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Onsite Sewage Disposal Systems Program

The Onsite Sewage Disposal Systems Program is administered through local health departments and begins with the use of onsite evaluations to determine if site and soil conditions are suitable for onsite wastewater systems. The local health department onsite septic system inspectors perform site evaluations and inspections in Kentucky.

Existing Systems

If you sell your property, the Existing System Inspection costs $150.

If you sell property that has an onsite disposal system and the lending institition or the buyer requires a system inspection, the health department can do that for you. If remediation is necessary, a Repair Permit may need to be issued.


Alterations or repairs to existing systems cost $155.  

A system repair consists of adding up to 100 ft of line or other distribution system, repairing or replacing the distribution box, or repairing or replacing the septic tank. The cost covers the inspection time for a system repair.


Alteration Permits cost $275.

If two or more of the items listed under Repair Permit are performed on an existing system, the work is considered an Alteration. If a new system in a different location is necessary then it must go through the regular site evaluation and permit process and be subject to those fees.


To register a complaint regarding a septic system, septic system installer or septic tank pumper, please contact your local health department.


For information on how to become a certified septic system installer, click here.

New Systems

The Onsite Sewage Disposal Systems Program is operated by the health department for the following reasons:

 1. To prevent the spread of fecal-borne diseases

2. To protect groundwater systems and supplies  in Woodford County 

3. To make sure every homeowner has a well designed system that functions effectively.

The program is one of the few that the Commonwealth mandates local health departments to do.

About two out of three homes in Woodford County rely on individual onsite systems, better known as septic systems. It is important, as building occurs in less suitable locations, that the most current knowledge and technology be used to assure that the homeowner gets a system well suited for their site and is serviceable for many years.


All systems must be installed according to state regulations by a Certified Installer or homeowner.

How do I get approval for an Onsite System?

Step 1: 

Come by the health department and complete a DFS-319 Onsite Sewage Disposal Systems Application for Site Evaluation and pay the site evaluation fee. You will need to furnish the following:

1. A valid address of the property

2. Directions to reach the property

3. Site Drawing containing the following information

a. Property lines and dimensions.

b. Location of any existing structures, wells, ponds, streams, gullies, swamps, etc.

c. Location of any easements, roads, rights-of-way.

d. Location of proposed structures, including pools, decks, patios and outbuildings.

Step 2: 

Health Department Staff will meet owner/representative at site and do an Onsite Evaluation.  The Health Department staff will provide copy of the results and recommendations to the owner/representative at the site or as soon as possible. The  Health Department Staff will mark the area for the construction of the onsite system. It is the responsibility of the owner to prevent damage to that area prior to the construction of the onsite system. Should the marked area be compacted or otherwise damaged by grading or topsoil removal, the original onsite evaluation will be declared invalid and the process will have to commence again.

Step 3:

Owner/builder negotiates with Certified Installer.

Step 4:

Selected Installer, builder or owner comes to Health Department and applies for Construction Permit and pays Permit Fee. At his time, the applicant must submit a drawing of the proposed system showing:

1. All system components showing their size, length and type.

2. Location of the system in relation to the structure it serves and the property lines.

Step 5:

Installers calls for final inspection. At this time, the installer must submit a legible as-built drawing of the system showing the items listed in Step 4 as well as a triangulated distance of the major components to two permanent objects on the property.

Step 6:

Health Department Staff perform final inspection. If system is passed, the process is completed. If the system is not passed, the reason(s) for the failure are given to the installer and a re-inspection is made when the deficit items are corrected.

How much do the permits cost?


Site Evaluation: $200

This pays for the initial site evaluation that will determine the site and soil limitations that may effect the installation and serviceability of the septic system. It involves meeting the owner or his/her representative at the site and making a determination of where the house, driveway, pool, outbuildings and property lines are to be located. It is also determined if there are any drainage ways or wells on the property. The topography is recorded. A complete soils analysis is done, usually in backhoe pits provided by the owner.


Installation Permit-Regular: $275

Installation Permit-Wetland: $280

This covers the time involved for doing the final inspection of the installed system. All materials used are checked for compliance with approved material standards; the tank(s) is/are checked for proper sizing and installation; the distribution box is checked for stability and for uniformity of outlet flow; the distribution system (lines, chambers, etc.) is checked for sizing, proper installation depth and levelness; adequate depth of cover is determined. When using a wetland, the distribution header is checked for uniform flow, rock depth is verified, suitability of the liner is verified and adequate aquatic plant cover is verified.

Experimental Permit: $375

If the Site Evaluation determines that a standard system will not be sufficient, and if the homeowners agree to accept the risk, a state-approved experimental system may be installed. This involves significantly more time on our part hence the higher permit fee.

Why should I use a Certified Installer?


The installation of a modern septic disposal system is a complicated task.  Not just everyone can do it correctly, even if they have plumbing experience.  Therefore it is important that installers prove they have the knowledge base to provide you, the homeowner, with a competent job.  Certified Installers are required to have Continuing Education Units each year so they can stay current with new technology and regulation changes.

Can I install a system myself?


Yes, you can.  However, for the reasons stated above, we discourage this practice.  You may think you know what to do but one slip-up can destroy a site and cost you many thousands of dollars.  We will work with you to see that the system is properly installed but you should do nothing on your own until we have approved it and are sure you understand the correct procedure.

When is the Plumbing Inspector in the office?


The State Plumbing Inspector is here each Monday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.  The Plumbing Inspector is not an employee of the Woodford Co. Health Department.  We merely provide him with office space.

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