On-Site Sewage Treatment Systems (OSTS) 

The Environmental Health Division requires permits for all new on-site sewage treatment systems and/or repairs to existing on-site sewage treatment systems which includes: septic tanks, drain fields, holding tanks, etc. All work must be permitted and performed by a licensed installer or the homeowner. Inspections of existing systems are provided upon request. Proper treatment of sewage is necessary to prevent waterborne illness and ground/surface water contamination.

State List of Licensed On-Site Sewage Treatment System Installers

Model Septic Code 

On-Site Sewage Treatment Systems 

Grand Forks Public Health (GFPH) requires a permit for the installation and/or repair of any part of an on-site sewage treatment systems in Grand Forks County. A permit must be received prior to any work done on the system. All work must be completed by a licensed sewer contractor or certified property owner.

Septic System Owners

For information on understanding how your septic system works and on proper system maintenance, see the NDSU's Individual Home Sewage Treatment Systems. GFPH recommends that every septic system owner learn about their system and proper maintenance procedures in order to keep the system functioning properly.

Septic Tank Pumpers

All businesses and people engaged in the business of removing and disposing of the solid and liquid contents of septic systems must be licensed by the North Dakota Department of Health. Additional septic pumper information and the list of North Dakota permitted septic pumpers is found here.

Mortgage Inspection Services

GFPH offers inspection and sampling services of septic systems and wells respectively to meet mortgage requirements. Many mortgage companies require an inspection to approve loans on homes that are serviced by wells and/or septic systems. The inspection request form can be found here.


Components of a Sewage Treatment System 

For information on different septic system components, check out the following documents:

Septic Tanks

Effluent Screens

Pump Tanks and Grinder Pumps

Trench Drainfields

Drop Boxes and Distribution Boxes

Bed Drainfields

Mound Drainfields

Inspection Ports and Cleanouts