Septic System

Septic System Ownership in South Dakota

Rural areas in South Dakota depend on privately owned septic systems for wastewater treatment and disposal purposes. The owner is responsible for the proper installation and maintenance of these onsite systems, and it is mandatory that they are designed and installed by state-certified personnel.

Regulation of Septic Tank Systems

The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is the governing body that regulates installation, alteration, and operation of septic systems. Installation requirements as laid out in the Administrative Rules of South Dakota, Chapter 74:53:01 need to be adhered to by the homeowner. Homeowners need to contact their local town hall authorities to ensure they are compliant with local specifications.

Application showing intention to construct, alter, and/or operate has to be submitted along with plans that fulfill a checklist of requirements. DENR has a list of certified installers who may be entrusted with the project.

Licensure Requirements for Septic System Contractors

Only personnel certified by DENR may be authorized to carry out designing, construction, alteration, and maintenance of septic systems. They have a certification program that ensures proper understanding of design requirements in their installers. Certification regulations are covered by South Dakota Codified Law 34A-2.

Installing a New Septic System

A soil test and three percolation tests have to be carried out by certified individuals before any work can begin. The Secretary or an authorized representative will carry out inspections during installation and operation of the onsite septic system and will ensure that the construction is compliant with guidelines and rules.

How to File a Complaint

Complaints regarding environmental concerns due to water quality issues may be directed to DENR at the following address on a complaint form available online.

SD Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Surface Water Quality Program
Joe Foss Building
523 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-3181
Phone 1-800-GET-DENR (1-800-438-3367)

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