Septic Pump-Out Program

Program Purpose

Wooden dock and pavilion extending over the waterSmith Mountain Lake is a resource of great importance to Franklin County and the surrounding region. Franklin County is doing its part to assure that the lake remains an economic and recreational benefit to its citizens through various programs and planning initiatives.

Once such program is the Pump-Out Program. With concern mounting over improperly maintained septic systems and its effect on lake water quality, Franklin County adopted an ordinance in July of 2006 requiring citizens with a septic system located within 500 feet of the shoreline of Smith Mountain Lake to pump or inspect their septic every 5 years.

How Your Septic System Works

For more information on how your septic system works, view a Diagram and Overview of How a Septic System Works (JPG), provided by the Environmental Protection Agency. You can also view an Animated, Interactive Model of a Household Septic System on the Guadallupe-Blanco River Authority website.

Benefits of Septic Maintenance

Keeping your septic maintained has benefits not only to the homeowner and the community, but to the environment as well. See our "Maintaining Your Septic System" Brochure (PDF) for tips to keeping your septic system working for you. For additional information on taking care of your septic, go to the Environmental Protection Agency's Septic Smart website or the Virginia Department of Health On-Site Septic System Information website.

Registration Process

You must register any septic system located within 500 feet of the shoreline of Smith Mountain Lake. The Registration Form (PDF) must be filled out and returned with a $35 registration fee. See the form for further instructions.

You will need to mark the location of your system. If you are unsure where your septic system is located, the Virginia Department of Health can you help you with that. Contact the Virginia Department of Health or call the Rocky Mount, Virginia office at 540-484-0292. You can also call an approved septic service company.

Provide documentation (a cancelled check and/or receipt from an approved septic provider) with the date of your most recent pump-out or inspection.

Program Compliance

The County Septic Program Ordinance requires that you pump out or inspect your septic every 5 years. Once your septic is registered, the County will send a notification letter on the anniversary date of service as a reminder that pump-out or inspection is due.

Once you have serviced your system, return the bottom portion of your notification along with the receipt from the septic company to the County. Or print and return this Compliance Form (PDF) with your receipt. Follow the instructions on the form.

Pump-Out Zone

View your land parcel in relation to Smith Mountain Lake from the Franklin County Geographic Information System website. Enter the parcel number, view the map then choose the Overlays 500-foot layer to see if the parcel is in the pump-out zone.

If you received a notice and you believe that your system is not within the designated pump-out zone, provide satisfactory documentation that will show that your system is located outside the 500-foot zone. Follow the instructions on the Compliance Form (PDF) and return it to the Septic Pump-Out coordinator.

Service Providers

You may contract with any septic service company provided that they are certified by the Virginia Department of Health to pump and inspect septic systems. A number of area service companies can be found in the yellow pages or search online for Septic Pumping Companies in Rocky Mount, Virginia.