Onsite Wastewater Management Program (Septic Systems)
Over 30% of Oregonians dispose of wastewater from their homes and
businesses through the use of septic systems. The siting, design,
installation and ongoing operation and maintenance of septic systems are
regulated by DEQ. Without this oversight, septic systems can fail or
malfunction, pollute Oregon’s land and waterways with raw sewage and
create public health hazards.
DEQ directly manages the onsite septic system program in 12
counties, referred to as “direct service” counties. Twenty-four counties
manage the program under contract with DEQ, referred to as “contract
counties”. DEQ and the contract counties are also responsible for
ensuring that septic tank pumpers have the necessary equipment to safely
pump, transport and dispose of the waste from septic systems, known as septage. In addition, DEQ certifies and licenses installers and pumpers,
and reviews and approves products such as septic tanks, alternative
treatment technologies and alternative drainfield products.
Timeline Adjustment for
Onsite Septic System Rulemaking
adjusting the timeline for completing the Onsite (septic
system) Program rulemaking. The agency plans to recommend
rules to the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission for
adoption later this year rather than in March.
This allows more time for DEQ to
consider and respond to the comments received on the
proposed rules during the public comment period that
closed October 19, 2012.
DEQ has been advised that it will
not be able to charge a reporting fee for time of
transfer inspection reports due to an Oregon ballot
measure that passed in November 2012. Ballot Measure 79
prohibits any "tax, fee or other assessment upon the
transfer of any interest in real property ..." The
agency had planned to use the reporting fee revenue to
fund a staff position to implement the inspection
program—this is no longer an option. DEQ is evaluating
alternative approaches that would achieve the objectives
of the inspection program.
DEQ is proposing rule changes for the onsite septic system
rules. For information, please review the announcement. The
comment period closed at 5pm on Friday, October 19, 2012.
Information letters and forms for annual
reports from Maintenance Providers Homeowners of Holding
Tanks have been mailed. This year DEQ also sent a cover
letter to Homeowners of Alternative systems and included the
information that was sent to the Maintenance providers.
Copies of the letters and forms are listed below:
S. Deschutes/N. Klamath Groundwater Protection Project - DEQ is working
with the community to protect the groundwater from nitrate
contamination from traditional onsite septic wastewater
treatment systems in southern Deschutes and northern Klamath
Direct links to listings of approved CEUs for certified
installers and maintenance providers: