Text Box: A Guide for Homeowner’s Septic Systems

The construction or operation of a septic system is governed by “The Standard for Individual Sub-Surface Sewerage Disposal Systems,” N.J.A.C. 7:9A-1, also known as Chapter 199.  It is illegal in New Jersey to construct, alter or repair a septic system without a permit.  Penalties for violating the regulations may be up to $50,000 per day per violation.  If you are unsure as to whether or not specific activities require a permit, you should contact your local health department at:

       856-935-7510, extension 8448.  


A Properly Maintained Septic System Will Last For the Life of the Home

A septic system is composed of only two basic components: 

A septic tank which allows the settling of solids and the retention of floating material; and

A disposal trench which allows the wastewater to infiltrate into the soil.


This relatively simple system of wastewater renovation and disposal will last for the life of the home if it is properly designed and operated. 

In many cases the use of improperly functioning septic system has endangered public health.  Typhoid fever, dysentery and diarrhea may be spread by the improper treatment of human waste products.  Un-treated or poorly treated sewage may cause contamination of the ground water supply.  If it is discharged to the ground surface it may create fly breeding areas, filth and odors.  Untreated sewage that enters lakes or streams can cause the water to be unfit for recreational, agricultural or potable uses.   

How a Septic System Works

Text Box: Salem County GreenKeepers

Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Salem County Board of Agriculture

Salem County Dept. of Economic Development

Salem County Planning Board

New Jersey Farm Bureau

Salem County Board of Chosen Freeholders


The preparation of this brochure has been financed by a NJDEP grant for The Salem County GreenKeepers Watershed Project.