Operation and Maintenance Program

What is Operation and Maintenance?

In 2007, the Ohio legislature passed laws requiring owners of Sewage Treatment Systems (STS) to obtain operation permits. In 2015, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) adopted rules setting up the regulation for local health districts (Ohio Administrative Code (OAC): Chapter 3701-29).  In the Spring of 2019, the Defiance County Board of Health adopted the local regulation directing how the program would proceed and defined the operation permit terms and conditions.
Here are some of the major points of the Operation & Maintenance (O&M) program:

  • Sewage Treatment Systems (STS) commonly known as septic systems, in use prior to the law are considered
    approved. Existing systems do not need to be improved or replaced, unless it is to address a public health issue.
  • Each owner of an STS must obtain an operation permit from the local health district.
  • All private sewage systems must be maintained
  • Repairs are favored over replacements when addressing a public health issue.

Homeowner Inspection Training

Click on the button below to open the Homeowner Inspection Training. This training must be completed, in addition to completing the state test, to register as an inspector for your own septic system. You must view all of the pages and complete the training verification at the end of the presentation.

Note: As of December 2023, the agency does not have the authority to lease equipment. Please contact an EH Specialist for details.

Please contact us here or by phone at  419-784-3818 if you have additional questions or need help getting registered to inspect your own system.

DCHD has records (pump reports, system permits, system locations/layouts) of septic systems in Defiance County dating back to the late 1940s, however the District does not have complete records for all properties in the County. Implementation of the O&M program will help to develop complete records for septic systems throughout our county. Fill out the request form below to receive copy of septic information for your property. Use the message box to ask specific questions about about septic system.

Septic System Request Form

Septic System Request Form

Fill out the form to request information on your Septic System. ** You Must Provide a Property Address to Receive Records Requests**

Information Requested (Check all that apply)

When working correctly, septic systems are an excellent way  to  treat  wastewater.  However, poor maintenance can cause these systems to fail, leading to pollution of our ground and surface water.  In order to avoid septic system failure, the state of Ohio created a set of rules to help monitor and maintain septic systems. These state wide rules have made it so Defiance County Health Department had to develop its Operation and Maintenance program to include all septic systems in Defiance County. Defiance County Operation and Maintenance Supplemental Sewage Rules were adopted May 2019.

The Health Department took an Environmental Impact approach in implementing the O&M program. Permit due dates will follow the following township schedule:

Adams, Delaware, Highland                         June 30, 2024

Hicksville, Mark, Tiffin                                  June 30, 2025

Farmer, Milford, Washington                         June 30, 2026

Defiance, Noble, Richland                             June 30, 2027

Frequently Asked Questions

I just received a packet in the mail, what is my next step?

Submit the permit application to our office by June 30, 2024. Your system does not need to be pumped or inspected by this date, but the application is due on or before this date. You will have the remaining four-year permit period to meet the Terms & Conditions of the permit.

What if I am on City sewer?

If your home is connected to a public sewer system, fill out the top of the application and check the box “Public Sewer”. Then email, drop off, or mail the application to our office. No fee is required, and will will update our records after confirming the public sewer connection.

What is this money going to and why?

The $60.00 permit fee will go towards running the O&M program. This is an unfunded state mandate; DCGHD developed a fee to cover mailings, information management, records updates, correspondence,  homeowner education, office supplies, data management software, field work, etc. The goal is to have enough money to run the program. Money generated from the program will stay with the program and will not be used to run other programs at the Health Department. DCGHD will conduct a cost methodology after the first four years of the program to determine is the fee needs to be adjusted. 

I need help filling out this application, what if I don't know some of the information?

Contact our Department at 419-784-3818 and ask for an Environmental staff member, we can assist you in filling out the application.

What if I find out my septic system is failing?

Systems can be repaired and brought into working condition. If you find your septic system needs to be repaired or replaced, funds are available to assist qualifying homeowners with the repair or replacement of their septic system. Visit the WPCLF page if you are interested in these funding opportunities.

O&M Presentation

**Based on 2022 income.**