The location, design, construction, installation, repair and operation of individual septic systems in New Jersey are subject to the Standards for Individual Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems (N.J.A.C. 7:9A) pursuant to the authority of the Realty Improvement Sewerage and Facilities Act (N.J.S.A. 58:11-23). These standards, by rule, integrate the elements of soils, geology and engineering, so that a relatively simple system will effectively remove disease-causing pathogens and chemical nutrients from domestic wastewater.
In New Jersey, the DEP develops the regulations, along with input from the State’s stakeholders. The regulations are implemented and enforced by municipal and county Boards of Health. However, most Boards of Health contract local health departments to assist with local onsite wastewater management, which involves implementation of N.J.A.C. 7:9A, septic plan reviews, permitting and enforcement of health and environmental violations in accordance to the code.
Unless a local health department has directed otherwise, residents do not need to obtain an approval from the DEP when repairing, altering or constructing their septic system. Residents only need a DEP approval when local authorities cannot approve a project in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:9A.
Featured Documentation for Local Health Departments
Do you need technical permitting information?
There is a Frequently Asked Questions document
to assist health departments in reviewing
septic system applications. Installation and design documentation
from manufacturers is also important to have during the review process. Please remember that
guidance from the DEP is limited in applicability
under N.J.A.C. 7:9A. From the left to right lists DEP's, Frequently Asked Questions, Technical Guidance for Inspecting Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (pdf) , and the Standards for Individual Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems.
Septic Management Tips
Provide management continuity
Enforce regulations and program requirements
Conduct site and regional-scale evaluations
Require certification or licensing of
Oversee system design review and approval
Issue installation and operation permits
Oversee system construction
Access property for inspection and monitoring
Inspect and monitor systems and the receiving
Finance the program through a dedicated
fees for management program services (e.g.,
Provide financial or cost-share assistance
Issue and/or receive grants
Develop training for service providers
Conduct public education and involvement
Hire, train, and retain qualified employees
Book Keeping Equals Good Septic Management
Program has put together information about
data management. Residents rely on government
agencies to provide basic information about
their septic system, especially during real
estate transactions. Data collection and
management are essential to program planning,
development, and implementation. It is important
that records be accessible. This means that
information that goes into a record keeping
system must be able to come out of the record
keeping system. Each year the Onsite Wastewater
Management Program collaborates with local
health departments to obtain permit information
to assist in managing nonpoint pollution
on a statewide basis. Local governments
can participate by making sure that the
information collected will result in useful
information that lends to public health, environmental protection, and at a minimum
meets the program's clearly defined program goals.
and Public Nuisance Data