On-site Sewage Systems

On-site Sewage Systems rule establishes comprehensive standards for the siting, design, installation, use, care, and management of on-site sewage systems. In March 2018, the Washington State Board of Health (Board) filed a CR-101, Preproposal Statement of Inquiry, to explore possible updates to the rules.

The Board and the Washington Department of Health (Department) are using a collaborative rulemaking approach to gather input during the rulemaking process. The Department’s On-Site Sewage Rule Revision Committee serves as the advisory committee for this rulemaking project.

The Department is finalizing rule language and readying accompanying rule analyses for further discussion and consideration by the Board. The rulemaking has been delayed by Covid response and other factors. The rulemaking is slated for completion in 2023.

Complementing permanent rulemaking on the chapter, on June 8, 2022, the Board adopted an emergency rule amending WAC 246-272A-0110, filed as WSR 22-13-101 on June 15, 2022, to allow retrofits and maintenance of proprietary treatment products with comparable components during supply chain shortages or similar manufacturing disruptions to avoid public health risks associated with poor system performance. Manufacturers of proprietary products affected by a supply chain shortage may submit written component-replacement requests to the Department for review and approval. The proposals must ensure that the comparable components will not negatively impact performance, operation, or maintenance of the original registered product.

Emergency rules are effective for 120 days after filing. Identical or substantially similar emergency rules may be adopted in sequence if the agency is actively working to adopt the rule as a permanent rule. The Board filed a second emergency rule on this issue as WSR 22-21-070 on October 13, 2022. Staff is continuing to research and address this issue in the permanent rulemaking on the chapter.

In separate action, the Board filed WSR 22-17-112 on August 22, 2022, withdrawing a 2006 CR-101, filed as WSR 06-12-108, to address on-site sewage system drainfield remediation technologies. Like the matter above, this issue is being addressed as part of the permanent rulemaking on the chapter.

For more information on the on-site sewage system rulemaking or to join the interested parties’ list, visit the Department’s rulemaking web page.

Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050
State Board of Health Contact: Stuart Glasoe, 360-236-4111
Department of Health Contact: Peter Beaton, 360-236-4031

Related Links: Meeting Materials