The Cooper County Public Health Center offers access to water testing for private well owners. Testing is provided through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Municipal water supplies are monitored through the Department of Natural Resources.
The Cooper County Public Health Center helps to ensure the prevention of disease by following up on potential sewer failures. Please call our office on 660-882-2626 and ask for the Environmental Public Health Specialist for further information.
All homeowners of single family residences, who are considering installing a new sewage system or major a modification to an existing system with three (3) acres or less must obtain a permit prior to installation or modification can begin. All commercial property or housing subdivisions must go through DNR for approval. The County of Cooper will provide at no cost, a copy of the applicable State Laws to anyone requesting it. The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has the laws accessible twenty-four hours per day on-line at www.dhss.mo.gov.
Applications for permits & permit fees may be obtained through your local public health department or (DHSS) at 930 Wildwood, Jefferson City, Missouri.
- Step 1: Send completed permit & fee to address listed on fee permit. Permit must contain an application number that is applied at the time you receive your application.
- Step 2: The homeowner or a registered installer must complete the application and include the morphology soil report .The application may be delivered to the local health department or to DHSS at the address listed above. If it is determined that an advanced system is required you may be required to obtain services of an engineer. If a system has been designed by an engineer you will need to include a copy of his/her report with the construction application.
- Step 3: The application will be reviewed after the payment for the permit has been received at the Department of Health and Senior Services. The Environmental Public Health Specialist (EPHS) will contact the homeowner or installer to schedule an appointment about the application and system. You may not start installation until you receive approval in writing from the EPHS.
- Step 4: When you receive your written authorization you may begin the installation process. The installer must notify the EPHS 48 hours (business hours) prior to covering up the system. If the EPHS is unable to make a site visit in 48 hours you may then cover the system and complete the project.
Please keep a copy of all documents submitted. If any variances or special circumstances are granted in your case please insist they be placed in writing by whoever is granting the special circumstance. This documentation process is to the benefit of all parties involved. A well maintained documentation file helps to aid in prompt real estate transactions.
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 healthier and safer 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 affect 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.
For more information concerning water, waste water, and sewer management in Cooper County, please contact the Cooper County Public Health Center at 660-882-2626.