Any structure where people live or work needs a public sewer or some type of septic system. Proper design, installation, and maintenance of septic systems helps protect our groundwater and surface water. In order to help protect public health, the Health Department reviews septic design, issues permits, inspects systems during construction, and oversees required septic system maintenance in Eau Claire County.
Septic Smart: Learn the Ins and Outs of your Septic System (US Environmental Protection Agency)
We issue sanitary permits to assure that private systems are properly located, sized, and installed. This helps to prevent waste from becoming a public health hazard. Required BEFORE:
- any private septic system can be installed, repaired, modified, or reconnected
- a building or land use permit can be issued in most townships.
Steps for Getting a Sanitary Permit
- Schedule a soil evaluation with a certified soil tester.
- Health Department staff review your soil test results.
- Contact a plumber to design and install your system (must be a WI licensed Master Plumber or Master Plumber Restricted-Sewer).
- Have the plumbing professional submit your Sanitary Permit Application to the Health Department. For fee information, see Well and Septic Program Fees.
- The Health Department will review the permit and then issue approval. If the permit is denied, you will be notified in writing.
Sealed-vault and open bottom pit toilets require a permit. Contact the Health Department for more information: (715) 839-4718.
Routine maintenance and inspection are required for all septic systems in Eau Claire County. This helps to ensure they are operating correctly and can identify or prevent failures.
Most systems require service every three years, though some unique systems require maintenance up to every 3 months. The Health Department sends reminders to homeowners when a routine inspection is due. A septic pumper or inspector will submit the maintenance report to the Health Department for you. Here is a list of pumpers and master plumbers who have previously performed service in Eau Claire County.
If you have your tank pumped before your receive a notice, please submit a septic tank maintenance report to the Health Department. This will “reset” your maintenance schedule, and an inspection reminder won’t be sent for another 3 years.
Holding Tank Maintenance
The Health Department sends holding tank maintenance reports each calendar quarter to holding tank owners. Owners are required to return the pumping reports to the Health Department after filling in the amounts pumped, the dates of pumping, the name of the pumper, and the disposal location.
Aerobic or Pretreatment Maintenance
Some septic systems use specialized treatment devices to provide additional treatment to wastewater. These devices produce a “highly treated” wastewater which contains fewer harmful bacteria and can help a septic system last longer. However, these systems require much more frequent maintenance than conventional septic systems.
Maintenance contracts are required for any system that has a maintenance frequency of less than 13 months. In addition, when these systems are installed an affidavit must be recorded at the county register of deeds office to notify any future owner of the increased maintenance frequency, and the requirement for a contract with a maintenance service provider.
Please call the Health Department for more information on proper maintenance, schedules, or contracts: (715) 839-4718.
Privy Permit and Reconnection Application (this is outdated form)
Septic/Dose Take Volumes and Dimensions
Codes and Regulations
SPS 382 Design, Construction, Installation, Supervision, Maintenance, Inspection of Plumbing
SPS 383 Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems
SPS 385 Soil and Site Evaluations