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> 2012 Changes to the Onsite Sewage Treatment System Program

 N E W S   R E L E A S E 

Your Partner for a Healthy Community
Frank Kruppa — Public Health Director


Thursday, December 22, 2011

For more information contact:
Environmental Health Division at (607) 274-6688


2012 Changes to the Onsite Sewage Treatment System Program

December 22, 2011 (Ithaca, N.Y.) — Onsite Residential Septic Tank Replacement Program:  Starting January 1, 2012, a permit from the Tompkins County Environmental Health Division will be required when replacing a septic tank. A septic tank replacement application will have to be completed and submitted to the Division along with the permit fee. The septic tank replacement permit fee for 2012 is $100. Once a permit is obtained, the septic tank may be installed following the installation guidelines provided with the permit. After the septic tank has been installed, the Division must be notified so that an inspection can be performed. The Division will issue a certificate of completion upon successful completion.

A typical sewage system consists of a septic tank and downstream sanitary facility such as an absorption field or sand filter system. The Tompkins County Environmental Health Division permits and oversees the construction of new, replacement and conversion sewage systems and, starting in 2012, septic tank replacement. New construction and replacement sewage systems still require a sewage system construction permit. A septic tank replacement permit is not required if the entire system is replaced.

By monitoring replacement septic tank installations, we can help ensure that the installation has been performed in accordance with the New York State Sanitary Code Subpart 75-A. In addition, measurements will be taken and recorded so that the new septic tank may be more easily located in the future by the current homeowner and/or contractor.

Fee for Expedited Sewage System File Searches:  The Environmental Health Division will respond to a request to search for sewage system records within 10 business days. Beginning January 1, 2012, there will be a $25 fee for an expedited file search. Expedited file searches will be completed within 5 business days of receipt of the fee. If a health hazard is occurring on the lot (for example, surfacing septage or septage backing up in the home), there will be no charge and the information will be provided as soon as possible.

New 2012 Sewage System Application / Permit Fees: Starting on January 1, 2012, the Tompkins County Health Department new fee schedule for sewage system permits will take effect. The increases in fees are primarily due to New York State budget cuts eliminating most funding for County onsite wastewater programs. Previously, New York State funded approximately 36 % of the sewage program. To continue providing services that address both new construction and replacement of failed sewage systems in a timely, consistent manner, Tompkins County must raise fees to cover significantly more of the cost of the program.  If you have any questions, please call the Environmental Health Division at 607-274-6688, M-F, 8:30am-4:30pm.