Owning a Septic System in New York

Septic systems prevent contamination of the public water supply. For this reason, the design, installation, refurbishment and maintenance of septic systems is highly regulated. In New York, septic systems are regulated at both the town and state level.

Regulation of Septic Systems in New York

The New York Department of Health maintains and enforces the rules and regulations pertaining to septic systems throughout the state. In addition, septic systems within the New York City watershed must also be approved by the city's Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Water Resources.

The New York Department of Health administers the following:

  • on-site inspections;
  • certification of septic system designers and installers; and
  • concerns & complaints.

Certification of Septic Designers and Installers

Septic designers and installers must complete the required education, training and experience for certification, as specified by the State Sanitary Code. Additionally, satisfactory completion of a written, oral and/or practical examination is required.

Anyone wishing to become a certified designer or installer needs to submit an application to the New York State Department of Health. There is no application fee.

How to File a Concern or Complaint

If you have a concern or complaint about a septic system, contact your town hall first. If you need further assistance, you may contact: New York State Department of Health Center for Environmental Health Flanigan Square 547 River Street Troy, NY 12180

If you are dissatisfied with your septic system company, you may contact the NY Attorney General's Office or the Better Business Bureau.

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