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Health Department

Posted on: June 6, 2023

Notice of Pit Implementation

Notice of Pit Implementation Change for Environmental Health

Beginning August 7th, 2023, the Wilkes County Environmental Health Department will require applicants to dig test pits on all new septic system applications submitted to the department. The new pit evaluation process will be required for all new septic system applications when a soil evaluation is necessary. This pit requirement excludes applications for septic system failures or repairs unless deemed necessary by law. 

Currently, thirty two percent of all properties evaluated are required, by law, to provide pits in Wilkes County due to existing soil type and site conditions.   In addition, all newly developed subdivisions are currently required to provide pits for site evaluations.  The implementation of the pit policy, will allow the Environmental Health staff to evaluate and turn around application submittals in a timelier manner, therefore, potentially reducing wait times for applicants on the work list.  Also, a result of the new requirement there is a more accurate assessment of soil conditions potentially extending the life of the septic system for the homeowner.  

The initial process for submittal of a septic application will remain the same including site preparations. Once the application submittal reaches the top of the work list the applicant will be required to indicate on application if they would prefer to have the Environmental Health Specialist team members flag the location of the pits or if the applicate will have contractor contact the Environmental Health office 2 days in advance to schedule pits. The applicant will be required to coordinate the scheduled appointment with the backhoe operator of their choice. Based on the indication on the application from applicant, the Environmental Health Specialist will make a site visit to the property to flag pit locations, assess site preparation or meet responsible party on-site for pits excavation.  The septic permitting process after the soil, site evaluation will remain the same.  

If you have any questions please call Angie Rhodes, Environmental Health Director at 336-651-7530 or by email at

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