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Elbert County Public Health recommends that an STA be left largely untouched by homeowners. Irrigated landscaping is not recommended, since it has the possibility to saturate an STA causing the septic system to fail prematurely. You may consider planting buffalo grass or other natural grasses which do not require irrigation. Mow any grasses planted on the STA area regularly. Horses or other livestock should not be placed on an STA, because compaction of the soils may occur causing premature failure of your absorption area.
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An OWTS permit is required for new installations, expansions, and repairs (with some exceptions). To obtain a permit, the following will be required for new systems/new soil treatment areas (STA’s): completed permit application, payment of permit fee, system design, soils information, test pit logs, and a site plan. Elbert County Public Health department will accept the applications at our Environmental Health Office. ECPH staff will then review the information and possibly make a site visit. If the application, soil report and design (if applicable) meet our requirements, ECPH will issue a permit to construct, expand or repair the OWTS.
Septic Permit Application 2021 (PDF)
A Colorado Licensed Professional Engineer must design a system if any of the following occur: (a) the following soil types are identified within 4 feet below the depth of the proposed soil treatment area (STA): 0, 3A, 4, 4A, 5, R-O, R-1, R-2; treatment levels TL2, TL2N, TL3, and TL3N as specified in tables 10 and 11 of Regulation O-17 (b) groundwater, bedrock, or other limiting layer is present within 4 feet below the depth of the proposed STA, (c) the ground slope at the area of the proposed STA is greater than 20%, or (d) the proposed system is a commercial system, (e) the proposed system utilizes pressure distribution.
Contact your local health department (ECPH) for a final inspection. If the new system was designed by an engineer, a final inspection and a letter of approval from the engineer must be submitted to ECPH for approval. The building department must receive approval of the installation of the Septic system from ECPH before a CO can be released.
Yes, you must schedule a time to take the OWTS exam at the ECPH office. The exam is open book. A passing score is required. ECPH must conduct a pre-site visit, prior to any installation. If it is an engineered design, it will require the final approval of the engineer as well as Elbert County Public Health.
Review our Use Permit FAQS
The seller of the property is required to obtain a use permit prior to the sale of the property, an inspection must be done by a licensed inspector in Elbert County to accompany the application for the use permit.
Licensed OWTS Pumpers - PDI (PDF)
Elbert County Public Health (ECPH) has a minimum lot size of 10 acres with a well. The minimum lot size without a well is 5 acres.
Elbert County Public Health (ECPH) requires that septic tanks be inspected every four years and pumped when scum and sludge accumulate to greater than 25% of the effective volume of the tank. Dosing tanks shall be inspected and pumped if sludge accumulation is observed. If your OWTS receives higher than average use as determined by your licensed cleaner, you may want to consider a more frequent pumping interval. All pumping and evaluation of septic tanks should be done.
Licensed OWTS Pumpers 2021 - PDI (PDF)
Elbert County Public Health (ECPH) generally allows connection to the existing septic system, provided the owner notifies ECPH in advance, and ECPH approves the connection. An Alteration Permit application must be submitted to this office. An inspection of the new plumbing and applicable fee(s) is required. Prior to final approval, the existing record drawing of the system must also be amended to show new buildings and plumbing. For more information, contact Elbert County Public Health prior to starting your project.
Elbert County Public Health (ECPH) maintains records for existing septic systems, which contain record drawings identifying OWTS locations. Please keep in mind that ECPH may not have records of all septic systems due to age or permit status. In this case, it may be necessary to contact a licensed installer or a certified Use Permit inspector or surveyor to locate your system.
Licensed OWTS Installers 2021 - PD (PDF)
In this situation, it would be best to have the system evaluated by a licensed septic contractor.
If the damage is relatively minor and requires digging, such as a line or infiltrator repair. The repair will require a repair permit and need be done by a licensed contractor. All repairs will need to be inspected by Elbert County Public Health (ECPH) prior to being covered. If the damage is more extensive such as damage to the tank or extensive damage to the soil treatment area (STA), it will require a repair permit. The fees involved will vary according to the type of repair needed. Consult with your contractor and ECPH.