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Union County, North Carolina

Septic Systems, Wells & Water Protection

Septic Systems, Wells & Water Protection

Septic System Application

Soil & Site Evaluation

Septic Systems

The Union County On-site wastewater / septic program performs site evaluations, issues permits and inspects existing systems to protect the public health of Union County. By performing these duties, we help ensure the proper completion of construction, design and monitoring of septic systems.

Site Evaluation Process

The soil is evaluated to determine the suitability for an on-site wastewater / septic system. A soil evaluation is required for any new construction and for any existing properties that may be adding to the existing building / house.

Construction Authorization/Permitting

The Construction Authorization is the septic permit required prior to any construction.

Existing System Inspections

These inspections are made by request only. These inspections are required prior to any new construction on a property with an existing septic system. This includes garages, swimming pools, irrigation systems, attachments to existing buildings, etc.

Repair/Maintenance of Existing Septic Systems

A request is made by the homeowner, or representative thereof, for a repair to be made to a malfunctioning system. A site visit is made by the Environmental Health Specialist to assess the situation and to make recommendations, prior to issuing a repair permit.

Maintenance Program

The maintenance program is a State mandated program that specifies inspection frequencies for specific types of on-site wastewater / septic systems. Low Pressure Pipe (LPP), Pre-treatment, and pump systems are examples of systems which must be inspected.

For LPP systems and pre-treatment systems, there is a homeowner’s guide, a certified operator list, and a sample inspection sheet available under the “Rules & Guides” section.


The following is an outline of our process to obtain a septic permit:

  1. Apply for a site evaluation using the Septic System Approval Application
  2. Evaluation of property is performed and flagged, if suitable by an Environmental Health Specialist
  3. Submit the Construction Authorization Application Construction Authorization Permit is drawn by Environmental Health Specialist
  4. Pick up permit


In an effort to protect public health and to responsibly develop the groundwater resources of Union County, the Union County Health Department, Environmental Health Division has implemented a program for the permitting, inspection and water quality analysis for all new private drinking water wells and irrigation wells. This program shall adhere to all regulations set forth in 15A NCAC 02C .0300, and the Union County Health Department Regulations Governing the Permitting, Construction, Inspection, Repair, Abandonment and Water Quality Testing of Irrigation Wells in Union County.

Well Permit

A well permit is required for: Private drinking wells, Irrigation wells, Water producing geothermal wells and Well repairs*.

To obtain a well permit:

  • An Application and site plan including: property line dimensions, structures, pools, septic systems and other potential sources of contamination listed on the application form, must be submitted to the Environmental Health office.
  • A $480 permit fee is due when the application is submitted.
  • A field visit to the property shall occur.
  • The permit shall be prepared using the site plan. It will have a scaled drawing of the property indicating the location of all potential sources of contamination and setbacks. The well may be located anywhere outside of the setback area(s).

*Any well application for a parcel which is served by public sewer or water shall be reviewed by Union County Public Works. All wells applied for in the City of Monroe shall have approval from the Monroe Water Resources Department. This generally increases the permit preparation time by seven days or longer.

Water Quality Testing

How to apply for water quality testing sample: Complete a Request Form and mail appropriate fee(s) to the Environmental Health Office. Sampling is generally scheduled within five working days.

Available Water Quality Tests:

  • Bacteria
  • Nitrate/Nitrite
  • Iron Bacteria
  • Sulfur Bacteria
  • Inorganic
  • Pesticide
  • Herbicide
  • Petroleum


Bacteria test results will be mailed to you. If you would like to view or print a copy of your water sample test results (non-bacterial), please visit the North Carolina Laboratory of Public Health website for; Inorganic/Nitrates Results , Petroleum/Pesticides Results. Scroll down the page and click on inorganic or organic sample test results, enter Union County Environmental Health under counties, and follow directions.

For information regarding contaminants and minerals in your drinking water, please visit the EPA’s website.

Water Quality

How does Union County protect our water quality?

The On-Site Water Protection Section of the Division of Environmental Health is committed to protecting the environment and promoting public health. This is accomplished by having a dedicated staff of environmental health specialists who carry out the following responsibilities:

  • Performing soil and site evaluations;
  • Issuing / denying on-site wastewater system permits;
  • Inspecting new and existing septic tank systems;
  • Responding to complaints;
  • Issuing / denying well permits; and
  • Water sampling of wells, including: bacteria inorganic nitrates/nitrites pesticides petroleum.

The overall goal for the On-Site Water Protection Section is to provide a resource for the citizens of Union County for education and consultation regarding public health issues.

Vector: Union County currently does not have any vector control ordinances. However, we do offer assistance through educational materials and on-site visits, as needed.

West Nile virus: North Carolina and Union County have had positive cases of West Nile virus. At this time, the State Laboratory of Public Health has discontinued the testing of dead birds for West Nile virus. As a resident of Union County, you should assume the West Nile virus is present and all necessary precautions should be taken.

What systems require permits?

What systems require inspection?

Permits are issued by the On-site Water Protection Program for the installation of new drinking and irrigation wells or for the repair of existing wells. Inspections of well installations and well water sampling are also conducted. Water samples can be tested for the following: bacteria, petroleum pesticides, herbicides, nitrates/nitrates and inorganics. The inorganic test includes evaluation for: pH, alkalinity, fluoride, chloride, calcium, magnesium, total hardness, manganese, lead, arsenic, copper, iron and zinc.

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David Finley
Environmental Health Supervisor

Phone: 704-283-3879

Environmental Health Concerns in the Community

If you have a concern about an Environmental Health issue, please use the following link to request a follow-up.

Complaint Form

About Water Quality Protection

The On-site Water Protection Program serves the community through the protection of surface and ground water supplies. Program staff educate citizens on water quality, contaminant issues and waterborne diseases. Environmental Health Specialists conduct soil and site evaluations to determine suitability for septic systems on both residential and commercial properties. This program is responsible for the design, permitting and inspection of new systems and the repair of existing sewage disposal systems. Other duties include responding to citizen complaints and performing existing system inspections. Existing system inspections are performed for homeowners who are constructing additions to their home including: bedrooms, decks, porches, detached buildings, swimming pools or rooms outside the existing foundation.