COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
NOTE: To request service from Northeast Kansas Environmental Services (NEKES) contact the NEKES office at 785.985.2778 or e-mail NEKES at email@example.com
**What geographical area does NEKES cover?
NEKES provides environmental services for five counties. These counties include Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Jackson and Nemaha counties in N.E. Kansas.
**How is NEKES funded?
NEKES is funded by a Local Environmental Protection Program (LEPP) grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), funds from the counties that determine the NEKES services and from user fees charged to persons who use the NEKES services.
**What services does NEKES provide?
NEKES provides inspections, assessments and permitting of wastewater management systems and private water wells; consultations to developers of sub-division sites, investigation of complaints relating to noise, animal maintenance, solid waste disposal, household hazardous waste disposal, vector control, mold, lead and housing; enforcement of county sanitation codes, state statutes and regulations and federal laws; public education, inter-agency technical assistance; and environmental clearing-house and referral services.
**Is a permit required for construction or repair of private wastewater management systems?
All of the counties served by NEKES require that a private wastewater management system be constructed by a licensed wastewater management system installer. A permit to construct the system should be applied for before the system is installed. A site evaluation and site soil evaluation will be completed by NEKES and the type, size and location of the system will be determined. After the wastewater management system has been installed, NEKES will complete a final inspection and issue a permit to use the system. These requirements installation and inspection are provided by the individual counties Environmental/Sanitation Code. See the NEKES fee schedule for permit costs.Licensed Wastewater Management System Installers.
**What is considered a Minor Repair and a Major Repair to a Wastewater System?
Minor repairs include inlet and outlet T's, sewer pipe, risers and replacing a septic tank that is the same size as the old tank. A repair does require the permit process to be completed and a fee is charged. All other repairs are considered an alteration and require a Wastewater Permit Application with a fee.
**What are the types of Residential Wastewater Systems that can be installed?
NEKES will determine the type of system recommended after a Soil Profile Analysis is completed. SepticTanks and Lagoons are the most common. However, there are some alternative systems that can be used such as elevated sand mounds, intermittent sand filters, shallow-in-ground and low-pressure pipe systems.
**Is an inspection of the wastewater management system required when a property is sold?
Jackson County, Kansas requires an inspection of the wastewater management system that serves a house that is being sold. (See the Jackson County Environmental Sanitation Code). NEKES completes the inspection for Jackson County. Lending agencies and home buyers may ask that an inspection be completed and NEKES may also, complete those inspections.
**How can an application for a permit to construct a private wastewater management system be obtained?
See the form section of this website or go to the applicable county health department. In Nemaha County you can also obtain an application for a permit at the county clerk's office.
**Can sewage from a private wastewater management system be disposed of on the surface of the ground?
Kansas Administrative Regulations and county Environmental/Sanitation Codes prohibit the discharge of sewage into any water course, impoundment, storm sewer, public road, seepage pit, abandoned well, cistern, stream or surface of the ground. To report improperly discharged sewage call NEKES at: 785.985.277; or, E-mail NEKES at: firstname.lastname@example.org
**How often should a septic tank be pumped?
NEKES recommends that a septic tank be pumped every three years. A septic tank should be pumped by a Licensed Wastewater Hauler. Licensed Wastewater Management System Haulers.
**How can a person become a Licensed Wastewater Management System Installer or a Licensed Wastewater Hauler?
Contact NEKES at: 785-985-2778; or, E-mail NEKES at: email@example.com Completion of a written test and a review of the test with a NEKES representative will be required. The license for a Licensed Wastewater Management System Installer will be renewed annually on January 1. The license for a Licensed Wastewater Hauler will be renewed annually on July 1. See the NEKES fee schedule for license cost.
**Is a permit required for construction of a private water well?
Four of the counties require a permit to drill a private water well. NEKES will issue a permit to drill a private water well prior to the drilling procedure. The private water well must be drilled by a well driller licensed by KDHE. After the private water well is drilled, NEKES will inspect the location and construction of the well and will complete a water screening for coliform bacteria, E-coli bacteria and nitrate (N03N). See the NEKES fee schedule for permit costs. Water well drillers licensed by KDHE can be determined at: http://www.kdheks.gov/waterwell/download/Active_Kansas_Licensed_Water_Well_Contractors_2012.pdf
**Does NEKES test water from existing private water wells?
NEKES does not operate a certified water testing laboratory, but does provide water screening service by screening for coliform (bacteria from soil and the environment); E.coli (bacteria from the intestinal tract of warm blooded animals); and, N03N (nitrate from a livestock pen, a nearby wastewater management system or fertilizer applied to nearby cropland). See the NEKES fee schedule for screening costs. Public water supplies are routinely tested by KDHE laboratory and questions about results of the testing can be determined at: www.kdheks.gov/
**Can a private water well be capped or plugged?
Contact the applicable county Natural Resources Conservation Service office for information about plugging a private water well. Information about plugging a private water well can be obtained from KDHE at:
** What are the costs for Northeast Kansas Environmental services?
To view the fee schedule and procedures on payment for Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Jackson, and Nemaha Counties, Please
Northeast Kansas Environmental Services
201 S. Main St.
Troy, Kansas 66087