Health Services

Commercial Permits

Frequently Asked QuestionsFrequently Asked Questions

1. What guides the Wastewater permit approval process?

Standards for approval of plans and construction for sewage disposal systems are put forth in the Suffolk County Sanitary Code, click here for our Sanitary Code Article 6 and Commercial and Residential Standards. The purpose of these standards is to provide a means for achieving protection of the groundwater from excessive contaminant loading and to assure a safe, sanitary means of disposing of wastewater. Diseases such as infectious hepatitis, typhoid fever and dysentery can be transmitted by water, food, insects, pets and toys contaminated by human waste. Properly designed, maintained and operated sewage disposal systems minimize the possibility of disease transmission and the potential for contamination of ground and surface water.

The Suffolk County Sanitary Code Article 6 also outlines the lots size, water supply, and sewage disposal system requirements when submitting a permit application for subdivisions or development maps which create or modify tax lots or lease parcels.

2. What is the new process for approving a permit through the Office of Wastewater Management?

A reviewer will examine your application for completeness and accuracy. Please be sure to submit all the necessary information, including a signed application, mandatory application checklist and design plans associated with the project. Applications will not be accepted without a signed application form, mandatory application checklist and design/site plans. The reviewer will also confirm that additional permits are not required at town, county or state levels. The Office of Wastewater Management has developed a new workflow that includes a preliminary process in which applications will be reviewed to determine if they are of a high quality that is sufficient for entry into the formal review process. Applications will be accepted into the process with minor deficiencies. Once accepted, the application will be entered into our tracking system and the appropriate application fee will be invoiced. Applications that contain major deficiencies will be returned and must restart the application process after consultation with office staff.  Guidance Memo #30 clarifies what constitutes a minor or major deficiency.

Once the documents are submitted, Office staff will review them within 1 to 2 weeks of submission. If the staff determines the submission to be acceptable then the submission will be assigned a reference number and letter will be prepared a sent to the applicant, owner, and design professional requesting the application fee and any additional information required in order to issue a permit to construct a single-family residence. If the submission is found to be unacceptable the submission documents will be returned to the applicant and the applicant along with their design professional will be required to schedule a meeting to discuss the proposal and required corrections.

The initial approval is approval to construct. Once construction is complete, an inspection must be requested before use. Upon satisfactory field inspection, “as built” plans are required to be submitted to the Office of Wastewater Management.

Please note, a subdivision or development map approval does not constitute an approval to construct. To obtain approval to construct dwellings or commercial buildings on the created parcels, a separate residential application or commercial application must be submitted to the Office of Wastewater Management for review and approval. See sections regarding residential permit process or commercial permit process for additional information.

3. What am I required to submit to the Office of Wastewater Management to initiate the permit application process?

Residential: To initiate the application process with the Office of Wastewater Management submit a completed and signed Application Form for Approval of Single Family Residences (depending on the type of project Form WWM-057, WWM-059, or WWM-0105), Four (4) residential surveys prepared in accordance with the Application Instructing provided on the 2nd page of the application, and floor plans depicting all floors including the basement.

Commercial: To initiate the application process with the Office of Wastewater Management submit a completed and signed Application for Construction of Sewage Disposal Facilities and Water Supplies for Other Than Single Family Residences , Mandatory Application Checklist, Four (4) site plans prepared in accordance with the Application Requirements for Sewage Disposal Facilities and Water Supplies for Other Than Single Family Residences, a NYS certification of authorization from the licensed design professional signing the application and the maps, and a completed Suffolk County Short Environmental Assessment Form.

Subdivision: To initiate the application process with the Office of Wastewater Management submit a completed and signed Application Form for Approval of Realty Subdivision and Development, Mandatory Application Checklist, Four (4) prints of the realty subdivision or development maps prepared in accordance with the Application Requirements for Filing Realty Subdivision or Development Maps, a NYS certification of authorization from the licensed design professional signing the application and the maps, and a completed Suffolk County Short Environmental Assessment Form.

4. Can I schedule a pre-meeting with Office of Wastewater Management staff and what are the benefits of a pre-meeting?

Yes, applicants are encouraged to have a pre-meeting with Office of Wastewater Management staff prior to submitting an application. Please contact the office at (631)852-5700 to request a meeting to review requirements for all sanitary and water supply issues. Benefits of the meeting include the opportunity to obtain FOIL information specific to site in question; GIS information for specific site; and the opportunity to discuss project viability prior to application submission. Pre-meetings lead to a more complete initial submission which results in faster approval time.

Applicants are encouraged to be accompanied by a design professional. Ideally, applicants should bring the following items, if applicable to the project: location of the facility and nature of business; Suffolk County Tax Map Number of the facility; names and particulars (seating, floor areas, tenant names, etc.) of other establishments in shopping center; historic names for food establishment; type of sewage disposal and water supply system; type of building heat (gas, fuel oil, other); required toxic or hazardous storage; site plans if available.

5. What permits are needed from my town and what permits are needed from the county?

Depending on the nature of your project, you may require town planning approval, zoning board approval or building approval. Visit your Town's Building Department for more information.

If you are constructing a new home or business, a permit is required by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Office of Wastewater Management.

If you are opening or expanding a food service establishment (e.g. restaurant, deli, bakery, ice cream shop, etc.), permit approval is also required through the Suffolk County Department of Health Services Bureau of Public Health Protection.

If you are modifying an existing home or business, you may need Department of Health Services Office of Wastewater Management approval to confirm the current or proposed sewage disposal system will meet the requirements of Suffolk County’s Sanitary Code. Refer to Health Department standards for submittal requirements: Guidance Memo #8, Guidance Memo #10, Guidance Memo #19, and residential standards and commercial standards.

If your home, business or subdivision/development is located within a sewer district, you may require permit approval through the County’s Department of Public Works or local sewer district. If the your home, business or subdivision/development is located within a public water district, you may be required to submit a water availability letter indicating if public water is available to serve the site from the Suffolk County Water Authority or local water district.

If your project is within 300 feet of a wetland you may require permit approval from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation or Town. Visit their website http://www.dec.ny.gov/63.html for more information.

6. How long does a Wastewater Permit to Construct take to be issued?

On average, it takes three (3) months for a residential permit application to be approved for construction and six (6) months for a commercial and subdivision/development permit application. Approval depends on the completeness of an application and timely resubmission of necessary information. A complete application with design plans that include all required information will result in a faster review time – six (6) weeks for residential permit applications and three (3) months for commercial and subdivision/development maps.

7. Am I required to upgrade the existing sanitary system or water supply for any existing dwellings or buildings located on the subdivision or development map that are going to remain?

Sewage disposal and/or water supply facilities are required to be upgraded based upon the requirements of Guidance Memorandum # 21 Requirements for Certifying and/or upgrading Existing Sewage Disposal and Water Supply Systems For Existing Buildings on Proposed Realty Subdivisions or Developments or when the facilities are determined to be inadequate based upon the Department review of the licensed design professional’s certification, then an application must be made to the Department to upgrade the sewage disposal and/or water supply facilities. Site plans for the upgrade application must depict the entire lot to be subdivided as single lot without reference to the proposed division. For residential upgrades submit Application for Sewage Disposal and Water Supply Facilities for Additions, Remodeling, Conversions, or Sanitary Upgrade of Single-Family Dwellings (Form WWM-057). For other than single-family dwelling upgrades submit Application for Construction of Sewage Disposal and Water Supply Facilities for Other Than Single-Family Dwellings” (Form WWM-004). After the upgrade applications receive final approval from the Department the maps must be revised to depict the new sewage disposal and/or water supply locations.

8. What recourse do I have if my Wastewater permit is denied?

You may request a Board of Review hearing for a variance. The Division’s Board of Review hears requests for variances and waivers, meeting on the third Thursday of every month, with the exception of December, when the meeting is on the second Thursday of the month. A listing of each month’s scheduled hearings may be obtained by contacting the division at 852-5700. On alternate Thursdays, voting for previous hearings may be recorded. If your project is over density, please talk to an OWM reviewer about Transfers of Development Rights (TDR) and Pine Barren Credit options.

9. How long is my Wastewater permit good for?

Residential and Commercial: Upon approval to construct, your permit is good for three years. You may request an extension after three years, if granted the permit is good for another three years. You will need to reapply if you start construction after the time period approved.

Subdivision/Development Maps: Maps approved by the Department are required to be filed with the County Clerk within one-year of the date of approval to remain valid. Once the map is filed with the County Clerk the approval remains indefinitely. If the approved map is not filed with the County Clerk within one-year of date of approval then you may extend the approval for 1-year increments.

10. How much does it cost to apply for a Wastewater permit?

Fees depend on the scope of the project. Click here for the Office of Waste Management fee schedule. Please note, payment is NOT required to be made at the time of original application and any payment received by the Department prior to invoicing will be returned. Once applications are reviewed and accepted in to the process, the appropriate application fee will be invoiced.

11. What is your refund policy?

Once an application is reviewed, a refund will not be granted unless an overpayment has been made. All requests for refunds must be made in writing. The Credit Card convenience fee is non-refundable. Please see Suffolk County Department Of Health Services General Guidance Memorandum #6 Procedures Of Office Of Wastewater Management For Processing Payment Of Application Fees And Refunds.

12. Can I track my Wastewater permit application online?

Once the application has been found acceptable and issued a reference number then you can track the application through the Submission and Status Terminal by searching with your tax map number or Health Department Reference Number. You will have instant access to your application status at your convenience, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have submitted an application but are having difficulty locating your permit status please contact 631-852-5700 or healthwwm@suffolkcountyny.gov with your tax map number, applicant name and year permit application submitted.

13. Can I schedule an inspection?

Please call (631) 852-5754 between the hours of 8:30am-4:30pm to schedule a site inspection. Please have your reference number and liquid waste numbers available. You may also schedule an inspection online. Click here to request an inspection.

Please be advised that excavation inspections are not performed on Fridays. Also, you must call 852-5700 between the hours of 8:30 am and 9:30 am on the morning of your excavation inspection to confirm.

No inspections will be performed if the installer does not possess a valid liquid waste license. Please contact Consumer Affair’s to verify the status of the installer at (631) 853-4599. Every effort is made to honor next day inspection requests provided that the request is received by 4:00 pm the prior day.

14. How do I contact the Office of Wastewater Management?

1. I have a question/comment.
We welcome your comments and feedback. Forward your comments and questions to healthwwm@suffolkcountyny.gov

2. I have a question. Where can I call?
Please call 631-852-5700 to speak directly to Office of Wastewater Management staff.

3. Where is the Office of Wastewater Management located?
The Office of Wastewater Management is located at 360 Yaphank Avenue, Suite 2C, Yaphank, NY. Office counter hours are 9:00am-4:00pm.