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Rules and Regulations

OWTS Licensed Professionals


The RIDEM OWTS (Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems) Permitting program licenses 5 different categories of OWTS Professionals. There are 4 types of septic designers (Class-I, Class-II, Class-III, and Class-IV) and licensed Installers. An individual seeking to obtain one of these licenses must apply for and pass a written exam pending they meet the minimum qualifications to apply. Licenses expire every 3 years and must be renewed upon expiration. Each license type requires a different prerequisite and allows the individual to perform differing septic work. An outline of each category can be found below, but for more information visit our Rules and Regulations.

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.

OWTS Professionals
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OWTS Licensing Applications and Forms
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Subscribe to the OWTS info E-mail List: This voluntary email list is used to distribute information about policy and rule changes to the Onsite Wastewater Treatment System program in Rhode Island. You will also receive regular annoucements on CEU eligible courses, licensing application deadlines, and application guidance for professionals.

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

For licensing information
Jacqueline Tedesco (