Septic Systems

All onsite wastewater sewage disposal systems are regulated by the Board of Health. Private sewage disposal systems provide for the treatment of domestic sewage from four or fewer dwelling units or less than 16 individuals; residential and non-residential.

Septic Permits and Instructions

Septic permits can be completed online!

Online Permits

A typical septic system has four components:

  1. pipe from home
  2. septic tank
  3. drainfield
  4. soil

Septic System Overview

Wastewater moves from the septic tank to secondary treatment where it is naturally broken down by soil microbes, used by plants, and enters the atmosphere through evapotranspiration.

Because septic systems do not last forever, new lots are required to have room for a replacement system. Older subdivisions typically are very small lots with no planned replacement area for when the septic system fails. Because of the limited size of these lots – replacing the septic system could require additional measures such as a pre-treatment system or septic variance from the Board of Health.

Replacing Septic Systems

Permits are required for all new septic installations or repairs. The Environmental Health Inspectors perform site evaluations and approve the design before the permit is issued; inspect the final product before it is covered up; and issue a certificate of completion to the owner. This assures that the septic system is designed to state standards.

Septic systems must be replaced when they have failed, when they’re discharging effluent to the surface of the ground, and when they are illegal systems such as cesspools.

Online Permits

Time of Transfer Inspections

All buildings served by a private sewage disposal system must have a Time of Transfer Inspection completed before the property can be transferred to a new owner. (For certain exceptions, see IAC 567 Ch. 69). Time of Transfer Reports are reviewed by the Environmental Health Inspectors to ensure the system is properly functioning. If a septic system is not properly functioning, it may need to be replaced before the property can transfer.

Financial Assistance Available

The On-site Wasterwater Assistance Program (OSWAP) is available to replace inadequate or failing septic systems in the form of low-interest loans through participating lenders to rural homeowners.

Program Information

Back · Environmental Health

Health: that optimal state of physical, mental, and environmental well-being that is a right and responsibility of all residents of Pottawattamie County.