Planning and Zoning
- Septic Pumping (Pink Post Cards) Frequently Asked Questions
- Is Your Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (i.e. Septic System) Failing?
- WI Fund Grant Program
Bayfield County Sanitary Permits
The Bayfield County Planning and Zoning Office is the designated agency for the State of Wisconsin for the issuance of sanitary permits and inspection of all private on-site wastewater treatment systems in the County.
If you are planning a new construction project in Bayfield County where public sewer service is not available, a private onsite wastewater treatment system is required. A sanitary/septic system must be installed to ensure that wastes do not create a public health hazard. The State of Wisconsin Comm 383.32(f) requires final discharge of domestic wastewater (which means the type of wastewater normally discharged from or similar to that discharged from plumbing fixtures, appliances and devices including, but not limited to sanitary, bath, laundry, dishwashing, garbage disposal and cleaning wastewaters) or POWTS effluent to the ground surface is prohibited, including by means of plumbing outfall pipes.
A sanitary permit must be obtained prior to obtaining a land use permit (County), a building permit (State) and all appropriate fees must be paid. The process to obtain a sanitary permit is as follows:
- If you plan to have water receptacles (i.e. kitchen and/or bathroom sinks, faucets, showers, toilets, etc,) in your structure you must obtain a state sanitary permit. If you do not wish to have water receptacles you may chose to do a privy.
Vaulted – vaulted privies do not require a soil test; however they do require a minimum capacity of 200 gallons and proper maintenance every 3yrs.
Portable/Satellite privies do not meet the requirement of permanent placement unless they have a 200 gallon capacity and a service contract indicating a service provider will report maintenance activity to Bayfield County Planning and Zoning Department.
Pit – pit privies require a soil test be conducted to determine suitable soils. If a single boring test is conducted; the privy structure must be placed over the boring. Note: a single boring test is only permissible for a pit privy or soil waiver.
Camping Unit Transfer Containers (CUTC) - may be used as a means for sanitation for a Recreational Vehicle (RV) used as a temporary dwelling where no pressurized water is available to the RV. It must be state approved, installed pursuant to product specifications, and shall have a minimum 200 gallon capacity. Only one (1) CUTC shall be allowed with each RV and CUTC shall only serve one (1) RV. A servicing contract indicating that the service provider will report maintenance activities to the Bayfield County Planning and Zoning Department shall be submitted.
Septic System Types
- If your construction project requires a state septic system you must have a soil test done. This test must be performed by a Certified Soil Tester (CST) licensed in the State of Wisconsin. Get a list of CST's who perform this type of work in Bayfield County (PDF). .
- Dept of Commerce allows system of choice; however Bayfield County does not. The soil test determines the type of private on-site wastewater treatment systems to be installed.
- Soil Waiver - soil test may be waived by the Dept upon certification by a soil tester that in his/her professional judgment the site is unsuitable for any treatment component other than holding tanks due to soil and site conditions.
- If the soils are suitable for a conventional, in-ground septic system and the system is to service a one or two family dwelling the County can issue a sanitary permit without a state plan review. This type of system must be properly maintained and reported to the County Planning and Zoning Office every 3 years.
- If the soils dictate a mound system in-ground pressure system or if the system is to serve a commercial building then the plans must be approved by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce before the County can issue a sanitary permit. This type of system must be properly maintained and reported to the County Planning and Zoning Office every 3 years.
- If the soils dictate a holding tank system and the system is to service a one or two family dwelling the County can issue a sanitary permit without a state plan review. If the holding tank system is to serve a commercial building then the plans must be approved by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce before the County can issue a sanitary permit. These types of systems must be properly maintained and reported to the County Planning and Zoning Office when the wastewater of the tank reaches a level of one (1) foot below the inlet invert of the tank.
- If the soils dictate an aerobic treatment system (ATU) the plans must be approved by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce before the County can issue a sanitary permit. This type of system must be properly maintained and reported to the County Planning and Zoning Office as prescribed by the state or government unit (when the combined sludge an scum volume equals 1/3 of tank volume.
- Plans for both county and state (if required) approval must be drawn by an architect, engineer, plumbing designer or the licensed master plumber installing the system. Get a list of master plumbers who perform this type of work in Bayfield County (PDF).
- Complete plans and soils test must be submitted to the Planning and Zoning Reviewer, along with the appropriate fees before a permit will be issued.
- Once a permit is approved and issued then construction of the system and maintenance program can begin.
The application for a sanitary permit is typically one of the first steps in the construction sequence. Other steps may include; local town, state and federal requirements; and the issuance of a 911 address. Be sure you know all required steps in the process of permit issuance to ensure a smooth flow through the subsequent development process.
Please remember that arranging for soil tests, review of permit applications, site inspections, etc. takes time. Plan your building project well in advance to account for these requirements.
The excavation of a basement or footings is considered start of construction and is prohibited until a land use permit, and a building permit (i.e. state inspector) have been obtained. Starting construction without these permits could result in a penalty fee.
For any questions or concerns pertaining to a land use and/or sanitary permit process, please contact the Planning and Zoning Office by calling (715) 373-6138.