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Registration Information

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Definition of Installer, Service Provider, or Septage Hauler

An installer is defined as:

OAC 3701-29-01 (FFF) “Installer” means any person who engages in the business of installing or altering or who, as an employee of another, installs or alters any sewage treatment system or gray water recycling system.

A service provider is defined as:

OAC 3701-29-01 (OOOO)“Service provider” means any person who services, monitors, evaluates or samples, but does not install or alter, sewage treatment systems or gray water recycling systems.  For the purpose of this chapter, service provider shall include a homeowner servicing his own system to meet the requirement of a service contract for product approval or demonstration of maintenance for an O&M program established in accordance with rule 3701-29-19 of the Administrative Code.

A septage hauler is defined as:

OAC 3701-29-001 (JJJJ) “Septage hauler” means any person who engages in the collection, transportation, disposal, and/or land application of domestic septage.  A septage hauler may also evaluate and report on the condition of any tank they are pumping.

The table below has been prepared to provide some guidance on the activities that a contractor is allowed to perform under each category of registration.  The list of activities for each category of registration is intended to provide a general idea and contractors are not necessarily limited to only the activities list here.  If you have questions about activities that are not listed, you may contact the Residential Sewage Program for additional guidance at 614-644-7551.

Installer Service Provider Septage Hauler
Installation or alteration work in accordance with a  valid installation/permit issued by the board of health Routine service and maintenance required for product approval and/or operation permit (e.g. service contracts) for STS or GWRS,  including in-place correction, cleaning, or replacement of damaged or worn out devices with approved devices
Evaluate and report on:
  • condition of the tank 
  • presence/absence of baffles or tees
  • conditions of risers
  • evidence of high water or water intrusion
  • tank deterioration
Inspection for trouble-shooting STS  issues if installed or altered by same installer Replacement of mechanical devices (agitators, compressors, and pumps), and broken, worn-out, or damaged parts
Conduct and report any minor repairs limited to structure of the tank(s) being pumped, including:
  • Installation/replacement of lids or risers on the tank
  • Installation, repair, or replacement of tank baffles
  • Installation, cleaning, or repair of effluent filter at outlet of tank
Installation or replacement of lids, risers, distribution boxes, drop boxes, tank baffles, effluent filters, etc. Replacement or cleaning of STS filter media Maintain records and manifest of septage or sewage pumped from each STS as required in OAC 3701-29-20 (C).
Installation of sampling ports Installation of sampling ports  
  Installation or replacement lids, risers, baffles  
  Installation or cleaning of outlet filters  
  Monitoring of STS  or component for verification of performance requirements, including dye tests  
  Evaluation of STS (i.e. real estate/point-of-sale inspections  
  Sample collection from STS for lab analysis  

Testing Requirement

All sewage treatment systems installers, septage haulers, and service providers are required to take a state exam. A homeowner that wants to install and or service their own system must also take the exam. 

All persons registering as a sewage treatment system installer, service provider, or septage hauler shall take a test on the sewage treatment systems rules.

The test covers the current rules.  It is an open book test with 75 multiple-choice questions. Each question will indicate which rule the question is related to. A copy of the sewage treatment system rules can be downloaded when you register to take the test if you do not have a copy. A minimum of three hours will be provided to take the open book test.

The test is available online at Operator Training of Ohio,  a private non-profit training organization that trains water and wastewater treatment plant operators, and other contractors.

A score of 75 percent (56 questions) or greater will be a passing score. A certificate will be provided upon passing the test.  This certificate will be required to register.

The primary registrant or a company representative must take the test. Additional testing will not be required, for additional registration years, once a passing score has been received.

Please contact the Residential Water and Sewage Program at the Ohio Department of Health at (614) 644-7551 if you need alternative accommodations to take the rules test.

Surety Bonding Requirement and Bond Forms

The sewage treatment system rules became effective on Jan. 1, 2015. All Sewage Treatment Systems Installers, Service Providers and Septage Haulers are now be required to have a state wide surety bond per category of work performed, 

Here is a fact sheet on Contractor Registration requirements.

There are four different surety bond forms that are available depending on the type of work your company conducts.  The bond form packages include instructions on how to fill out the bond, the bond form itself and the contractor contact information sheets:

2023 Bond Form Packages are listed below:

HEA 5438 Service Provider Bond Form Package

HEA 5439 STS Installer Bond Form Package for Multiple Systems

HEA 5440 Septage Hauler Bond Form Package

HEA 5448 STS Installer Bond Form Package for Single System or Small Flow Systems

IF YOU NEED 2022 Bond Forms Please Contact ODH at 614-644-7551 or email BEH@odh.ohio.gov

The original surety bond form must be completed for each type of work conducted (e.g. If you are an installer and a service provider then you must complete both the Installer Bond Form and the Service Providers Bond Form). Follow the surety bond instructions which is part of the Bond Form package.  If you have questions that cannot be answered contact the ODH Sewage Staff at 614-644-7551.

The surety bond forms must have an effective date no sooner than the first day of January of each registration year and shall provide coverage to the last day of December of that same registration year. Prior to submitting surety bond forms to the Ohio Department of Health, make copies of all documents for your records and for all of the Local Health Districts where registration is being applied. Remember that Ohio Department of Health will get the original bond forms and power of attorney.

Please mail the following information:

1.The original surety bond form for Installers, Service Providers, and/or Septage Haulers with original signatures and seal
2.Power of Attorney
3.Sewage Contractor Contact Information Form found in the bond form package


Ohio Department of Health
Bureau of Environmental Health and Radiation Protection
Residential Sewage Program
246 N. High St.
Columbus, Ohio 43215 

Please allow up to thirty (30) days upon receipt of the surety bond(s) by the ODH Residential Sewage Program for bond(s) to be processed. 

Bond List of Installers, Service Providers and Septage Haulers

Bond List of Installers, Service Providers and Septage Haulers

When bond forms are received, they are checked for completeness.  If any information is missing (examples include: signatures, seals, power of attorney) or the bond is not written on the current form, then a memo identifying the issues and the paperwork are returned to the sender.

Once a complete bond is received, the information is posted on the ODH website. Local health districts use the on-line list to verify that that bond information provided by the contractor for their registration is accurate.

The list of companies that have submitted complete bonds can be found on the Information of Local Health Department page. There is a separate list for each category of registration. 

To check the status of a registration bond submitted for the installation of a single system, please contact the Sewage Treatment Systems Program at 614-644-7551.

Continuing Education

See Continuing Education Link

Additional Service Provider Requirements

The table below provides some guidance on what type of certifications/qualifications are required for a registered service provider to perform services on different pretreatment components for household sewage treatment systems. If you have questions about items that are not listed, you may contact the Residential Sewage Program for additional guidance at 614-644-7551.

All Pretreatment Components (Required for ALL Service Providers) Pre-January 1, 2007 Post January 1, 2007
(Excluding NPDES & Drip Distribution)
Post January 1, 2007
(NPDES and Drip Distribution)

Service Providers shall register with the Board of Health prior to performing the duties defined in OAC 3701-29-01 (OOOO)

  • Proof of compliance with testing requirements.

  • Proof of no less than five hundred thousand dollars general liability insurance coverage.

  • $25,000 surety bond (may be reduced to $15,000 for service providers with dual registration as STS installer and STS Service provider.

  • Proof of completion of at least (6) continuing education hours during the previous calendar year or approved alternative outlined in OAC 3701-29-03(C)(5). (Please note this only applies to renewal registration)

Manufacturer training or certification is a requirement of the product approval

  • Systems installed prior to January 1, 2007 did not go through the established product approval process, therefore no proof of compliance with system specific training, qualification, or certification for systems installed prior to this date.

Manufacturer training or certification is Required if you are a service provider working on any system that has been through the product approval process (after January 1, 2007)

-or approved alternatives to manufacturer training/certification -

  • Ohio Waste Hauler Association Qualified Service Provider
  • NAWT O&M or Inspector Program certification
  • Class A, I, II, III, or IV wastewater operator certification from Ohio EPA
  • Other programs approved by the Director:
    • CIDWT National Service Provider Training

The alternatives to manufacturer training/certification are only acceptable for non-NPDES systems and non-drip distribution systems. If you are the service provider for a discharging system covered under the NPDES General Permit, or a drip distribution system under a drip assurance party you must have manufacturer training and certification.


Septage Hauler Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I pay any registration fees to the state?

A: Septage haulers are required to register with the board of health in each district where work is performed.  Registration fees are set and collected by the local health districts.  ODH does not receive any portion of the local registration fee.

Q: Am I required to be bonded?

A: Yes.  The law requires statewide bonding for septage haulers, STS installers, and service providers.  The law also prohibits any local health district from requiring additional bonds for these categories of registration [ORC 3718.02 (A)(8)].  The original bond document is to be submitted to ODH.  The septage hauler bond amount is $25,000.  

Q: Am I required to have my truck(s) inspected by every health department where I register?

A: The new rules allow you to have each truck inspected once by the local health district where the company is based in lieu of inspections by each local health district where work is performed [OAC 3701-29-03 (I)(5)].  The local health district must complete the inspection on the statewide septage hauler report and you will need to provide a copy to each local health district at the time of registration.

Q: Am I required to use ODH’s pumping report?

A: Yes. The rules require that pumping and disposal records be provided on a form developed by ODH [OAC 3701-29-20(C)]. This helps ensure the information provided to the homeowner and the health district is consistent across the state.  The uniform pumping report will also eliminate the need for any local forms that may be required by local health districts for pumping records.

Q: Where do I get copies of the required form for pumping reports?

A: The Septage Pumping Report form is an electronic form available for download on the on the sewage treatment system forms page of the ODH website you can print copies as needed or use the fillable form and complete it electronically before printing.  Some local health districts have indicated they will provide copies of the form to their registrants.  Contact the local health districts where you register to see if they are providing copies.

Q: Why do I have to inspect the tank(s)?

A: The new rules require information about the condition of the tank be provided at the time a tank is pumped and cleaned. [OAC 3701-29-20(C)]  

The legislature that required the new sewage rules recognized that the reason most sewage treatment systems fail is because homeowners don’t maintain their systems, in part because they are not aware of the required maintenance until it is too late.

The information provided on the pumping report will inform the homeowner of any issues related to the tank that need to be addressed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the system.

Q: What if I can’t see everything that’s included on the pumping report?

A: Pumpers are expected to report on what can be seen at the time the system is pumped.  If specific inspection items are not visible on the tank, mark the form as inconclusive or not visible

Q: Am I required to make repairs to correct issues identified on the pumping report?

A: You are not obligated to correct any issues identified on the pumping report.  You may choose to offer the necessary services to correct the issues.  ODH has previously provided guidance on activities, including minor repairs, which can be completed by a registered septage hauler without requiring additional registration as an installer or service provider. (see Sewage Treatment Systems Contractors’ Allowable Activities by Category of Registration)

Q: Do I have to complete a separate form for each location when I pump portable toilets?

A: A separate pumping report has been developed for the purpose of tracking and reporting on the portable toilet pumping.  The Portable Toilet Septage Pumping Report is available on the sewage treatment system forms page of the of the ODH website and is also available as an Excel worksheet upon request (e-mail request to BEH@odh.ohio.gov).  It is intended to collect summary information, including the date, total volume of septage pumped, and disposal facility.

Q: Why am I required to submit a copy of the pumping report to the health department?

A: The law passed by the legislature included a provision that required local health districts begin tracking maintenance activities on all sewage treatment systems through an Operation & Maintenance (O&M) Tracking program.  Submission of the pumping reports ensures that this maintenance activity is reported to the local health district for inclusion in the O&M Tracking program.

Q: How long do I need to keep my copies of the pumping reports?

A: Septage haulers are required to retain copies of pumping reports for a period of five years.  The pumping reports can be maintained in either paper or electronic form. [OAC 3701-29-20 (C)]

Q: How long do I have to submit the pumping report to the health district after the tank is pumped?

A: Reporting requirements are established by the board of health.  Contact each local health district where you register for the required reporting frequency and method of submission (paper or electronic).  At a minimum, the new rules require records regarding operation and maintenance (including pumping reports) be reported to the local health district within sixty days of the maintenance activity. [OAC 3701-29-19 (C)(1)]

Q: What do I do if I want to land apply domestic septage?

A: Land application sites must be inspected and permitted by the local health district prior to land application.  The permit for a land application site is valid for one year from the date of issuance.  All land application activities must be done in accordance applicable federal, state, and local regulations, including 40 CFR 503.

Q: Can my local health district prohibit me from land application of septage?

A: Yes, the local health district has the option to adopt local rules that prohibit, restrict, or limit the land application of septage within its jurisdiction. [OAC 3701-29-20 (A)]


Approved Sewage Treatment Products since 2007

Manufacturers provide system specific operations and maintenance manuals which outline the requirements for that specific system. This information can be found on the Approved Sewage Product  page.

Types of STS Components, System Types and Maintenance of each system type.

This will link you to a page about basic overview of the STS (Sewage Treatment System) components, system types and system maintenance of each type of system.

Soils, Designs and Site Drainage

An accurate soil evaluation is critical information to determine sewage treatment system (STS) design options for a property. This page provides information on Soil Evaluator (Soil Scientist), STS Designers and Site Drainage Resources.  

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Overview

A discharging sewage treatment systems treats and then discharges treated effluent to a stream, ditch or other surface water body.  An National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) permit must be obtained from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) Division of Surface Water whenever there is a discharge of treated or partially treated water to a surface water of the State. NPDES permits exist to regulate wastewater discharges. Information about the Overview of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)