- Environmental Health
- Septic Systems
San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) is the regulatory authority for on-site wastewater treatment system (OWTS) permitting in La Plata, Archuleta, and San Juan Counties, and the southwestern portion of Hinsdale County (by Williams Reservoir). SJBPH has regulated OWTS, also known as septic systems, since 1967.
OWTS Permit Search
Anyone who wishes to install, construct, alter, or repair an on-site wastewater treatment system (OWTS) in Archuleta, La Plata, or San Juan Counties is required to first obtain a permit from San Juan Basin Public Health. Learn more about how to obtain an on-site wastewater system permit and prepare for site evaluation:
- How to Obtain an OWTS Permit (PDF)
- Como Obtener un Permiso para un Sistema de Tratamiento de Aguas Residuales en el Lugar (PDF)
- OWTS Permit Application (PDF)
- Frequently Asked Questions about OWTS (PDF)
Please note: submitting an application for the installation of an OWTS does not guarantee a permit on marginal lots; marginal lots may be small in acreage, contain steep slopes, shallow bedrock, shallow groundwater or not meet Setback Requirements (PDF).
Registered Soil Technicians
Updated January 2020
OWTS that will serve commercial properties or multifamily dwellings, and all OWTS located on unsuitable soil, high groundwater, high bedrock, or steep slopes must be designed by a professional engineer. On other sites, anyone may submit a design following a Site and Soil Evaluation, which determines if any of these conditions are present. Site and Soil Evaluations must be performed by Registered Soil Technicians. If you have the necessary qualifications to perform soil evaluations and wish to be added to the registry of Soil Technicians, contact SJBPH at 970-335-2054.
Registered Soil Technicians (PDF)
Updated April 2022
Regulations require that all OWTS be installed by a currently-licensed System Contractor and that the Contractor possess the permit to construct, alter or repair the OWTS, signed by SJBPH, prior to breaking ground. Note: Contractor licenses expire on December 31 and may not have been immediately renewed. Confirm with your contractor that their license is current for the current year.
Income-Based Fee Waiver
As of April 1, 2022, permit application fees may be waived for property owners who qualify based on income, and for nonprofits whose mission is substantially connected to housing affordability or stability. Permit application fee waivers are only granted to property owners who are applying for an OWTS permit on the property they own. SJBPH does not accept speculative fee waiver requests or requests from developers or contractors on behalf of a property owner.
If you are a nonprofit organization, fill out the form above, leaving the income sections blank, and provide a copy of your mission statement (or equivalent) and confirmation of your nonprofit status in lieu of income verification.
Instructions and Application for Income-Based Fee Waiver (PDF)
Anyone intending to install an OWTS must obtain a license from SJBPH. Individuals without a license who wish to be licensed must take the contractors class. SJBPH offers the System Contractors Class several times throughout the year. The class is not required in order to renew a contractors' license; all contractors receive a renewal packet by mail or email in December. Call SJBPH at 970-335-2054 if you did not receive one.
2023 classes will be held:
- February 24
- March 31
- April 28
- May 26
- June 30
- September 29
- October 27
Classes will be held online for the foreseeable future. Advance registration is required! Call 970-335-2054 or email Environmental Health to register. After registering, you will receive a link to join the online training on the day in question. Licenses expire at the end of the calendar year.
- Licensed Contractors Alphabetical (PDF) updated February 2023
- Installation Basics (PDF)
- Las Bases de la Instalacion de Sistemas Septicos (PDF)
- Registered Soil Technicians (PDF) updated April 2021
- OWTS Design Guidance Narrative
SJBPH Licensed Cleaners
- Alpine Septic Service (Pagosa Springs, CO)
- Ball Septic Tank Service (Durango, CO)
- Durango Septic (Durango, CO)
- Mountain Septic (Durango, CO)
- Rocky Mountain Sanitation (Pagosa Springs, CO)
- Southwest Septic (Mancos, CO)
- Superior Septic Services (Durango, CO)
San Juan Basin Public Health makes On-site Wastewater Treatment System permit information (including the name of the original permittee and address) available on our website.
In order to comply with §18-9-313 C.R.S. regarding the online availability of a law enforcement official's (and live-in immediate family's) personal information, we will accept written requests by law enforcement officials to have their personal information withheld from our website.
Law Enforcement Officials (PDF) (as defined in §18-9-313 C.R.S.) who live in a residence served by an on-site wastewater treatment system permitted by San Juan Basin Public Health, and who were the original permittee for construction, repair or alteration of the system, may request to have their information made unavailable to the public on our website. SJBPH will only remove permits from the public database if they are associated with the law enforcement official's name or the name of their live-in immediate family.
To request removal of public information from our public database, complete the following form and submit it to our agency with a copy of your driver's license and your law enforcement official ID.
Completed forms may be submitted via email or mail as follows:
- Mail to San Juan Basin Public Health
281 Sawyer Drive
Durango, CO 81303
- Email Environmental Health