General Information

The Sanitary Department of the Oconto County Zoning office enforces the Oconto County Sanitary Ordinance. The Purpose and Intent of the Sanitary Ordinance is to protect and promote the health, safety, aesthetics, and general welfare of the people and communities within Oconto County through administration and enforcement of sound sanitary practices as promulgated by Chapter 145 of the Wisconsin Statutes, Department of Safety and Professional Services Chapters 381-391 and the Sanitary Ordinance. The general intent of the Sanitary Ordinance is to regulate the location, construction, installation, alteration, maintenance, and use of onsite waste disposal systems so as to protect the health of residents and transients and to secure safety from disease, nuisance, and pestilence.

All habitable structures in Oconto County must be served by a Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS), otherwise known as a septic system.

Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems are typically in-ground conventional, at-grade, or mound systems. As a last resort, holding tanks are permitted in Oconto County. The type of soils on the property chiefly determines the type of POWTS used on a property. Certified Soil Testers are licensed individuals who evaluate the soil for POWTS suitability. If a habitable structure does not contain plumbing and has no water service, then privies, otherwise known as out-houses, or other alternatives to privies (i.e., composting toilets, etc.) may be used as a POWTS.

With few exceptions, all work performed on a POWTS must be by a properly licensed plumber and permitted by Oconto County. Please contact the Zoning office if you have questions regarding when a permit is needed and if a licensed plumber must perform the work.