Water Protection Program fact sheet
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Ed Galbraith

Proper operation and maintenance is a crucial component to keep no-discharge surface land application and subsurface soil dispersal systems operating effectively. An Operation and Maintenance manual is a requirement for no-discharge systems in accordance with 10 CSR 20-8.020(15)(E). The manual must be maintained, updated as needed, available on site, and submitted to the department when required. This checklist is intended as guidance for owners and operators of no-discharge wastewater treatment facilities to prepare and review a comprehensive Operation and Maintenance manual. Nothing in this document sets forth any requirements for the content of an Operation and Maintenance manual.

The no-discharge Operation and Maintenance manual may include, but is not limited to, the following, as applicable:


      ☐  Contact information (during business hours and after hours) including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for:

      ☐  The owner of the facility
      ☐  The operator(s)
      ☐  Equipment manufacturer(s)
      ☐  All utility providers (e.g. water, electric, gas, telephone, internet, Missouri DIG-RITE, etc.)
      ☐  Emergency responder telephone numbers (i.e. police and fire department)
      ☐  Industrial contributors, if applicable
      ☐  Local plumber, back hoe operator, or electrician, if applicable
      ☐  The septic tank contract hauler, if applicable
      ☐  The appropriate Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Regional Office. Refer to for Regional Office contact information.

      ☐  Copy of the current Missouri State Operating Permit (MSOP). Electronic copies of final site specific MSOPs are available online at The general operating permit template for the land application of domestic wastewater, MOG823XXX, is available online at

      ☐  A checklist or timeline of permit terms and conditions to be completed.

      ☐  A system diagram and map of the collection system lines, force mains, pump stations, wastewater treatment facility components, and application fields. The map should include identification of property lines, wells, sinkholes, roads, buildings, and streams. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) coordinates of prominent features should be included.
      ☐  Copy of application field land lease agreement, if applicable.
      ☐  Summary of the basis of design including the following: design average flow; peak hourly flow; design application dosage or irrigation rate; number, location, and area of application fields; hydraulic profile of the wastewater treatment facility; and design average organic loading.
      ☐  Start-up procedures.
      ☐  Post startup addendum. This section should be provided to the operator to address any issues or alterations to the manual as a result of changes in intended operations during startup.
      ☐  Daily operation procedures.
      ☐  Operation and maintenance materials for each component of the system provided by the manufacturer, including model numbers. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for each piece of equipment. (Provide websites, if necessary.)
      ☐  A troubleshooting list of expected problems with the remedies and list of tools required to fix the problem. The manufacturer should be able to provide this list. (Provide websites, if necessary.)
      ☐  Copies of all maintenance work and repairs completed. Retain these documents for a minimum of five years.
      ☐  List of replacement parts, including condition, last date of service, and last date of repair.
      ☐  Inventory of critical spare parts available and expected lead time for replacement.
      ☐  Emergency operations and failsafe features to facilitate operations during an emergency and what conditions require the components in the systems to be taken offline for maintenance and repair.
      ☐  Lockout/tagout procedures.
      ☐  Procedures for an annual stress test of any safety features or alarms, if applicable. Retain these records for a minimum of five years.
      ☐  Safety considerations including any applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements.
      ☐  Regular checks of any security features such as fences and lockable gates.
      ☐  Sampling procedures, copies of appropriate analytical methods, and Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) procedures (e.g. equipment calibration).
      ☐  Copies of all sampling results, records, and reports submitted to the department. Retain these documents for a minimum of five years.
      ☐  Copy of the most recent department inspection report, if applicable.
      ☐  If required by 10 CSR 20-9, the operational control monitoring requirements with locations and frequency of monitoring identified. Retain these records for a minimum of five years.
      ☐  Table of summaries of revisions or updates to the Operation and Maintenance manual.

Pumps and Electrical Controls

      ☐  Schedule and procedure for checking the pump chamber, pumps, valves, and floats regularly and replacing or repairing worn or broken parts. Pump maintenance should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
      ☐  Schedule and procedure for the routine observations of pumps, motors, and drives for unusual noise, vibration, heating or leakage; monitoring of discharge pump rates and pump speed; and monitoring of pump suction and discharge pressure.
      ☐  Copy of calculations used to adjust application dosage or irrigation rate and resulting retention time in the wet well or the dosing tank.
      ☐  Schedule for routine observations of control panel switches for proper positions.
      ☐  Schedule and procedure for checking electrical parts and conduits for corrosion.
      ☐  If the alarm panel has a “push-to-test” button, schedule and procedure to check the alarm regularly.
      ☐  Schedule and procedure to test high water level alarms, if applicable, including any system meant to communicate alarms to off-site individuals by means of an auto dialer or supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, etc.


      ☐  Safety data sheets for chemicals used, along with the required or anticipated dosage. This information should be shared with emergency responders.
      ☐  Procedure explaining when chemicals are to be used in the system.
      ☐  Spill response procedures.

Septic Tanks

      ☐  Schedule and procedure for septic tank regular inspections and solids removal. The septic tank will need to be pumped down to remove accumulated solids, generally every three- to five-years or more frequently depending upon usage and wastewater strength. Failure to pump out the solids will lead to clogged distribution lines and failure of a subsurface system (if used).
      ☐  Measurements of solids depth and volume in the septic tank should occur annually.  Records of solids removal must be retained for five years.
      ☐  Schedule and procedure to inspect all filters and valves, etc.


      ☐  A schedule and checklist for observing the physical condition of the system.  The lagoon should show no signs of scum or solids floating on the surface, expel no foul odors, show no objectionable weeds, and show no signs of going septic or currently being septic.
      ☐  Freeboard measurement.
      ☐  The pump down volume and depth.
      ☐  The frequency and duration of the catastrophic and chronic storm events that the lagoon is designed to store.
      ☐  Schedule of routine mowing including berms.
      ☐  Procedure for routine removal of woody vegetation, cattails, duckweed, etc.
      ☐  Plan for rodent control, such as muskrats, and repair methods for any damage sustained to the berms, as appropriate.
      ☐  Measurements of sludge depth and volume in the lagoon sufficient enough to characterize the sludge blanket should occur at least every five years.  The department recommends conducting sludge depth measurements after the lagoon has been pumped down.  Records of sludge removal must be retained for five years.  Sludge build up should not exceed an average of one foot of accumulation or lagoon must have sufficient treatment capacity.

Surface Land Application System

      ☐  A schedule and checklist for observing the physical condition of the system.
      ☐  Schedule for equipment checks during irrigation and when not in use.
      ☐  Wastewater surface land application should occur whenever the weather and soil conditions are suitable, while adhering to the design irrigation application rates listed on the operating permit.
      ☐  A diagram or schematic of the center pivot system, traveling gun, sprinkler system, etc. Procedure required to maintain these systems including a record of the calibration of the application rate.
      ☐  Contingency plan to cease irrigation should weather conditions change.
      ☐  Nighttime irrigation procedure, if approved by the department.
      ☐  Spring start-up procedure of land application equipment.
      ☐  Winterization procedure of land application equipment. Any water left in piping or irrigation equipment could cause severe damage during freezing conditions. Information should be provided on typical freeze dates for the area.
      ☐  List any grazing and harvesting deferments due to pathogen concerns.

Subsurface Soil Dispersal System

      ☐  Schedule for routine mowing or harvesting of the appropriate crop.
      ☐  A schedule and checklist for observing the physical condition of the system.
      ☐  Schedule for equipment checks during subsurface soil dispersal and when not in use.

Application Fields (applies to surface and subsurface)

      ☐  Detailed description of what types of vehicle and farm equipment can be used on the application fields, as vehicles, heavy equipment, or livestock could compact the soil, damage buried pipes, and destroy the vegetative layer.
      ☐  Basis for design application rates. This may be one of the following: hydraulic loading, trace elements loading, or nutrient (agronomic loading). Explanation of which loading type is limiting and calculations used to determine appropriate rates.
      ☐  If applicable, agronomic application rates for the different crops that may be planted on the application fields.
      ☐  Information on the types of vegetation designed to be used on the field and any allowed alternatives.
      ☐  Schedule for the regular inspection of application fields for equipment malfunctions, for signs of wastewater ponding, and to ensure that wastewater does not runoff the application fields. A checklist for the inspection of the application fields should be maintained, including periodic observations made while the system is in operation.
      ☐  Procedure for repairing erosion. Any erosion will need to be repaired and the vegetation needs to be maintained (including harvesting and reseeding as necessary).
      ☐  Procedure for removing deep-rooted plants (e.g. shrubs and trees), if applicable.

See the following fact sheets: