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Public Notice of 2024 Annual Ambient Air Monitoring Plan until June 28, 2024. Click here.

Onsite Sewage Disposal

Onsite sewage disposal systems treat and dispose of wastewater on the same property on which the wastewater is generated.

The Jefferson County Department of Health is a leader in promoting public health through the use of onsite sewage disposal by:
  • Onsite Regulations - Regulating and inspecting new onsite systems
  • Investigating and inspecting repairs to improperly functioning onsite systems.
  • Providing a Certificate of Competency to individuals who install, maintain, and repair onsite systems.

Septic tank with underground gravel disposal field lines system is most commonly used in Jefferson County. However, there are peat bio-filters, aerobic treatment units, above-ground mound systems, spray irrigation systems, buried sand mounds, gravel-less pipe, and a variety of other alternative sewage disposal systems in Jefferson County. The Jefferson County Department of Health has a three-fold strategy to ensure properly operating onsite sewage disposal systems.

JCDH's three-fold strategy includes proper:

  1. Site Evaluation

    The site evaluation process begins when a homeowner hires a local engineer, land surveyor or soil scientist to conduct preliminary soil investigations and submits an  Onsite Sewage Disposal Permit Application and plot plan. The data submitted to the Jefferson County Department of Health is then reviewed by one of its Environmental Health Specialists. The Environmental Health Specialist travels to the site to evaluate the data submitted as well as performing a soils examination prior to determining the feasibility of constructing an onsite sewage disposal system.

  2. System Construction

    After the Jefferson County Department of Health issues a permit to construct an onsite sewage disposal system, a building permit is issued. The house is then constructed and the onsite sewage disposal system is installed.

  3. System Maintenance

Frequently used forms for use when applying for permits with this Department:
For questions concerning onsite sewage disposal system fees, malfunction, maintenance, and repairs in Jefferson County:
Community Environmental Protection Division - (205) 930-1230


  • Pump tank every 3 to 5 years
  • Septic tanks are designed for fecal material and toilet paper. Do NOT place chemicals, grease, chemical wipes, oils, tampons or diapers into sinks or toilets
  • Check lots for onsite system approval prior to purchase
  • Contact JCDH personnel before any extensive landscaping, pool installation, or home additions
Central Health Center
(Guy M. Tate)

1400 Sixth Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233
(205) 588-5234

(205) 933-9110
Eastern Health Center
601 West Blvd Roebuck
Birmingham, AL 35206
Programs and Clinics
(205) 588-5234
Western Health Center
631 Bessemer Super Hwy
Midfield, AL 35228
Programs and Clinics
(205) 588-5234
Hours of Operation:
All Centers are open 7:45am to 4:30pm. Phone lines for clinic appointments open at 7:00am Monday through Friday.

If this is a Medical Emergency call 911.
If you are a patient and need to reach your health care team after business hours for non-life threatening conditions, call (205) 588-5234. For Medical Emergencies dial 911.

Nondiscrimination Compliance Office
(205) 930-1585
Notice of Nondiscrimination [ English ]  [ Español ]
Nondiscrimination Policy

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