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How to Obtain a Sewage Disposal System Permit

Home 5 How to Obtain a Sewage Disposal System Permit

Step-By-Step Procedure to Obtain a Permit to Install or Replace a Private Sewage Disposal System

Before any work on a private septic system can begin please be aware of the following:

Your system must be constructed in accordance with the Illinois Private Sewage Disposal Licensing Act and Code and the county ordinance.

All work must be done by a State Licensed and County Registered Private Sewage Installer. Call 815-872-5091 for a list of licensed installers. The work may be done yourself provided the system is an owner-occupied property and you meet all requirements.

Bureau, Putnam & Marshall County Health Departments require a 48-hour notification prior to the commencement of work to allow for scheduling of a final inspection of sewage construction before backfilling.

Step 1

A Certified Soil Classifier or an Illinois Licensed Professional Engineer must be contacted to determine the absorption capacity of the soil at the proposed site. Soil boring data must be attached to your application or it will not be accepted.

Step 2

Private Sewage Disposal Permit Application must be completed in full and submitted to the Bureau or Marshall office. Unless you are doing the work yourself, your licensed contractor will usually fill this in for you based on the soil report. Applications will not be accepted if they are missing any of the following information:

  • Soil report from the Licensed Soil Classifier or Licensed Professional Engineer
  • Accurate property address and correct parcel (PIN) number. This information can be found on your tax bill or obtained from the County Assessor’s Office.
  • Complete plans or drawing of the proposed system. This can be drawn on the application form in the space required, or if you need more space please attach the sketch on another piece of paper. This drawing MUST include all of the following items:
    • The house or building the system will serve.
    • The sewer line, septic tank, and leach field.
    • Location of the soil borings.
    • The dimensions and length of all trenches and pipes for system.
    • Distances to water lines, water wells (including unused/abandoned wells), geothermal wells, water storage tanks and buildings. If there are wells on nearby properties within 200 feet these need to be included also.
    • Distances to any animal lots, fuel storage tanks, bodies of water and property lines.
    • All roads, driveways and parking lots in the area of the system.
  • The applicant’s signature serves as written acknowledgement that the property owners are aware of and accept the responsibility to service and maintain the private sewage disposal system in accordance with the Private Sewage Disposal Licensing Act and Code. If the owner of the site is a developer or contractor, he or she shall notify the purchaser and the health department of the transfer of ownership and responsibility for maintenance.
  • Appropriate fee must be enclosed. See County Fee schedules below:

Step 3

Your permit application will be processed within 5 business days if submitted with all required information. If your permit is approved, you will receive a copy in the mail. If the inspector has additional questions regarding your application they may call you. Please ensure to include the correct contact information on the application. Your permit will be valid for one year.

When a septic system works properly, new wastewater from the house pushes the separated wastewater in the septic tank out into the leachfield, which provides additional treatment by allowing the wastewater to trickle through a filtering system composed of perforated pipes or chambers, gravel and soil. Bacteria in the soil also helps to break down the waste.

One problem can occur if the household uses so much water in a short time that wastewater is pushed out into the leachfield before solids have had a chance to settle out. Solids damage the leachfield pipes or chambers and can strain the system unnecessarily. So homeowners should stagger their laundry throughout the week and try to do no more than two wash loads per day.

Step 4

Upon approval of the application, you are required to notify the health department at least 48 hours before beginning work. This is required so the inspector can fit you in their schedule. The inspector will then perform an inspection of the system prior to any backfilling.


If conditions exist at a proposed installation site which make it impractical or impossible to comply with the Private Sewage Disposal Licensing Act and Code, a variance may be requested. Our Variance Request Form is found Here!


If the proposed system discharges into the waters of the United States, a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit must be obtained. If your system discharges, Find more information on NPDES permits HERE!