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On-Site Sewage Facilities

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On-Site Sewage Facilities

An On-Site Sewage Facility (OSSF), also known as a private septic tank system, stores, treats, and disposes of wastewater generated on the site where the OSSF is located.

The state of Texas regulates OSSFs by setting minimum standards, and local authorities must have equivalent or more stringent rules that are approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). State-level regulations on OSSFs can be found in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 30, Chapter 285.

Local OSSF Regulations

The current Brazos County Order that regulates OSSFs was first approved by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) in 2001. In 2007, the County amended the Order to include restrictions on who is permitted to maintain OSSFs. These amendments were approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) in 2008.

Per City of College Station Ordinance (Appendix A: UDO, Article 8, Section 4), OSSFs must be designed to meet all requirements of the Brazos County Health Department (BCHD). A permit from the BCHD is required to construct, replace, or modify an OSSF. For more information, please visit http://www.brazoshealth.org/node/18 or contact the BCHD at 979-361-4450 or [email protected]

Maintenance

Proper OSSF maintenance usually involves septic tank pumping every three to five years and inspections at least every three years by a septic service professional. However, depending on the type of OSSF, maintenance contracts and regular, more frequent inspections may be required.  For example, all aerobic OSSF systems require a maintenance contract and must be inspected by a maintenance provider three times per year.

Maintenance also includes monitoring what goes down your drains. Using water efficiently and reducing the amount of fats, oils, and grease that go into your septic tank can improve the operation of your system and reduce the risk of failure. You can learn more about OSSF maintenance by visiting https://www.epa.gov/septic/how-care-your-septic-system or https://www.tceq.texas.gov/permitting/ossf/ossfmaintenance.html

Regular maintenance of OSSFs keeps them in working order and reduces the probability of system malfunction. Septic system failure could result in the discharge of effluent into the storm sewer system and local waterways. Such pollution can impair water quality, having harmful effects on the environment and human health. To report a wastewater spill, contact Planning and Development Services at 979-764-3570 or [email protected]

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