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Onsite Sewage Systems - Septic System

Guidance for Residential On-Site Sewage Disposal System Permit Procedures

Before purchasing a property, you should be sure that a septic system can be installed and what kind of septic will be suitable for the soil and parcel conditions. If these steps are not taken, any investment in the property may be lost. Each site is unique and systems on surrounding parcels are not a guide to what is possible on your lot, in your soil, or allowed by current codes. For vacant ground, you may want to check on zoning to be sure there are not any restrictions on the lot. Phone: 574 935-8540.

All Marshall County onsite sewage system permits require the homeowner to submit a completed application before the permit can be issued. This application must be submitted along with the proposed septic design and the relevant fee.

DISCLAIMER ON SYSTEM REPAIRS: On-site sewage systems that need repair may not require a soil profile analysis. Please contact the Marshall County Health Department (MCHD) in the event your on-site sewage system needs repair to verify whether the repairs qualify for a soil profile analysis.

NEW CONSTRUCTION OR SYSTEM REPLACEMENT: Follow these steps to obtain an on-site sewage septic system permit in Marshall County, Indiana:


    Contact a certified and registered IRSS (Soil Scientist) from Marshall County to perform a soil profile analysis on your property and in the area where the soil adsorption field (SAF) will be constructed. The Soil Scientist (SS) will set up a time at your property to meet with you and possibly a representative of the Marshall County Health Department (MCHD). The SS will perform at least 3 soil borings in the location of the SAF. If this area proves unsuitable, then subsequent testing will be required. The soil profile
    analysis will be sent to you and the MCHD.

    A soil profile analysis is good for seven years so long as the area from which the soil borings were taken stays undisturbed. The soil profile analysis is confidential and not released to the public or interested parties unless a written letter from the homeowner states permission to do so.

    If you are a new homeowner and would like to use an old soil profile analysis that was given to you at the time of the purchase of the property, then you would also need a written letter from a SS stating that the area has not been disturbed.


    Once we have received the soil profile analysis information it will take approximately 2-3 weeks to issue a technical data sheet or the design specification of the onsite sewage system. With these documents, you can contact a registered septic designer and have your system designed to meet the LOR and the minimum site specifications for your site.

    The Septic (Onsite Sewage System) Application or Repair Onsite Sewage System Application must be submitted in person at the MCHD along with the permit fee of $60.00 for new construction or $30.00 for a replacement. This is a non-refundable fee. If this is new construction, a copy of the building plans must be submitted for the determination of bedrooms and bedroom equivalents. An application must be received before design submission.


    A detailed, scaled system design must be submitted to MCHD for review. The design must contain all specifications stated in the LOR. Any plans not detailing all aspects of the LOR will be returned to the septic designer for revisions. A septic system design will be approved if it does not contain every aspect of the requirements. A review of the system design will not begin until an application has been filled out and paid for as well as building plans submitted (if new construction). MCHD has 30 days to review the plan and if any changes are to be made, the department has 30 more days to review the plan and issue the permit.


    If your system requires a perimeter drain, before the issuance of a permit, an acceptable outlet must be identified. Acceptable outlets include a subsurface drainage tile that is proven to be functioning properly and will be able to handle the additional drainage, a natural watercourse, a drainage ditch, and a stream or river. If a tile is to be used, it must be excavated, proven to be properly functioning, and an exact elevation obtained and inspected by MCHD. If the outlet is not on the property where the sewage is generated, an easement must be obtained and properly recorded before the issuance of the permit.


    Before the design is approved, MCHD will make a site visit to ensure all components of the system are laid out which can be done by posting flags or using spray paint. If all requirements of the permitting process are met, then a septic permit for the on-site sewage disposal system will be issued. If at any time there are changes made to the design of the approved system, this must be approved by the MCHD. The septic permit is good for two years. If construction has not started within 180 days of the issuance of the permit, an additional review of the permit must be made by MCHD to ensure all site parameters are still the same.

Rules/Ordinances – State of Indiana Regulations

Register Contractors, Soil Scientists, and IOWPA Inspectors

Marshall County Ordinances

Commercial Septic System Permit

New Construction falls under the Indiana Department of Health for approval. A Marshall County Onsite Sewage System Permit is also required.

Existing Septic Release – Residential Septic System Permit

Operating Permit

This is for the continued use of a septic system. Marshall County will require some operating permits on newer technologies that must be maintained. These are generally systems not described in detail in the state code. While all systems need maintenance conventional systems, flood and pressure dose systems, and mounds, in general, will not need operating permits.

Resources Pertaining to Septic (Onsite Sewage) Systems