If you are adding unto or remodeling your home and the addition or remodel involves a bedroom, bathroom, or anything that requires a plumbing permit, you are required to have the septic system evaluated by the Health Department in order to obtain a building authorization or plumbing permit from the Health Department. The septic or water systems may also need to be evaluated if the addition does not meet minimum distance requirements.

The Health Department has records of septic systems that are installed within the county. They are filed by address; however, there are still some records (mostly in the southern part of the county) that are filed according to Township and the last name of the homeowner when the system was installed. They may also be filed according to the Builder or Subdivision name if the builder applied for the permit at that time. Some records date back to the 1950’s, but most start in the 1970’s. In order to find a record, please have the following information available: a list of all previous homeowners, address, township, subdivision, lot number, builder of the house, and whether it is a septic system or an aeration system.

Requirements of the inspection

  1. Have the inlet and outlet lids to the septic tank uncovered at the time of inspection.
  2. Have the lids to the distribution boxes and/ or splitter box uncovered.
  3. A distribution box is a box that distributes the effluent to the leach lines. 
  4. The splitter box is the box that sends the effluent to the distribution boxes.

Not all septic systems have distribution boxes and splitter boxes. Some just have a splitter box, a distribution box, or a manifold. If the system is a sub-surface sand filter, the outlet to the filter must be uncovered at the time of inspection in order to survey the quality of the effluent. The outlet is typically four feet deep. If the system is a dry well, then the lid to the dry well must be uncovered.

Have a scavenger who is registered with the Darke County Health District to pump septic tanks, pump the septic tank at the time of inspection. The septic system must be pumped while the Health Department inspector is present.

Note: it is the responsibility of the person requesting the inspection to have the lids to the septic system uncovered. The scavenger may or may not uncover the system for a fee, and it is the person requesting the inspection responsibility to make all pumping and uncovering arrangements not the Health Department.

Once the system has been inspected, the Darke County General Health District may require updates to the system if deemed appropriate.

Note: If there are no risers currently on the inlet and outlet lids of the septic tank or on the dry-well, then they may be required. An inspection port will be required on the outlet of a sub-surface sand filter. This should be done following the special service inspection, but prior to any surveying. The system will also be placed under the Health Department’s Sewage Operational & Maintenance Program.