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OWTS Professional Licensing

Permitting activities are divided into three main stages: site-suitability, design review, and construction inspection.

  • Site-suitability is a preliminary stage which assesses the suitability of a parcel of property for on-site sewage disposal.
  • Design review entails a review to determine a design's compliance with State standards, rule, and regulations including setbacks to drinking water wells, water supplies, and sensitive water bodies. Proper design and installation is essential to protect public health and avert the potential adverse impacts of OWTS on water resources.
  • Construction inspections are conducted during installation in addition to the inspections conducted by the Designer.

Annually, the program undertakes approximately 2,300 suitability assessments, 5,000 permit reviews, and 11,600 inspections. Additionally, the program has developed a process for approving innovative septic system technology. As a result of 1997 revisions to the OWTS legislation, a licensing program (including training and examination) for private-sector professional designers and installers is being created in order to allow RIDEM staff to concentrate on major projects and proactive planning and policy development.

Exams and Workshops:

OWTS Licensing Forms

OWTS Professionals

Guidance Documents

Fact Sheets

Related Links:

New England Onsite Wastewater Training Program


Contact Water Resources
Office of Water Resources
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908-5767
Phone: (401) 222-3961
Fax: (401) 222-3564

For permitting information
Mohamed Freij (

For installer licensing information
Linda Washington (

For designer licensing information
Deb Knauss (

For rules and policy information
Jon Zwarg (