What We Do
- Protect public health by promoting the safe treatment and dispersal of domestic and other non-industrial wastewater in areas of Washington not served by municipal sewage treatment works.
- Provide assistance to local health jurisdictions regarding on-site wastewater issues.
- Review and approve plans for large on-site sewage systems.
How We Do It
- Provide consultation and technical support to local health jurisdictions, on-site sewage system practitioners, the public and other local, state, and federal agencies.
- Work closely with local health jurisdictions, other agencies, private-sector practitioners, and citizens to develop and implement standards for the performance, application, design, and operation and maintenance of on-site sewage treatment and dispersal systems, and water reclamation and reuse facilities.
- Provide technical assistance, which includes consultations on the siting, design, installation, operation, and maintenance of on-site sewage systems.
- Develop policies, public information guides, and technical reports.
- Participate in the development and presentation of training courses about on-site sewage treatment technologies.
- Review and approve LOSS facility designs, issue annual permits to LOSS statewide, and track system operation and maintenance monitoring for compliance.
Greywater Reuse Program
Greywater Reuse sets requirements (Chapter 246-274 WAC) for using greywater for subsurface irrigation purposes on properties served by public sewers or on-site sewage systems. The rule took effect on July 31, 2011. Local health departments have three years to adopt and implement the rule. Local health departments may adopt more stringent requirements than those in the state rule.
Local Health Support Program
Local Health Support:
- Develop and administer state rules that local health jurisdictions adopt and implement to regulate and permit small (0-3,500 gallons per day) on-site sewage systems. Wastewater WACs and RCWs.
- Develop standards and guidance for public domain sewage technologies in Washington State. Recommended Standards & Guidance (RS&Gs).
- Review and approve/register on-site sewage system (OSS) related products sold in Washington State.
- Approved / Registered On-site Products applications and lists.
- Provide assistance to local health jurisdictions regarding on-site wastewater issues:
- Evaluate Local Health Jurisdictions Rules
- Participate in the biannual West/Eastside OSS Coordinators Meetings
- Promote and develop training opportunities
- Support implementation of Local OSS Management Plans and administer pass through funds to the 12 Puget Sound counties.
- Promote on-site sewage system operation, monitoring, and maintenance.
- Coordinate the Wastewater Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meetings.
Large On-site Sewage Systems Program
Large On-site Sewage Systems (LOSS):
- Protects public health and the environment by ensuring LOSS are properly designed and operated.
- Reviews and approves LOSS project applications.
- Performs site and soil inspections and post-construction inspections for LOSS projects.
- Identifies LOSS that do not currently have an operating permit and helps them obtain permits.
- Issues operating permits and annual renewals for all active LOSS.
- Reviews and tracks submittals required in the LOSS operating permit.
- Conducts enforcement actions for LOSS failures, and other LOSS violations such as failure to obtain or renew an operating permit.
- Provides technical assistance to LOSS owners, designers, and engineers.
- Reviews and approves sewage tank designs for the List of Registered Sewage Tanks (PDF).
Water Conservation Program
Water Conservation gives guidance on water conservation options as regards to wastewater and greywater recycling, and provides links to the Department's Office of Drinking Water, Water Use Efficiency Program and the EPA's WaterSense Partnership Program.
Wastewater Management Contacts