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119 South Fillmore Mt. Ayr, IA 50854 View Location

Septic Permits

Ringgold County has an actively-managed, on-site wastewater treatment and disposal program. Wastewater includes all water-carried waste derived from ordinary living processes. This includes water from all bathroom and kitchen drains and laundry facilities.

Permit Requirements

If a public sewer connection is not available, the property owner must install an on-site wastewater treatment and disposal unit (septic system) to properly treat the wastewater generated before disposal.  A septic permit is required in Ringgold County prior to installation.  The permit application form can be accessed by clicking here.

4 Steps to the Septic Permit Process

1. Site Evaluation

The Clarke County Environmental Health staff is available to assist you with selecting the best possible site for the placement of your septic system.  Your septic contractor may also assist you.

2. Soil Analysis or Percolation (Perc) Test

The subsurface absorption system (lateral field) is the preferred method of wastewater treatment for private sewers because it prevents contact with people and the environment even after processing. A percolation test or soil analysis is needed to determine the soil’s ability to absorb the water from a private sewer. Ringgold County’s policy is to accept only Perc tests or soil analyses done by a soil scientist or registered professional engineer. If the soil will not absorb water fast enough or absorbs the water too quickly, or if the soils are deemed to be unsuitable for a subsurface absorption system, an alternate system will need to be installed. Perc tests and soil analyses are valid for one year from the date of the test.

3. Septic Permit

Prior to beginning the installation of your private sewage disposal system, you must secure a permit from our office. This can be done once we have received and validated a soil report as stated above. Also, prior to obtaining the permit, you must have an Emergency 911 Address in place for the property, which can be applied for in the Engineer’s Office. Effective July 1, 2017, the application fee for a septic system to be installed by the homeowner is $500.  For systems that will be installed by a contractor, the fee is $400.  These fees are non-refundable.  Checks are to be made payable to Clarke County Health Department.

4. Inspection

The system is to be left exposed so that the Sanitarian can do a thorough inspection.  The Clarke County Environmental Health Office (641-223-8299) should be advised at least 24 hours prior to installation so that we can schedule the inspection for final approval.

Special Note

For large facilities generating more than 1,500 gallons per day of wastewater, the Iowa DNR oversees the permit process.

Get The Forms You Need

A packet with information about septic system installations can be accessed by clicking here.  The septic system permit application form itself can be accessed by clicking here.