On-Site Sewage

An on-site septic system is used when a city sewer connection is not available. A septic system is a wastewater treatment system that collects, treats, and disposes of wastewater. A septic system consists of two main parts: a primary treatment unit, and a leach field. There are other options available for septic systems such as lagoons and advanced treatment units.

The primary treatment unit, or septic tank, operates through the bacterial breakdown of sewage solids. After breakdown has occurred, effluent is discharged to the leach field for disposal and further treatment. As mentioned above, there are other options available for septic systems such as lagoons and advanced treatment units.

The leach field is the final step in the wastewater treatment process. The leach field treats the wastewater by evaporation and soil absorption.

How to Size a Septic System?

The size and type of a septic system is determined by two main factors:


1. The amount of water anticipated to be discharged into the system on a daily basis (number of bedrooms is used to determine this).


2. The site evaluation (soil criteria), which is performed by a certified inspector.

How to get a Septic System?

1. Apply for a site evaluation:

Visit the Graves County Health Department Environmental Office during their normal office hours (Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.) and complete a site evaluation application (site evaluation fee $150). Please have information such as number of bedrooms, acreage of property and location of the property, city water or well, garbage disposal in kitchen sink, basement. *Backhoe pits may be required by the inspectors to complete site evaluations at the cost of the homeowner.


2. Contact a Certified Septic System Installer.

A list of certified installers can be provided by the Graves County Health Department. The installer will then use the site evaluation to design and layout the system, including a proposed drawing listing all setbacks and grade shots. A certified inspector will issue a permit to the certified installer to construct the system. There is a $150 fee for a new system installation and a an $100 fee for a repair permit.


3. Final Inspection by the Local Health Department.

After the installation of the septic system is complete, a certified inspector from the Graves County Health Department will conduct a final inspection of the system. The inspector will determine if the system has been constructed according to the permit and meets the requirements of the Kentucky Onsite Sewage Disposal Systems Regulations.

Please contact Shea Rodgers at shea.rodgers@graveshealth.org or (270) 247-3553 with any questions.