Marquette County Health Department is tasked with the responsibility of permitting and oversight of all on-site wastewater treatment systems serving commercial structures within the county generating less than 10,000 gallons of domestic strength wastewater per day.  Permitting of these systems is under authority of the Michigan Criteria for Subsurface Sewage Disposal developed under the authority of Michigan's Public Health Code, Act 368, P.A. 1978.  Commercial on-site wastewater permitting requirements apply to such facilities as restaurants, churches, office buildings, hotels, motels, retail businesses, industrial facilities, warehouses, public restrooms at parks, schools, day care centers, multi-family residential structures, bed and breakfast facilities etc.



Systems generating less than or equal to 2,000 gallons per day

If the proposed or existing structure will produce 2,000 or fewer gallons per day of domestic strength wastewater, an engineered plan is not required but may be requested by the local Health Department. 

To receive a permit for this type of system, you must make application using the form available at the link below.  Once the application and permitting fees have been accepted by the Health Department, you must schedule a  with an Environmental Sanitarian (ES) to perform an on-site evaluation of the project site.  During this site evaluation you must have a backhoe operator present to excavate two soil evaluation test holes 7.5 feet in depth.  One of the test holes will be provided in the location of the primary drainfield and one will be located in a suitable replacement area that is reserved for a future drainfield should the initial drainfield fail.


The ES will evaluate the soil conditions in the test holes to determine appropriate treatment system design.  A permit will then be issued to you detailing the construction requirements of the system.  After the system has been installed and prior to covering or backfilling any portion of the system, you must contact the Health Department at (906) 475-4195 to schedule a final construction inspection.  An ES will conduct the final approval inspection and provide a detailed site sketch indicating the construction and location of the system.  the system may be backfilled after final approval has been granted.


Systems generating 2,000 to 10,000 gallons per day

Proposed structures that are projected to produce between 2,000 and 10,000 gallons per day are required to provide complete engineered plan set signed by a Professional Engineer (PE) to the Health Department for review and approval.  The plans must be accompanied by a complete application and the appropriate fee.  Links to the application and fee are available at the bottom of this page. 


Once the application has been accepted by the Health Department you must schedule a site evaluation with an Environmental Sanitarian (ES).  During this site evaluation your contracted PE must conduct a soil evaluation that is witnessed by the ES.  Soil evaluation must be conducted using 7.5 feet backhoe cut test holes.  A minimum of two test holes must be provided.  One located in the proposed drainfield area and one located in an area reserved for a future replacement drainfield when the primary drainfield fails.  Your PE must then compile all of the site and soil information into the engineered plan and and submit the plan to the Health Department for review and approval.

Once the plan has been reviewed and approved, a permit will be issued and construction may commence.  After construction is complete and prior to backfilling or covering any portion of the system you must contact the Health Department at (906) 475-4195 to schedule a final construction inspection.  An ES will perform an additional site visit to inspect the system and approve it for backfilling.  When the system has been approved, the ES will generate a form of approval and the plan will be signed off for approval.