Indiana State Deparmtent of Health
Onsite Sewage Disposal Program
Welcome to the home page for the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Onsite Sewage Disposal Program. Onsite sewage disposal systems (i.e., septic systems) are those which do not result in an off-lot discharge of treated effluent, typically consisting of a septic tank to settle out and digest sewage solids, followed by a system of perforated piping to distribute the treated wastewater for absorption into the soil. More than 800,000 onsite sewage disposal systems are currently used in Indiana Local health departments issue more than 15,000 permits per year for new systems, and about 6,000 permits for repairs.
The Onsite Sewage Disposal Program promotes use of technologically correct onsite sewage disposal methods for one and two family dwellings beyond the reach of sanitary sewers. Program staff reviews soil surveys for on-site disposal systems, plans and specifications for water supply and sewage disposal systems to serve all types of public and commercial facilities. Additionally, the Division reviews total facility construction for various types of facilities, as mandated by law or regulation. These include mobile home parks, organizational campgrounds and recreational campgrounds. Staff review and approve plans and specifications for onsite sewage disposal systems serving any type of commercial facility. Examples of commercial facilities are apartments, subdivisions, mobile home parks, churches, factories, gas stations, groceries, convenience stores, post offices, restaurants, taverns, golf course clubhouses, campgrounds, and veterinary, dental, and medical offices. Program staff provides training and technical assistance about proper onsite sewage disposal to local health departments, consumers and their contractors. The status of soil reports and plans is available at Plan Review Project Status.
Under several rules such as 410 IAC 6-7.1, 410 IAC 6-7.2 and 410 IAC 6-9 the program is required to approve the construction of Recreational Vehicle, Youth and Agricultural Labor camps. An application is required for all types of camps, however only Recreational Vehicle and Youth camps are required to have plans prepared by be a licensed engineer or architect. Agricultural labor camps plans need to be presented in a manner that will allow the reviewer to determine whether or not the proposed camp meets requirements. If there is a need for an onsite sewage system then the plans for the onsite system need to be prepared by a licensed engineer or architect, accompanied by a completed application and fee. This applies for all types of camps.
If a sanitary sewer is available within a reasonable distance to the proposed facility, installation of an onsite sewage disposal system is prohibited, and a connection must be made to the sewer.
Disposal of petrochemicals and other industrial wastes (in whole or in part) is regulated by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). Sewage treatment systems that discharge to a stream or other surface water body are also the purview of IDEM.
A summary of the plan review process and requirements is available here (February 2017).
Contact the Program
Indiana State Department of Health
Environmental Public Health Division
2 North Meridian Street, 5-E
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 233-1325 (ISDH Main Switchboard)
(317) 233-7173 [Administrative Assistant]
(317) 233-7047 [Fax]
City and County Health Departments
Indiana Registered Soil Scientists
This list includes a map showing those counties where the soil scientists are willing to serve.
Pre-approved automatic Hot Water Temperature Control Valves - or - PDF [52 KB]
Automatic hot water temperature control valves regulate the hot water temperature at the point of use, to preventing accidental scalding. They are required to be installed in the facilities for which this program reviews plans and specifications.
Pre-approved Exterior Drinking Fountains and Yard Hydrants - or - PDF [17 KB]
Many frost-proof hydrants and exterior drinking fountains allow for possible back-siphonage of contaminated water into a water distribution system. Therefore, approved non-freeze, non-polluting sanitary exterior drinking fountains and yard hydrants are required to be installed in the facilities that this Program regulates.
Pre-approved Exterior Water and Sewer Piping - or - PDF [20 KB]
Pre-approved Manufactured Septic Tanks -- or -- PDF [109 KB]
Water microbiology laboratories (Indiana-certified)
Public water supply samples are required to be tested by a certified laboratory.