As the only Health Department inspector for Ste. Genevieve County I receive a lot of call about the rules. Some questions are very straight forward and easy to answer. Some are very complicated depending upon where in the county the property being discussed is located. In general, if it is a single deeded property not in a subdivision or other municipality and has no other homes on the property, and is over three acres, no permit is needed for that system. That being said, it is always recommended that anyone wanting to install a new or replacement septic system should contact Bob Kluender at the Ste. Genevieve County Health Department 573-883-7411 to be on the safe side. If there is a misunderstanding of the rules a person can be found in violation of the rule and subject to a violation notice and possible prosecution.
Ste. Genevieve County has no ordinances of their own regarding On-site Sewage therefore it follows the State law regarding On-site sewage. Property located in lake developments can be a little less plain as to what or if a system can be installed/permitted. Most lake developments have some of their own rules and covenants that have to be adhered to. Some have their own rules regarding the sale and transfer of lots with existing homes regarding inspection and approval of existing septic systems. If those inspections fail, these developments require that the system be upgraded or replaced to meet current State On-site sewage standards even though the State law does not require this.
A lot of banks, lending institutions, and most realty companies also have their own rules regarding the inspection of existing systems before they will lend monies to these sales. This is also not required by State law. Most of these institutions want to be assured that these septic systems are not failing causing owners to possibly become found in violation of State On-site Sewage laws. In general all existing septic systems are considered exempt from the rule unless a complaint is filed upon a property and the system is found to be failing. If a system is found to be failing in this situation the property owner loses that exemption regardless of property acreage and that septic system has to be upgraded or replaced to meet current standards.
Another issue that has become a major issue in recent years is the sale of lots within lake developments in plattes or annexes that are designated camping only or in non-Department of Natural Resources (DNR) approved portions of the development. Most of the lake developments in Ste. Genevieve County were developed many years ago and most did not get the entire development approved by DNR. Unless the development can prove to DNR that the remaining non approved lots were sold before a certain date and achieve exemption, there is no septic system allowed to be permitted on these lots. Before purchasing a lot within any of these lake developments check with the development or board of trustees to see exactly what they can do with the lot they are considering to purchase. If a potential purchaser wants to be sure they can also contact me at the Health Department for clarification on this matter.
Properties that are 3.0 acres or above and have no other homes on them, are not in a subdivision, lake development or municipality, and are therefore not required to be permitted by the Health Department still have some State On-site sewage regulations to follow. Unpermitted systems still require getting a Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services registered installer to put in the septic system to assure that it is properly installed to prevent failure of said system leading to health and environmental dangers.