Updated: Mar 25, 2019
In January 2015, the Ohio Department of Health adopted new rules regarding private sewage treatment systems (STSs) in Ohio (Ohio Revised Code: 3718 and Ohio Administrative Code: Chapter 3701-29). These rules require each health department and/or district across the state to implement a local Operation and Maintenance (O&M) program to monitor and ensure the proper function of STSs in their jurisdictions. Huron County Public Health (HCPH)’s Board of Health established an effective date of March 25th, 2019 for the implementation of an O&M program for Huron County during the agency’s March board meeting.
The O&M program will require every STS in the county to have an O&M permit. Permits will ensure systems are monitored and maintained on a regular basis so that failing systems may be identified and addressed. A STS that is not properly functioning can release bacteria, viruses, and chemicals into the groundwater and local waterways. This poses a risk of spreading various diseases in the community, as well as, polluting drinking water and the environment.
All Huron County properties with a STS will be entered into the mandatory O&M program by one of the following ways:
1. Property transfer – Properties that transfer ownership after March 25th, 2019 will be entered into the program. Properties that are under contract with a buyer before March 25th, 2019 will be exempt from being entered into the O&M program due to property transfer. For a full listing of exemptions for a property transfer please visit www.huroncohealth.com/O&M.
2. Self-Entry – Huron County residents may elect to be entered into the program early by contacting HCPH.
3. Public Health Nuisance - If a STS is found to be causing a public health nuisance according to Ohio Revised Code 3718, the property will be entered into the O&M program.
4. Risk Priority – HCPH will use risk factors such as age of the system, potential waterway contamination, and other factors to determine the order in which all other STSs in the county will be entered into the O&M program.
Once a property is entered into the O&M program, HCPH will determine if an existing installation permit is on file for the property. If no permit is on file, property owners may choose to have a STS component verification completed. However, if the property owners choose not to have the system verified and/or the system components cannot be verified, a STS will need to be installed on the property.
Properties that have an existing installation permit or properties whose STS components can be verified will be evaluated to determine if the system is causing a public health nuisance according to Ohio Revised Code 3718. If no nuisance is found, an O&M permit will be issued. If a nuisance is found to be occurring, the property owner will need to work with HCPH to repair and/or replace their STS to eliminate the public health nuisance.
For more information visit: www.huroncohealth.com/O&M