2015/04 April Onsite Wastewater Unit Newsletter
This information is provided by the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy to assist the public and regulated community.
Form #: WAT224 Newsletter Revised: 5/4/15
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51 KB 2015April.pdf

Onsite Unit, Wastewater Section, Water Quality Division

Suite 400, The Atrium, 1200 N Street,
PO Box 98922
Lincoln NE 68509-8922
Phone (402) 471-4285 - Fax (402) 471-2909
Web Site:-
Report a Problem:
Onsite Program email:

Change in Staff at NDEE

As of March 27, 2015, Sheila Elliott is no longer with the Department. She received an employment offer with a private employer, and felt she could not turn down the opportunity. We would like to thank Sheila for her service to the Department and the Onsite Wastewater program!

Modification of Existing Systems

If you are replacing, reconstructing, altering, modifying, or expanding an onsite wastewater treatment system, this would be a modification of the septic system and should be registered as a modification. For example, if you intend to re-use the system’s existing tank(s), the tank(s) must meet Title 124, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, and Chapter 10 requirements for capacity, construction materials, design, and placement. Any reconstruction, alteration or modification to an existing onsite system requires the entire system meet current Title 124 requirements. A temporary modification to a failed onsite wastewater treatment system may be performed without meeting Title 124 requirements if the modification is to prevent a surface discharge or reduce a threat to public health. The temporary modification must be registered, with a written description of the specific problem that caused the discharge and the reason the temporary modification was made. Use of a system with a temporary modification for more than four months without Department approval is prohibited.

Certified Installers and Mound System Construction

A certified installer may perform work on a Mound System under the following conditions:
  1. Under Authorization By Rule: The certified installer is working under the direct supervision of a Registered Environmental Health Specialist, Professional Engineer, or a Master Installer with a Mound Endorsement; and the proposed system meets the provisions of Title 124, Chapter 11.
  2. Under an Approved Construction Permit: The certified installer is working under the direct supervision of a Professional Engineer or a Master Installer with a Mound Endorsement, who is listed on the Construction & Operating Permit application.
Soil Absorption System in Ground With Greater Than 3 % Slope

Title 124 requires a soil absorption system in ground with greater than three percent (> 3%) slope use either gravity distribution through a drop box or pressure distribution. The absorption trenches should follow the ground surface contours so that variations in trench depth are minimized. When the ground slope is less than three percent effluent may be conveyed through a distribution box, drop box or a header pipe.
Percolation Tests

  1. If no water remains in the test holes after overnight saturation, water level readings are taken for four (4) hours at 30-minute intervals. The final 30-minute drop in inches is used to calculate the percolation rate.
  2. If after filling the hole twice with 12 inches of water, the water seeps away completely in less than 10 minutes; or after overnight saturation six (6) inches of water seeps away in less than 30 minutes, water level readings are taken for one (1) hour at 10-minute intervals. The final 10-minute drop in inches is used to calculate the percolation rate.
  3. The percolation rate [in minutes per inch] is time divided by the water drop in the final measurement period.

A meeting of the Onsite Wastewater Advisory Committee will be held May 8, 2015 at the Atrium Building, 2nd Floor conference room, 1200 N Street, in Lincoln. This meeting is open to the public.