Other States:
NORTH CAROLINA
Population: 8,049,313

Information on the state of North Carolina is available for the following topics. To review this information, click on the links below.

Contacts| Regulations, Statutes & State Codes | Quick Facts | Septic Stats

Onsite Demonstration Programs | Onsite Management Communities

 

 

Contacts:
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Bill Jeter, Section Chief, or
Steve J. Steinbeck, P.G., Enforcement Team Leader
North Carolina Department of Environment
Health and Natural Resources
Division of Environmental Health
On-Site Wastewater Section
1642 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1642
(919) 715-3274 or (919) 715-3273 (respectively)
(919) 715-3227 (fax)

bill.jeter@ncmail.net

steve.steinbeck@ncmail.net

http://www.deh.enr.state.nc.us/oww/Rulelaw/rules.htm


Regulations, Statutes & State Codes:
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North Carolina State Regulations

North Carolina Constitutions, Statutes and Codes

North Carolina Rules for Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems
Article 11, Chapter 130A of the NC General Statutes
Rules/ 15A NCAC 18A .1900 et seq.
January 1, 1999

Laws and Rules for Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems
15A NCAC 18A.1900
January 21, 1999

Onsite regulations for North Carolina were last amended in January 1999. A comprehensive revision of the entire Rule is underway, including the law on innovative approval; the effective date is not yet known.

Those technologies approved in North Carolina for onsite wastewater treatment and disposal include conventional, alternative trenches (chamber, polystyrene aggregate, large diameter pipe, panel block, and low-pressure pipe), low-pressure pipe, fill systems, drip irrigation, and pretreatment (sand filters, approved peat filters, and approved aerobic treatment units [ATUs]). A complete list of approved innovative systems is available on the Web site http://www.deh.enr.state.nc.us/oww/Innovati/innovative.htm

Large systems in excess of 3,000 gpd and other pretreatment systems that undergo a complete engineering review by the Section may be approved on a case-by-case basis. Systems may be approved for smaller flows only after going through the State's innovative products approval process, which requires an application for approval and submission of research, followed by a formal review by the Section and an advisory panel.

Surface discharge is an option for spray irrigation and surface drip irrigation. An NPDES permit is required from the North Carolina Division of Water Quality.

North Carolina Code allows for drainfield area/size reductions based on technology, soils, and long-term loading rate. Alternative media may be approved for a 25% reduction in trench length for septic tank effluent. Pretreatment (sand filter, peat filter, ATU) prior to disposal may be approved for up to 50% reduction in trench length. Other technologies considered for drainfield reduction include panel block, large diameter pipe, chambers, and polystyrene aggregate.

Funding programs or mechanisms are available to assist homeowners replacing failing systems or installing new ones. Questions may be directed Steinbeck (above).

Information about ongoing onsite wastewater demonstration, research, or testing projects in North Carolina may be obtained by contacting:

Bob Uebler, Field Services Team Leader
On-Site Wastewater Section - NCDENR
943 Washington Square Mall
Washington, NC 27889
(252) 946-6481 (phone)
(252) 975-3716 (fax)
bob.uebler@ncmail.net

North Carolina requires maintenance/management contracts to monitor and maintain low-pressure pipe systems and any system requiring pretreatment. The complete list of management requirements is given in the State Rules, Section .l961 Maintenance of Sewage Systems, Tables V(a) and V(b). Local agencies have authority to adopt or require maintenance/management programs, but they must be more stringent than state requirement and be approved by the State.

North Carolina tracks the number of permits issued per year, with the most recent data (in 2000) showing more than 49,000 permits issued for new construction, and 6,800 permits issued for repair/replacement of systems. These records are maintained at both the local and state levels.

State Code defines a failed system thus:
A. Any person owning or controlling the property upon which a ground absorption sewage treatment and disposal system is installed shall be responsible for the following items regarding the maintenance of the system:
1) Ground absorption sewage treatment and disposal systems shall be operated and maintained to prevent the following conditions:
a. A discharge of sewage or effluent to the surface of the ground, the surface waters, or directly into groundwater at any time; or
b. A backup of sewage or effluent into the facility, building drains, collection system, or freeboard volume of the tanks; or
c. A free liquid surface within three (3) inches of finished grade over the nitrification trench for two (2) or more observations made not less than 24 hours apart. Observations shall be made greater than 24 hours after a rainfall event.
The system shall be considered to be malfunctioning when it fails to meet one or more of these requirements, either continuously or intermittently, or if it is necessary to remove the contents of the tank(s) at a frequency greater than once per month in order to satisfy the conditions of Parts (a), (b), or (c) of this paragraph. Legal remedies may be pursued after an authorized agent has observed and documented one or more of the malfunctioning conditions and has issued a notice of violation.
2) Ground absorption sewage treatment and disposal systems shall be checked, and the contents of the septic tank removed periodically from all compartments to ensure proper operation of the system. The contents shall be pumped whenever the solids level is found to be more than one-third of the liquid depth in any compartment.

North Carolina has a licensing/certification program for system operators. County Environmental Health Specialists authorized by the State to write permits may perform site evaluations/inspections.

Questions regarding municipal wastewater regulations may be directed to:

Kerr T. Stevens, Director
Division of Water Quality, NCDENR
1617 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1617
(919) 733-7015 (phone)
(919) 733- 2496 (fax)
kerr.stevens@ncmail.net

Quick Facts:
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Total number of onsite systems: About 1,350,000 (1990 U.S. census).

Number of new systems installed each year: 30,000-45,000 new systems are installed each
year.

Failure definition: NA

Number or proportion of systems presently failing: See below.

Number or proportion repaired annually: 15-20%, repaired or replaced indefinitely.

Number or proportion replaced annually: See above.

Number or proportion of repairs or replacements that require alternative technology (e.g.,
sand filters, pressure dosing):
NA

Number or proportion of repairs or replacements that require advanced technology (e.g.,
disinfection, nutrient removal): NA

Cost of a conventional septic system installation: About $1800-2000, range is $800-3000, but
in exceptional cases up to $10,000.

 

Septic Stats:
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TOTAL PERSONS TOTAL HOUSING UNITS PUBLIC SYSTEM DRILLED WELL DUG WELL OTHER PUBLIC SEWER SEPTIC TANK OTHER MEANS
NORTH CAROLINA 6,628,637 2,818,193 1,843,476 771,663 142,070 60,984 1,403,033 1,365,632 49,528
COUNTIES
ALAMANCE 108,213 45,312 30,379 12,714 1,920 299 27,899 16,761 652
ALEXANDER 27,544 11,197 4,198 4,858 1,055 1,086 1,021 9,915 261
ALLEGHANY 9,590 5,344 1,485 2,288 358 1,213 999 4,134 211
ANSON 23,474 9,255 6,501 2,248 455 51 2,630 6,270 355
ASHE 22,209 11,119 1,400 4,776 488 4,455 1,152 9,354 613
AVERY 14,867 8,923 2,879 3,319 209 2,516 2,359 6,342 222
BEAUFORT 42,283 19,598 6,762 11,652 1,088 96 5,608 13,317 673
BERTIE 20,388 8,331 3,153 4,061 1,025 92 2,095 5,732 504
BLADEN 28,663 12,685 5,078 6,193 1,323 91 4,114 8,020 551
BRUNSWICK 50,985 37,114 19,354 15,195 2,439 126 6,177 30,434 503
BUNCOMBE 174,821 77,951 57,897 15,447 1,550 3,057 47,297 29,823 831
BURKE 75,744 31,575 20,717 7,879 2,096 883 9,771 21,439 365
CABARRUS 98,935 39,713 27,740 11,187 681 105 22,859 16,514 340
CALDWELL 70,709 29,454 18,498 7,298 2,372 1,286 9,479 19,300 675
CAMDEN 5,904 2,466 587 1,606 264 9 26 2,296 144
CARTERET 52,556 34,576 20,507 12,789 1,254 26 11,523 22,717 336
CASWELL 20,693 8,254 1,071 6,031 1,051 101 809 6,873 572
CATAWBA 118,412 49,192 27,923 16,663 4,326 280 21,706 27,004 482
CHATHAM 38,759 16,642 6,894 8,489 968 291 3,907 12,170 565
CHEROKEE 20,170 10,319 3,150 3,750 745 2,674 1,825 8,166 328
CHOWAN 13,506 5,910 5,619 162 94 35 2,310 3,467 133
CLAY 7,155 4,158 487 2,438 436 797 238 3,746 174
CLEVELAND 84,714 34,232 18,977 10,794 4,236 225 12,435 21,287 510
COLUMBUS 49,587 20,513 6,173 13,167 1,083 90 5,310 14,305 898
CRAVEN 81,613 32,293 26,366 5,140 758 29 17,941 13,874 478
CUMBERLAND 274,566 98,360 80,419 14,086 3,533 322 60,453 36,960 947
CURRITUCK 13,736 7,367 3,183 3,660 489 35 1,037 6,196 134
DARE 22,746 21,567 17,718 3,192 651 6 4,012 17,505 50
DAVIDSON 126,677 53,266 45,613 5,827 1,647 179 17,279 35,612 375
DAVIE 27,859 11,496 6,951 3,566 935 44 2,721 8,599 176
DUPLIN 39,995 16,395 7,101 8,150 1,046 98 4,773 10,889 733
DURHAM 181,835 77,710 64,958 11,565 1,068 119 61,775 15,511 424
EDGECOMBE 56,558 21,827 15,413 4,108 2,223 83 13,789 7,372 666
FORSYTH 265,878 115,715 100,034 12,307 3,209 165 77,227 37,913 575
FRANKLIN 36,414 14,957 3,590 8,469 2,673 225 2,773 11,423 761
GASTON 175,093 69,133 47,547 18,858 2,525 203 37,696 30,810 627
GATES 9,305 3,696 2,814 591 210 81 82 3,266 348
GRAHAM 7,196 4,132 1,221 786 148 1,977 616 3,433 83
GRANVILE 38,345 14,164 5,742 6,948 1,251 223 5,095 8,275 794
GREENE 15,384 5,944 5,387 383 146 28 1,334 4,311 299
GUILFORD 347,420 146,812 115,423 28,074 2,950 365 114,492 31,139 1,181
HALIFAX 55,516 22,480 14,740 4,327 3,256 157 11,549 9,565 1,366
HARNETT 67,822 27,896 15,126 9,078 3,549 143 10,706 16,649 541
HAYWOOD 46,942 23,975 13,802 6,865 689 2,619 8,683 14,771 521
HENDERSON 69,285 34,131 18,534 13,116 899 1,582 6,985 26,806 340
HERTFORD 22,523 8,870 4,737 2,996 1,019 118 3,639 4,799 432
HOKE 22,856 7,999 3,377 3,546 1,035 41 1,934 5,839 226
HYDE 5,411 2,905 1,883 808 129 85 92 2,624 189
IREDELL 92,931 39,191 20,352 16,590 1,900 349 13,245 25,290 656
JACKSON 26,846 14,052 3,727 6,433 356 3,536 2,516 11,022 514
JOHNSTON 81,306 34,172 13,547 14,399 6,137 89 12,432 20,876 864
JONES 9,414 3,829 2,932 815 63 19 678 3,000 151
LEE 41,374 16,954 11,210 4,782 915 47 7,971 8,772 211
LENOIR 57,274 23,739 20,491 2,688 492 68 12,767 10,540 432
LINCOLN 50,319 20,189 7,401 10,101 2,502 185 3,584 16,273 332
MCDOWELL 35,681 15,091 4,317 8,067 1,614 1,093 2,823 12,043 225
MACON 23,499 17,174 5,447 7,680 1,421 2,626 2,725 14,125 324
MADISON 16,953 7,667 1,599 2,728 456 2,884 1,161 5,945 561
MARTIN 25,078 10,104 4,878 3,810 1,366 50 4,075 5,604 425
MECKLENBURG 511,433 216,416 191,601 23,238 1,425 152 184,769 30,845 802
MITCHELL 14,433 6,983 2,011 2,019 209 2,744 1,349 5,276 358
MONTGOMERY 23,346 10,421 5,567 4,171 566 117 3,232 6,826 363
MOORE 59,013 27,358 15,571 9,527 1,993 267 10,298 16,506 554
NASH 76,677 31,024 18,193 9,653 3,019 159 17,425 12,086 1,513
NEW HANOVER 120,284 57,076 45,105 10,995 888 88 40,657 16,075 344
NORTHAMPTON 20,798 8,974 4,659 2,639 1,627 49 3,118 5,359 497
ONSLOW 149,838 47,526 42,308 4,679 462 77 26,404 20,649 473
ORANGE 93,851 38,683 27,344 10,106 1,012 221 23,767 14,552 364
PAMILCO 11,372 6,050 5,239 669 111 31 697 5,200 153
PASQUOTANK 31,298 12,298 11,840 333 99 26 6,574 5,540 184
PENDER 28,855 15,437 4,633 9,700 1,029 75 2,802 12,200 435
PERQUIMANS 10,447 4,972 4,504 274 120 74 1,109 3,691 172
PERSON 30,180 12,548 4,482 6,783 1,024 259 3,861 8,045 642
PITT 107,924 43,070 37,231 4,594 1,136 109 27,121 15,350 599
POLK 14,416 7,273 2,780 3,198 860 435 1,816 5,289 168
RANDOLPH 106,546 43,634 21,818 18,920 2,236 660 14,315 28,509 810
RICHMOND 44,518 18,218 13,901 3,451 807 59 8,510 9,474 234
ROBESON 105,179 39,045 27,743 8,203 2,955 144 15,004 22,809 1,232
ROCKINGHAM 86,064 35,657 19,548 13,927 1,806 376 15,720 19,141 796
ROWAN 110,605 46,264 22,794 21,947 1,309 214 20,067 25,365 832
RUTHERFORD 56,918 25,220 12,546 8,324 3,881 469 8,109 16,618 493
SAMPSON 47,297 19,183 5,742 10,301 2,994 146 4,303 14,170 710
SCOTLAND 33,754 12,759 7,625 4,344 740 50 5,316 7,117 326
STANLY 51,765 21,808 11,776 9,412 565 55 7,780 13,706 322
STOKES 37,223 15,160 4,840 8,391 1,443 486 2,313 12,285 562
SURRY 61,704 26,022 7,580 14,862 3,145 435 5,942 19,485 595
SWAIN 11,268 5,664 1,890 1,742 142 1,890 1,357 4,152 155
TRANSYLVANIA 25,520 12,893 4,553 6,775 373 1,192 3,606 9,096 191
TYRELL 3,856 1,907 1,336 440 113 18 467 1,267 173
UNION 84,211 30,760 15,649 13,985 1,045 81 9,557 20,608 595
VANCE 38,892 15,743 8,222 6,005 1,323 193 7,015 8,288 440
WAKE 423,380 177,146 143,253 29,588 4,020 285 130,460 45,290 1,396
WARREN 17,265 8,714 1,952 4,838 1,750 174 1,408 6,589 717
WASHINGTON 13,997 5,644 3,692 1,618 305 29 2,570 2,937 137
WATAUGA 36,952 19,538 8,534 7,002 638 3,364 7,260 11,582 696
WAYNE 104,666 39,483 23,157 12,796 3,427 103 17,405 21,559 519
WILKES 59,393 24,960 12,897 8,465 1,686 1,912 3,836 20,467 657
WILSON 66,061 26,662 19,229 4,968 2,458 7 18,044 8,133 485
YADKIN 30,488 12,921 3,521 6,940 2,059 401 2,300 10,232 389
YANCEY 15,419 7,994 1,601 2,298 494 3,601 1,161 6,247 586

 

Onsite Demonstration Programs:
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Craven County Demonstration Project conducted by the local health department, state
DEHNR, and NCSU.

Chatham County Demonstration Project conducted by NCSU.

The are also four Onsite Training [and demonstration] Centers in the state, two large ones run by NCSU, and two small ones run jointly by local health departments and NCSU.

Onsite Management Communities:
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Craven County
Orange County
PPCC