Getting Ready for Your New Septic System

Getting ready for your new septic system

All homes in Story County that are not connected to approved municipal, community or group sewer systems are required to have private onsite wastewater treatment systems.

This page is intended to give you a brief overview of the installation process from applying for the permit and starting construction to finishing the project and learning how to take care of your septic system.

To start the installation process of a new wastewater treatment system, the owner or the contractor should submit the Application for Septic Permit to the Story County Environmental Health Department with the current permit fee of $150.00 and site review fee of $100.

Once the Environmental Health Department receives the application and applicable fees, a permit number is assigned to the Application for Septic Permit. The Environmental Health Department then contacts the person designated on the application to arrange a septic site review. During this review, proper setbacks will be marked and your building site/property are examined to determine what soils exist within the property boundaries and the depth of any restrictive or limiting conditions that can vary the design of the septic system. Once this site review is complete the Environmental Health Department will be able to tell you what your septic tank sizing needs will be, such as absorption trench length or mound/sand filter area.

It is important to note that the area where the septic system will be located should remain undisturbed until system installation. The designated wastewater treatment system area should be fenced off or otherwise protected in some way to prevent soil from being added/removed or allowing vehicles to drive across or park in this area. The soil is easily damaged by such activity and failure to protect these areas can cost time and materials at the time of installation or worse yet, give you a septic system that fails prematurely leaving you with costly repairs that could have been avoided.

When the site review is finished, the contractor of your choice should contact the Story County Environmental Health Department for guidance on the best arrangement for your building site. This will include size of primary treatment and the length and location for secondary treatment that is based on your stated bedroom loading and the actual site conditions. After this information has been relayed to the contractor, the parts needed to complete the system can be ordered and an installation date can be set with the property owner.

Any alteration to the system plans will need to be approved by the Environmental Health Department to ensure that the system will be configured within the framework of the IAC - 567-69 regulations.

It is important to remember that the Environmental Health Department MUST be called (515-382-7240) and allowed inspection of the new system or system changes BEFORE any part of the system is covered or buried.

After the Environmental Health Department has inspected the new installation and documented the locations for all of the major system components, the contractor will be allowed to cover the installation and finish grade the disturbed area.