When Do I Need a Septic Permit?

When Do I Need a Septic Permit?

March 27, 2020

If you already have a septic system on your property, you probably haven’t put a whole lot of thought into the permitting for that system. After all, if the system was already constructed, you either already had the permits pulled to do so, or the previous homeowner took charge of doing that, and it’s just something you’ve never had to consider.

There does tend to be an assumption among homeowners, though, that they do not need permits at all if their property lies outside the boundaries of city limits. While it’s true that there are some permit exceptions for some types of construction, you should know that all on-site sewage facilities, including septic systems, are required to have permits unless you get a special exception. It doesn’t matter if you’re out in a very rural area with little else around you—you need to go through the permitting process just the same as everyone else.

State agencies in Michigan set minimum standards for permitting, usually to be enforced by county or local authorities and municipalities. However, across counties and municipalities, the rules or enforcement of those rules could me more stringent in some areas than others, which can add a bit of confusion with regard to whether or not you actually need a permit.

Are you wondering, “Do I need a septic permit?” Here’s a quick overview of some of the circumstances in which you can generally assume you’ll need to pull a permit for your septic system in Bay City, MI:

  • New construction: If you’re installing a brand-new septic system on your property, you’ll need to get a permit for the job. This is true whether it’s the first time a septic system has been installed on the property, or if you had a septic system that you’re completely replacing.
  • Alterations: You might already have a septic system on your property, but need to make some alterations to ensure the system is capable of meeting the needs of your household. These types of alterations could include changes in the nature of the influent allowed in the system, increases in volume of permitted flow, change from the materials that had originally been approved in the construction permit, a change in construction or design or an increase or expansion of the disposal or treatment system.
  • Repairs: The replacement of any components that are not classified as either emergency repairs or maintenance may require you to get a permit. The replacement of a tank or drain field is considered a repair, and will require you to get a permit for the entire system.
  • Extensions: Changing the system by increasing its capacity in any way, including lengthening or otherwise expanding the system, is considered an alteration and will result in you needing to get a permit for the job.

If you’re interested in learning more about the circumstances in which you would need a septic permit in Bay City, MI, we encourage you to contact Thornton Brothers Sewer Service. Our septic service team would be happy to answer any questions you have for us!

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Bay City, MI 48706

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