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Septic Designer or Installer

Permits issued to those who demonstrate working knowledge of disposal systems.

A wastewater disposal system is required for any structure to which a water supply is connected. Sewage disposal systems, or septic systems, must be designed and installed by an individual holding a valid permit issued by the NHDES Subsurface Systems Bureau. All test pit data must be logged by or under the supervision of a permitted designer. Additionally, applications for repair or replacement of an existing septic system must be submitted and installed by a permit-holder.

NHDES will issue a permit to any person who demonstrates a sound working knowledge of the procedures and practices required in site evaluation and the ability to read approved waste disposal plans.



Designer/Installer Exams
NHDES administers examinations two times per year, with the major testing taking place in the spring and fall.
An installer or designer permit is issued upon successful completion of the appropriate examination. The designer's exam consists of written sections and a field exam for soil interpretation. The written and field components of the designer’s exam must be passed within a one-year timeframe. Installers must pass a written examination only. The examinations are intended to ensure that designers and installers can design and install appropriate systems for a variety of site and use conditions. Please be advised all seats the fall 2021 exams for both Designers and installers have been filled.


Renewal / Continuing Education
Installer and designer permits are valid for a two-year period from January 1 to December 31 of the following year. Permits for installers and designers are renewable upon proper application, payment of a biennial fee of $80, and compliance with the continuing education requirements.

Within the two-year renewal period, permitted designers and installers must complete a minimum of six credit
hours of continuing education approved by NHDES. See the Approved Continuing Education Seminars

For more information about Septic Systems, see the Septic Systems webpage.


Call the Subsurface Reviewer of the Day at (603) 271-3501.