environmental health professionals

Who Designs Septic Systems? Navigating the World of Wastewater Management

Who Designs Septic Systems? Navigating the World of Wastewater Management


Septic systems are a key component of residential and commercial property infrastructure, particularly in areas not served by municipal sewage systems. But who are the experts responsible for designing these essential systems? Understanding the roles of professionals in the wastewater management field can guide you through the process of installation and maintenance of a septic system.

The Septic System Designers:

  1. Civil Engineers:
    • Typically, civil engineers with a specialization in environmental or sanitary engineering design septic systems.
    • They consider soil conditions, property layout, and wastewater treatment needs to create efficient systems.
  2. Sanitary Engineers:
    • These are civil engineers who focus specifically on public health concerns, dealing with the collection and disposal of wastewater.
    • They ensure that septic systems do not contaminate the water supply or the environment.
  3. Septic System Contractors:
    • In some regions, licensed septic system contractors can design simpler systems.
    • They work within the bounds of local health department regulations and environmental guidelines.
  4. Environmental Health Professionals:
    • These experts have specialized knowledge in soil science and public health, contributing to the design process, particularly for large or complex systems.
    • They often work for or with government health departments to approve designs and ensure public safety.
  5. Soil Scientists:
    • Soil scientists assess and classify the soil to determine the most suitable type of septic system for a given location.
    • Their expertise ensures that the system will properly filter and treat wastewater before it returns to the groundwater system.

The Design Process:

  • Initial Assessment: Soil percolation tests, topographical mapping, and environmental impact assessments are conducted.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Designers ensure that the septic system meets all local, state, and federal regulations.
  • Customization: The system is tailored to the specific needs of the property, taking into account the size of the household or facility and projected wastewater volumes.

Why Professional Design is Crucial:

  • Efficiency: Proper design ensures efficient treatment of wastewater, reducing the risk of system failure.
  • Environment: Well-designed systems prevent contamination of groundwater and surface water, preserving the environment and public health.
  • Legal Obligations: Adherence to regulations avoids legal issues and potential fines associated with non-compliance.


The design of septic systems is a complex task that should be entrusted to qualified professionals, whether they are engineers, contractors, or environmental health specialists.

These experts ensure that the septic system is efficient, compliant with regulations, and environmentally sound, thus safeguarding public health and the integrity of your property.