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Septic Permits

Ringgold County Environmental Health provides 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.  For more information understanding Residential On-site Wastewater Treatment and options available for you click here. The permit application form can be accessed by clicking here.

Four Steps to the Septic Permit Process:

1. Site Evaluation

The Ringgold 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 (OPTIONAL)

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. Click here for that list. 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 Ringgold County Environmental Services.  Also, prior to obtaining the permit, you must have an Emergency 911 Address in place for the property, which can be applied for at the Emergency Management Administration with Melissa Stark (641-464-3344). 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.  Click here for 2023 Registered Contractor List for Ringgold County.  These fees are non-refundable.  Checks are to be made payable to Ringgold County Public Health.

***Beginning March 1, 2024, a new policy was approved by Ringgold County Board of Health. This policy requires homeowners or property owners to take the same classes required of registered contractors to improve their understanding on how private septic systems work and are maintained if they desire to install their own system.  This policy would not apply if a homeowner or property owner is hiring a registered contractor to complete the work.  It would also not apply to homeowners or property owners living within 200 feet of a publicly owned treatment works (POTW) such as city septic or sanitary district.  The policy reflects those already used in Taylor and Union Counties.

Class requirement of 6 hours is available through Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC).  More information is available at:  Onsite Wastewater Training (  An upcoming class is being offered February 13, 2024, at Southwestern Community College in Creston:

Virtual training may also be available.  See this link for more information:  Iowa Environmental Health Association – Education, Training, & Events (

Class fees are set by the trainer and will be the responsibility of the homeowner or property owner.  More information about private septic systems is available at:  Private Septic Systems.  Those with questions or concerns are encouraged to call Ringgold County Public Health at 641-464-0691.

4. Inspection

The system is to be left exposed so that the Sanitarian can do a thorough inspection.  The Ringgold County Environmental Health Office (641-464-0691) 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.

Contact Us

  • Phone: (641) 464-0691
  • Fax: (641) 464-2476
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