Septic & Pump Tank Maintenance

Maintenance Program

As of April 7, 1981, Kenosha County has had a septic system maintenance program in effect for all Private Onsite Water Treatment Systems (POWTS) where the application for a sanitary permit was approved and issued from that date forward. 

For all POWTS where a sanitary permit was issued, a POWTS maintenance cycle is to be followed. With the exception to holding tanks and systems with pretreatment units, the minimum required maintenance (service) interval is three years.

Recently, the State of Wisconsin enacted a retroactive maintenance program for all POWTS regardless of permit issuance or installation date that requires all POWTS to have an inspection and service event occur whether it be pumping of the treatment tanks or total solids accumulation evaluation.

Service Event Report Data

Within the 3-year maintenance interval of the last recorded date of service with this department, a notice and report form (PDF) is mailed out to all affected POWTS owners notifying them that service is to be completed. 

If the POWTS service event report data is not completed and recorded in the Kenosha County Sanitary Maintenance Portal within that first notice period, a second notice is mailed to all remaining affected POWTS owners reminding them of this requirement. After the second notice period has expired, POWTS owners who still have not complied with the requirements stated in the notices may undergo enforcement measures to obtain compliance.

Owner Responsibility

All POWTS owners are responsible for making sure this department receives the completed service event report data via the Kenosha County Sanitary Maintenance Portal. Owners should not assume that if their POWTS has been pumped that this department will know that. They must also not assume that the POWTS service provider will automatically send the service event report data to this department. If the service company has not been notified of the required service event notice, nothing may have been sent to this department regarding the POWTS service. If this department does not receive the completed service event report data by the service provider, the POWTS owner is still considered non-compliant. 

The service providers have been given review authority by the State of Wisconsin, and are accountable for the data provided to the county and entered into the KCSMP database.

Pressurized Systems

For those POWTS owners who have pressurized systems (including mounds) both tanks, the septic tank and the dose tank, must be serviced. These servicing events provide an opportunity for the service provider to check to see if there appears to be any system malfunctions. 

It also provides the service provider an opportunity to service the effluent filter that serves all POWTS as of July 1, 2000. Some POWTS installed before July 1, 2000 also have effluent filters.

Primary Purpose for Service

The primary purpose for having the tank(s) serviced is to remove any accumulated solids that can no longer be digested by the microorganisms in the tank(s). By removing these solids (sludge) you will be able to allow your POWTS system last for a longer period of time. The solids, if left to accumulate for too long a period of time, can force solids out of the tank prematurely by reducing the length of time wastewater is retained in the tank.

If this happens, the solids will flow out of the treatment tank, and either settle out in the POWTS pipes, or in the drainfield. This can and does eventually cause problems within the home or drainfield.


If you have any questions regarding this program or an issue, you can contact Kenosha County through email, via the Kenosha County Sanitary Maintenance Portal, or by phone at 262-857-1895 262-605-6700.