1. A State sanitary permit is required for the proper siting, design and installation of a Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS) when a new structure, commercial or residential, is being proposed to be erected on a parcel of land that does not have municipal sewer service available.
  2. Where there is an existing structure that has a failing Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS), a State sanitary permit is required prior to replacement of that existing failed POWTS.

You may also need a State sanitary permit for the following:

  1. Proposed building addition(s) to an existing structure
  2. Proposed plumbing installation in a new or existing outbuilding, other than water lines only
  3. Property rezoning request
  4. Conditional Use request
  5. Proposed land division


To ensure the new and/or existing Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS) will meet the minimum required setbacks and separation to stated limitations and any body of water, seasonal or otherwise, as specified in the State of Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapters 382-389 and the Kenosha County Sanitary Ordinance Chapter 15 (PDF).


You or your State of Wisconsin licensed POWTS installer must submit the necessary application for the sanitary permit and required paperwork, along with the appropriate sanitary permit fees to obtain a sanitary permit.


The following Procedures are used by persons interested in obtaining a State Sanitary Permit for a New or Replacement Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS):

  1. Contact a State of Wisconsin Certified Morphological Evaluator (soil tester) to conduct a soil and site evaluation to determine site suitability for a POWTS.
  2. After the soil and site evaluation is completed, you must contact a State of Wisconsin licensed POWTS installing plumber to design a proposed POWTS for the site in question. Installers and soil testers can be found in the yellow pages of the telephone book or download a list of POWTS installers and soil testers (PDF) that work in and around Kenosha County. This list is not all inclusive and is not an endorsement of such contractors by the County of Kenosha.
  3. The POWTSdesign submittal will include:
    1. A Sanitary Permit Application
    2. Two complete sets of POWTS plans on paper no larger than 11 inches by 17 inches
    3. An original signature soil test
    4. A properly signed and notarized maintenance agreement
    5. A service contract where required
    6. Other documents as required
  4. Appropriate sanitary permit and maintenance agreement recording fees must be submitted for sanitary permit review and issuance.
  5. Before an application for sanitary permit can be issued to the applicant, the applicant must own the property for which they seek the permit. You will be considered owner of the property when the permit applicant’s name appears on the recorded warranty deed or land contract. Either of these documents will be recorded with the Kenosha County Register of Deeds.
  6. The State of Wisconsin will review all pressurized POWTS prior to County receipt of plans. All pressurized plans will include mound, inground pressure, at-grade, all Pretreatment Systems. Holding Tank systems with wastewater flows more than 3,000 gallons per day will also require State plan review. Typically, all plans for POWTS that will serve one- and two-family dwellings and their accessory buildings will be reviewed by the Kenosha County Department of Planning and Development, as well as holding tank sites with a proposed wastewater flow of less than 3,000 gallons.

See the forms page for the required documents for sanitary permit issuance.