Site Analysis and Utility Needs

Analysis of the potential site should be taken very early in the process.


Freeman HowardColumbia County Health Department Procedures


For new septic system installations, the procedure involves initial percolation testing by the applicant or their consultants, then scheduling a site visit with Columbia County Health Department representatives to witness additional percolation tests and deep hole excavation tests that further assess site conditions.


For existing systems that are not on file at the County Health Department, the Department may require onsite exploratory excavations and/or percolation tests to confirm the size and capacity of the existing system.


It should be noted that the County Health Department will not conduct the tests for the applicant, nor will they supply or schedule the backhoe and operator for the deep tests. The applicant or their consultant is responsible for conducting the tests and making the arrangements with the excavator.


Typically site visits will not be scheduled once the ground has frozen in the late fall or winter, and will not begin again until spring when the ground has thawed.


Depending upon work load, scheduling site visits with the County Health Department may have to be done several weeks in advance; furthermore, many Planning Boards require septic approval prior to site plan approval, so it is prudent to plan accordingly.


If a project is proposed in an area with soil and/or subsurface conditions that are generally known to the County Health Department as being non-conducive to basic insitu septic systems, the Department may suggest that a professional consultant be retained by the applicant to propose and design an adequate alternative system.



Site Analysis and Utility Needs Topics

Land Purchase

Purchasing An Existing Building

• Health Department Procedures

Utility Company Contacts


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