Plumbing Requirements

Septic System


The disposal of domestic wastes in any area not served by public sewers must be in accordance with State Department of Safety and Professionals Department, Chapter SPS 83, Private Sewage Systems. The basic premise of Chapter SPS 83 is that "Every building intended for human habitation or occupancy shall be provided with a properly functioning system for treatment and disposal of domestic waste."

A site and soil evaluation performed by a Wisconsin Certified Soil Tester-Morphological (CSTM) is the basis for determining the type(s) of private sewage disposal system(s) that will be suitable for a particular land parcel. A list of CSTMs who work in Sawyer County is available from the Zoning Office. This office recommends that a favorable site/soil evaluation be a condition of purchase for any parcel being considered for the construction of a dwelling.

Soil & Site Evaluation


A CSTM must be contacted to perform the site and soil evaluation. The CSTM will complete a Soil and Site Evaluation Report, the original which is filed in the Zoning Office. The CSTM should also provide the client with a copy of the report and an explanation of the suitability of the site to support a private sewage disposal system. Any questions on unsuitable reports should be directed to this office to determine alternative means of domestic waste disposal. Also, reports for vacant land parcels may be on file in the Zoning Office and should be reviewed by prospective purchasers.

Sanitary Permit


Wisconsin Statutes dictate that a sanitary permit is required to install, repair or alter a private sewage system. The Sanitary Permit Application must be completed by a licensed master plumber. This plumber is also responsible for the installation of the system. The Zoning Office maintains a list of licensed master plumbers who work in Sawyer County.

The Zoning Office is the issuing agent for sanitary permits for conventional systems. The State Department of Safety and Professionals must review all plans for systems that require state plan approval. There is a Safety and Professionals office located in the city of Hayward. Plan review by SPS can take as long as a month and this delay should be considered when planning for the construction of a dwelling. SPS permits are valid for 2 years from the date of issue, and are both renewable and transferable.

Sanitary permits for privy/outhouse installation can be issued to the property owner instead of a plumber. A site and soil evaluation is required by a CSTM before a sanitary permit can be issued for an open pit privy - waste is deposited into a soil pit. A site and soil evaluation is not required for the installation of a sealed vault privy - waste is deposited into a sealed vessel/container such as a concrete tank. Also, the dwelling that is associated with the privy cannot contain a pressurized water system. Privy construction recommendations are available to assist the property owner in locating and building the privy.