The department is authorized to grant variances in hardship cases which may be less restrictive than the provisions specified section 381.0065, Florida Statutes, and those portions of Chapter 62-6, F.A.C., that implement section 381.0065, F.S.
A person who applies for a system construction permit but cannot meet the requirements of the rule or statute will have their permit denied and may request a variance from the standards. Applications for variance can be obtained from the local county health department that denied the permit application or can be downloaded below. Instructions for completing the variance application form are included with the form.
The department is authorized to grant variances when it is satisfied that:
The hardship was not caused intentionally by the action of the applicant.
No reasonable alternative, taking into consideration factors such as cost, exists for the treatment of the sewage.
The discharge from the onsite sewage treatment and disposal system will not adversely affect the health of the applicant or the public, or significantly degrade the groundwater or surface waters.
Applying for a Variance
To apply for a variance, you will need to prepare eight copies of the completed variance application and supporting documentation and provide the eight copies and the required fee payment to your local county health department.
Your application will need to be reviewed by the local county health department and the completed application received by the Onsite Sewage Program office in Tallahassee no later than the 15th of the month in order to be placed on the agenda for the next monthly meeting of the Variance Review and Advisory Committee. If the 15th falls on a weekend or legal holiday, the deadline for receipt will be the next regular working day. If the variance request involves setbacks from wells or surface waters, the separation of the drainfield from the estimated wet season high water table, or the authorized sewage flow of the property, the county health department will post a sign on the property giving notice of the application for variance.
Supporting documentation should include eight copies of each of the following:
A completed application for onsite sewage treatment and disposal system construction permit.
A denial letter from your county health department.
A completed site evaluation form.
A completed plot plan, drawn to scale, showing pertinent features on your own and the neighboring properties.
Complete plans and specifications for the proposed system.
Any other information necessary for rendering a decision or which you feel is pertinent to your case.
If your variance request involves setback violations, your site plan should very clearly show the exact setback dimensions that will be achieved if the variance is granted.
If your variance request involves the setback to a public drinking water supply well, a written opinion from the agency regulating the affected public drinking water system is needed.
If your variance request involves jurisdiction of sewage treatment, a letter from the agency having jurisdiction which authorizes the department to take jurisdiction of the sewage flow is needed.
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.