Onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS), commonly referred to as septic systems, are currently used for wastewater disposal by approximately 30% of Florida’s population. With an estimated 2.6 million systems in operation, Florida represents 12% of the United States’ septic systems.
Proper design, construction and maintenance of systems are important to help protect Florida’s ground water, which provides 90% of the state's drinking water. Permitting and inspection of OSTDS is handled by the Environmental Health section of the Florida Department of Health in each county. If you have a question or concern about an issue that is located entirely within one county, versus statewide, please contact your local county health department directly.
Please Note: Some documents are still in the process of being updated to reflect the transfer of the Onsite Sewage Program from the Florida Department of Health to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the location of some documents may have changed. If you have questions, please contact OSTDS_Feedback@FloridaDEP.gov
Effective July 1, 2021, DEP is responsible for implementing the Florida Statutes and regulations applicable to OSTDS. Under Florida's Clean Waterways Act of 2020, the county health department offices will continue to do the permitting and inspection for septic tanks; please continue to work with them for all of your permitting-related needs. For more details, please see our dedicated program transfer page.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.