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Onsite Sewage

The environmental staff is qualified to conduct site evaluations for residential and commercial sub-surface sewage disposal systems, provide technical assistance during installation, and perform final inspection of completed systems. Qualified environmentalists also perform existing system evaluations and provide recommendations for repair and upgrades.

Soil Evaluations and Septic Systems

(1)  Before purchasing property contact the environmental branch of the Mercer County Health Department to set up an appointment for a soil evaluation. You will need to know the proposed structure location as well as the location of all property lines, easements, utility/water lines, wells, sinkholes, proposed driveways, and any other items that might effect the septic system location. You will be asked to provide a drawing or plat that includes all of the information listed above. You will also be required to complete an application that states what type of structure will be built. For homes, you will need to know how many bedrooms will be built, if a garbage disposal will be installed, and if a basement will be constructed. For commercial facilities, information must be submitted that will allow the waste load to be determined. The current fee for a soil evaluation in Mercer County is $175. Backhoe pits are required for the evaluation. It is the applicant's responsibility to arrange for the backhoe to be present during the evaluation.

(2) Once the evaluation has been completed, you will be sent a copy of the soil evaluation report that will include your septic system options. You will also be issued a temporary electrical service sticker.

(3) Before septic system construction is started, a septic system installation permit must be purchased from the Mercer County Health Department. The current permit fee is $175. The permit must be obtained by a Kentucky certified septic system installer. The only exception to this is in the case when a homeowner does the installation and the homeowner personally performs all work. This does not apply to commercial facilities or to builders or contractors who engage in the business of construction or rehabilitating residential structures for sale or resale. A drawing of the proposed system must be submitted prior to the issuance of the permit. The inside plumbing permit will not be issued until the septic system permit is obtained. A permanent electrical service sticker will be issued at the time the permit is obtained.

(4) Once the system is installed, the Mercer County Health Department must be contacted for final approval. An inspection will be conducted to determine that the system has been properly installed. A septic system approval sticker will be placed on the outside electric meter box or riser pipe. The Mercer County Building Inspector will not issue the certificate of occupancy until final septic system approval has been given. Final approval will not be given by the Mercer County Health Department until all aspects of the system have been completed. This requires that lagoon fences, additional backfill, installer's affidavits, etc. be completed before approval will be given.

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‚ÄčItems of Interest

Onsite Septic Information Sheet

Installer's List 2021

Soil Evaluation Application

Homeowner's Manual: Living With A Septic System


Environmental Fees

Soil Evaluation - $175
System Permit - $175
Existing System inspection - $100
Repair Permit - $75
Experimental System Permit - $350


Environmental Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00 to 9:00 am
12:30 to 1:30 pm




List of Local Certified Installers 2021

Plumbing Inspector

Wednesday only
8:00 to 9:30 am
KY Div of Plumbing - Online Permit