Septic Tank Elimination Program

What is STEP? 

The Septic Tank Elimination Program (STEP) is a partnership of Columbus Public Health’s Environmental Health Division and the Department of Public Utilities’ Division of Sewers and Drains, and works to protect area water sources.  The program does this by eliminating onsite sewage treatment systems, and coordinating the connection of properties that use these systems to the city’s sanitary sewers.  

Why Septic Systems Matter to the Environment

Onsite systems such as septic tanks are an environmental threat because when they fail, the resulting discharge can pollute groundwater, rivers and streams.   These serve not only as critical drinking water sources, but also as habitat for various plants, birds, animals and marine life.  

Because of this, the City of Columbus requires property owners using onsite sewage treatment systems to connect to the sanitary sewer system as new service lines are constructed.  

Working with Property Owners

Affected property owners are those with a sanitary sewer located within 200 feet of the building’s foundation.  In addition, the sanitary sewer line must be reasonably accessible as determined by STEP program staff (i.e., not obstructed by obstacles like rivers or other buildings).   

STEP program staff contact prospective property owners to inform them of the connection requirement.  They then work with them to provide them with the informational resources to help them through the connection process.  One such resource is a no-interest loan program to assist homeowners with associated expenses.  

If you are interested in annexing into the City of Columbus to take advantage of the STEP Loan Program please click  here  for additional information.

Resources and Information:

STEP Application

STEP Extension Application

STEP Questions and Answers