Division of Environmental Health

Private Sewage

Malfunctioning or improperly constructed and maintained private sewage disposal systems can pose serious health hazards. The division regulates all private sewage disposal systems that have no surface discharge (such as septic tanks and seepage fields) as well as those that discharge up to 1,500 gallons per day to the ground surface or to streams (such as sand filters and aerobic treatment systems). Staff also review and approve plans for private sewage disposal systems before construction. There are about 90 local health departments in Illinois that also review sewage disposal system construction plans, either by authority of a local ordinance or as an “agent” of the Department. In addition, the division licensed about 2,500 individuals who either install or pump out private sewage disposal systems.

Water Supplies

The division has responsibility for three types of potable water supplies: non-community public water systems, semi-private water systems, and private water wells. It also has responsibility for the construction of non-potable water wells, e.g., irrigation, industrial, and livestock.

Non-community public water systems are those that serve a non-residential population of 25 or more people at least 60 days a year. The approximately 3,800 non-community water systems in Illinois must meet water quality standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It is the division’s responsibility to review construction plans and to routinely inspect and sample these supplies.

Approximately 5,000 new water wells are constructed and 2,700 abandoned wells are sealed in Illinois each year. A major consideration in constructing these wells is to prevent contamination from the ground surface or shallow groundwater, sewage disposal systems and other hazardous sources, from entering the well. To ensure the safety of these water supplies, the division and local health departments review water well installation plans, issue permits for new well construction and inspect wells. The division licenses approximately 730 people who construct wells and/or install water well pumps. The water supplies staff consults with the public and local governments about private water supply issues and prepares publications concerning the use of surface water and groundwater supplies.

About 90 local health departments assist in conducting the water supplies programs, either by authority of a local ordinance or as an “agent” of the Department.

Water Well Contractor Search

A Safe Water Supply Depends on Location and Construction - Bored Wells
A Safe Water Supply Depends on Location and Construction - Drilled Wells
Abandoned Wells - Hazards to Health and Safety
Commonly Found Substances in Drinking Water and Available Treatment (PDF)
Iron in Drinking Water
Nitrates in Drinking Water
Non-community Public Water Supply Program
Non-community Public Water System Data - IDPH Drinking Water Watch
Non-Community Public Water Supply Program Handbook
Well Sampling for Coliform and Nitrate

Water Well Contractor Online Renewal

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Environmental Health Home

Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
Questions or Comments