NEBRASKA ADMINISTRATIVE CODE
NEBRASKA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Title 124 - Rules And Regulations For The Design, Operation And Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems
Chapter 3 - Permits and Authorization by Rule

001 There shall be two procedures designed to cover all onsite wastewater treatment systems under these regulations as follows:

001.01 Authorization by Rule as described in 002 below.

001.02 Construction and Operating Permits as described in 003 below.

002 Authorization by Rule

002.01 The owner of a dwelling or a non-dwelling facility with a design flow of domestic wastewater of 1,000 gallons per day or less, is authorized by rule, through the services of a professional engineer, registered environmental health specialist, or certified professional, to construct, reconstruct, alter, modify, or close an onsite wastewater treatment system provided such system does not endanger human health or cause pollution and meets all the provisions for design, setback distances and reserve area prescribed in these regulations. Construction of a mound system is not covered by Authorization by Rule, except for a mound system designed and constructed under the direct supervision of a certified Master Installer with Mound System Endorsement, a Professional Engineer, or a Registered Environmental Health Specialist in accordance with the requirements specified in this Title for an endorsed mound system design.

002.02 The owner of a dwelling or a non-dwelling facility with domestic wastewater flow of 1,000 gallons per day or less, is authorized by rule to operate an onsite wastewater treatment system provided such system is not failing, does not endanger human health, does not cause pollution, and if installed on or after January 1, 2004, the system meets the requirements of this Title at the time it was installed and has been registered with the Department in accordance with this Title. Operation of a mound system designed, installed, and registered in accordance with the endorsed mound system requirements of this Title is also covered by Authorization by Rule.

002.03 A copy of the following information must be maintained on the premises of the facility using the onsite wastewater treatment system and made available to the Department by the owner or installer upon request:

002.03A Copy of the system registration form submitted to the Department in accordance with this Title.

002.03B An appropriately scaled drawing of the onsite wastewater treatment system, which specifies location, setbacks, capacity, materials of construction, and the construction details for all components of the system, including pump and pump tank or pump chamber specifications for any system using a pump. The scaled drawing shall be on no less than 8.5 by 11 inch paper and shall be neatly drawn with appropriate dimensions and fixed reference point indicated.

002.03C Data and results for soil percolation tests or seepage tests performed in accordance with this Title.

003 Permit Application

003.01 The owner of a dwelling or non-dwelling facility proposing to construct, reconstruct, alter, or modify an onsite wastewater treatment system for a domestic wastewater design flow of more than 1,000 gallons per day or for a design flow that includes wastewater other than domestic wastewater, or proposing to construct, reconstruct, alter, or modify an onsite wastewater treatment system not covered by “Authorization by Rule” as provided for in section 002 above shall apply for and obtain a construction/operating permit from the Department in accordance with this Chapter or on a form provided by the Director. Authorization by Rule does not apply to construction of a soil absorption system in a soil with a percolation rate slower than 60 minutes per inch or to construction of a household lagoon on a lot with less than three acres. When an application for a construction/operating permit is required, the owner must obtain a construction permit from the Department prior to the start of the work and an operating permit from the Department prior to use of the system. The construction permit and the operating permit for a single system are covered by one application.

003.02 The permit application shall include, at a minimum, the following:

003.02A The words “Application for Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Construction/Operating Permit”;

003.02B The owner’s full name (first name, middle initial, and last name), mailing address, and phone number. If the application is for a business or legal entity, include that name;

003.02C The engineer’s full name (first name, middle initial, and last name) and Nebraska engineer license number or as provided for in 003.03B below the Master Installer’s name and certification number, along with that professional’s mailing address, phone number, and email address;

003.02D The address for the planned facility and the legal description (quarter section, quarter section, section, township, range) or latitude and longitude (to four decimal places) for the planned onsite system, including the county of location;

003.02E The statement “I swear or affirm that the application information and documentation submitted are true, complete, and accurate”;

003.02F The owner’s signature and date signed. If the application is signed by an authorized representative, the application shall include a description of the authorized representative’s authority to sign on behalf of the owner and the representative’s full name (first name, middle initial, and last name), mailing address, and phone number;

003.02G The permit application fee (see Appendix A); and

003.02H Plans, specifications, soil percolation data and results, soil evaluation, and soil boring or observation information. Three sets of all plans, specifications, reports, and technical documents shall be submitted and shall include the following:

003.02H.1 A detailed description of the waste and wastewater sources the onsite system is proposed to treat or store, and the peak single-day flow;

003.02H.2 A complete and detailed site plan with accurate information drawn to an appropriate scale The site plan shall include a fixed geographic reference point; the location of all percolation tests and soil borings; a visual scale; all development features including, but not limited to, foundations, outbuildings, driveways, wells, property lines, and natural topographic features including lakes, ponds, streams, drainage ways, and ditches; and existing and planned elevation contour lines to show the direction and steepness of the slope of the ground surface. Information may also be required for adjacent property to provide verification that setback requirements are met;

003.02H.3 The type, size, location, and elevation of all the components of proposed system, clearly identified on a scaled drawing of sufficient size that shows the legal description and survey of the lot and immediate vicinity property lines, buildings, water supply wells, buried water pipes and utility lines, the ordinary high water mark of lakes, rivers, streams, and the location and the type of water supply wells within 1000 feet of the proposed onsite wastewater treatment system;

003.02H.4 Depth to the seasonal highest measured or estimated groundwater table and to the bedrock or other barrier layer surface, if this depth is less than the depth of the seasonal high groundwater table, along with a detailed description of the method used to determine depth for the planned location of the soil absorption, treatment lagoon, or any holding tank facilities. If the depth to seasonal high groundwater or to the bedrock or other barrier layer is less than 10 feet, soil borings or other site specific methods are required to be used;

003.02H.5 Direction of groundwater flow; and

003.02H.6 Soil conditions, properties, and soil percolation test locations, data and results.

003.03 The plans, specifications, reports, and other technical documents submitted as part of the application:

003.03A shall be prepared and properly stamped and signed by a Professional Engineer or

003.03B For domestic wastewater flows of 1,000 gallons per day or less for an onsite wastewater treatment system that does not endanger human health or cause pollution and which meets all the provisions for setback distances and reserve area but that does not meet all the provisions for design prescribed in these regulations to be covered by Authorization by Rule, the plans, specifications, reports, and other technical documents submitted as part of the application may be prepared by a Master Installer, who shall include the statement “I swear or affirm that the application information and documentation submitted are true, complete, and accurate” and who shall also sign and date said documents.

003.04 See Chapter 4 for minimum site evaluation information requirements. Other information may be required by the Department to ensure proper engineering design and operation.

003.05 An onsite system construction/operating permit application expires one year from the date the initial application is received by the Department unless the owner submits a written request for reauthorization or extension from the Department prior to the expiration date and the reauthorization or extension is approved by the Department. Such reauthorization or extension shall be subject to requirements in effect at the time the reauthorization or extension is issued, and such reauthorization or extension will be valid for no more than one year from the date of issuance. Additional reauthorization or extension may be requested in writing prior to expiration.

004 Construction Permit

004.01 A construction permit shall be issued in the name of the facility owner for the legal location of the facility.

004.02 A construction permit is valid for one year from date of issuance. Prior to expiration, the owner may submit a written request for reauthorization or extension from the Department. If approved, the reauthorization or extension shall be subject to requirements of regulations in effect at the time the reauthorization or extension is issued, and such reauthorization or extension will be valid for no more than one year from date of reissuance. Additional reauthorization or extension may be requested in writing prior to expiration.

004.03 The onsite wastewater treatment system shall be constructed, reconstructed, altered, or modified according to the Department approved design.

004.04 The owner shall notify the Department of any changes to the approved design or changes in wastewater characteristics (quality or quantity) and obtain Department approval prior to changes being made in the system. If the Department determines that any such changes are significant modifications to the previously approved design, the Department may require submittal of a new application and application fee. If a new construction permit is issued, the previous construction permit shall become null and void.

004.05 The Department may require, as a construction permit condition, submittal of an operation and maintenance manual or plan to provide for the proper operation of the onsite wastewater treatment system.

004.06 The Department may require, as a construction permit condition, submittal of a groundwater monitoring plan for an onsite wastewater treatment system if there is a potential for groundwater pollution.

005 Operating Permit

005.01 An operating permit shall be issued when construction that complies with the approved construction permit documents has been completed and:

005.01A The Professional Engineer who designed the system, or the Master Installer for a system designed by the Master Installer as provided for in 003.03B above, submits a construction completion notice to the Department. The Master Installer’s submittal of the system registration can be used to satisfy this requirement. The construction completion by the P.E. shall include the following:

005.01A.1 The words “Notification of Construction Completion of an Onsite System”.

005.01A.2 The onsite system construction permit number.

005.01A.3 The owner’s full name as identified on the permit application.

005.01A.4 A short description of the onsite system.

005.01A.5 The name of the Master or Journeyman Installer, Professional Engineer, or Registered Environmental Health Specialist under whose direct supervision the system was constructed.

005.01A.6 The statement “I swear or affirm that the information and documentation submitted are true, complete, and accurate and certify that construction agreed with approved construction permit documents or subsequent changes approved by the Department”.

005.01A.7 The engineer’s name and Nebraska issued Professional Engineering license number, or as provided for in 003.03B above the Master Installer’s name and certification number, along with the engineer or installer’s signature and the date signed; and

005.01B The system registration form, system registration fee, and any applicable late fee have been received by the Department.

005.02 The Department may require, as an operating permit condition, groundwater monitoring for any onsite wastewater treatment system if there is a potential for groundwater pollution.

005.03 The Department may require, as an operating permit condition, implementation of a Department approved operation and maintenance plan to ensure proper operation of the onsite wastewater treatment system.

005.04 The permittee shall operate and maintain the onsite wastewater treatment system in compliance with any permit conditions, these regulations and the Nebraska Environmental Protection Act §§81-1501 et seq.

006 Any permit or authorization by rule may be denied, suspended, or revoked, after notice and opportunity for public hearing according to Title 115 – Rules of Practice and Procedure, for cause, including, but not limited to:

006.01 Violation of any term or condition of a permit or authorization by rule.

006.02 Obtaining or attempting to obtain a permit by misrepresentation of any relevant facts or failure to disclose fully all relevant facts.

006.03 Information indicating that the onsite wastewater treatment system is likely, in the Department's judgment, to adversely affect human health or that a potential for ground or surface water pollution exists.

006.04 The existence of factors arising after permit issuance or authorization by rule which would have required limitations or a denial of permit application or authorization by rule.

006.05 Adverse changes in use, such as flow greater than design, or type of wastewater.

006.06 Adverse changes in site conditions created or caused by the system owner such as an encroachment on setback distances, placement of fill or an impermeable surface over the soil absorption system, vehicular traffic or other soil compacting activities over the soil absorption system, or reduction in the size of a lot where a lagoon is installed to an area less than three acres.

006.07 The performance of any siting, layout, construction, reconstruction, alteration, modification, repair, or pumping of the onsite wastewater system, on or after January 1, 2004, by any person who is not a professional engineer, a registered environmental health specialist, or certified professional holding a valid certificate in accordance with this Title in the category of work performed.

006.08 Failure to have registered with the Department an onsite wastewater system that was constructed, reconstructed, altered, or modified on or after January 1, 2004.

007 Transferability of Permits and Authorization by Rule

007.01 Any transfer of ownership of a permitted or authorization by rule system shall automatically authorize the new owner to operate under the existing permit or authorization by rule.

007.02 A subsequent owner is under the same obligations and conditions of the permit or authorization by rule as was the original or previous owner.

008 Operating an onsite wastewater system is prohibited if:
008.01 The system was constructed, reconstructed, altered, or modified under a construction permit and there is no operating permit or the operating permit has been denied, suspended, or revoked;

008.02 The system was constructed, reconstructed, altered, or modified under authorization by rule and the authorization by rule to operate has been suspended or revoked;

008.03 The system was constructed, reconstructed, altered, or modified without a construction permit and did not meet the requirements for authorization by rule to construct without a construction permit; or

008.04 The system endangers public health, has failed, or if operation of the system results in a prohibited discharge.

009 The owner of a septic tank and soil absorption system may also be required to apply for authorization to operate the system or to apply for and obtain a separate permit under Title 122 - Rules and Regulations for Underground Injection and Mineral Production Wells. The Department will make a determination of the need for a permit under Title 122.


Enabling Legislation: Neb. Rev. Stat. §81-1505(8), §81-1506, §81-15,237, §81-15,247, §81-15,248.

Legal Citation: Title 124, Ch. 3, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.