision of a board of health that is made under Chapter 3718. of the Revised Code concerning that which a property owner is claiming to be aggrieved or adversely affected.

 Soil and Site Evaluations

A soil/site evaluation conducted by a professional soil scientist (see provider list below) will provide a report to the sewage system contractor or designer. A site evaluation determines the feasibility of installing a new sewage system on the land or altering a current system. Then the contractor or designer will prepare plans for the sewage treatment system based on soil characteristics as reported by the soil specialist. The soil report and the system plan are presented to the Health Department sanitarian who conducts a site review to validate the plan prior to authorizing a permit to install or alter the sewage system.

Investigations & Consultations

The sewage treatment system division also investigates complaints and provides consultation on failing or malfunctioning systems. In these circumstances, the sanitarian will investigate the case in order to identify the problem and provide a safe solution.


The division issues permits for installing new systems. Before a new private sewage system or an altered existing system is completed, the Health Department sanitarian will go onsite to do a final inspection of the system for compliance with the health code. During the inspection, the sanitarian will record items such as where the private sewage system is located, its size, and the kind of system. Records of private sewage system installations and alterations after 1934 are kept on file at the Health Department. Records are retrievable by road name, permit number, original land owner’s name or contractor’s name.

 Rules and Regulations

Regarding Home Sewage and Septic 

Application for Site Evaluation/Design Review

Payment for site evaluation and design review are due at the time of application.

Sewage and Septic Knowledge


Registered Companies

Sewage Treatment System Installers, Haulers and Service Providers

Soil Scientist/Soil Evaluations

Clicking on the button will take you to information on the Ohio Department of Health website where there is a clickable link to take you to a download list of Ohio’s approved Soil Scientists and Soil Evaluators.

Water Pollution Control Loan Fund

Richland Public Health has received funding from Ohio EPA for Household Sewage Treatment Systems (HSTS).

Homeowners in Richland County can repair or replace their HSTS with funding from the Ohio EPA, who recently awarded a $150,000 loan to the County in February 2019.  This loan is principal forgiveness and does not require repayment.

The program initiative will help low to moderate income residents by repairing or replacing failing HSTS’s at an affordable cost.  In addition to addressing potential health concerns, local water quality will benefit from the improvements.  This funding can also be used to assist homeowners that want to connect to an existing sanitary sewer and properly abandon their HSTS.

The following criteria must be met:

  • Gross household income must meet the program criteria (see application)
  • Sewage system must be failing and verified by RPH
  • Applicant must be the homeowner
  • Property taxes must be current
  • Rental properties, new-build homes and homes advertised for sale are not eligible

Applications selected will be based on the severity of the HSTS failure followed by financial need and the number of applications. Applications will be accepted through the duration of grant program, (November 2020) or until all grant funding is expended.

Please contact Richland Public Health for questions or to obtain an application for WPCLF funds.

Shelby residents are encouraged to contact the Shelby City Health Department for further information

NOTE: There is no cost to apply for the program.

Questions or Comments?

All questions regarding sewage and septic systems should be directed to the Environmental Health division