The Fremont County Small Wastewater Program administers septic system permits for unincorporated areas of the county and properties inside city limits without access to public sewer services. The goal of the program is to ensure public health and safety by providing ground and surface water protection. Proper septic system installation and maintenance are key factors in reaching that goal. For this reason, a permit is required for all small wastewater (septic) systems that generate less then 2,000 gallons per day of sewage. A permit is also required for replacement or modification of a failed septic system.
Applying for a Permit:
If you will be installing a new septic system, or making extensive repairs to an existing system, a permit is required. The application process requires:
- A site plan which locates water lines, wells (including neighboring wells), surface water, and septic system location
- A percolation test to determine the absorption rate of your soil
- A site evaluation conducted by our staff
- A final inspection to ensure your septic system is installed correctly
Our staff is available to assist with any questions regarding new construction, septic system failures, and maintenance. We also provide copies of existing permits free of charge. A 48 hour advanced notice is greatly appreciated when scheduling your appointments. Please be aware that processing an application from site plan to final inspection may take days or even weeks to complete depending on weather, construction delays, and inspection scheduling. It is best to contact our staff before any construction begins.
Failures and Replacements:
Septic systems can fail for a variety of reasons. Often the culprit is age. If your system is installed correctly and well-maintained, you can reasonably expect 20 years of use. However, if the system is too small to accommodate your household, was installed in heavy clay soil or groundwater, or the system has been damaged, a failure may occur. The primary signs of septic system failure include drains backing up into the home, soggy areas in the yard, odors, or abnormally green strips in lawns. If you suspect your septic system is failing, please be aware that a permit is also required for replacement construction as well. Replacement septic systems can pose challenges due to space constraints on developed lots. However, our staff is on hand to assist with solutions.
Fremont County Planning Department Publications include:
- Small Wastewater Application
- Installing a Septic System Handout
- “Top Reasons For Septic System Failure and How to Prevent Them;”
National Environmental Service Center quarterly publication Pipeline includes:
- Fall 1995, Vol. 6, No. 4“Maintaining Your Septic System: A Guide For Homeowners”
- Summer 2007, Vol. 18, No.2“Quality Control for Homeowners”
- Summer 1999, Vol. 10, No. 3“Mounds: A Septic System Alternative”
- Spring 1997, Vol. 8, No. 2“Lagoon Systems Can Provide Low-Cost Wastewater Treatment”
Additional NESC publications are available at theNESC Website.