Private Sewage

Program activities include the issuance of construction permits, the inspection of new or existing sewage disposal systems, and complaint investigations. The program regulates all private sewage disposal systems that treat a flow of 1,500 gallons per day or less. Program goals are to minimize the risk of disease transmission, as well as the reduction of adverse environmental conditions created by improper disposal of domestic sewage.

Private Sewage Disposal System Installation

Before a private sewage disposal system can be installed in Clay County, a Private Sewage Disposal Plan Review Application and an application fee must be submitted to the Health Department for approval. The applicant will be granted a permit if the proposed system meets the requirements of the IDPH Private Sewage Disposal Code and the Private Sewage Disposal Licensing ActIt is the applicant’s responsibility to notify the health department a minimum of 24 hours prior to installation.


Septic System Application


Private Sewage Disposal System Ordinance

Who Can Install A Private Sewage Disposal System?

Licensed Private Sewage Disposal System Installation Contractors: The Clay County Health Department maintains a list of licensed installation contractors who have performed work in Clay County in the past. The Illinois Department of Public Health also maintains a searchable database of Private Sewage Licenses with an Active License.

Homeowners: A person who owns and occupies a single-family dwelling may be issued a permit, providing they submit an appropriate application for approval and comply with the necessary provisions. Any construction or excavation performed by any individual other than the person who owns and occupies a single-family dwelling shall be performed by a licensed Private Sewage Disposal System Installation Contractor or an individual under the direct supervision of a licensed Private Sewage Disposal Installation Contractor.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit Information

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued NPDES General Permit No. ILG62 for point source discharges of pollutants from new or replacement individual private sewage disposal systems into the Waters of the United States. The permit took effect on February 10, 2014. No new or replacement surface discharging individual wastewater treatment and disposal system may be constructed without coverage under this permit if the system discharges to the Waters of the United States.

It is the responsibility of the potential discharger, which in most cases is the property owner, to determine whether or not his or her system might discharge to a water of the United States. In some situations, making this determination may be difficult. EPA suggests a common-sense way of evaluating whether you are required to be covered by an NPDES General Permit: If you were to install or replace a surface discharging system on your land, would effluent or pollutants (even diluted ones) from your system end up in the water of the United States or a conveyance – such as a ditch, drainage pipe, channel, tunnel, conduit, discrete fissure, or other means – that leads to a water of the United States? In evaluating this question, consider that rainwater, irrigation activities, lawn sprinkling systems, and any other ways that water can carry pollutants to waters of the United States.

For those surface discharging private sewage disposal systems from which effluent enters into the Waters of the United States that require a general NPDES permit, a permit can be obtained from the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) or the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA).  For more information on Waters of the United States and the NPDES general permit process, please read NPDES General Permit Information.

Maintenance of Your System

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) incorporated maintenance and service requirements into the Private Sewage Disposal Code (77 Ill. Adm. Code 905). For private sewage disposal systems permitted and installed after January 1, 2014, in accordance with Section 905.20 q) of the Code, the property owner shall maintain all maintenance records on forms provided or approved by IDPH and make records available upon request by the IDPH or Local Authority. Records shall be kept for the life of the system, and shall be transferred to any subsequent owner. Please read and become familiar with these maintenance and record keeping requirements.

Illinois Contractor’s Licensing Exam

Contractor Exam Preparation  – This is a link to University of Illinois Extension. It is an interactive study guide for the Illinois Contractor’s Licensing Exam.         

Real Estate Surveys

If you are buying or selling a home and would like the private sewage disposal system inspected, the Division of Environmental Health can provide this service. Our inspection will determine if the system is compliant with the Illinois Private Sewage Disposal Code. If deficiencies are found, recommendations for correction will be given. The fee for this service is $50.00, or $65.00 for the inspection of both the private sewage disposal system and the private water well.

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