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Johnston County, North Carolina
Planning and Zoning Department

Grading Plan Requirements on Septic Site Plans Memo


Division of Environmental Health
309 East Market Street, Smithfield, NC 27577

Phone: 919-989-5180
Fax: 919-989-5190


DATE: April 27, 2020
TO: Environmental Health Customers

FROM: Todd Ramsey
Johnston County Environmental Health Director
Cc: Dr. Marilyn Pearson
Johnston County Health Director

SUBJECT: Grading Plan Requirements on Septic Site Plans

Effective immediately, a grading plan shall be required on all site plans for septic applications where stem-wall or slab foundation construction is proposed. The grading plan shall indicate the following to scale: limits of disturbance, cutting of soils, filling of soils, and diversion swales/ditches. Please note, the Env. Health office reserves the right to request additional information for adequate plan review and permit approval. In the Johnston Co. home building market, EH has observed a trend from fewer crawlspace foundations, and more towards’ stem-wall/slab foundations. An additional trend is the development of smaller lot sizes with larger homes dimensions. All have led to less area for septic systems and repair areas. This requirement has been initiated due to the combination of these trends stated above.

Slab/stem wall construction can have a higher degree of encroachment on the septic areas If left unexamined. The grading (cutting/filling) around home site has caused a variety of complications. Most concerning and problematic for all parties is the potential for these complications to lead to a revocation of the septic permit. A revocation may initiate a stop work order from the local building inspections department. We want to avoid these complications and feel obtaining grading plans prior to the issuance of a permit is a critical step in the permitting process.

For comments or concern, feel free to reach out to me at 919-989-5180.

Grading Plan Requirements on Septic Site Plans (PDF)

Page last updated: January 26, 2024

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Land Use Center
309 E. Market Street
Smithfield, NC 27577

(919) 989-5150