The Sewage Wastewater Program at Marion Public Health permits household sewage treatment systems (HSTS). Our goal is to work with homeowners and contractors to make installing a septic tank a seamless process. We developed a homeowner’s guide you can access below to guide you through each step of the process. We also follow up on sewage complaints in the community. Marion Public Health strives to educate before we regulate. If you have any questions regarding septic tanks, please call 740-692-9112.

Please click here to access our homeowner’s guide to installing a septic tank. Document attached

How do I know if my septic system is failing?

  • If the aerator motor(spins to introduce air and mixing) is missing or does not come on. If you have an onlot leach field or filter bed, the field can become plugged due to the stronger waste stream, reducing the life of your system. If you discharge to a tile, you are discharging untreated sewage to the creek, ditch, stream or river. You and your neighbor’s drinking water wells and groundwater can become contaminated.
  • Not pumping the tank at least every 3-5 years can plug up the outlet tile. You may see sewage surfacing in the yard.
  • Lush green grass around the tank may indicate a crack in the tank or seal allowing sewage to seep out before the leach field where dispersal and treatment occurs. All tanks should be watertight.
  • The drains inside your house drain slowly or not at all(could also be a plug in the waste line).
  • Have your system inspected. See the list of registered service providers below.

How do I prolong the life of my septic system?

Older style stone and pipe septic systems can last 50-60 years before the lines plug up with a biomat or the tank corrodes or cracks. If the system was put in after permitting requirements, a drawing of your system may be on file at the Health Department with the date of install and the type of system. Systems are categorized as on-lot (soil infiltration and treatment) and off-lot or discharging. The off-lot is no longer allowed unless it is the only replacement option and an NPDES permit is obtained.

Alterations to off lot discharging systems require an NPDES permit from the EPA and upgrading the system to discharge cleaner water to the tile to comply with the Clean Water Act of 2007. See Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Fact Sheet. If the system can be altered by installing an onlot system, there is no need to obtain an NPDES permit from the EPA.

More Information

How do I choose a septic system?

View the Septic System Fact Sheets for the Homeowner on the Ohio Department of Health website at