District Health Department #2

Serving Alcona, Iosco, Ogemaw & Oscoda Counties

West Branch office (989) 345-5020 · Tawas office (989) 362-6183 · Harrisville office (989) 724-6757 · Mio office (989) 826-3970 · Toll-free 1(800) 504-2650

Commercial On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems


Construction of On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems at commercial locations that generate less than 10,000 gallons per day of waste water are regulated by District Health Department No. 2.  Commercial systems greater than 10,000 gallons per day are regulated by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

The primary document that regulates commercial systems is the "Michigan Criteria for Subsurface Sewage Disposal."  Construction permits from District Health Department No. 2 are required prior to constructing or repairing an onsite sewage disposal system for a commercial structure.


 An application for a permit can be obtained by clicking the “Application” link on this site or by visiting a District Health Department No. 2 office.  A completed application is valid for the remainder of the year submitted and for two (2) additional years, after which time a new application must be submitted. 

 Once the application and the associated fee are submitted to the Health Department, Environmental Health staff will make arrangements to visit the site to conduct a site and soils review.   A backhoe typically needs to be provided by the applicant to excavate test pits in the area of the proposed soil absorption area and reserve area. Soil texture, seasonal high water table, and other factors affecting soil permeability and site suitability are determined during the site visit.

 Crucial elements of the Health Department review process are determining the volume of wastewater generated from a location during peak use periods and strength characteristics of the waste water, i.e., fats, oils, greases, solids, etc.   Soil application rates for waste water are determined based on soil texture.

 Systems that generate over 1000 gallons per day of wastewater, are required to have plans submitted by an engineer registered in the state of Michigan. Systems less than 2000 gallons per day may have the engineered plan requirement waived at the discretion of the Health Department.


Once the site is determined to be acceptable and adequate information has been provided, a permit to construct an on-site sewage disposal and treatment system can be issued.

 A permit is valid for the remainder of the year in which it is written and for all of the following year.

 A permit may be extended for one (1) year provided an extension is applied for within 30 days of the permit’s expiration date, and any site changes do not affect the permit.  An extension form with the accompanying fee must be submitted.  Only one (1) permit extension is allowed, after which time a new permit application must be submitted.

 Final Inspection

 A final inspection of the completed system is required prior to covering any portion of the system.

 Final inspections are arranged with the Health Department by the installer or property owner.