On-Site Septic Program

The On-Site Septic Program, some times referred to as On-Site Sanitation, or just On-Site Program is administered by the County through authority granted by the State's Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ).  The County is obligated through this authority to apply ODEQ regulations and requirements.  These can and do change through time. The On-Site Septic Program is utilized for rural development where no public sewer is available.  Because State land use laws limit these types of public facilities in rural zones, it is the only established and approved method of sewerage disposal in these areas.  In urban areas, such as incorporated cities, a public sewer system is typically available and is the system of choice for higher density development.

The program requires two (2) primary steps to legally establish a system associated with a rural zone development.  First, a site evaluation must be performed using specific criteria or rules. An applicant intitiates the process by applying for a site evaluation including providing fees, a site plan map for the property indicating the desired location of the system, and a minimum of three (3) test holes dug in the area desired for the system.  Once a site evaluation is complete and approved based on evaluation of the test holes provided, an application for construction can be made. The application for construction includes fees and is specific to the type of system approved for the site.  Lastly, a series of inspections is conducted by the County Engineer to ensure the system is installed properly by measuring such items as slope across the septic lines and leveling of the tank.  The complexity of the system required and the physical features of the site determine the number of site inspections needed.  For the most simple systems, one or two inspections are usually required.  For more complicated systems, such as a sand filter, multiple inspections may be necessary.