Knox County Tennessee

Groundwater Protection

Vitamin Sea

How does the Groundwater Division help keep Knox County healthy?

The mission of the Groundwater Protection Division of the Knox County Health Department is to protect the groundwater supply and environment from pollutants by enforcing the laws governing onsite wastewater systems.

This division regulates the installation of subsurface sewage disposal systems (SSDS). All residential and commercial facilities not connected to public sanitary sewer must have a SSDS to receive and treat all wastewater generated within the facility.

Our environmental specialists assist property owners in evaluating, designing, and inspecting all SSDS installed in Knox County.

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) regulations and statutes govern the Knox County Health Department Groundwater Division. SSDS regulations and information can be accessed by clicking here.

* To obtain records and/or permits for properties outside of Knox County, TN, contact TDEC. Please click herefor more information re: surrounding counties.

Questions? Send us an email.

What you need to know about...

How to Apply for a Permit or Certification

The KCHD EH Groundwater division can assist by issuing septic permits for new builds, remodels, and repairs to existing SSDS when needed. Please call our office to inquire about permit needs. 865-215-5200.

An SSDS Permit (aka drain field layout) or other groundwater services like certifications or verifications can be prepared for your property. Depending on your project, our team may need a soil map and/or a site plan.

Soil testing is a service done by private consultants. Please click here for a contact list of approved soil consultants in Tennessee.

Property Records and File Search Requests

The KCHD EH Groundwater division can provide available records on existing subsurface sewage disposal systems (SSDS) in Knox County. To submit a file search request please complete this form and email the completed form to

When is a SSDS file search request needed? A file search request can be helpful to potential buyers of property seeking to learn if the property they are interested in has an existing SSDS. A file search can also reveal previous records on a piece of property such as soil mapping conducted or previous repair work completed.

Tennessee Rules and Regulations

Rules and regulations governing subsurface sewage disposal systems (SSDS) and wastewater in the State of Tennessee are available here.

Licensed Soil Consultants in TN

Here is a contact list of approved soil consultants in Tennessee.

If you need information regarding individuals that run Percolation Tests, please reach out to our office for a current contacts list 865-215-5200.

Information for Installers and Pumpers

An annual permit is required in Knox County for septic tank installers or septic tank pumpers.

If you want to install or pump septic tanks in Knox County, please call our office for more information, 865-215-5200.

Have Questions?
Call: 865-215-5555

Need to report a public
health emergency?

Call 865-215-5093

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.