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LaGrange County Health Department & WIC

304 North Townline Road, Suite 1. LaGrange, IN 46761-1319 Phone (260) 499-4182 Fax (260) 499-4189

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General Information
On-Site Sewage Rule
Residential Septic Permit
Commercial Septic Permit
Constructed Wetlands
Homeowner Installations
Sanitary Sewer
Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and LaGrange County Health Department (LCHD) Septic System Regulations
The onsite sewage treatment guides the wastewater disposal to ensure that septic system installation is completed in compliance with minimum standards established by the Indiana State Residential Rule 410 IAC 6-8.3, Commercial Rule 410 IAC 6-10.1and the LaGrange County Ordinance (1985). The goal of the program is to assure that onsite sewage disposal systems are designed and installed according to minimum requirements to protect public health by preventing wastewater from contaminating surface or underground (drinking groundwater) and preventing disease transmission via septic tanks effluent without any treatment.
Residential Rule 410 IAC 6-8.3 (2012 revised 2014).

Several types of systems are used throughout the county including the gravity septic tank and trenches system; also know as a conventional septic system using stone and 4” PVC pipe or a gravelless system using plastic chambers. Also, Tire chips and Presby pipeare now other options to consider for soil absorption trenches. The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) authorized their use on a one-for-one basis. Tire chips are used as a substitute for stone in absorption field trenches. Also, septic system using pump assisted (Flood-Dosed) and pressurized systems such as the at-grade system or the elevated sand mound systems when site limitations prohibit the use of a conventional system. The LaGrange County Health department has been working during the last 20 years promoting environmental and ecological sound sewage treatment system like the constructed wetlands with the last generation including a vertical flow recirculating system as an exceptional green alternative to the conventional septic system. Others sewage treatment installed in LaGrange County include the AlgaeWheel, the NiblerJr system and drip irrigation.

A homeowner is allowed to install the onsite wastewater disposal system for his/her residential. However, homeowners must contact the LCHD to get the septic permit before starting any kind of septic system installation. A FREE cost pre-inspection field visit could be done; if required. All county regulations (LaGrange County Ordinance (1985) and ISDH rules (


Use of existing onsite wastewater disposal systems in conjunction with new home construction and or home replacement will be considered case by case with the following conditions to be verified and confirmed:
1. Proof/record of LCHD permit having been issued, inspected and approved. For any septic systems installed before 1967, the LCHD does not have a record.

2. If record is not available in the LCHD or couldn’t be provided by the owner; the existing septic tank could be used if it has adequate capacity. Metal tank cannot be used. The leach field should be upgraded and soil borings are required to issue a permit. Pumping the tank will provide a gallons septic tank capacity and its conditions.

3. Field inspection could be done for observation of existing system without obvious signs of failure like sewage on the ground or sewage running to the nearby ditch or drain tile. Drywells are not allowed to be used as sewage disposal.

4. Water well separation to any part of the existing system must be as currently required by federal, state or county regulations.

The old septic tank must be pumped of all contents by a licensed wastewater management business. If the tank is not removed; the tank abandoned-in-place must be filled with sand, other granular or soil material and compacted to prevent settling; or removing it from the ground. The ISDH has a protocol to abandonment a septic system:

Any subsurface perimeter drain must surround the absorption field on all sides spaced at least 10 feet from the outside edge of the trenches. Elevation points of the drains at each corner of the field and at the location of a free-flowing outlet are required.

Pressure Distribution/Mound system or Flood-Dosed pump specifications should be filled and presented to get the septic permit. If the information is provide by your material's provider, it should be faxed to the LCHD before call for final inspection.


LaGrange County does not have water well ordinances. A residential water well permit is not required. However, the well drillers need to follow regulations set up by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) regarding water well separation and any potential source of well contamination. For a commercial well; the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) should be contacted. The local IDEM inspector working in LaGrange County is Mr. Bill Morgan (574) 245-4870 or 1-800-753-5519.

Set back distances for any part of the on-site system including the septic tank, a wetland cell or field trenches are:

A. From the house, building or any other structure…….….10 feet

B. From any residential water well (yours or neighbor’s)…50 feet

B*.  From any commercial water well (yours or neighbor’s)..100 feet

C. Property lines……………………………………………. 5 feet

D. Lake, pond or other enclosed water body……………....50 feet

E. River, stream, storm water detention area, creek, ditch or drainage tile…………………..…………………………….25 feet

F. If a perimeter drain is required, it must be at least……...10 feet from the edge of the trenches. Free outlet plus elevation points are required; otherwise a septic system could be not approved. (page 13) is the link to find the regulations followed by the LaGrange County Health Department regarding water well separations.