Knox County Tennessee


A subsurface sewage disposal system (SSDS) permit is required before the Knox County Codes Enforcement Department will issue a building permit for your residence.

It is possible, and we are happy to check for you. Please submit a file search request as detailed on the groundwater services page.

All repairs, alterations and new constructions of SSDS require a permit from the Knox County Health Department before any work is started on the system. Repair permits are granted without cost, please call our office for more information 865-215-5200.

Septic tanks should be pumped out by a licensed septic tank pumper every 3-5 years with ordinary use and every 2-3 years if a garbage disposal is utilized.

A septic letter is also called a Verification. Please call our office to schedule a verification as detailed on the groundwater services page.

Please see the information here regarding bacteriological testing for wells in Knox County.

Surface water is the water present on the surface of the earth. Surface water includes naturally occurring or manmade streams, lakes, and creeks, etc. It is used for drinking, cleaning, agricultural purposes, electricity generation, and so much more.

Groundwater is the water present at or below ground level. It is present beneath the Earth’s surface in rock, in soil pore space, and in fractures of rock formations. An unconsolidated deposit of water underground is called an aquifer.

Surface water changes in temperature according to its surroundings.

Groundwater keeps a constant temperature.

Surface Water is more contaminated.

Groundwater is less contaminated.

The waters of the state are regulated by a multitude of different agencies. Start out with the local City or County Stormwater departments. They will be able to direct you to the proper agency – TDEC, TVA, Corp of Engineers or EPA according to the specifics of the situation.

Need to report a public
health emergency?

Call 865-215-5093

Have Questions? Call: (865) 215-5555 Email:

On the first Wednesday of every month, all KCHD offices and clinics are closed in the morning for staff in-service. On these days, the main location (140 Dameron Ave.) will open at 11 a.m. and the West Clinic (1028 Old Cedar Bluff) will open at 11:30 a.m.

Clinics will also open at 10:30 a.m. (Main location) and 11 a.m. (West Clinic) on the following Wednesdays: April 17 and July 17. All other offices will open at 8 a.m.