Article IV.   Septic Tanks and Private Sewage Disposal

4.04.340   Private septic tank, etc.

Except as hereinafter provided, it shall be unlawful to construct or maintain any privy, privy vault, septic tank, cesspool, or other facility intended or used for the disposal of sewage.

(Prior code § 4-1-51)

4.04.350   Privies prohibited where sewer connection available.


It is unlawful for any property owner to construct, erect, install, maintain or permit any pit privy on any property within the city to which a sewer connection is available. Where a sewer connection is made available, the privy must be removed and connection shall be established. Such sewer connection shall not be required if, prior to 1962, a connection was made with a septic tank of a design approved by the state.


No pit shall be located within three hundred yards of the residence of anyone other than the owner of the premises on which it is located. If located within three hundred yards of any residence, every pit privy must be operated strictly according to the U.S. Public Health Service standards. Not more than two family units may use any one pit privy. No open or surface type privy shall be permitted in the city.


All construction or building being carried on within the city where sewerage is not available shall provide temporary pit privies for employees using a standard ditch. When work is complete, such temporary accommodations shall be cleared away, removing all health hazards.

(Prior code § 4-1-52)

4.04.360   Septic tanks—Water installation permitted.

Septic tanks may be installed upon any lot not closer than three hundred feet to any public sanitary sewer; provided, that septic tanks may not be installed upon lots that are too small to provide sufficient area to accommodate the number of branches and the number of linear feet of drainage tile required in the plans and specifications on file in the office of the plumbing inspector and the building inspector. Septic tanks may not be installed upon lots that are frequently inundated, or upon which surface water frequently stands, or upon lots where adequate seepage from the drainage tiles cannot be obtained because of soil water or soil structure.

(Prior code § 4-1-53)

4.04.370   Where public sanitary or combined sewer not available.

Where a public sanitary or combined sewer is not available, the building sewer shall be connected to a private sewage disposal system complying with the provisions of this article.

(Prior code § 4-1-54)

4.04.380   Written permit required.

Before commencement of construction of a private sewage disposal system for other than a single-family dwelling, the owner shall first obtain a written permit signed by the city administrator. The application therefor shall be made on a form furnished by the city which the applicant shall supplement by any plans, specifications, and other information as deemed necessary by the city, or by the state or county. A permit and inspection fee shall be paid to the Greenville County permits office at the time the application for permit is filed.

(Prior code § 4-1-55)

4.04.390   Private sewage system must be inspected.

A permit for a private sewage disposal system shall not become effective until the installation is completed to the satisfaction of the state and county health authorities and the city. The city shall be allowed to inspect the work at any stage of construction and in any event, the applicant for the permit shall notify the Greenville County codes department when the work is ready for final inspection and before any underground portions are covered.

(Prior code § 4-1-56)

4.04.400   Must comply with the state requirements.

The type, capacity, location and layout of a private sewage system shall comply with all recommendations of the state department of health and environmental control. No septic tank or cesspool shall be permitted to discharge to any natural outlet.

(Prior code § 4-1-57)

4.04.410   Public sewer must be used when available.

At such time as a public sewer comes available to a property served by a private sewage disposal system, a direct connection shall be made to the public sewer in compliance with this chapter, and any septic tanks, cesspools, and similar private sewage disposal facilities shall be abandoned, cleaned of sludge, and filled with clean bank-run gravel or dirt within sixty days of notification to do so by the city.

(Prior code § 4-1-58)

4.04.420   Owner must operate in a sanitary manner.

Except as otherwise provided herein, the owner shall at all times operate and maintain private sewage disposal facilities in a sanitary manner, at no expense to the city. As to single-family dwellings with septic tanks installed prior to May 8, 1979, the city will assume the expense of emptying the septic tank when necessary, but not more frequently than once each eighteen months.

(Prior code § 4-1-59)

4.04.430   Mandatory sewer connection not required if cost excessive.


Notwithstanding any other provision in this code, a property owner may install and use a septic tank on his premises; provided, however, such owner presents to the city administrator, or his designate, a clear and convincing showing, substantiated by reliable evidence, that the cost is excessive for installing a connection to an available public sewer line within three hundred feet of the property line, considering the cost ordinarily associated with connections for buildings within the city limits, and that the property owner further shows by written certification from the county health department or the department of health and environmental control, that the particular use of the septic tank in the specific location does not present a threat to the environment or to the health and sanitation of the community.


After approval and installation of a septic tank in accordance with this article, the owner shall be solely responsible for maintaining the septic tank in all respects and for preventing the septic tank from threatening the health and sanitation of the community. In the event that the city should determine that a septic tank installed pursuant to this article poses a threat to the environment or the health and sanitation of the community, the city has the right to terminate the use of the septic tank and require the applicant to connect to the public sewer within thirty days after written notice is given by the city.


The provisions of this section shall not affect those agreements in effect on March 8, 1983, between the city and certain property owners, for whom the city maintains septic tanks, nor shall the provisions prohibit the city from entering similar maintenance agreements when no sewer line is available within three hundred feet of the property line.

(Prior code § 4-1-60)