Frequently Asked Questions
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1. In Florida, who is allowed to do work on a septic system?
a. A homeowner doing work at his or her owner-occupied single family home only.
b. A state plumber, licensed pursuant to section 489.105(3)(m), FS.
c. A septic tank contractor registered pursuant to Part III of Chapter 489, FS and Part III of Rule 64E-6, FAC.
2. Is experience under a licensed plumber equivalent to that obtained under a registered septic tank contractor?
Yes, provided the applicant can document that septic tank contracting services were rendered under the supervision of a state plumber licensed pursuant to section 489.105 (3)(m), FS.
3. Is a state licensed plumber exempt from septic tank installation permits, inspections and other Rule 64E-6, F.A.C., requirements?
No. The state licensed plumber is only exempt from the septic tank contractor registration requirement. All other requirements found in Rule 64E-6, FAC and section 381.0065 - 381.00655, FS, pertaining to the installation, repair, modification, maintenance, and septic tank pumping and abandonment, must be met.
4. Is out-of-state septic tank work experience acceptable to qualify for the septic tank contractor registration examination?
Out-of-state work experience shall be accepted on a year for year basis for any applicant who demonstrates that they hold a current statewide license for septic tank contracting which was issued upon satisfactory completion of an equivalent examination and required continuing education courses for renewal. For purposes of this section, an equivalent examination means that at a minimum, the following topics were tested and passed: system location and installation; site evaluation criteria; system size determinations; disposal of septage; construction standards for drainfield systems and U.S. Department of Agriculture soil textural classification system. A person employed by and under the supervision and control of such a licensed contractor shall be granted up to two years of related work experience.
5. Is septic tank work experience documented with IRS Form 1099 acceptable to qualify for the septic tank contractor registration examination?
No. IRS Form 1099 specifically documents non-employee compensation for services rendered. This type of work experience indicates a possible sub-contractual relationship between a registered septic tank contractor and an individual who is not allowed under Florida rules and statutes to offer to contract or provide septic tank contracting activities.
6. When and where are septic tank contractor registration examinations offered?
Examinations are offered in Tallahassee and Orlando on the last Monday of each month (excluding December and holidays). Examinations are scheduled from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon.
7. Is there a course requirement prior to application for septic tank contractor registration examinations?
8. Are there any penalties for individuals or companies who offer or provide septic tank contracting services without a registration and/or a business authorization from the department?
Yes. Individuals and companies may be subject to administrative actions, citations, fines and other legal actions, if services are performed or offered without the benefit of a registration and a business authorization.
9. Can a registered septic tank contractor authorize more than one business?
No. A registered septic tank contractor may not be the sole qualifier for more than one septic tank contracting business requiring a certificate of authorization.
10. Can an authorized septic tank business advertise under multiple (more than one) business names?
No. An authorized septic tank business may only advertise under the business name authorized with the department.
11. Can an authorized septic tank contracting business continue to operate after losing its sole qualifying contractor?
An authorized business organization which loses its qualifying contractor shall have 60 days from the date the qualifying contractor left the business to obtain another qualifying contractor. During this time, the authorized business may not undertake any new contracts. Existing and ongoing (cyclical) contracts executed by the registered septic tank contractor prior to his or her leaving the authorized business may be completed during this time.
12. Who offers continuing education courses required for registration renewals?
Continuing education courses are typically offered by private associations (i.e, Florida Onsite Wastewater Association, Florida Environmental Health Association, etc.) You may contact the Onsite Sewage Programs for listings of approved continuing education courses.
13. Can a registered septic tank contractor be exempt from the certificate of business authorization?
Yes. A registered contractor offering septic tank contracting under his given name, as a sole proprietorship, is exempt from the business authorization certificate. Example: John Doe Septic, with John Doe as the only owner would not be required for filing. If John Doe's wife Jane were also an owner, a fictitious name would need to be filed and a certificate of authorization would be required. Also, John's Septic or Doe's Septic would require the filing of a fictitious name and a certificate of authorization. If you are exempt from filing with the Department of State for a fictitious name, you are exempt from the certificate of authorization.
14. Do I need to be a registered septic tank contractor to pump septic tanks?
Yes. Registered septic tank contractors (and state-licensed plumbers) may pump septic tanks with an appropriate active service permit from their local county health department.