Septic Tank Regulations in Florida

By Jonathan Lister
A working septic tank aids your toilet in operating properly.

Toilet bowl and bidet in a toilet image by terex from Fotolia.com

Without a working septic tank, your toilet will do little more than stink up your entire house. Septic tank regulations in Florida are in place to ensure adherence to safety standards. They also help guarantee that existing septic systems maintain proper functionality. Without these regulations, faulty septic systems pose a risk to the environment from damage to soil quality and the fouling of ground water.

Approval for Septic Systems

All buildings in Florida intended for occupancy and those places where people are expected to gather must have state-approved septic systems for water treatment and waste removal. As long as a system has approval and is in working order, it remains valid under Florida law and requires no new updates. However, anyone wishing to make alterations to the septic system that change the conditions under which it was approved must be given re-approval by the county department of health. The owner of the property must submit proof that the septic system was previously approved and submit an application for construction with the health department.

Installation Restrictions for Tanks

According to the Florida Department of Health's website, once an application for construction has been approved by the department, modifications and installations of septic tanks must be made by a registered septic tank contractor, certified plumber or master septic tank contractor. This professional must make a visual inspection of an existing tank while the tank is empty before additions may be made. Inspection is done in this manner to determine whether any leaks are present in the tank and whether making additions to the equipment is sufficient to bring it into compliance with health department standards.

Size of Tanks

A septic tank in Florida must have a minimum 900 gallon capacity for up to 300 gallons of sewage flow per day. This gallon capacity increases on a sliding scale by household size and whether or not the building is intended for commercial use.The Florida Department of Health accepts metered water use data in order to determine what size tank is necessary for the property. Data must be authenticated, stretch back at least 12 months prior to the application for construction date and contain information on sewage flow for at least six other similar establishments.

About the Author

Jonathan Lister has been a writer and content marketer since 2003. His latest book publication, "Bullet, a Demos City Novel" is forthcoming from J Taylor Publishing in June 2014. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing and poetics from Naropa University.

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