Kalamaoo County

Environmental Health


Environmental Health offers three different types of services with respect to onsite water well and sewage treatment system evaluations. Please read each description to determine which service is right for you:

Mortgage or Condition Evaluation Instructions & Application (pdf)
This is the typical inspection performed for real estate transactions, bank financing requirements, demolition or catastrophic loss of existing dwelling and construction of new home on the same parcel. This inspection is also appropriate for change of use for businesses and for existing homes in which additional bedrooms are being constructed.

This evaluation will assess the condition of an existing onsite sewage treatment system and/or onsite water supply system. The sewage treatment system will need to be opened prior to the inspection appointment (see below). The opened system will be evaluated to determine how much of the system has been used and to determine if it is properly sized for current code requirements. The well will be evaluated for code compliance, including approved components and appropriate isolation from potential contamination sources. Water quality testing for bacteria and nitrate concentration can be included with additional fee payment (typically required for residential real estate transactions and change of use for businesses).

Property Upgrade Evaluation Instructions & Application (pdf)
This inspection is appropriate when there are additions to properties such as swimming pools, out buildings, and home and building additions. Note: if additional bedrooms are being added, an extensive condition evaluation should be performed.

This evaluation is performed to assess whether a proposed property modification will negatively impact an existing onsite sewage treatment and/or onsite water supply system. The evaluation will confirm if documented systems are properly sized and designed according to current codes. Isolation distances from proposed modifications to these systems will also be evaluated. Water sampling is not included with this evaluation.

Vacant Land Evaluation Instructions & Application (pdf)
This inspection is appropriate for land that has not yet been developed to assess suitability of the property for onsite sewage treatment and water well systems.

This evaluation of a vacant parcel of land will identify any limitations for a new onsite water supply or onsite sewage treatment system. Parcel size, topography, and soils will be assessed, and a determination of depth to high groundwater will be made. (A hand-augered boring will be attempted, although sometimes a backhoe cut is necessary due to large rocks or roots). Area water well data will be compiled and shared on the final report including water quality of nearby wells and water quantity and potential contamination issues.

Photographic examples of what to uncover for an Extensive Condition Evaluation are shown below. (The application for this service includes additional information).

Stone Trenches or Drainbeds

Figure 1 and 2: Stone trench or drainbed: Stone and pipe must be exposed.

Stoneless Tubing

Figure 3 and 4: Stoneless tubing: Must be able to see inside tubing.

Stoneless Chambers

Figure 5 and 6: Stoneless chambers: End caps must be removed.


Figure 7 and 8: Drywell: Must be able to remove cover and see sidewalls.

The Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department programs are open to all without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, height, weight, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

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