Wastewaster Disposal Systems
Private Wastewater Disposal System Installation Requirements
Environmental Health oversees the construction of new private wastewater disposal systems and the repair of existing systems. Installation of a private wastewater disposal system is a multi-step process as follows:
Step 1: Soil Profile Analysis
A completed Profile/Site Evaluation Application (pdf) and fee (pdf) must be submitted by the property owner or a licensed installer (pdf) to the Riley County Planning & Development Department to start the process.
The property owner or licensed installer will be responsible for hiring a backhoe operator who will schedule the analysis on-site with the Environmental Health Specialist. It is recommended the homeowner and installer attend the meeting. The backhoe operator will dig profile holes, five (5) foot deep and three (3) foot wide, in designated locations in order to determine the best soil conditions. The properties of the soil, such as texture and structure, are analyzed as well as the depth of ground water, seasonal water table, and bedrock. Upon completion of the analysis, the profile holes are to be back filled by the backhoe operator.
If the soil is not acceptable, a Wastewater Stabilization Pond (“lagoon”) will be required as described in Step 3.
Step 2: Installation of Standard System
Prior to the installation of a standard private wastewater disposal system (“standard system”), the property owner or the licensed installer shall submit a completed Wastewater System with Standard Field Application (pdf) and fee (pdf). The specifications regarding the size and installation requirements for the standard system will be provided to the licensed installer.
A standard system will typically consist of three parts, the two-compartment septic tank, the filter, and the soil absorption area (lateral field). The septic tank receives and provides primary treatment for the raw sewage. The filter is designed to remove solids before entering the soil absorption area. The soil absorption area provides treatment of the remaining wastewater from the septic tank.
Septic tanks shall be pumped and inspected by a licensed hauler (pdf) a minimum of every five (5) years to verify the tees are in place and the tank has not deteriorated. The hauler submits a pumping report (pdf) of every tank pumped to Environmental Health. If the tank is no longer structurally sound or is not watertight, it must be replaced.
Step 3: Installation of Wastewater Stabilization Pond
The property owner or the licensed installer shall submit a completed Wastewater Stabilization Pond Application (pdf) and fee (pdf). The Wastewater Stabilization Pond Permit will not be issued until the lagoon construction is approved, the fence is constructed according to the fencing requirements (pdf), a lock is placed on the gate, and the berms are seeded with grass.
Step 4: Installation of Alternative System
If neither the standard system nor lagoon are feasible options due to physical characteristics of the site, an Alternative Private Wastewater Disposal System (“alternative system”) shall be required. Various types of alternative systems are approved for use in Riley County. All alternative systems shall be subject to an annual inspection. The property owner or the licensed installer shall submit a completed Alternative Wastewater Disposal System Application (pdf) and fee (pdf).
The alternative system owner will be required to maintain the system in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and the "Riley County Environmental Health Administrative Standards for Alternative System Inspection and Maintenance." (pdf)
The alternative system will be subject to only an annual inspection by one of two optional methods:
a. Option 1: The Riley County Environmental Health Specialist will conduct the annual inspection and generate a compliance report filed with this office. (The Environmental Health Specialist will not perform maintenance on the system.)
b. Option 2: The system owner or owner's designee will conduct the annual inspection in the presence of the Environmental Health Specialist, who will generate a compliance report filed with this office. (The Environmental Health Specialist will not perform maintenance on the system.)
If the compliance report shows an alternative system is not in compliance the owner must bring the system into compliance, which may require the owner to apply for a repair permit. A re-inspection as described in paragraph 4 is required as a final step.
The cost of the annual inspection will be $100.00 and any re-inspection will be $75.00. All alternative system owners will be billed the $100.00 for the initial inspection at the start of each calendar year. The Environmental Health Specialist will contact the owner to schedule the system's inspection.