Higher Level Treatment & Operating Permits

What is an Operating Permit?

Clear Creek County Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) Regulations require that any system utilizing Higher Level Treatment systems or any systems that require routine maintenance be performed on an interval basis, obtain and maintain an Operating Permit with the Clear Creek Environmental Health Department. The purpose of these permits is to ensure that the systems are maintained by a certified wastewater professional, particularly in cases where higher level treatments were utilized to receive a reduced setback distance. Maintenance of these systems is essential to protecting the public health and environment.

Owners of these systems will be required to obtain an Operating Permit:

  • At the time of system installation, repair, alteration or upgrade of the system
  • When a transfer of title inspection is conducted
  • At the expiration of a current Operation and Maintenance (O&M) contractor for the system 

Does my system require an Operating Permit?

If you are unsure whether your property will require an Operating Permit, please call 303-679-2428.

Why is the County requiring owners of higher level treatment systems to obtain an Operating Permit?

Regulation number 43, the State On-site Wastewater Treatment System Regulation adopted on May 13, 2013, gave counties one year to adopt regulations that were at least as stringent as the new requirements. One of the requirements of Regulation number 43 is the permitting and oversight of maintenance for soil treatment area reductions and vertical and horizontal separation distance reductions based on the use of higher level treatment. In order to best accommodate setbacks and sizing reductions for difficult to develop lots, Clear Creek County created the Operating Permit program in accordance with state regulations.

How do I obtain an Operating Permit?

In order to obtain an operating permit the owner must submit the following:

Can I maintain my own system without a contract?

If a homeowner chooses, they may be considered a Service Provider for their own property if:

  • The homeowner/occupant of said property becomes National Association of Wastewater Technicians (NAWT) O&M 1 and 2 certified. The two courses costs approximately $800 and are offered in January and February each year. Please call 303-679-2428 if you are interested in this option.
  • A homeowner may receive training directly from the manufacturer of the specific type of system. The training must be onsite and a letter must be given to the Environmental Health Department by the manufacturer representative certifying that training has been given and they are comfortable with the homeowner providing the routine maintenance. 

Servicing your own system is not encouraged as an inspection requires a lot of physical labor and knowledge regarding wastewater systems. As a homeowner service provider you are subject to the same requirements and expectation of thoroughness as companies providing contracts. Do not consider this an "easy way out" of State and County requirements. Using a qualified wastewater professional is encouraged. 

Who do I contact to have my system serviced?

Each permit requires an active contract with a Service Provider.  All Service Providers must behold Operation and Maintenance (O&M) credentials 1 and 2 from the National Association of Wastewater Technicians (NAWT) or equivalent. Effective January 1, 2015, all service providers shall have training relative to the specific system to be maintained or certification by the equipment manufacturer. If you are a property owner who meets these requirements you may act as a service provider for your own higher level treatment system and shall follow the same requirements as outlined in Section 10 of the Clear Creek County OWTS Regulations.

For a list of NAWT O&M Certified Service Providers offering contracts for Clear Creek County, please view the Licensed Service Providers (PDF).

For more information please contact, 303-679-2428 or email eh@clearcreekcounty.us