If splitting off land, and any portion is going to be less than 20 acres, the Health Department must evaluate the well and septic systems on the property prior to plat approval. More information is in the Landsplit Application.  If you are splitting off a non-buildable lot, please use the Land Survey Evaluation.  Contact the Health Department during normal business hours for more questions at 937-548-4196.

Questions regarding Planning Commission may be directed to Curtis Yount at 937-547-7381.


General Information

The land split evaluation consists of inspections by a Registered Sanitarian of the household sewage treatment system and the private water system. It also includes an evaluation of the mylar by the Health Commissioner to ensure all items are included on the plat and the property is in compliance with the Ohio Sanitary Code.

Incomplete applications cannot be accepted. ORIGINAL HOMEOWNER’S SIGNATURES ARE REQUIRED. Faxed or Emailed copies cannot be accepted.

Unfortunately, a routine operation and maintenance (O&M) inspection of the sewage treatment system does not satisfy the requirement for a land split inspection.

Upon receipt of the completed application and fees, the Health Department will schedule an appointment for the inspection. Land split inspections are performed on Tuesday afternoons ONLY, due to laboratory restrictions on water sample hold times.

Appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. If for any reason you must cancel or reschedule the appointment, you must call in at least 24 hours prior to the originally scheduled appointment.

If you would like to call in for water sample results, they are usually available the following Monday morning after the inspection. Please note: approval letters are normally processed and mailed within 7 days of received results.

A scavenger registered with the Darke County Health Department must pump the septic tank while the inspector is present. DO NOT HAVE THE SEWAGE SYSTEM PUMPED PRIOR TO INSPECTION.

The lids of the septic tank(s) and splitter and/or distribution box(s) must be uncovered prior to the time of inspection. Most lids are within 2-3 feet from the surface; you may uncover this yourself or hire a contractor/scavenger to uncover them for you.

If there are no risers on the inlet and outlet lids of the septic tank(s) they will be required.

If there is no riser on the splitter box(s) or distribution box(s), they will be required.

If the system has a dry well, uncover the lid to the dry well. If there is no riser, one will be required.

Septic tanks followed by dry wells are not considered to be an approved septic system by the State of Ohio 3718.023 (B) of the Ohio Revised Code.

All Drywell properties have received a letter informing

  • If a Drywell is failing or creating a nuisance, a replacement septic system will need to be installed
  • Drywells cannot be repaired and should be replaced
  • Replacements may be required at times of home sale, land split, home remodel and etc.


If the system has a subsurface sand filter, the outlet tile must be uncovered in order to sample the quality of the effluent. A backhoe is typically required needed to uncover this component. If there is no inspection port on the outlet tile of the sand filter, one will be required.

All plumbing must drain into the sewage treatment system. Down spouts and sump pump drains should not drain into the sewage treatment system.

No evaluation will be conducted if ground cover excessively obscures any components of the sewage treatment system (including high grass, snow cover & leaves). The inspection will be rescheduled when the ground cover is removed.

This report is indicative of the system at the time of evaluation. Any subsequent changes in weather conditions, number of occupants, or water usage may affect the system operation.

The sanitarian’s opinion of the system may be rendered without knowledge of some of the individual parts of the home sewage treatment system and applies only to the date and time the opinion is made. Therefore, the opinion does not guarantee the future performance of the home sewage treatment system.

All septic system components must be located on the property. There also must be adequate space to replace the septic system. Lots must have at least 1.5 acres net or more dependent upon the size of the home, number of outbuildings, driveways, parking areas, disturbed area, topography, etc…

The minimum amount of acreage required cannot be confirmed until this evaluation is completed. It is recommended that you have this evaluation done prior to any surveying.

The Health Department requires the private water system to be tested for total coliform bacteria and pre-screened for nitrate. Other parameters can be tested for an additional fee; those parameters and fees are available at the Health Department.

Because dug wells and cisterns may pose a safety hazard, they must be properly abandoned prior to final approval.

The property must have access to a county tile or stream that flows year round. If this is not found on the property, legally recorded easements/affidavits are required for each property that the tile crosses until it ties into a stream or county tile. Examples of these documents are available at the Health Department.

NOTE:  If the land split is for building lot approval, a site evaluation application still must be completed in order for the lot to be considered approved by the Health Department for building. This application requires submission of soil test results for primary & replacement septic system areas.

In addition to Planning Commission requirements, the following items the must be included on the mylar/plat in order to obtain Health Department approval:

  • Location of primary septic system
  • Location of backup septic system area
  • Location of the well
  • Drainage (curtain and/or sewer) easements- 30 foot in width
  • Location of county tile/ ditch/ stream
  • Engineer’s and Zoning inspector’s (if zoned township) signatures


Requirements for land split approval:

1. Satisfactory inspection of home sewage treatment system

2. Satisfactory water sample tested for total coliform bacteria

3. Soil testing for replacement septic area (if required)

4. An unzoned township approval letter (if required); attached to this application

5. All necessary affidavit and/or easements recorded and submitted to the Health Dept.

6. A copy of the mylar submitted to the Health Dept prior to Planning Commission meeting


The sanitarian’s opinion of the system may be rendered without knowledge of some of the individual parts of the home sewage treatment and water systems and applies only to the date and time the opinion is made. Therefore, the opinion does not guarantee the future performance of these systems.

The owner/applicant agrees to the requirements of the special service inspection and understands that upgrades may be required if deemed appropriate by the Health Department.  The applicant also understands that the system will be placed under the Operational Permitting Program of the Darke County Health Department.  Please see Operational Permit Pamphlet for additional information regarding this program.

The applicant understands the water system rules require the water system to be flushed for a minimum of 10 minutes prior to taking the water sample.  A faucet or spigot must be turned on to take the sample.  The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the water faucet/ spigot are in good condition and turned off to their satisfaction upon leaving.  The Health Department is not responsible for faulty faucets or drains.

If the pre-screen is positive, a laboratory sample for nitrates will be collected and you will be subsequently billed the collection fee for nitrates. If for any reason the appointment needs to be cancelled or rescheduled, you must call at least 24 hours prior to the originally scheduled appointment.