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Frequently Asked Questions: Water, Sewer & Wastewater Information

For any questions or concerns please contact Sue Wilman EPHS at the Cooper County Public Health Center

17040 Klinton Drive
Boonville, MO 65233
Ph 660-882-2626
Fax 660-882-2586

1. What is a wastewater treatment system?

A wastewater treatment system is an intricate system that allows all your raw household sewage to be properly treated before it enters your local water table.

2. Why is this important for me?

The soil on your property acts as a filter for the raw sewage. The soil collects the living organisms (bacteria) from the sewage. The more soil that your sewage can filter through the more healthy or safe it will be before it enters the water table. Your soil must be maintained and not damaged in order for the filtration system to work properly.

3. Why do I need a soil report?

Soil types can dramatically effect how rapid liquids can pass through the soil.

If you have heavy dense clay like soil, water will not absorb or pass through the soil very quickly. The liquid will follow the least path of resistance and run off into another area quickly. The raw sewage will not have adequate time to be filtered. If this sewage flows into creeks and or water tables you can have direct contamination of your drinking water from bacteria and or chemicals. Each soil type will absorb liquid at a different rate. Therefore, your calculated household water usage and soil type must be compared and a system designed that will allow for proper water treatment and flow of your household waste. If these items are not considered carefully, not only can the water table be affected, your raw sewage can back up on you or your neighbor’s property. This is not only unsightly and odorous; it can be a health hazard.

4. Can I use a percolation test?

The Cooper County Public Health Center and the Department of Health and Senior Services no longer accepts percolation tests because they can be inaccurate depending on the time of year they are completed. Just imagine the soil in your back yard in August after a drought. Now think of your soil in April after several weeks of rain. The water percolation rate can vary greatly under these two different circumstances. Therefore, soil typing is the most accurate tool available at this time.

5. Do I have to use a registered installer for installation?

A homeowner may install his or her own system. Anyone other than the homeowner must be registered with the Department of Health and Senior Services. The wastewater rules remain the same for the homeowner and or registered installer

related links

Department of Health and Senior Services Certified Installers & Soil Scientists

Missouri Onsite Waste Water Laws