If you are applying for a permit in Wake County's building jurisdiction, please visit the Permit Portal and apply for the appropriate building permit and wastewater permit.
If you are applying for a permit in a municipal building jurisdiction, please visit the Permit Portal and apply for the appropriate wastewater permit only.
- Need help selecting the correct permit type? The Residential Wastewater Permits Page has information to guide you to to the appropriate permit type.
If you are a licensed professional applying for wastewater permit, please visit the Permits for Licensed Professionals to learn more about available permit options.
Wastewater Application Requirements
Prepare Site Plan
Site Plans should be prepared in accordance with Section II.F of Regulations Governing Wastewater Treatment and Dispersal Systems in Wake County. Site plans submitted with applications must be prepared to scale. Additionally, the site plan must clearly identify all structures on the property.
The site plan must include, but not be limited to the following:
- Entire property with dimensions
- Address of property
- Bar Scale
- Structural dimensions of all structures, existing and proposed
- Dimensional location of proposal(s) to at least 3 property lines measured perpendicular to the property lines
- Existing structures, driveways, easement and buffers
Complete an online application for an Onsite Wastewater Permit
Pay Invoices Upon Receipt
Stake and Flag the Property Corners
Locate and clearly flag all corners (pins) or proposed corners of lot to be evaluated. All property lines must be clearly identified and “flagged” or marked at a minimum interval of 50 feet. If you are uncertain about the location of property corners, please have a professional land surveyor survey and flag the property prior to the site visit by WCDES staff member.
Locate and clearly flag all corners of the proposed structure(s) footprint or building envelope as represented on the site submitted site plan. The flagging or marking must include the entire foundation as well as any decks, patios, porches, etc
Locate and clearly flag all bufferyards1 , Neuse riparian buffers1 , water supply watershed buffers1 , easements1 , drainageway buffers1 , special impoundments1 , and stormwater management devices2 on the lot to be evaluated.
Complete all Site Plan Requirements
By submitting your application for an Improvement Permit and/or Construction Authorization, all items are expected to be complete. Failure to do so WILL DELAY processing of your application and may subject you to a fee for an unnecessary trip taken.
Heavy vegetation, small trees (under three inches in diameter), tall grasses, kudzu, and the shrubbery that obscures visibility or impedes movement must be removed. Proper care should be taken to protect the lot and NO SOIL SHOULD BE REMOVED in the clearing process.
New and/or Existing Septic Evaluation on Unrecorded Lots
The creation of three lots or less or the recombination of property lines is reviewed by Environmental Services to evaluate existing septic system and/or site suitability for proposed lots.
If an application is submitted for an unrecorded lot that has an existing structure and septic system on that same parcel of land, Environmental Services will have to verify that enough land remains with the existing structure for the system and for repair.
The planning jurisdiction in which the property is located makes the determination whether a wastewater review is required.
For residential lots with an existing septic system, an application for a "Wastewater: Residential Permit – Existing." If the lot has no existing system, a "Wastewater: Residential Permit – New."
For additional information, visit the Wake County Planning website.
Septic Tank Abandonment
Follow the below steps to abandon a wastewater system:
1. Apply for an Abandonment Permit through the online portal .
2. Have an approved hauler pump the liquid, sludge, and scum from all the tanks in the system.
3. The tank(s) should be abandoned by a Certified Septic Installer, licensed plumber, licensed public utilities contractor, or the owner of the property where the tank(s) is/are located. Three ways to abandon the tanks are listed below:
i) Remove the tanks
ii) Fill in the tank in one of two ways:
1) Fill in entire tank with concrete. Must cap off inlet and outlet pipe penetrations first.
2) Cap off inlet and outlet pipe penetrations with concrete, fill in entire tank with sand or pea gravel, and then cap off both inlet and outlet access openings with concrete.
iii) Crush tank in place. Break up bottom of tank so water does not pond on top. Fill in area with sand or pea gravel. Pack material to ensure settling complete.
4. Backfill the excavation with clean clay material to natural grade and establish a vegetative cover.
5. Disconnect power at the source to all electrical controls and remove all controls and panels.
6. Remove all parts of the drainfield on the ground surface (such as valves, valve boxes and risers), backfill the area to a natural grade and establish a vegetative cover.
7. Coat all surface areas exposed to effluent with hydrated lime and establish a vegetative cover.
Still need help?
Please contact Environmental Services support staff at 919-856-7400 and select Option 8 to speak directly to a Plans and Permit Technician.
Do you have additional questions and need technical assistance regarding:
Engineered Option Permit
Soil Scientist Option Permit
Engineered Flow Reduction Permit
Accessory Structure Permit
Wastewater Permit Application Process Updates
Customers seeking a wastewater permit can now submit a building permit application prior to defining the final building footprint by incorporating a Building Envelope on the preliminary site plan associated with the building permit application. Builders are encouraged to identify a Building Envelope large enough to cover multiple potential building plans (including deck, stairs, etc.). To learn more about the updated wastewater permit process and permit options available to customers, please see the links below: