On-Site Sewage Systems

Chapter 246-272A WAC, On-Site Sewage Systems, establishes standards for the siting, design, installation, use, care, and management of on-site sewage systems. On March 6, 2018, the Washington State Board of Health (Board) filed a CR-101, Preproposal Statement of Inquiry, WSR 18-06-082, to explore possible updates to the rules.

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

On October 25, 2023, the Board filed a CR-102, Proposed Rulemaking. The CR-102, filed as WSR 23-22-062, announces to the public that a rule is being proposed and the filing includes the proposed rule language. Below you will find the CR-102 and other supporting material for this proposed rulemaking.

Public Comment

The Board is accepting written comments on the proposed rules until November 28, 2023. The Washington Department of Health (Department) is assisting and is processing the written comments. You may submit written comments in two ways:

  1. Online through the Rules Comment (wa.gov) site
  2. Via U.S. mail or email to:

    Peter Beaton
    Washington State Department of Health
    PO Box 47824
    Olympia, WA 98504-7824

The Board is also accepting verbal public testimony and is holding a public hearing on the proposed rules during its regularly scheduled business meeting on January 10, 2024, at 1:30 p.m. This meeting will be held in a hybrid format. You may testify in two ways:

  1. To register for the virtual public hearing, click on and complete the Webinar Registration - Zoom Link by 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 9 indicating your interest in testifying.
  2. To testify in person, please write your name on the sign-in sheet at the meeting before the public hearing begins. We strongly encourage people to sign up with the Board by sending an email by 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 9 before the meeting to wsboh@sboh.wa.gov. The public hearing will be held at: 

    Washington State Department of Health
    111 Israel Road SE, Tumwater, WA, 98501
    Town Center 2, Rooms 166 & 167

Important Information to Know:

  • All written comments submitted to the Board will be considered part of the official rulemaking file, will be provided to Board Members for their consideration, and will be posted publicly to the Board’s website.
  • The draft agenda for the January 10, 2024, Board meeting will be sent to the Board’s general distribution list on December 27, 2023, and will be made available along with meeting material on the Board’s meeting information webpage on January 3, 2024.

Below are Code Reviser filings for the permanent rulemaking on chapter 246-272A WAC, On-Site Sewage Systems. This includes WSR 06-12-108, originally filed in 2006 regarding on-site sewage system drainfield remediation technologies and withdrawn as WSR 22-17-112. The issues are being addressed in the permanent rulemaking on the chapter.

Supporting documents for permanent rulemaking on chapter 246-272A WAC, On-Site Sewage Systems:

  1. CR-102 (with SBEIS and proposed rule language)
  2. Proposed rule language
    -Spanish Version
  3. Significant Analysis
  4. Small Business Economic Impact Statement
  5. Summary of rule changes
    - Spanish version
  6. Key rule changes
    Spanish version
  7. Homeowner Cost Impacts at a Glance
    - Spanish version

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. The emergency rule allows 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 a series if the agency is actively working to adopt the rule as a permanent rule. Below is the order of Code Reviser filings for this emergency rule, including the most recent CR-103E filed as WSR 23-21-016 on October 6, 2023. The issue is being addressed in permanent rulemaking on the chapter.

For more information on these rulemakings visit the Department’s rulemaking web page and to stay informed on the rulemaking and other wastewater related information, sign up for wastewater email notices from the Department.

Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050, RCW 70A.105, RCW 70A.110, RCW 43.20.065
State Board of Health Contact: Stuart Glasoe, 360-236-4111 (After December 15, 2023, email the Board’s inbox for assistance.)
Department of Health Contact: 
Peter Beaton, 360-236-4031