Skip Global navigation and goto content

It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

Skip MegaMenu and goto content


Contact the Statewide Headquarters of the Onsite Sewage Program

  •  850-245-4070



    Mailing Address

    Bureau of Environmental Health, Onsite Sewage Programs 

    4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A-08 

    Tallahassee, FL 32399-1710 

The department is authorized to grant variances in hardship cases which may be less restrictive than the provisions specified Section 381.0065, Florida Statutes, and those portions of Chapter 64E-6, Florida Administrative Code, that implement Section 381.0065, Florida Statutes.

All files are in the Portable Document Format (pdf) and are less than 500 kb in size.

Applying for a Variance
Variance Committee Meetings

A person who applies for a system construction permit but cannot meet the requirements of the rule or statute will have their permit denied and may request a variance from the standards. Applications for variance can be obtained from the local county health department that denied the permit application or can be downloaded below. Instructions for completing the variance application form are included with the form.

The Department is authorized to grant variances when it is satisfied that:

a. The hardship was not caused intentionally by the action of the applicant;
b. No reasonable alternative, taking into consideration factors such as cost, exists for the treatment of the sewage; and
c. The discharge from the onsite sewage treatment and disposal system will not adversely affect the health of the applicant or the public or significantly degrade the groundwater or surface waters.

Applying for a Variance

To apply for a variance, you will need to prepare eight (8) copies of the completed variance application and supporting documentation and provide the eight copies and the required fee payment to your local county health department. Your application will need to be reviewed by the local county health department and the completed application received by the Onsite Sewage Programs office in Tallahassee no later than the 15th of the month in order to be placed on the agenda for the next monthly meeting of the variance review and advisory committee. If the 15th falls on a weekend or legal holiday, the deadline for receipt will be the next regular working day. If the variance request involves setbacks from wells or surface waters, the separation of the drainfield from the estimated wet season high water table, or the authorized sewage flow of the property, the county health department will post a sign on the property giving notice of the application for variance.

Variance application

Supporting documentation should include eight (8) copies of the following:

  • Completed application for onsite sewage treatment and disposal system construction permit
  • The denial letter from your county health department
  • Completed site evaluation form
  • Completed plot plan, drawn to scale, showing pertinent features on your own and the neighboring properties
  • Complete plans and specifications for the proposed system
  • Any other information necessary for rendering a decision or which you feel is pertinentto your case
  • If your variance request involves setback violations, your site plan should very clearly show the exact setback dimensions that will be achieved if the variance is granted
  • If your variance request involves the setback to a public drinking water supply well, a written opinion from the agency regulating the affected public drinking water system
  • If your variance request involves jurisdiction of sewage treatment, a letter from the agency having jurisdiction which authorizes the Department of Health to take jurisdiction of the sewage flow

Back to Top

*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF). The free Adobe Reader may be required to view these files.