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Health Department

Use Permits (Septic Systems)

A Use Permit is required in the following situations:

How to Obtain a Use Permit


To obtain a use permit, the following is required:

If applicable, the following forms are also required:

Use Permit inspections must be conducted by a Certified NAWT inspector. View a List of Certified Inspectors.

Submit use permit applications to Douglas County Health Department at [email protected] or in person at 410 Wilcox St., Ste 103, Castle Rock, CO 80104.

Use Permit Helpful Resources


What is the purpose of the Douglas County Use Permit Program?

The Use Permit Program identifies OWTS that were never permitted and establishes a record for those systems.

  • Identifies failing or malfunctioning OWTS.
  • Discovers problems that may be repaired to prevent larger problems or failures.
  • Clarifies what specific circumstances will require that an OWTS be inspected.
  • Assures trained and certified inspectors do the inspections.
  • Establishes uniform inspection criteria and requirements.

What is a Use Permit?

A Use Permit authorizes the use of an OWTS. It recognizes that the owner of an OWTS is responsible for the proper use and maintenance of the OWTS.

What circumstances will require me to obtain or renew my Use Permit?

  • A sale or change of ownership of a property
  • A change in use of the property from residential to commercial
  • Any addition of bedrooms
  • An addition of a separate modular unit or mobile home to the system
  • Other reasons deemed necessary by the Health Department

Who is required to obtain a Use Permit?

In cases where the home is being sold or changing ownership, the owner or seller of the home will be required to obtain the Use Permit. In all other cases, the current owner of the property will be required to obtain the Use Permit.

How do I obtain a Use Permit?

  • Have the OWTS inspected by a National Association of Wastewater Technicians (NAWT) Certified Use Permit Inspector. These inspectors are independent and do not work for Douglas County. Locate an approved inspector.
  • Have the inspector complete the Use Permit Inspection Form.
  • Repair any deficient items found during the inspection, and provide verification that repairs were made.
  • Submit an Application for an On-site Wastewater Treatment System Permit to Douglas County, pay the permit fee, and provide a copy of the complete inspection report.

Who carries out the Use Permit inspection, and what does the inspector look for?

An approved and certified third-party inspector (not an employee of Douglas County) will do the inspection. That inspector will check the septic tank, electrical connections, controls and pumps (if applicable), and the soil treatment area (leach field). The inspector will need to inspect all items listed on the Inspection Form and answer whether or not they are acceptable.

What if the inspector finds problems with the OWTS?

All deficiencies with the OWTS found by the inspector will need to be repaired before DCHD can issue a use permit. Examples of deficiencies include improperly functioning pumps, electrical connections that don’t meet code, damaged septic tank lids, risers and lids below grade, etc. Before receiving a use permit, verification that repairs have been completed must be provided.

How much does a Use Permit cost?

Please see our schedule of fees.

When did the requirement for a Use Permit begin?

Use Permits in Douglas County were required beginning July 1, 2011.

How do I find a certified inspector?

The NAWT website has an inspector search feature.

Who can apply for a Use Permit?

A property owner, seller, use permit inspector, or real estate agent may submit an application.

How do I find information about my OWTS?

If the OWTS was originally permitted by TCHD, you can search for the files through Tri-County Health Department’s website. If they are not available, call us at 720-643-2400.

What if the inspector discovers the OWTS is malfunctioning?

If the OWTS is malfunctioning (typically with surfacing sewage), the owner of the property will be required to obtain a repair permit and repair the OWTS.

What if the OWTS is malfunctioning and the owner is not able to obtain a repair permit and complete the repairs before the sale of a home?

The Douglas County Health Department will issue a conditional use permit if the purchaser submits a notarized form to DCHD and the form is approved. The Agreement to Repair form requires that the purchaser obtain a repair permit and complete the repair within a specified length of time.

What are the next steps after I apply for a Use Permit?

Once you submit a completed application and inspection report and the fee is paid, the Environmental Health staff will review the application and report. If the application and inspection report is complete, DCHD will issue a Use Permit. The turnaround time is generally 2-3 business days. If the inspection report indicates that there are deficiencies with the OWTS that have not been repaired, DCHD will notify you of what needs to be done for DCHD to approve the application. Once those issue(s) are resolved, DCHD will issue the Use Permit.

How long is a Use Permit valid?

A Use Permit for a sale is valid until the date of real estate closing or for a period of 12 months, whichever comes first. Once the property has sold, or the use permit has been issued for another triggering event (outlined above, including the addition of a bedroom, the addition of a modular unit, etc.), the use permit does not expire until another triggering event occurs.