Septic System Permitting

2023 naco awards seal

Wake County’s Wastewater Program is responsible for all permitting and inspecting activities that require a septic system for wastewater disposal while offering technical assistance to those designing septic and wastewater systems. The Program works closely with both individual homeowners and the private sector on review and permitting of septic system designs. 

Turnaround time for Residential Wastewater Permitting

Installers and Inspectors

Awards and Recognition

Permitting Changes to Existing Subsurface Wastewater Systems with Increased Field Accuracy, Efficiency, and Safety

2023 naco awards seal

Program Year: 2023
Category: Information Technology


Wake County is growing rapidly with an average net increase of 62 people per day. This results in a public demand for permits for both new wastewater systems and adjustments to current lot use and systems. Existing septic system location records extend back to the 1940s and in some cases may not be available at all. To approve accessory structure permits on lots with septic systems or permit modifications to existing systems, staff previously needed to repeatedly use a probe rod to locate subsurface components of onsite wastewater systems. Locating existing system components was time consuming, physically demanding and often inaccurate. In April 2021, the Wake County Water Quality Division (WQ) implemented a program to decrease turnaround time for issuance of these State-mandated permits by utilizing ground penetrating radar equipment (GPR). This maximizes in-field productivity and decision-making and facilitated the reduction of turnaround time for permitting by 1.5 hours per application. The risk of personal injury and property damage that can be caused by probing was also decreased. Staff embraced the process change. Implementing this technology improves customer service by reducing permit turnaround time and ultimately helps protect public health and natural resources by accurately identifying subsurface wastewater system locations.

Online Reporting of Septic System Malfunctions Improves Customer Response

2022 NACo Award

Program Year: 2022


In May 2022, Wake County Environmental Services received national recognition from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for its online septic system malfunctions reporting form.  The online form facilitates public reporting of septic system malfunctions by allowing residents to submit septic complaints and repair requests 24 hours a day. Once information is received, the request is directly entered into the county permitting system to notify technical staff to call or visit the site.  This process improvement facilitated a 50% reduction in staff response time.  The  webform not only improves customer service by reducing processing time, it also helps protect public health and natural resources by reducing potential exposure to harmful bacteria. 

Nancy Daly
Environmental Services Water Resources Manager

Submit a Complaint or Request a Repair Permit

To submit a complaint or request a repair permit, please submit online below or
call 919-856-7400 and select option 8 to speak directly to Environmental Services staff for a site investigation.

Submit a Complaint or Repair Request Online

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