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Indiana Department of Environmental Management


Table of Contents: Land Quality

Wastewater (Septage)

IDEM oversees the requirements for the removal, transport, storage, treatment and disposal of wastewater (septage) from sewage disposal systems

All businesses that remove and manage septic wastewater from domestic septic tanks, holding tanks, privies, seepage pits, cesspools, compost toilets, portable sanitary units and "restaurant" grease (animal/vegetable only) from traps or interceptors must have a permit. All vehicles used to transport septic wastewater must have a valid vehicle identification number assigned by IDEM. The regulation and rule governing wastewater management can be found in the Indiana Administrative Code under IC 13-18-12 and the Indiana Administrative Code under 327 IAC 7.1. There are no fees for the business permit, vehicle identification number, and storage/treatment permit; however, there is a fee for land application site permits.

Septic wastewater may be transported to, and discharged directly into a NPDES permitted publicly owned treatment works (POTW), a storage/treatment facility specifically designed for the storage/treatment of domestic septage and "restaurant" grease (animal/vegetable only), or it may be land applied. All sites where septic wastewater is to be land applied must be pre-approved and permitted by IDEM.

Application Information

Mananging Wastewater
  • Those businesses that deal with septage or wish to deal with septage must submit an application to IDEM;
  • Apply for a business permit prior to engaging in wastewater management;
  • Not advertise or engage in the wastewater management activities without a permit, and use only the business name on the permit in advertising;
  • Renew all permits and vehicle identification numbers prior to the expiration date; and,
  • Have each land application site, storage/treatment facility, and vehicle used for pumping and transporting wastewater inspected.
Land Applying Wastewater (Septage)
  • Submit an application which includes:
    1. a statement signed by the property owner granting permission, acknowledging crop and use limitations, and stating that land application is not prohibited by any covenant of record;
    2. a county map showing the property location and proposed wastewater application site;
    3. a soil survey map classifying the soils and their permeability within the proposed site and specifying the site's suitability for wastewater disposal;
    4. an accurate drawing that indicates all required features of interest; and
    5. an application fee of $30.00 per site per year.
  • Restrict access to the site for specific time periods after application;
  • Utilize "Lime Stabilization" of the wastewater prior to application to significantly reduce pathogens;
  • Submit the required quarterly reports;
  • Do not apply to saturated, snow covered, or frozen soil;
  • Employ the proper application rates based on nitrogen requirement of next years crop;
  • Use techniques which prevent erosion;
  • Any "restaurant" grease (animal/vegetable only) that is land applied must be injected or otherwise incorporated into the soil within six (6) hours after application; and,
  • Renew the land application site permit prior to its expiration.
Storing and Treating Wastewater (Septage)

All wastewater storage/treatment facilities must have a permit. The applicant must:

  • Submit an application accompanied by plans and specifications certified by a registered engineer licensed to practice in Indiana;
  • Follow all setbacks required for facility location;
  • Submit a statement signed by the property owner granting permission and stating that the facility is not prohibited by any covenant of record;
  • Submit the appropriate maps and drawing required by the application;
  • As detailed in 327 IAC 7.1-4-11, a storage/treatment facility that is no longer being used must be closed in a manner protective of human health and the environment, requiring that the operator:
    1. notify IDEM 30 days in advance that the facility is to be closed;
    2. complete the closure within 120 days of notification;
    3. properly dispose of the contents of the facility;
    4. properly dismantle and remove the facility; and,
    5. submit a certified statement that the requirements have been met.

What to Expect

There are no time requirements that IDEM must meet when issuing business permits, storage/ treatment permits or vehicle identification numbers; however, more than half of all business permits and vehicle identification numbers are issued within 21 days of receipt. IDEM must issue all new land application site permits within 180 days of receipt of a complete application.

All storage/treatment facility permits are issued within 90 days of receipt of a complete application. All wastewater management related permits and vehicle identification numbers are non transferable.

For Additional Information:

Visit IDEM’s Land Permits Web page for application documents. Pre-application and/or post-application meetings with IDEM's OLQ Solid Waste Permits staff are encouraged to clarify any questions you may have regarding land application and septage regulations. Please direct questions or requests for more information to IDEM’s OLQ Land Application Program at (800) 451-6027, ext. 2-8735.