Most county health departments recommend that a certified septic installer purchase the soil evaluation permit. The homeowner or builder needs to provide a copy of the plot plan or survey, showing the dimensions of the lot to be evaluated.
The survey must show the approximate location of the house, driveway, garage, pool, deck, barns and/or any other out buildings or structures. If other public utilities are not available, then the survey must also show the location for a cistern or well and propane gas tank. The survey must also show all ponds, creeks, streams, drain ways and sink holes. There are strict code requirements for the installation of septic systems which mandate specific distances from each of the above-listed things, so it is very important that the installer be made aware of all of these before installation begins.
Some counties are also requiring that test holes be dug in order to better determine the absorption quality of the soil. This is done with a backhoe, which will add to the cost of the evaluation. However, some health inspectors will use a hand auger to perform the evaluation.