Frequent Questions

Does the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) regulate single-family residential septic systems?

The SDWA does not regulate single family residential septic systems. The SDWA Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program regulates owners and operators of septic system wells used to inject the waste or effluent from a multiple dwelling, business establishment, community, or regional business septic tank. The UIC requirements do not apply to single-family residential septic system wells, nor to non-residential septic system wells that are used solely for the disposal of sanitary waste and have the capacity to serve fewer than twenty persons per day (40 CFR 144.81(9)). However, most states and localities regulate the siting, design, and construction of septic systems. Contact your state or local health department for information on septic system regulations in your community. Additional information regarding septic systems and state and local contacts are available at http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/drinkingwater/sourcewater/protection/sourcewaterprotection_septicsystems.cfm.
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