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Population: 5,595,211

Information on the state of Missouri is available for the following topics. To review this information, click on the links below.

Contacts| Regulations, Statutes & State Codes | Quick Facts | Septic Stats

Onsite Demonstration Programs | Onsite Management Communities



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Percy Johnson, EPHS IV, or
James Gaughan, Environmental Engineer
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
PO Box 570
930 Wildwood Drive
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102-0570
(573) 751-6095
(573) 526-7377 (fax)





Regulations, Statutes & State Codes:
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Missouri Laws Accompanied by Department of Health Rules
Governing On-site Sewage Systems
Chapter 701

19 CSR 20-3060: Minimum Construction Standards
for On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems
August 31, 2000

Onsite regulations for Missouri were last updated in August 31, 2000. Codes are not currently under revision, and there no plans to revise the existing Code in 2002.

The state has no list of approved trade names/manufacturers; however, the following technologies are allowed:
· Septic tanks, certified NSF Standard 40 aerated treatment units;
· Conventional absorption systems-gravel and pipe, chambers, and fabric wrapped tubing;
· Lagoons; and
· Low-pressure pipe, sand mounds, sand filters, drip irrigation, and wetlands.
With state approval of a site-specific engineered design, technologies not listed above may be allowed.

Surface discharge for onsite septic disposal systems is an option in Missouri only for single-family residential lagoons for which an NPDES permit is not required. An NPDES permit from the DNR is required for all other surface discharge, which is not considered an onsite system.

Missouri Code allows for drainfield area/size reductions for certain technologies based on soil evaluation. Reduction in the required area may be allowed based on highly pretreated effluent, with uniform distribution and soils considered. Sand filters or similar treatment and aeration units may be considered with a maintenance agreement required.

Funding to assist homeowners replacing failing systems or installing new systems is limited for Missouri residents. Questions should be directed to:

Doug Garrett or Ann Crawford
Senior Project Coordinators
Department of Natural Resources
PO Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176
(573) 751-1192 (phone)
(573) 751-9396 (fax)

An onsite wastewater demonstration project is being planned. For information, contact:

R. Bruce Martin, Director
Southwest Regional Office
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
2040 W. Woodland
Springfield, MO 65807-5912
(417) 891-4300 (phone)
(417) 891-4399 (fax)

Missouri Code does not recognize or require management programs/contracts or management districts to monitor and maintain onsite systems or individual liquid waste systems. In some cases where variances are granted, the homeowner may be required to have a maintenance contract. Local agencies have the authority to adopt or require local sewage ordinances more stringent than the State standards.

The State does not track the number of permits issued per year for new construction or system repair or replacement. These records are maintained at the local level.

In Missouri a failed system is one where nuisance conditions, such as surfacing sewage effluent or contamination of surface water or groundwater exist. The most common reasons for system failure have not been tracked by the State; however, poor siting, poor system selection, design and construction, and improper maintenance would all be common factors.

The State DNR must certify percolation testers and site/soil evaluators. Private inspectors of existing system must be licensed. Installer training and registration is voluntary. Private soil scientists, engineers, geologists, and environmental health specialists who apply and meet the qualifications, are licensed/certified to perform site evaluations/inspections in Missouri.

For information about municipal wastewater regulations, contact:

Leland Neher, P.E.
Environmental Engineer
Department of Natural Resources
Water Pollution Control Program
PO Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176
(573) 751-5937


Quick Facts:
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Total number of onsite systems: 600,000 estimated; 1990 U.S. census reports about
530,000 systems.

Number of new systems installed each year: 4500.

Failure definition: Surface breakout, backup into building, nuisance, or contamination of
surface- or groundwater.

Number or proportion of systems presently failing: 180,000 estimated, in some counties, 50%
or even higher.

Number or proportion repaired annually: 4500 combined.

Number or proportion replaced annually: See above.

Number or proportion of repairs or replacements that require alternative technology (e.g.,
sand filters, pressure dosing):
No easily obtained data. Note that aerobic units are not viewed
as “alternative.” For Boone County, the estimate is 50%.

Number or proportion of repairs or replacements that require advanced technology (e.g.,
disinfection, nutrient removal):

Cost of a conventional septic system installation: $3500-$4000; range, $300-$18,000.

Cost of a centralized sewer tie-in (including fees and cost of the sewer lateral): $350-$2000.


Septic Stats:
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Onsite Demonstration Programs:
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There is a research program and onsite demonstration project at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Dennis Sievers
Training Center Coordinator
Telephone 573-882-7855

Onsite Management Communities:
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Franklin County