Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Septic Pumping
Note: All information contained in the Bayfield County Planning and Zoning pages is provided to inform property owners of minimum requirements and the information is subject to change. Contact the Bayfield County Planning and Zoning Office for the most current information.
- Why am I receiving a pink post card, when I never received one before?
- How often am I required to pump?
- Who do I call to pump my system?
- Who is responsible to update my pumping record?
- Do I have to call the Zoning office and verify that my system has been pumped & reported?
- Do I qualify for less frequent pumping (i.e. low-flow pumping)?
- What does the red post card mean?
- What will happen if I choose not to comply?
Why am I receiving a post card, when I never received one before?
You are receiving a card because the Planning and Zoning Dept. has been given a mandate (June 2005) by the State of Wisconsin to accurately keep a record of maintenance on all private onsite wastewater treatment systems (i.e. sanitary systems) in Bayfield County. Prior to the 2005 mandate, the property owner(s) were responsible to keep the system properly maintained. The State law has been in effect since 1981.
How often am I required to pump?
- Septic Systems are required to be properly pumped or inspected every 3 years. Inspections may be conducted by a master plumber, journeyman plumber or a person licensed under s. 281.28.
- Holding Tank Systems are required to be pumped whenever the wastewater of the tank reaches a level of one (1) foot below the inlet invert of the tank. A holding tank will be placed on a 3 yr. maximum inspection cycle if no maintenance history is on file for the standard.
- Aerobic Treatment Systems (ATU) are required to be properly maintained or pumped as prescribed by the state or governmental unit (when the combined sludge and scum volume equals 1/3 of tank volume)
Who do I call to pump my system?
You must call a licensed pumper within the State of Wisconsin. Click here for listing (PDF).
Who is responsible to update my pumping record?
When your septic tank or holding tank has been pumped, the pumper has 30 days to record the information to Planning and Zoning Dept. maintenance program.
Do I have to call the Planning and Zoning Office and verify that my system has been pumped and recorded?
No, you do not have to call our office to verify. You may go on line and verify. Follow these steps:
- Go to www.septicsearch.com
- Select your state: Click on pull down box and select – Wisconsin
- Select county/town: Click on pull down box and select – Bayfield County
- Look for Property Search: Click on the magnifying glass
- Look for Search By (pull down box), choose one and enter the info on the next line, then click search button
Do I qualify for less frequent pumping (i.e. low-flow pumping)?
If you are a property owner of a holding tank you may qualify for low-flow pumping. You must comply with Comm 83.32(f) & 83.54(3)(c) requirements. All blackwater, graywater, effluent, etc. must be discharging into the holding tank; and secondly the tank is being pumped when all wastewater reaches 1' below the inlet pipe. If compliance with Comm. requirements is followed you may fill out an affidavit and mail it to the Planning and Zoning Department for consideration. Click here for affidavit (PDF). Holding tanks having no maintence history on file during the standard scheduling will be placed on a 3 yr. maximum inspection cycle. Click here for inspection form (PDF).
If you are a property owner of a septic tank you do not qualify for less frequent pumping. The State of Wisconsin mandates that septic tanks must be properly maintained (i.e. pumped or inspected) every three years. Click here for inspection form (PDF).
What does the pink post card mean?
The pink card is the only postcard the property owner(s) will receive from the Planning and Zoning Department requiring them to come into compliance with their private onsite wastewater treatment system (POWTS). Subsequent notification will be sent by Corporation Counsel to enforce legal action.
What will happen if I choose not to comply?
A summons and complaint will be filed to achieve compliance. Note: Additional penalty fee(s) may be up to $500 a day from the date of non-compliance, and all court costs being recouped.