In January 2015, the Ohio Department of Health adopted new rules regarding private Sewage Treatment Systems (STSs) in Ohio (Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 3701-29-09(I)). These new rules mandate that all health departments in the state develop and implement a local Operation & Maintenance program to ensure all systems in their jurisdiction are monitored for regular maintenance and proper function. Regular maintenance of your system will extend its life, safeguard your investment, protect your health, preserve surface and ground waters, and prevent sewage nuisance conditions on your property.
The Operation & Maintenance Program will require that every owner of a property with a Home Sewage Treatment System (HSTS) obtain, and continually renew, an Operation Permit and regularly submit proof that their system is receiving the minimum required maintenance as directed by that permit. Compliance with permit conditions will be tracked on an ongoing basis, allowing Geauga Public Health (GPH) to identify and address neglected and/or failing systems.
While this program is state-mandated, funding has not been provided, so Operation Permit fees have been established to assist GPH with funding for the following: the maintenance, management, and oversight of the electronic database used for system permitting and service records, personnel costs in reviewing service compliance documentation and conducting quality assurance inspections, postage, and homeowner education efforts and materials. Sampling fees have also been established for systems that require annual sampling, such as National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDESs) and Spray Irrigation systems. These sample fees cover sampling personnel costs, sampling equipment and supplies, lab analysis fees, and postage for mailing of results.