Knox County Tennessee

Groundwater Services

The Groundwater Division of KCHD provides many services to assist you with your property. If you are planning to install a new septic system/drain field/subsurface sewage disposal system (SSDS) or repair an existing SSDS, our department will need to issue the required permit. If you are interested in subdividing a piece of property, our department can work with the landowner or developer to assist with the required paperwork.

Below is a list of our commonly requested services. As always please feel free to call our office with any questions (865-215-5200).

The following services are offered by the KCHD Groundwater division:

  • Lot Evaluation (cost: $40.00)

A Lot Evaluation is needed when a High Intensity Soil Map/soil map/soil test has been completed and submitted to this department for the purposes of obtaining a building permit or to have a survey map signed. Also, when an approval letter is requested - typically for a general lot or bedroom number approval.

When requesting a Lot Evaluation, a High Intensity Soil Map and a site plan will need to be submitted.

High Intensity Soil Maps are completed by licensed soil consultants (contact information for soil consultants is available below)

  • SSDS Installation Permit/Drain field Layout (cost: $200.00)

An SSDS permit may be required if you are planning to build a new residence, pool, or additional structure, if you are planning to renovate or add on to an existing home, or when planning to modify an existing SSDS.

To request an SSDS permit you will need to provide the following information:

  • Landowner name and address
  • Location of the lot or site
  • Size of the lot
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Is there a basement? Will that basement be equipped with plumbing?
  • Is the property on public utility water or private well water?
  • A site plan, a sketch of the property lines, house site, planned driveways and utilities
  • Soil maps completed by a licensed soil consultant (contact information for soil consultants is available below) groundwater services
  • Repair Permit (no cost)

A Repair Permit is required before any work on a failing septic system is performed.

Please call our office, 865-215-5200 and our team will work with you to prepare the appropriate repair permit needed for your property.

  • Verification/Septic Letter (cost $200.00)

A Verification may be requested for a real estate transaction. When this service is requested, KCHD reviews all files in our records regarding the property. A Groundwater Environmentalist visits the property to determine if the SSDS is working properly and to verify that there is sufficient area available to repair the SSDS if it should fail to operate correctly in the future.

  • Certification (cost: $100.00)

A Certification of an Existing SSDS may be requested for the purpose of obtaining a building permit or to get a survey map signed. A Certification is required if you are planning to exchange an existing mobile home for a new mobile home or build a new home and plan to utilize the existing SSDS. Also, a Certification would be required if you are planning to build a pool or other structure, or if you are planning to add on to an existing home.

  • Well Water Sample (cost: $50.00)

A Water Sample may be requested for the purpose of testing well water for bacteria (E. Coli and Total Coliform). Samples are taken for private residences and from some public springs (Loves Creek Spring). The Environmentalist will advise if a positive water sample is found. KCHD does not test for heavy metals.

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.