Protecting Oregon's Environment
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Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Water Quality

Onsite Wastewater Management Program (Septic Systems)

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Onsite Wastewater Management Program (Septic Systems)

Over 30 percent of Oregonians rely on septic systems to treat wastewater from their homes and businesses. DEQ regulates the siting, design, installation and ongoing operation and maintenance of septic systems. Without this oversight, septic systems can fail or malfunction, pollute Oregon’s land and waterways with raw sewage and create public health hazards.

Click here to learn more about septic systems.

DEQ operates the onsite septic system program in 12 counties, referred to as “direct service” counties. Twenty-four county programs are operated under contract with DEQ, referred to as “contract counties”. In addition to performing inspections, 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.

Current News

Oregon Septic Smart! Are you an onsite industry professional performing septic system inspections? Join a new initiative designed to connect system inspectors with system owners. Visit Septic Smart Pro to learn more about being an inspector with Oregon Septic Smart!

Frequently Asked Questions: Existing System Evaluation Report Form and Inspections

South Deschutes/North Klamath Groundwater Protection Project - DEQ is working with the community to better protect the area’s shallow vulnerable groundwater that is used as a primary drinking water source in southern Deschutes and northern Klamath counties.

Direct links to listings of approved CEUs for certified installers and maintenance providers:


Program Topics

Fact Sheets

[print version]

For more information about DEQ's Onsite Wastewater Management Program contact Lisa MacGregor by phone at 541-686-7905 or by email.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 811 SW Sixth Ave., Portland, OR 97204-1390
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
the State of Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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