On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems

Unlike the cesspools on grandpa's farm, the modern on-site wastewater treatment system, or OWTS, is an environmentally sound method of wastewater disposal in areas where public sewers are not available. These are also referred to as septic systems. Since many homeowners have little or no experience with an OWTS, these pages will provide information to help you understand how your OWTS functions and ways you can help improve its operation.

Basic OWTS Rules

  • Jefferson County requires permitting for use, operation and maintenance of onsite wastewater treatment systems. To find the different forms and permits required, click here.
  • Do not dispose of items that will destroy the natural digestion processes in your OWTS.
  • Do not overload the system with excessive water.
  • Have the tank regularly inspected and pumped.

If you adhere to these few simple rules, your OWTS will prove to be a safe and economical on-site method for disposing of your rural wastewater.