Information & Forms for Contractors & Landowners
On-Site Wastewater Program
Environmental Health Specialists evaluate soil to determine suitability for septic systems (on-site wastewater systems) for residential and commercial properties. The evaluation includes examining soil, topography, landscape position, soil wetness, soil depth, and available space. If conditions are suitable or provisionally suitable then an Improvement Permit can be issued to the applicant. In addition a Construction Authorization for On-site Wastewater System permit must be obtained prior to the construction of the facility. Application packets along with the applicable fees are required to be submitted to the Gaston County Environmental Health Division prior to evaluation of the property.
When an on-site wastewater contractor installs a septic system, an Environmental Health Specialist must inspect the installation prior to the septic system being covered. If the septic system includes a pump, all accessory items associated with the pump system must be installed prior to the Environmental Health Division issuing an Operation Permit. This includes the pump, floats, NEMA 4X Box mounted outside the pump tank, and high water alarm. An Operation Permit is required before a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued by the Gaston County Building Inspections Department.
If a homeowner experiences septic system problems, staff will make a site visit to diagnose the problem. If a septic system is failing (sewage surfacing on ground or backing up into the house) then a repair permit is required prior to repairing the septic system.
Environmental Health Specialists also investigate complaints regarding septic system failures. Staff can issue a Notice of Violation, if necessary, giving a specific time limit to correct the problem. Should the repair work not be completed during this time period a criminal summons will be taken out on the property owner.
On-site Wastewater Verification
A verification of an existing septic system is required when adding an addition to an existing house or facility (deck or pool), storage building, or replacing a mobile home on an existing property.
Effective January 1, 2008 all on-site wastewater contractors (septic tank contractors) and inspectors were required to be certified by the North Carolina On-Site Wastewater Contractors and Inspectors Certification Board. Below is a link to the website which provides information on becoming a certified on-site wastewater contractor or inspector and a list of current certified on-site wastewater contractors and inspectors.
Well Permitting, Inspection and Testing of Private Drinking Water Wells
A well permit is required for any private drinking water well in Gaston County. An application and site plan, along with required permit fee is to be submitted to the Environmental Health Division prior to a well being installed. An Environmental Health Specialist will make a site visit prior to issuing a well permit to verify septic systems locations and designate areas meeting required setbacks. The certified well contractor is required to schedule a grouting inspection with the Environmental Health Division. Staff are required to inspect the well head prior to issuing a Certificate of Completion. This certificate must be obtained prior to placing the well into use.
All newly constructed private drinking water wells are required to have the following samples collected: bacteriological, inorganic chemicals, and nitrite/nitrate.
Testing of Private Drinking Water Wells
Environmental Health has a state certified laboratory which can test well water for bacteria (total and fecal coliform). Well water can be tested for inorganic chemicals. These samples are sent to the State Laboratory of Public Health.
West Nile Virus (WNV) and Vector (Mosquito) Control
Public education about West Nile Virus through media relations and one-on-one consultations has increased community awareness about the need for mosquito control measures. Staff works with area residents, conveying information about eliminating mosquito breeding sites by removing any standing water from their property.