Septic Permits

Process for Wastewater (Septic) Treatment System and Well Permits
You may apply for a septic permit in our office between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Applications may also be faxed or mailed. Download the permit application.
Failure to obtain a septic permit before beginning construction results in a fine of $1000.

Read the EPA's Homeowner's Guide to Septic Systems

What You Need to Bring
Please be able to provide the following items:
  • Property owner’s name
  • Property address (we will not issue a permit without a legal address)
  • Tax ID
  • Geocode #, subdivision name
  • Name of installer
  • The correct amount of money for the permit and/or site evaluation fee
Much of this information can be obtained from your tax assessment and/or property records. We also may be able to assist you with locating this information.

What You Need to Do
You must complete a permit application for the proposed wastewater treatment system.

DEQ Approval
If the wastewater treatment system has received approval through the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sanitation-in-subdivision regulations, please provide a copy of the subdivision approval statement or subdivision name for our staff to obtain a copy of the approval.

Site Evaluation
If the wastewater treatment system has not received DEQ approval, a site evaluation must be completed. It is the property owner’s responsibility to schedule the site evaluation, pay the site evaluation fee ($200), and hire an excavator to dig a soil test hole at least eight (8) feet in depth while the RCEHD representative is present. It is also the owner’s responsibility to mark the test hole with a 10-foot long, perforated 4-inch PVC pipe installed vertically to a depth of at least 8 feet.

Groundwater Monitoring
If the site evaluation identifies the need for groundwater monitoring (e.g., reveals evidence of seasonally high groundwater based on soil characteristics, observed groundwater, wetland vegetation, or irrigation), monitoring must be conducted during the seasonally high groundwater period, typically March to October. The RCEHD will conduct the monitoring after the owner has completed a groundwater monitoring application and paid the applicable fees.

Floodplain Determination
If the proposed wastewater treatment system is near the floodplain, a floodplain determination is required prior to issuance of the permit. Please contact the Ravalli County Planning Department for a floodplain determination.

Nondegradation Analysis and Water Sample
If the permit is for a new dwelling or structure, you may need a nondegradation analysis. For parcels with DEQ approval, a nondegradation analysis should have already been completed. For parcels without DEQ approval, the analysis will require a water sample for total nitrogen (nitrate plus nitrite) completed from the nearest well.

The RCEHD will provide the sample container, and the sampling and the cost for analysis will be the responsibility of the property owner. After we receive a copy of the water sample report, the RCEHD will perform the nondegradation analysis. The permit fee for standard trench systems without state approval includes the nondegradation analysis fee. For all other systems, the owner must pay the nondegradation analysis review fee ($100) in addition to the permit review fees.

Second Structure
Planning regulations allow only one structure per parcel with sanitary facilities. Additional structures that require wastewater treatment facilities must be reviewed and approved by the Planning Department prior to issuance of a wastewater treatment permit for more than one structure per parcel.