Septic (Onsite Wastewater) Systems

First District Health Unit (FDHU) requires a permit for the installation and/or repair of any part of an onsite sewage treatment systems in Bottineau, Burke, McHenry, McLean, Renville, Sheridan, and Ward Counties. A permit must be received prior to any work done on the system. All work must be completed by a FDHU licensed sewer contractor or certified property owner.

The Septic System Permitting Process


When no existing community sewer system is available, you must obtain a septic system permit from FDHU when constructing a building that will produce sewage or wastewater.


To apply for a septic system permit fill out the Septic System Permit Application. Provide as much detail as possible when filling out the application and make sure your site has been flagged for utilities as well as marked for proposed building corners, stub out location, well site(s), and property lines or corners BEFORE submitting your application. Failure to do any of these items will delay the permitting process.


There are three ways to submit your completed application and application fees:

    • Via email – click here
    • Hand deliver to our Minot office: 801 11th Ave SW, Minot ND
    • Mail to FDHU Environmental Health Division, P.O. Box 1268, Minot, ND 58702-1268


To make a credit card payment over the phone call 701-837-5121.


After your application is processed an Environmental Health Practitioner will come to your property to take soil samples and determine a location and design for your septic system. All septic system designs need to be done or approved by FDHU.


Once you receive your permit and design, you can choose to install your own system or hire a sewer contractor licensed by FDHU. For a list of licensed sewer contractors see the link at the bottom of the page. To see licensure requirements for installing a septic system see section ‘Installer Requirements’.


When installing the system either you or your contractor must contact FDHU prior to backfilling to schedule a final inspection. Without final inspection and approval, your sewer will be considered illegal. After the system is installed, the installer will need to submit an As Built Form to FDHU. This form should detail the location and size of the system installed. The form was mailed with the permit and can also be found here.

Installer Requirements


Septic system installers must either be a FDHU licensed sewer contractor or certified property owner.

Property Owners: Homeowners installing their own septic system.


All homeowners installing or repairing their own septic system must obtain a permit as specified above under “The Septic System Permitting Process”.

Prior to installing or repairing their own septic system, a homeowner must be certified through the NOWRA online education system. To access the online training course click here.

Once the course is completed, the course completion certificates must be submitted to the FDHU prior to installing the septic system.

Sewer Contractors


To receive a Sewer Contractor License the following must be completed:

  • Complete the Sewer Contractor License Application & submit to FDHU with the license fee.
  • Take and pass FDHU’s Sewer Contractor Exam. For exam information see the ‘Sewer Contractor Exam’ section.


To keep your licensure current the following must be completed:

  • Pay annual renewal fee when renewal notice is mailed out.
  • Obtain suitable Continuing Education credits at least every 2 years. If you need continuing education credits one of the following will satisfy the requirement:
    • Attend a sewer training in another jurisdiction and submit documentation of attendance to FDHU.
    • Attend a training session through the University of Minnesota Extension Onsite Sewage Treatment Program and submit documentation of attendance to FDHU. Information on their workshops can be found at
    • Take and pass FDHU’s Sewer Contractor Exam. For exam information see the ‘Sewer Contractor Exam’ section.


All sewer contractors must submit an As Built Form for each system they install. The form should be included with the contractor copy of the permit.

Septic System Owners


For information on understanding how your septic system works and on proper system, see the FDHU’s Homeowner’s Guide. A copy of this guide is included with every permit. FDHU recommends that every septic system owner learn about their system and proper maintenance procedures in order to keep the system functioning properly.

Septic Tank Pumpers


All businesses and people engaged in the business of removing and disposing of the solid and liquid contents of septic systems must be licensed by the North Dakota Department of Health. Additional septic pumper information and the list of North Dakota permitted septic pumpers is found here.

Mortgage Inspection Services


FDHU no longer offers inspection of septic systems to meet mortgage requirements. Many mortgage companies require an inspection to approve loans on homes that are serviced by septic systems. A list of septic system inspectors can be found here.

Components of a Septic System


For information on different septic system components, check out the following documents:

For additional questions contact:


Jake Windsor, REHS/RS

Mobile: 701-721-1709




Lisa Otto-Westman, Director of Environmental Health

Office: 701-837-5124