Every dwelling or establishment whether publicly of privately owned, where people reside, assemble, or are employed, shall be provided with toilet facilities, and a sewer system approved by the Nicholas County Health Department. All water containing human, animal, or domestic waste must be properly disposed through an approved sewage system. In areas not served by public sewer disposal, onsite sewage disposal systems are required. Surface discharge sewage disposal may be required when onsite sewage subsurface discharge is not allowable under law; such systems are permitted by the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
Nicholas County Health Department permits and inspects all onsite sewage disposal systems with a daily design flow not in excess of one thousand gallons per day with subsurface discharge, or not in excess of six hundred gallons per day design flow with surface discharge. Qualifying residential onsite sewage disposal systems are the sole jurisdiction of Nicholas County Health Department, but qualifying commercial onsite sewage disposal systems may be subject to additional permitting through the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Underground Injection Control program.
All onsite sewage disposal systems must be permitted and installed according to W.Va. 64 C.S.R. 9 and W. Va. 64 C.S.R. 47 Chapter 6. This includes traditional septic systems, shallow and elevated systems, home aeration units, intermittent sand filters, composting toilets, incinerating and chemical toilets, grey water disposal systems, privies, recirculating toilets, self-contained excreta disposal systems, and alternative and experimental sewage systems.
Onsite sewage disposal systems must be installed by a West Virginia certified sewage system installer after obtaining a permit from Nicholas County Health Department. Homeowners may install a standard onsite sewage disposal system for their personal residence provided that the homeowner passes an exam administered by Nicholas County Health Department. Exams are only acceptable for one residence. Exam study materials are available upon request. Please contact Nicholas County Health Department with further questions regarding homeowner installation, or to schedule an appointment to take an exam.
Steps to obtain an residential onsite sewage system permit:
- Coordinate with Nicholas County Health Department to conduct a disposal system site evaluation. This will include an evaluation of land conditions, soil composition and lot size. Nicholas County Health Department will require an excavation hole of six feet in depth to evaluate soil for groundwater, bedrock and other limiting factors. Not all sites are acceptable for onsite sewage disposal.
- Perform soil water percolation tests at the proposed location of the onsite sewage disposal system subsurface discharge area.
- Submit to Nicholas County Health Department a fully completed Application for a Permit to Install or Modify an Onsite Sewage Disposal System, and pay appropriate fees.
- If Nicholas County Health Department approves the proposed site, if percolation test results are acceptable, and if all applications and fees are submitted as required, Nicholas County Health Department may issue a permit to install the onsite sewage disposal system.
- Install the onsite sewage disposal system as designed, approved and permitted.
- Coordinate with Nicholas County Health Department for an installation compliance inspection. All onsite sewage disposal systems must be inspected prior to covering with soil or placing into use.
Although similar, steps for approval and permitting of commercial, non-standard or alternative systems may vary. Contact Nicholas County Health Department for assistance with the approval process for such sewage systems.