LaPorte County Health Department On-Site Septic Systems

The Environmental Staff ensures that residential and commercial property owners in LaPorte County follow all applicable regulations and procedures when seeking to obtain a permit for an on-site septic system.

PERMITTING PROCEDURES FOR COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES

PERMITTING PROCEDURES FOR THE NEW CONSTRUCTION OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES

  • A septic permit for the construction of a new home in LaPorte County MUST be obtained before a building permit can be issued. In general, this is a two-step process. The first step in this process is to obtain a soil report for the site (which must be prepared by a Registered Soil Scientist), and submit it to LPCHD along with an application for residential on-site septic systems. After this information is received, the Environmental Staff will determine the type 2. Specification sheet is issued by the LPCHD
  • Submit scaled site plan including topography, home site, septic system, site address, floor plan, tax identification number, ect.
  • LPCHD will conduct an on-site plan review

All of the requirements for obtaining a septic permit in LaPorte County are outlined in the Procedure of Issuance of On-Site Septic System Permits. Please review these procedures before starting the permitting process. It should be noted that all residential septic systems in LaPorte County are designed, installed, and inspected in accordance with ISDH Rule 410 IAC 6-8.3 Residential Onsite Sewage Systems and Local Ordinance 2012-01.


PERMITTING PROCEDURES FOR EXISTING HOMESITES

Septic systems are not a permanent means of wastewater disposal. Even in the sandiest of soils, the ground in the area of an existing septic field acts like a sponge, slowly accepting wastewater over the years, until the ground becomes saturated and will no longer accept any more wastewater. This either causes wastewater back up into the house, or to leach out on top of the ground. It is at this time that a "repair" is necessary. And by "repair", that usually means the installation of a new septic field on the property, and not necessarily the repair of the existing septic field. If an existing field is to be replaced due to a malfunction, the first step in obtaining a "repair" permit is to submit an application for residential on-site septic systems to LPCHD. Call and schedule a Registered Soil Scientist to perform a soil boring on the property. To find out about the remaining "repair" permitting process, please refer to the Procedure of Issuance of On-Site Sewage System Permits. All residential "repair" septic systems in LaPorte County are designed, installed, and inspected in accordance with ISDH Rule 410 IAC 6-8.3 and Local Ordinance 2012-01.

PERMITTING PROCEDURES FOR APPROVAL TO TIE-IN TO AN EXISTING SEPTIC SYSTEM

Let's say you live in a mobile home on your property, and want to remove the mobile home and build a new home. Or, unfortunately, a house may burn down and a new one needs to be built on the site. It is possible to utilize the existing septic field, however there are some requirements. The existing size of the septic field and tank would need to be large enough to accommodate the new house, and it would also need to meet current regulations regarding septic system placement. Please call LPCHD for further information on this topic.

Click here for a list of local registered surveyors.

Please note that these are just general lists and LPCHD does not endorse any one particular company.

A NOTE TO SEPTIC SYSTEM INSTALLERS

The LPCHD currently requires installer registration. It is highly recommended for all installers to visit the Indiana On-Site Wastewater Professional's Association, Inc. website at www.iowpa.org and attend the Rule 410 IAC 6-8.3 Workshop. The workshop is designed to provide installers with extensive knowledge and correct interpretation of the State Rule that governs residential septic systems. If you choose to take the IOWPA exam then you do not have to take the competency exam to register with our department. If you do not take the IOWPA exam, you must call and sign up to take a competency exam on the first Tuesday of every month at 9:00am in our LaPorte office. When installing a septic system in LaPorte County, please keep in mind that LPCHD must be contacted at least 24 hours before the inspection is needed. Here is a list of currently registered residential onsite septic system installers.

USEFUL LINKS

Purdue University has an excellent web site pertaining to septic systems. Here you will find frequently asked questions along with plenty of publications about septic systems that will have the answers to homeowner and installer questions.
www.ces.purdue/henv/SepticSystems.htm

IOWPA (Indiana On-Site Wastewater Professionals Association, Inc) is a non-profit organization that assists and educates homeowners and professionals.
www.iowpa.com


HOMEOWNER INFORMATION - A FEW FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • I'm thinking of remodeling my home, how will this affect my existing septic system?
    • If you are planning on remodeling your home, please keep in mind that all foundations must be located at least 10' from the septic system. Also, please keep in mind that one of the size requirements of a septic system is based upon the number of bedrooms in your home and NOT the number of bathrooms in the home or the number of people living in the home. If you currently live in a three bedroom home and want to add a fourth bedroom, you may need to upgrade the existing septic system.
  • What do you NOT need a permit for?
    • A permit is not required for the following:
      1. pumping a septic tank
      2. repairing/unclogging the sewer line between the house and the septic tank
      3. repairing/unclogging the sewer line between the septic tank and the distribution box
      4. leveling the distribution box if it has become unlevel
  • How often should my septic tank be pumped
    • As a general guideline, septic tanks should be pumped every three to five years.
  • I'm going to build a shed/swimming pool/pole barn on my property. How will this affect my septic system?
    • Unless you are going to install plumbing in your pole barn, these types of things will not have any affect on your septic system. However, ALL foundations must be located at least ten feet from the septic field.
  • I don't know where my septic field is located. Can LPCHD help me to find it?
    • In general, LPCHD has records of septic drawings from July 1979 to present.