Septic & Land Development

It is important for the developer/homeowner to contact SWDH at 455-5400 regarding the application and the permitting process for a septic system or drainfield.  A septic system permit is almost always a pre-requisite to obtaining a building permit from the county.

Septic systems can be classified in different forms; some samples include:

Basic:

Complex:

Extended Treatment Package (ETP) Systems:

Extended Treatment Package Septic Systems are treatment devices that provide extended biological treatment to septic tank wastewater prior to being delivered to the septic drainfield. These are also commonly called Aerobic Treatment Units.  Once delivered to the drainfield, the wastewater will seep into the ground.  These are generally required in situations of limited acceptable soil conditions, shallow ground water, or in areas of known degraded ground water quality.

ETP Systems are required to have annual testing, inspection, and repairs to ensure it is working properly.  This work is required to be done by a licensed service provider.

Southwest District health is responsible for permitting the septic tank and drainfield for both private and commercial properties.  Additional permitting may be required through the city/county the construction is being completed.

Please contact the Idaho Department of Building Safety for permitting of plumbing from the structure to the septic tank. The Meridian office is located at 1090 E. Watertower Street, Suite 150.  Office hours are 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.  Phone 208-334-3950 or toll free at 800-955-3044.

Land Development and Septic System Permits

Land Development

When developing property, it is important for the developer/engineer/homeowner to schedule a meeting with SWDH to discuss the project. SWDH requires this pre-development meeting before the formal application process. (Subdivision Application) Contact 455-5400.

SWDH works in cooperation with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ), by releasing sanitary restrictions on platted subdivisions having city water and city sewer only after IDEQ or the Qualified Licensed Professional Engineer (QLPE) has conducted the necessary reviews of the specifications. Please follow the Mylar Signature Checklist for city water and city sewer subdivisions.

Subdivisions utilizing individual wells and individual subsurface sewage disposal systems must meet the Subdivision Engineering Report (SER), through SWDH prior to releasing sanitary restrictions. The SER is to be completed by a Licensed Civil Engineer. Additionally, SWDH may require a Nutrient Pathogen Study; depending on the location of the subdivision, size of the lots, and density of dwellings.

When developing property, it is important for the developer/engineer to schedule a meeting with SWDH to discuss the project. SWDH requires this pre-development meeting before the formal application process. (Subdivision Application) Contact 455-5400.

Fees:

Subdivision Engineering Report Application Fee$250.00
Cost Per Developable Lot$300.00
Mylar Signature Fee for City Water and City Sewer$100.00

For further information you may contact SWDH office at 455-5400.

Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems

Southwest District Health (SWDH), Environmental Health Services, regulates subsurface sewage disposal systems along with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ).

It is important for the developer/homeowner to contact SWDH at 455-5400 regarding the application/permitting process for a subsurface sewage disposal system, since a subsurface sewage permit is usually a pre-requisite to obtaining a building permit from the county.

Process/ How to Apply

An on-site evaluation must be conducted by SWDH prior to the issuance of a subsurface sewage disposal permit. The applicant must schedule a backhoe to have a ten (10) foot test hole dug at the time of the evaluation. SWDH needs a legal description, zoning certificate, and tax assessment notice, or property profile at the time of application. You may contact the county or refer to a tax notice to find your legal description.

How to Apply

Subsurface Sewage Disposal Application (PDF).

For new construction, please also provide an 8” x 10” copy of the house floor plans confirming the number of bedrooms.

Fees

New permit$824.00
Expansion permit$824.00
Replacement Permit$824.00
Tank only permit$412.00
Septic permit renewal$103.00

Accessory Use

Accessory Use approvals may be required by the county prior to receiving a building permit to construct an addition, shop, building, etc., on a piece of property. At the time of Accessory Use Application an Environmental Health Specialist will evaluate if the new proposal will require a modification to the existing subsurface sewage disposal system.

Accessory Use Approval Application and Plot Plan (PDF).

Fees: Accessory Use Approval Permit in-office: $52.00

Accessory Use Approval Permit – on-site visit:   $150.00

For further information you may contact your local SWDH at 455-5400.

Septic Installers

Installer: Any person, corporation, or firm engaged in the business of excavation for, or the construction of individual or subsurface sewage disposal systems in the State.

All installers within the State of Idaho must obtain either a basic or complex installer’s registration permit. An installers registration permit may be obtained at SWDH, and may be used for installation of septic systems throughout the state. Basic installer’s registration permit operators are limited to the types of systems they may install.  Complex installer’s registration permit operators are permitted to install all types of systems.

Complex Installers may install all of the following alternative type systems:

  • At-grade soil absorption system
  • Drip distribution systems
  • Evapotranspiration and evapotranspiration/infiltrative systems
  • Experimental systems
  • Extended treatment package systems
  • Pressurized gray water systems
  • Individual lagoons
  • Pressure distribution or transport systems
  • Recirculating gravel filters
  • Intermittent sand filters
  • Pretreated enveloped in-trench sand filters
  • Pressurized in-trench sand filters
  • Sand mound
  • Subsurface flow constructed wetland
  • Two-cell infiltrative systems
  • Drainfield remediation components
  • Large soil absorption systems

Initial Installer’s Registration

To obtain an installers license the probable installer must complete the following:

  • Submit an installers permit application
  • Submit a bond to SWDH in a format approved by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in the sum applicable to the permit type sought: Basic $5,000 or Complex $ 15,000.
  • Pay the application fee.
  • Attend a scheduled installer training class or view the installer video prior to taking the required installer examination
  • Pass the installer examination administered by the health district with a minimal score of 70%

Renewal of Installer licensure

  • All installer licensure must be renewed annually. To renew the installer must;
  • A bond continuation form may be submitted in lieu of a new bond
  • If the installer permit is to be upgraded to from basic to complex then the installer shall attend a complex class or video, and trhe

*** Installer refresher video must be attended every three years to renew an installer registration permit.

Service Provider Requirements

A Service Provider must have a complex level septic system installer license plus be bonded at that level.  This includes taking the Complex Installers exam.

The Service Provider must pass a test developed by the State of Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality.  The test is taken at an Idaho Health District office by appointment.  The study material for the installer’s test is the Technical Guidance Manual for Individual and Subsurface Sewage Disposal System. Click Here to view online.

The Service Provider must provide to the appropriate Health District a yearly confirmation letter from the manufacturer whose product they are servicing that they are current and qualified to service their technology.

The Service Provider must participate in a three (3) year training course.

If you need more information or would like to schedule an appointment, please call 208-455-5400.

Fees

Basic Installer License$103.00
Complex Installer License$155.00
Purchase of Technical Guidance Manual$25.00
Video Review of Installer Class$30

See Septic Systems Tab for Permitting Fees

Related Links for Septic Installers:

Pumper Trucks

All persons or businesses operating any truck with a tank used to pump and transport septage/sewage must comply with the “Rules Governing and Cleaning of Septic Tanks” – See below link.

A permit is required for pumping, transportation, and disposal of sewage. Permits for septic pumping trucks must be renewed annually with applications being submitted on or before March 1 of each year.

Click below to print a copy of the pumper truck application:

Pumper Truck Application

Truck Requirements

Truck tank capacity

  • 1000 gallons – pumping of septic tanks, RV dump stations,
  • 500 gallons – pumping of portable toilets, or vault privies.

Other Requirements

  • An access port for the inspection, maintenance, and cleaning of the interior
  • A gage to indicate the volume of liquid contained
  • Tank should have a gravity drainage valve that can be safely locked during transportation and storage
  • Discharge valve to dispose septage should be at least 2 ½ inches in diameter and equipped with a cam lock quick couple screw cap, and placed in a manner that the discharge stream is not blocked in any way, unless it is necessary for disposal
  • Pumping equipment on the truck should be sized to provide at least 15 feet of suction lift and should be able to reverse flow
  • A water trap between the tank and pump to prevent liquid from entering the pump in case the pump pulls a vacuum on the tank
  • Several lengths of hoses should be available that can accommodate the distance between the vehicle and the septic tank. These hoses from the tank to the pump should be at least 3 inches in diameter.

For additional information see the link below “Rules Governing the Cleaning of Septic Tanks”

Fees

Pumper License Permit Fee$123.00
Pumper License Fee for each additional truck$20.00

Links

Rules Governing the Cleaning of Septic Tanks: https://adminrules.idaho.gov/rules/2007/58/0115.pdf

Septic Systems

An on-site evaluation must be conducted by SWDH prior to the issuance of a subsurface sewage disposal permit. The applicant must schedule a backhoe to have a ten (10) foot test hole dug at the time of the evaluation. SWDH needs a legal description, zoning certificate, and tax assessment notice, or property profile at the time of application. You may contact the county or refer to a tax notice to find your legal description.

How to Apply

Subsurface Sewage Disposal Application (PDF).

For new construction, please provide an 8” x 10” copy of the house floor plans confirming the number of bedrooms.

Fees

New permit$824.00
Expansion permit$824.00
Replacement Permit$824.00
Tank only permit$412.00
Septic permit renewal$103.00

Addition of Barns, Shops of Out Buildings (Accessory Use)

SWDH also provides Accessory Use approvals. Accessory Use approvals are required by the county prior to receiving a building permit to construct an addition, shop, building, etc, on a piece of property. At the time of Accessory Use Application an Environmental Health Specialist will evaluate if the new proposal will require a modification to the existing subsurface sewage disposal system. The proposal may require the applicant to apply for a new or expansion subsurface sewage permit or if no impact is identified an in office approval can be authorized.

Accessory Use Approval Application and Plot Plan (PDF).

Fees:

Accessory Use Approval Permit in-office$52.00
Accessory Use Approval Permit Site Visit$150.00

For further information you may contact your local SWDH at 455-5400.

Related Links for Homeowners with a Septic System