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Septic Systems

Private Sewage Permits


  • Regardless of municipal permitting and ordinances, all private sewage systems must receive a permit or authorization from the Douglas County Health Department.

  • If a homeowner wishes to change any portion of an existing system that predates the current Illinois Private Sewage Disposal Code, it must be brought up to current standards found in the code.



  • Under Illinois law, general contractors and other service providers must have a private sewage contractor license to install or repair private sewage systems.

  • Failure to adhere to permitting and licensing requirements can result in fines and other penalties imposed by the county and state authorities.

  • Private sewage and other contractors operating in violation of the law risk suspension or revocation of licenses. Click here to search for licensed private sewage contractors.

Information for New Private Sewage System Owners


  • The County Highway Department is responsible for the issuance of building permits in Douglas County.

  • The Douglas County Health Department works closely with the County Highway Department. Should your building project change an existing private sewage system, change the loading of that system, or require a new system, the applicant will be required to submit a new private sewage permit application.

  • General policy of the Douglas County Highway Department is to wait for approval or clearance by the Douglas County Health Department.

  • If you are uncertain as to why your building permit is delayed, this could be due to the following:

    • The department has not received a required private sewage permit application.

    • The project is awaiting approval from relevant state or federal authorities.

    • The private sewage permit application was submitted with missing or incorrect information.

    • The department has not received payment of the private sewage permit fee.


  • All private sewage contractors operating in Douglas County must complete and pay yearly registration. Failure to complete registration will result in the denial of any permit applications.

  • Each homeowner must sign the “Homeowner Affidavit.

  • Contractors must provide at least 48 hours’ notice before scheduling an approved installation.

  • Contractors are expected to complete all necessary and relevant components of the application. This includes location, directions to site, and township/plat information. Failure to complete the application will result in denial of the application.

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