Private Sewage Disposal

Soil Bores

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Before starting the process for obtaining permits whether for septic, well, building, or zoning certificate, check with the Planning Department to determine whether your property has the correct zoning for building. Without proper zoning, all efforts spent throughout the process for construction will be wasted. The building permit cannot be issued without proper zoning.  

Soil bores are required for new installation (i.e. new construction) or for replacement of the septic field in the event of a system failure.  Following is a list of all certified soil classifiers in our region and in the state of Illinois that can be contacted to perform soil bores in Boone County.

Soil Classifiers List
Complete Septic Application Packet (includes applicable forms below)

Septic System Plan:

A septic installer or homeowner must submit a septic plan for review. This plan must be drawn to scale and must include proposed home/building locations. Any variances of Illinois and/or Boone County Code must be asked for in letter form prior to approval. Once the proposed plan is rejected or approved, the applicant is then sent notice. (Review time is approximately 5-10 business days after receiving septic plan.) Along with the plan, the applicant must also submit an elevation profile, septic checklist, waste-stream information sheet, and maintenance agreement.

To download an elevation profile, click here. 
To download the septic checklist, click here.
To download a Waste-stream Information sheet, click here.
To download a Maintenance Agreement for Private Sewage Disposal Systems, click here.

To apply please use our online citizen portal, click here.

Fees & Issuance of Permits:

Permit application fees are paid at the time of plan submittal. If the permit applications are approved, the septic and well permits are issued to the property owner and copies are sent to the contractors. The septic plan and well application must be approved and permits issued before installation or drilling may begin or before a Boone County Building Permit will be issued.

Aerobic Treatment Units (ATU) Septic System Reduction - Operator's Permit
If the proposed septic plan includes an Aerobic Treatment Unit (ATU) designed to specially treat the effluent & utilizes a reduction in field size as allowed by the Boone County Private Sewage Disposal Code, the property owner must obtain an Operator's Permit to operate this type of septic system for their home.  Before the septic permit can be issued by our office, the owner must sign the "Agreement for ATU Reduction Operator's Permit" form, so that they are aware of the ongoing requirements for the Operator's Permit. 

To download the Agreement for ATU Reduction Operator's Permit form, click here.

Installation & Inspection:
The installation must be completed by an Illinois licensed and Boone County licensed septic installer. The system must be installed in accordance with all IDPH and Boone County Health Department private sewage disposal codes. Boone County Health Department must be notified 48 hours prior to beginning septic system installation. At that time, the installer will be issued a confirmation number. This number must be given at the time of final inspection appointment request. If an inspection is needed sooner than 48 hours, an unscheduled inspection fee may be paid and an inspector will respond as soon as one is available. The fee may be paid to the inspector, upon arrival, at the site. A receipt will be issued at that time. No portion of any private sewage disposal system shall be covered or concealed until after it has been inspected and approved by the health officer. A call the day before or early on the day of completion is required for a final inspection appointment. Please call the Boone County Health Department – Environmental Center at (815) 544-2951 extension 2 to make an appointment or for more information.

Septic Repairs:
The repair of septic systems requires soil bores and a drawn to scale site plan, just like a new system. The site plan must include placement of the old system and well location. Also, the well location of adjacent lots is required. An application and submittal fee is required. The same rules (like new systems) apply if a homeowner repairs their own system. 

Septic Alterations on Existing Septic Systems:

Septic alterations may be necessary in certain cases where a home addition, pool, or other structure is proposed that encroaches on the area where the existing septic is located or requires additional septic lines to be added to accommodate the additional waste stream. Additional septic lines may have to be added to the existing field or parts of the existing septic lines may have to be abandoned and added in a different location on the property. A septic permit is required for this.

Property Owner Septic Installation:
Homeowners (unlicensed) who wish to install their own systems must pay for two additional compliance inspections. A homeowner installer must call in these two additional mandatory inspections at times in the installation process as set forth by the Health Authority. Owner-installed septic installation education is available by appointment and is paid for hourly, in advance.

To download the Homeowner Septic Installation form, click here. 

Septic Complaints:
Raw sewage or effluent that is on the surface of the ground is a public health hazard. The Illinois Private Sewage Disposal Licensing Act and Code prohibits the discharge of “raw or improperly treated domestic sewage to the surface of the ground or to farm tiles, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, or other collectors of water” (Sec. 905.20, h). Septic pumpers must submit proper documentation and receive permission before land applying septage.

Complaints about failing septic systems, raw sewage back-up into an apartment, surfacing effluent, or illegal septic pumper activities may be submitted to the Boone County Health Department through our nuisance complaint program.

To submit a complaint please use our online citizen portal, click here.

Boone County Installer and Pumper Licenses:
State licensed septic installers and pumpers must also have a Boone County Health Department license to operate in Boone County. To obtain a license, complete the application and submit by fax, mail, or in person along with a copy of your Illinois-state license and the applicable fee. There is no additional testing necessary. Boone County licenses are good for one year from the date of issuance.

Failure to obtain a Boone County license prior to installing any part of a septic system or pumping septage in Boone County will result in an additional fee. Other disciplinary action may also be taken as permitted by state and/or local codes.

To download a Septic Contractor License Application, click here.

Septic Maintenance:
Septic tanks require periodic pumping to clean out the accumulated solids. The Boone County Health Department recommends pumping every 2-3 years, or as recommended by an experienced septic pumper. Sticking to a regular pumping schedule could save you money and headaches from unexpected back-ups into the house. Keep vehicular traffic off of the septic field and the line between the tank and the field. Heavy vehicles or regular traffic over the septic field damages the field lines and reduces soil absorption capabilities.

We have additional educational brochures on septic systems available at our office. Also, please visit the EPA website by clicking here for more information about septic system maintenance.

Abandonment of Septic Tanks, Dry Wells, & Cisterns

Unused septic tanks, dry wells, and cisterns must be properly abandoned and a record of the abandonment must be sent to our office.  

To download the abandonment form, click here.