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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Subsurface Systems Bureau
Septic System Designer and Installer Permitting

NHDES issues permits to septic system designers and installers to ensure that effluent disposal systems are properly designed and installed. 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.

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. Installers must pass a written examination only.  The written exam and field exam for the designers exam must be passed within a one year timeframe. The examinations are intended to ensure that designers and installers can design and install appropriate systems for a variety of site and use conditions. See Permitting of Installers and Designers of Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol(Fact Sheet WD-SSB-4).

Statute and Administrative Rules
RSA 485-A:29-44 Water Pollution And Waste Disposal/Sewage Disposal Systems
Env-Wq 1000 Subdivision and Individual Sewage Disposal System Design Rules

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Installer ApplicationMicrosoft Word Symbol

For both designers and installers, the fee is $80 per exam; $80 per biennial renewal.

Processing Time
The estimated processing time for a licensing decision after an exam is passed is five days.

Effective January 1, 2009, permits for both designers and installers are valid for 2 years beginning on January 1 and expiring on December 31 of the following year.

Pursuant to RSA 485-A:35 & 36, permitted designers and installers are required to complete six hours of NHDES approved continuing education within a renewal period. This requirement must be met to be eligible for each biennial permit renewal. Please note; individuals jointly permitted as both a designer and installer are only required to obtain six credit hours per renewal period. For more information, please see the Continuing Education section.

Not applicable.

Not transferable.

Any person aggrieved by a final decision of the Subsurface Systems Bureau can submit a request for reconsideration in accordance with RSA 485-A:40.

Status of Current Applications
Application, Designer, and Installer Search

Contact Us
Subsurface Systems Bureau website or (603) 271-3501.



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NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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