Onsite sewage systems (OSS), commonly referred to as septic systems, are a safe and effective means of wastewater disposal when properly designed, installed and maintained. However, system failures can and do occur. An OSS failure can be caused by bad system design, improper maintenance, or simply because the system has reached the end of its life expectancy. If not functioning properly, a septic system can pose significant health risks to people, pets and the environment by discharging untreated sewage onto neighboring yards or nearby creeks or ditches.
Fairfax County Health Department's Onsite Sewage and Water Program administers state and local regulations for sewage disposal systems and private well water supplies to ensure proper construction, operation and maintenance in Fairfax County. We perform a wide variety of activities to carry out this oversight that include:
- Reviewing installation drawings and issuing construction permits.
- Inspecting installed systems for compliance with the regulation.
- Provide homeowner education as needed.
- Taking enforcement action when necessary.