On-site Sewage System Rule Revision

Purpose

In late 2017, Department of Health conducted a review of Chapter 246-272A WAC, On-site Sewage Systems to determine the chapter's overall effectiveness and areas needing revision. The Department of Health reported the results of the rule review and made recommendations to the State Board of Health to begin rule making. View the report, Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Chapter 246-272A WAC (PDF).

The State Board of Health filed a CR-101 Preproposal Statement of Inquiry (PDF) to consider revisions to the chapter. Priority issues included local management plans, property sale inspections, treatment levels, ultraviolet disinfection, and licensing of operations and maintenance providers. The Board of Health may consider other technical and editorial changes as needed.

Rule Revision Timeline (PDF)

Summary of Draft Rule Changes (PDF)

Draft Rule With Changes Shown (PDF)

Draft Rule Without Changes Shown (clean version) (PDF)

Process

Prepare Rules and Analysis for Filing 

In early 2020, we strategically paused work on the rule revision to allow ourselves and our local health partners to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. We restarted work on the rule revision in late 2021 and have worked with local health partners to make revisions to the draft rule for implementability. We are currently preparing the rule and related analysis for filing and will provide an update the State Board of Health in November 2022.    
 

Informal Comment Period

We hosted workshops around the state and offered an informal comment period in August to October in 2019. A draft version of the revised rule and other materials are available below.

Draft Rule With Changes Shown (PDF)

Draft Rule Without Changes Shown (clean version) (PDF)

Summary of Draft Rule Changes and Comment Form (Word)

Rule Revision Update Workshop Presentation (PDF)

Rule Revision Update Workshop Webinar Version Presentation (PDF)

Committee Meetings

February 13, 2020

The ninth full committee meeting was held in Tumwater on February 13. This meeting provided the committee an opportunity to review the revisions to the proposed language based on informal comments and feedback from local health jurisdictions.

Meeting Agenda - February 13, 2020 (PDF)

December 12, 2019 Meeting

The eighth full committee meeting was held in Tumwater on December 12. This meeting provided the committee an opportunity to review the revisions to the proposed language based on informal comments and feedback from local health jurisdictions.

Meeting Agenda - December 12, 2019 (PDF)

August 8, 2019 Meeting

The seventh full committee meeting was held in Kent on August 8. The committee reviewed recommendations from the Policy and Technical Subcommittees for changes to the rule regarding designs which facilitate operation and maintenance, inspections, minimum lot size and land area requirements, repair of failures, setbacks to stormwater facilities, sewage products, proprietary product bacterial reduction testing and field verification, abandonment, remediation, residential sewage quality, sea level rise in local management plans, the definition of fill and protection zone, other miscellaneous definitions, updates, and changes for clarity. The Policy Subcommittee met on June 6 and the Technical Subcommittee met on May 2, 9, 30 and June 20 to develop recommendations. The full committee developed recommendations to the Department of Health on these issues.

Meeting Agenda - August 8, 2019 (PDF)

Meeting Notes - August 8, 2019 (PDF)

Issues

Define Fill and Protection Zone (PDF)

Designs Which Facilitate Operation and Maintenance Final (PDF)

Hydraulic Loading Rates Final (PDF)

Inspections Final (PDF)

Minimum Land Area Final (PDF)

Minimum Land Area Formulas (Excel)

Miscellaneous Final (PDF)

Proprietary Product Field Testing -110-120-130 (PDF)

Proprietary Product Field Testing Table 6 and 9 (PDF)

Remediation (PDF)

Repair of Failures Final (PDF)

Residential Sewage Quality (PDF)

Sea Level Rise (PDF)

Setbacks to Stormwater Final (PDF)

Sewage Products (PDF)

Tank Abandonment Final (PDF)

April 18, 2019 Meeting

The sixth full committee meeting was held in Kent on April 18. The committee reviewed recommendations from the Policy and Technical Subcommittees for changes to the rule regarding permit requirements, designs which facilitate operation and maintenance, owner responsibilities, repair of failures, minimum lot size and land area requirements, and nitrogen reducing technology testing requirements. The Policy Subcommittee met on February 21 and March 14 and the Technical Subcommittee met on April 4 to develop recommendations. The full committee will develop recommendations to the Department of Health on these issues.

Meeting Agenda - April 18, 2019 (PDF)

Meeting Notes - April 18, 2019 (PDF)

Issues

Designs Which Facilitate Operation and Maintenance (PDF)

Minimum Land Area (PDF)

Nitrogen Testing (PDF)

Owner Responsibilities (PDF)

Permit Requirements (PDF)

Repair of Failures (PDF)

January 10, 2019 Meeting

Meeting Notes - January 10, 2019 (PDF)

December 13, 2018 Meeting

Meeting Notes - December 13, 2018 (PDF)

Local Management Plans - Draft Rule Language (PDF)

Local Management Plans - Draft Rule Language with Visible Edits (PDF)

November 8, 2018 Meeting

The third full committee meeting was held in Kent on November 8. The committee reviewed recommendations from the Policy and Technical Subcommittees for changes to the rule regarding horizontal separations, waivers, service provider licensing, inspections, technical advisory group, policy advisory group, and the definitions of on-site sewage system, repair, expansion, adjacent to marine installations, residential sewage, black water, floodway, daily use, grease trap, low flow waste, surface water, drainage areas, prohibited waste types, and failure. The Technical Subcommittee met on September 27 and October 18 and the Policy Subcommittee met on October 4 and November 1 to develop recommendations. The full committee will develop recommendations to the department on these issues.

Meeting Agenda - November 8, 2018 (PDF)

Meeting Notes - November 8, 2018 (PDF)

Issues

Definitions Group 1 (PDF)

Definitions Group 2 (PDF)

Definitions Group 3 (PDF)

Inspections (PDF)

Minimum Horizontal Separations (PDF)

Policy Advisory Group (PDF)

Service Provider Licensing (PDF)

Technical Advisory Group (PDF)

Waivers (PDF)

September 13, 2018 Meeting

The second full committee meeting was held in Kent on September 13. The committee reviewed recommendations from the subcommittees for changes to the rule regarding property transfer inspections, connections to sewer, minimum septic tank sizing, setbacks to stormwater treatment systems, and pump chamber sizing. The Technical Subcommittee met on July 26 and August 16 and the Policy Subcommittee met on August 2 and August 23 to develop recommendations. The full committee will develop recommendations to the department on these issues.

Meeting Agenda - September 13, 2018 (PDF)

Meeting Notes - September 13, 2018 (PDF)

Issues

Add Pump Chamber Sizing (PDF)

Connection to Sewer (PDF)

Increase Septic Tank Sizing When Low-Flow Fixtures Used (PDF)

Minimum Septic Tank Size (PDF)

Property Transfer Inspection (PDF)

On-site Sewage System Setbacks to Stormwater Treatment Systems (PDF)

June 25, 2018 Meeting

The kickoff meeting was held June 25 in Kent. Department of Health staff presented a review of the history of on-site regulations in Washington, presented and asked for comment on the charter, and provided a list of issues to be considered for revision and an example of an issue paper for the stakeholder committee to review. Department staff also asked committee members to decide with which of two subcommittees they want to participate. Stakeholders approved the charter and reviewed the list of issues and issue paper.

Meeting Agenda - June 25, 2018 (PDF)

Meeting Notes - June 25, 2018 (PDF)

On-Site Rule Revision Committee (ORRC) Charter (PDF)

Historical Overview of Onsite Regulations in WA Presentation (PDF)

ORRC Charter Presentation (PDF)

WAC 246-[/] Review for ORRC Presentation (PDF)

Workgroup Assignments (PDF)

Issues

Issue Lists (PDF)

Property Transfer Inspection (PDF)

Minimum Septic Tank Size (PDF)

Add Pump Chamber Sizing to OSS Rule (PDF)

Increase Septic Tank Sizing When Low-Flow Fixtures Are Used (PDF)

Committee

Committee Members (PDF)

Stay Informed

Wastewater Rules and Regulations Email Updates

Rule Revision Contacts

Peter Beaton, Rule Project Manager, 360-236-4011

Jeremy Simmons, Wastewater Program Manager, 360-236-3346