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POWTS - Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (Septic System) Information

List of Area Wastehaulers

List of Area Certified Plumbers/Septic System Installers

List of Area Certified Soil Testers

Combined List of Plumbers & Soil Testers 

Care and Maintenance of Residential Septic Systems


WOWRA Septic System Booklet
Consumer Brochure provided courtesy of the Wisconsin Onsite Water Recycling Association (WOWRA).  For more information about WOWRA, please call 888-782-6812, email, or visit them online at

If you are planning a new construction project in Outagamie County where public sewer service is not available, a Private On-site Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS) is required. A sanitary permit is required for these systems to ensure that wastes do not cause a public health hazard. A sanitary permit must be obtained prior to a building permit, prior to the start of construction and all appropriate fees must be paid.

The process to obtain a sanitary permit is as follows:

Have soil tests taken, unless holding tank is to be installed. These tests must be performed by a Certified Soil Tester (CST) licensed by the State of Wisconsin. Certified Soil Tester list HERE.

If the soils are suitable for a conventional (in-ground septic system) and the system is to serve a one or two family residence, the county can issue a sanitary permit without a state plan review.

If the soils dictate a mound system, in-ground pressure system, at-grade system or a holding tank, the plans may be either approved by Outagamie County or the Wisconsin Department of Commerce before the county can issue a sanitary permit.

Plans for both county and state (if required) approval must be drawn by an architect, engineer, plumbing designer or the master plumber installing the system.  Master Plumber list HERE.

Completed plans and soil tests must be submitted through CityView Web Portal, along with the appropriate fees for approval. Other necessary permits, such as Stormwater/Erosion Control, may also be required prior to issuance of a sanitary permit. Please call 920-832-5255 to determine if additional permits are required. 

Once approved, the sanitary permit should be taken to the local building inspector who can then issue a building permit.

Please remember soil tests, review of permit applications, site inspections, etc. take time. Plan your building project well in advance to account for these requirements and timelines.

Excavation, which includes top soil stripping, is considered start of construction and is prohibited until a sanitary permit and building permit are obtained. Starting construction without these permits will result in a double permit fee as a penalty.  A driveway or access to the property may be installed.

The application for a sanitary permit is typically the first step in the construction sequence. The sanitary permit application must be applied for through CityView Web Portal. Later steps in the sequence, such as the request for an address, will require an accurate legal description. It is important that a certified survey map or other instrument used for describing the land be available at the time the sanitary permit is applied for. This will ensure a smooth flow through the subsequent development process steps.

For further information on the sanitary permit process, please contact either:

Lesley Roll                                                      Doug Depies                  
920-832-6031                                                 920-832-6032    

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