Health Department

Joel Strasz - Public Health Officer
Andre Reed - Deputy Health Officer
Emily Nelson - Public Health Nursing Services Manager
Melissa Opheim - Public Health Services Manager/EPC
Amy Revette - WIC Manager
Mark Pickell - Business Services Manager
Joel Kwiatkowski - Environmental Health Manager
Dr. Thomas Bender - Medical Director
Dr. William Morrone - Medical Examiner
Bay County Health Department
1200 Washington Avenue
Bay City, Michigan 48708
Voice: (989) 895-4009
Fax: (989) 895-4014

On-Site Sewage Disposal System (OSDS) Permit Information

If you are planning to build at a site located in Bay County which is not served by a municipal water supply and/or sewage collection system, you are required to obtain a permit from this department. The permit(s) must be secured from this department prior to beginning any work. In addition, don't forget to check with your township representatives to be sure that your plans are acceptable with local regulations.

Since an onsite sewage disposal system depends upon the absorption of sewage effluent by the soil, you must furnish exact direction to your building site. A representative of this department will conduct a site evaluation of the soil conditions, including the soil type, topographical features, and the depth to the seasonal high water table. A soil boring will be conducted at the spot where you wish if you mark the spot with a brightly colored ribbon attached to a tall stake.

The permit which is issued to you by this department will contain specific minimum standards. Onsite sewage disposal systems must be isolated a minimum of fifty (50) feet from all water supply wells. Any changes from the permit issued by this office must first be approved. A Final Inspection of the onsite sewage disposal system installation must be conducted by this department prior to covering the system.


In the interest of economy and providing an efficient service to you, the following policy for processing sewage permit applications has been adopted:

All applications will be processed within a period of twenty-one calendar days from the time the completed application is received and the fee has been paid and receipted. The time necessary for approval of an application may vary and is dependent on the investigation required to establish soil characteristics, seasonal water table levels, and other environmental data. During the winter months when the soils at a site are frozen beyond reasonable means of the soil auger, the owner shall be required to dig a 5 foot trench so that the Health Department can properly evaluate the soils.

Permits are non-transferable from person to person. Section 6-7 of the Sanitary Code of Bay County, Michigan states: permits are not transferable from person to person or from one location to another. A new permit shall be required for each new owner of a premise or property for which an ODSD Permit is issued, or if the location of the OSDS is to be changed.