Frequently Asked Questions


Who needs a sewer permit?  If you are selling or buying property in Callaway County, contact the Health Department to see if there is an approved septic system on the property.  Usually a lending institute will require a home inspection that will include an inspection of the septic system and the inspector will either pass or fail the system based on their findings.

If I am considering purchasing a property in Callaway County what should I look for?  You should purchase enough property to install a septic system on it.  This is usually 2 or more acres.  There are setback requirements that have to be met so contact the Health Department before purchasing to ensure you will have room for a system without having to install an advanced system.

Am I “Grandfathered” in? No, there is no grandfathering in Callaway County, you may have an existing system that is not up to code but unless you sell it or there is a complaint by an aggrieved party, we don’t require you to update your system.

Where can I find a Certified Installer?

Where can I find a septic tank pumper?

Septic Pumpers

Where can I find a soil scientist?

How do I make a complaint?  You will need to fill out a complaint and sign it, bring it to our office at 4950 County Road 304 Fulton, or mail it in.  If there is no signature, we do not act on the complaint.

Do I need to install a septic tank on my property if I only have a lagoon? If you are updating your system because of a sale, in most instances we will ask that you install a septic tank and fence  to bring it up to code.

Do I need to upgrade to sell my property?  In many cases yes.  If the lending institute or the buyer doesn’t require an upgrade, then you may not.  Call our office to make sure.

How often should I have my septic tank pumped?  Depending on what you put in your tank (paper, grease, trash, garbage disposal, etc.) will depend on how often you need to pump your tank.

What are the fencing requirements for a lagoon?  It has to be at least 4′ high, woven made of at least 14 gauge wire, a gate that can be closed/latched.  It can be no closer than the middle of the berm and no further than 30′ from the lagoon.  Hog/cattle panels are acceptable with metal T posts.  We have a fact sheet on fencing in our office.


Is there a food code in Callaway County?

Yes, the food code was approved on January 20, 2012.

Who needs a food handler card/course?

Anyone cooking or preparing food.  This does not include those that only serve the food or drinks or handle prepackaged food stuff.

Where and when can I take the food handler course?

The food handler course is now available on this site under the “Food” tab.  You will still need to come to the Callaway County Health Department to take the test.  You can call to make an appointment or we hold testing on the last Tuesday of each month.  The last Tuesday times are 10 am, 2 pm, and 7 pm.  Please call 573-642-5750  to make your appointment for class.  Class size is limited to 40 people.  We will no longer be going out in the county to give the classes unless there are 30 or more people to take the class/test or renew their cards.

Who needs a food permit?

An operation that stores, prepares, packages, serves, vends, or otherwise provides food for human consumption. (Includes food service and retail food establishments)  This includes daycares that feed more than 20 children, group homes, nursing homes, residential care facilities, hospitals, jails, etc.

Who needs a temporary food permit?

A food service establishment which operates at a fixed  location for a temporary period of time , not to exceed fourteen (14)consecutive days or fourteen (14) days per month in connection with a single event or celebration.

How do I make a complaint?

You can contact our office to fill out a complaint form, please include contact information in the event we need to contact you.

What is required to start up a food establishment? Contact our office and read Chapter 8 of the Missouri Food Code.  The permit application and any other documentation should be in our office at least 30 days prior to opening.

What should I do in a disaster if I operate a food establishment?

You must contact our office before trying to reopen.  A disaster may be a fire, high winds that damage part of your building, a tornado, a flood (natural or man made) or anything that may be considered a disaster.

Sunshine Requests

For all requests, this is the simplest way to fill out a request and meets all the requirements of the law.  Thank you for your time and interest.



2 Responses to Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Shirley Oehring says:

    Am I correct in thinking if a organization is having a Barbeque fund raiser in Callaway county for one day someone there must have a food-handler card that is current? Just asking for future reference. Thank you for your time.

    • callawaycountyhealth says:

      You are correct. Everyone that serves or prepares food must have a food handler card in Callaway County.

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