Household Sewage Treatment Systems

The Environmental Health Division regulates all household sewage treatment systems (HSTS) in accordance with Chapter 3701-29 of the Ohio Administrative Code and any other resolutions adopted by the Geauga County Board of Health. This includes all 1, 2 and 3 family residential dwellings served by an individual household sewage treatment system. Of the estimated 32,350 housing units in Geauga County, approximately 70% rely on household sewage systems to dispose of waste water.

In addition to the OAC Chapter 3701-29 Household Sewage Treatment Systems, the Geauga County Board of Health has adopted the following local codes:

Sanitary sewage systems that conveys sewage to a central waste water treatment plant are regulated by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and maintained by the Geauga County Department of Water Resources or the municipality in which they are located.

For household sewage treatment systems the Geauga County Health District provides the following: site evaluation for new systems, permits for new systems, permits to alter existing systems, investigation of complaints for malfunctioning systems, and enforcement measures for failure to comply with these regulations, which include hearings before the Geauga County Board of Health and referral to the Geauga County Prosecutors Office for placement on the docket of the Common Pleas Court.

Site Evaluations

A lot evaluation determines the feasibility of installing a sewage treatment system on a parcel of land, whether it is a vacant parcel or has an existing home on the lot. A Registered Sanitarian from the Geauga County Health District will visit the site to determine this feasibility. The following items must be completed before the sanitarian will visit the site.

  1. The lot evaluation form must be completed and fees paid to the department.
  2. Soils information of the site must be submitted to the office. Soils information can be obtained from a certified soils scientist with the Association of Ohio Pedologist or American Society of Agronomy.
  3. A site plan on a scalable 1" = 50' on a topographical map with 2' contours must be submitted to the office showing the existing or proposed house, driveway, water well, sewage disposal system and replacement area. This can be printed from the Geauga REALLink property information system by selecting the parcel to be evaluated, selecting the map tab, and selecting Health Dept. Map from the print choices in the GIS toolbar. Site plans should be larger than 11" X 17" (ledger or tabloid paper) for filing with GCHD.
  4. Stake out the proposed house, driveway, water well, sewage disposal system and replacement area. The property lines need to be staked every 50 feet. (Lot evaluation procedures in more detail are in this information sheet)

Upon completion of these items you can contact a sanitarian from the Geauga County Health District to schedule an appointment to visit the site.

Permits

The Geauga County Health District issues permits for installing new sewage treatment systems and for alteration of existing systems. After a lot evaluation is completed and approved a permit may be obtained from the Geauga County Health District. Please refer to our current fee tables.

Inspections

When a new household sewage treatment system is installed, the registered sewage installer must contact a Registered Sanitarian from the Geauga County Health District to inspect the system. The sanitarian conducts an inspection to assure compliance with Chapter 3701-29 of the Ohio Administrative Code and any other resolutions adopted by the Geauga County Board of Health.

Household Sewage Treatment System Installers and Service Providers

Individuals and companies that install or service household sewage treatment systems (HSTS) in Geauga County must be registered with the Geauga County Health District per OAC 3701-29-03(C)(1), complete all examination requirements of OAC 3701-29-03(C)(2), maintain a surety bond found in OAC 3701-29-03(C)(6), and maintain compliance with all other sections of OAC 3701-29-03.

A list of those individuals and companies currently registered as household sewage treatment system installers or service providers can be obtained from the Geauga County Health District, or on this Web site.

Records

Records of private sewage system installations are kept on file at the Geauga County Health District. Records are retrievable by address and road name.

Investigations

The Environmental Health Division investigates all complaints on failing or malfunctioning household sewage treatment systems, including older style household sewage disposal systems that are no longer installed in the State of Ohio. The Board of Health enforces regulations for land owners who fail to comply with these regulations through administrative hearings and through the Geauga County Prosecutor's Office.

Fees

Services rendered by the Geauga County Health District are subject to fees. Please refer to our current fee tables on the publications page.

Soils evaluators (scientists or classifier)

Soil evaluators must maintain compliance with OAC 3701-29-07, which specified that the soil scientist or soil classifier must be certified by the soil science society of America (SSSA), or registered by a state or national organization with equivalent minimum qualifications and/or demonstration of competency for soil evaluation as approved by the director of health.

Online references for finding qualified soil scientists include:

Soil Science Society of America under Certifications: Find a Professional Directory

The Association of Ohio Pedologist under "Consultant List"

American Society of Agronomy under Scientific Expertise Search