Different state and local agencies are responsible for regulating wastewater treatment systems, ranging from a simple septic system serving a single-family residence to a centralized wastewater collection and treatment system serving an entire community.
Department of Health and Senior Services
The On-site Wastewater Treatment Program or local on-site wastewater authority, typically the county health department, has jurisdictional authority for domestic wastewater treatment systems only that include:
- An individual on-site wastewater treatment (septic) system (OWTS) with subsurface soil dispersal system that serves a single family residence
- An individual lagoon (earthen basin) that serves no more than a single family residence
- Cluster or centralized systems with subsurface soil dispersal under the same common promotional plan within the same operating location when the maximum daily flows of domestic wastewater is less than or equal to 3,000 gallons per day (gpd) including offices, motels/hotels, RV parks, theaters and restaurants
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has set minimum state standards for OWTS. These standards cover new systems and major changes to existing systems. Some examples of major changes are replacing a sewage tank, and replacing or expanding an absorption field. These standards became effective in January 1996.
Department of Natural Resources
- The approval for the method of domestic wastewater treatment in new residential housing developments such as subdivisions, recreational developments and multiple family housing units and the expansion of an existing development when they meet specific criteria
- All wastewater treatment systems with direct point discharge or surface land application systems regardless of maximum daily flows or type of waste treated
- All lagoons (earthen basins) other than an individual lagoon regardless of maximum daily flows or type of waste treated
- Any facility that has a maximum daily flow of domestic wastewater greater than 3,000 gpd
- All industrial process waste not defined as domestic wastewater, such as process waste from a brewery, a winery, a dog kennel, stormwater, etc.
The reference materials listed below are intended to provide a sample of what is available concerning the suitability, design, installation and the operation and maintenance of OWTS, cluster and centralized wastewater treatment systems.
- Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment – Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Glossary, Second Edition 2009
- Environmental Protection Agency - SepticSmart, Manuals and Management Guidelines
- Environmental Protection Agency - Water Topics
- Soil Survey Division Staff, 2017, Soil survey manual, C. Ditzler, K. Scheffe, and H.C. Monger (eds.). USDA Handbook 18, Government Printing Office, Washington D.C.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Services, Web Soil Survey
- Missouri Smallflows Organization
Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS)
- On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems
- Registration & Licensure Forms
- Information for Professionals
- On-site Wastewater Complaints
- Laws, Regulations & Manuals
- Frequently Asked Questions
- DHSS Construction Permit Process and Application
- Operation and Maintenance Guidelines
Department of Natural Resources
- 3,000 Gallon Per Day or Less No-Discharge Permit Exemption for Domestic Wastewater Design Guidance, Fact Sheet — PUB1319
- Permit Fees, State Operating Permits
- Centralized Wastewater Collection and Treatment in Subdivisions, Mobile Home Parks and Campgrounds, Technical Bulletin -- PUB597
- Common Promotional Plan, Disposal of Wastewater in Residential Housing Developments 10 CSR 20-6.030, Fact Sheet -- PUB2225
- Jurisdictional Change of a Domestic Wastewater Facility -- PUB2691
- On-Site Waste Disposal in a Subdivision, Disposal of Wastewater in Residential Housing Developments 10 CSR 20-6.030, Fact Sheet -- PUB2226
- Who Regulates Wastewater in Missouri?, Fact Sheet -- PUB1296