Onsite Soils Evaluation (OSSE)

Before applying for a new septic system, it is necessary to have a valid soils testing done.

An OSSE includes soil tests that determine the effectiveness of soil to filter sewage through leach lines, as well as observations of required setbacks, constraints and possibilities for an individual, “on-site” septic system. The Soils Evaluation Report produced by the consultant of the particular site tested on a parcel is reviewed and evaluated by an Environmental Health Specialist who generates a findings report.

OSSE Requirements:

  • OSSE must be conducted by a Nevada County approved Soil Testing Consultant. 

  • A recertification by an approved Consultant is required for any existing soils reports exceeding 3 years. 

  • Consultant must schedule inspections to conduct the OSSE. This can be done by calling the inspection line, (530)265-1599.  


Steps to getting an OSSE completed

  • Hire a Nevada County Approved Soils Testing Consultant

  • Submit an OSSE application (see options below): 

    • Apply Online The following is required to apply online: 
      • Consultants Contact Information, 
      • Plat Plan showing proposed work area and directions to parcel, Agreement to Pay form.) 
      • Payment (last step of application process provides a link to Lexis Nexis 3rd party financial site. Balance owed and permit number are needed to make your payment.                                                                                                                                                                                    
    • Apply in Person at Nevada County Eric Rood Center; 950 Maidu Ave., Ste 170 - 1st Flr; Community Development Agency. The following is required to apply in-house:      
      • Agreement to Pay form
      • Plat Plan showing proposed work area and directions to parcel, payment made with check/cash/credit card/money order payment). 
      • Payment        
  • Consultant schedules an OSSE (see below)

  • Consultant and Nevada County Specialist meet on site for soils testing

  • Consultant submits Soils Evaluation Report to Nevada County

  • Nevada County Specialist generates Findings Report to determine what type of septic system to install

Scheduling an OSSE

Protocol for Scheduling an OSSE

Updated: September 10, 2021

We are now scheduling OSSE’s for the week of October 4th - 8th

The County will try to accommodate requested dates but cannot guarantee availability.