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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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Onsite Sewage

Contact Us

  •  941-624-7200

    Mailing Location

    1100 Loveland Boulevard 

    Port Charlotte, FL 33980

State of Florida  - Onsite Sewage Programs This section develops statewide rules and provides training and standardization for Health Department employees.

EPA - United States Environmental Protection Agency  This site offers valuable information and resources to manage onsite wastewater systems in a manner that is protective of public health and the environment and allows communities to grow and prosper.

NOWRA  - The National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association The largest organization within the U.S. dedicated solely to educating and representing members within the onsite and decentralized industry.

Pipeline Newsletter - The National Small Flows Clearinghouse Each quarterly issue of Pipeline focuses on a single wastewater topic and presents it in an easy-to-read format.

NESC - National Environmental Services CenterThey have an extensive holding of free and low-cost educational publications.

CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Environmental Health Services Program Onsite Wastewater

FOWA - Florida Onsite Wastewater AssociationThe Florida Onsite Wastewater Association is an organized group of those engaged in the manufacturing, installation, repair or maintenance of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems. 

NOTE: Effective July 1, 2021, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is responsible for implementing the Florida Statutes and regulations applicable to OSTDS. Under Florida's Clean Waterways Act of 2020, the county health department offices will continue to do the permitting and inspection for septic tanks; please continue to work with them for all of your permitting-related needs. If you have questions, please contact

Onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems, commonly referred to as septic systems, are a safe and effective means of wastewater disposal for 30 percent of Florida’s population. The OSTDS program ensures that the OSTDS is properly designed, constructed, and maintained through permitting and inspection and contributes to safe ground water, which provides 90 percent of Florida’s drinking water. 

The governing authorities for this program and all forms can be found at

Bill Pay 

Environmental Public Health bills and fees can be paid in person or by mail at the address below or you can visit our bill pay site at


Location & Contact Information 

Find local contact infomation at the following FDOH-location-finder


Private Provider Inspections 

Starting July 1, 2022, owners or contractors with owner authorization have the option to hire a private provider to perform inspections of OSTDS. DEP has begun implementation of this new law. Visit Private Provider Inspections of OSTDS | Florida Department of Environmental Protection for more information.


OSTDS Operating Permits (only apply to counties that use operating permits)

Operating permits are required for aerobic treatment units (ATU), performance based treatments systems (PBTS), commercial septic systems, and industrial or manufacturing zoned (or equivalent) septic systems.

OSTDS also provides for regulation of

  • Installation of new OSTDS
  • Repairs made to OSTDS
  • Existing System Verifications
  • Companies that service OSTDS
  • Temporary Toilet or Holding Tank Servicing Companies
  • Annual Operating Permits of Certain OSTDS
  • Abandonments of Existing Septic Systems
  • Managed Septic System Program

Only Registered Septic Tank Contractors or Licensed Plumbers are permitted to work on OSTDS.  Permits must be obtained from the local health department to install or make repairs to these systems.  A homeowner may make repairs only on his personally occupied residence after a permit has been issued.

These systems are usually Septic Tanks, Aerobic Treatment Systems, or special Performance Based Treatment Systems that are used for homes and small residential units, or small commercial or industrial sites which only produce domestic or commercial type wastes.

Commercial systems producing more than 5000 gpd are regulated by the Department of Environmental Protection.


Homebuyer's Guide to Septic Systems (504 KB; pdf)

Florida Administrative Code for Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems (OSTDS)