We recommend that an STA be left largely untouched by homeowners. Irrigated landscaping is not recommended, since it has the possibility to saturate an STA causing the septic system to fail prematurely. You may consider planting buffalo grass or other natural grasses which do not require irrigation. Mow any grasses planted on the STA area regularly. Horses or other livestock should not be placed on an STA, because compaction of the soils may occur causing premature failure of your absorption area.
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A Colorado Licensed Professional Engineer must design a system if any of the following occur:
The seller of the property is required to obtain a use permit prior to the sale of the property.
We do not have a minimum lot size requirement. Local planning agencies do have minimum lot sizes in their zoning codes. They typically recommend a minimum of one acre for lots supplied by central water and 2.5 acres for lots with wells.
We require that septic tanks be inspected every four years and pumped when scum and sludge accumulate to greater than 25% of the effective volume of the tank. Dosing tanks shall be inspected and pumped if sludge accumulation is observed. If your OWTS receives higher than average use, as determined by your licensed cleaner, you may want to consider a more frequent pumping interval. All pumping and evaluation of septic tanks should be done by a licensed cleaner.
We generally allow connection to the existing septic system, provided the owner notifies Arapahoe County Public Health in advance, and we approve the connection. An inspection of the new plumbing and applicable fee(s) is required. Prior to final approval, the existing record drawing of the system must also be amended to show new buildings and plumbing. For more information, contact our Environmental Health office prior to starting your project.
We maintain online records for existing septic systems in Arapahoe County which contain record drawings identifying OWTS locations. Please keep in mind that we may not have records of all septic systems due to age or permit status. In this case it may be necessary to contact a licensed installer or a certified Use Permit inspector or surveyor to locate your system.
In this situation it would be best to have the system evaluated by a licensed septic contractor. If the damage is relatively minor such as damage to a single pipe or chamber, it likely will not require a permit, but the repair will need be done by a licensed contractor, and all repairs will need to be inspected by Arapahoe County Public Health prior to being covered. Inspection fees may apply. If the damage is more extensive such as damage to the tank or extensive damage to the soil treatment area (STA), it may require a repair permit. Consult with your contractor and Arapahoe County Public Health.