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 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 January 1996.
For more information, contact Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Bureau of Environmental Health Services, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102, 800-628-9891 or 573-751-6095.
Department of Natural Resources
- Approving the method of domestic wastewater treatment in new residential housing developments (such as subdivisions, recreational developments and multiple family housing units) and expanding 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.
For more information, contact Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Water Protection Program, P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176, 800-361-4827 or 573-751-1300.
The reference materials listed below are intended to provide a sample of what is available concerning suitability, designing, installing and operating and maintaining OWTS, cluster and centralized wastewater treatment systems.
- Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Glossary, Second Edition 2009 - Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment
- SepticSmart - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - A nation-wide initiative to share information on the proper care and maintenance of septic systems and encourage public stewardship in caring for these wastewater treatment systems
- Water Topics - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Missouri Smallflows Organization
- Soil Survey Manual (USDA, Agriculture Handbook No. 18) - U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Web Soil Survey - U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS)
- OWTS Construction Permit Application Process
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Registered Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) Installers
- Laws, Regulations & Manuals
- Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) Complaints
- Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems
- An Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Owner's Manual: Recommended Guidelines for Operation and Maintenance
- Forms - Site/ Soil Evaluation, OWTS Professional Registration, OWTS Installers, Licensed OWTS Inspectors
Department of Natural Resources
- 3,000 Gallon Per Day or Less No-discharge Permit Exemption for Domestic Wastewater Design Guidance - PUB1319
- Centralized Wastewater Collection and Treatment in Subdivisions, Mobile Home Parks and Campgrounds - PUB597
- Disposal of Wastewater in Residential Housing Developments 10 CSR 20-6.030 - PUB2225
- Jurisdictional Change of a Domestic Wastewater Facility - PUB2691
- On-Site Wastewater Treatment (Septic) in a Subdivision - PUB2226
- Pump and Haul Operating Permit Exemption - PUB2658
- Wastewater Treatment Facility Permit Fees - PUB2564
- Who Regulates Wastewater in Missouri? - PUB1296
- Request for Approval Under 10 CSR 20-6.030 Disposal of Wastewater in Residential Housing Developments MO 780-1760
Water Protection Program
Division of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176