Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems

ORS 454.605
Definitions for ORS 454.605 to 454.755

As used in ORS 454.605 (Definitions for ORS 454.605 to 454.755) to 454.755 (Fees for certain reports on sewage disposal), unless the context requires otherwise:


“Absorption facility” means a system of open-jointed or perforated piping, alternate distribution units or other seepage systems for receiving the flow from septic tanks or other treatment units and designed to distribute effluent for oxidation and absorption by the soil within the zone of aeration.


“Alternative sewage disposal system” means a system incorporating all of the following:


Septic tank or other sewage treatment or storage unit; and


Disposal facility or method consisting of other than an absorption facility but not including discharge to public waters of the State of Oregon.


“Construction” includes installation, alteration or repair.


“Contract agent” means a local unit of government that has entered into an agreement with the Department of Environmental Quality pursuant to ORS 454.725 (Contracts with local governments).


“Effluent sewer” means that part of the system of drainage piping that conveys treated sewage from a septic tank or other treatment unit into an absorption facility.


“Governmental unit” means the state or any county, municipality or other political subdivision, or any agency thereof.


(a) “Gray water” means shower and bath waste water, bathroom sink waste water, kitchen sink waste water and laundry waste water.


“Gray water” does not mean toilet or garbage wastes or waste water contaminated by soiled diapers.


“Local unit of government” means any county or municipality.


“Nonwater-carried sewage disposal facility” includes, but is not limited to, pit privies, vault privies and chemical toilets.


“Public health hazard” means a condition whereby there are sufficient types and amounts of biological, chemical or physical, including radiological, agents relating to water or sewage which are likely to cause human illness, disorders or disability. These include, but are not limited to, pathogenic viruses, bacteria, parasites, toxic chemicals and radioactive isotopes.


“Septic tank” means a watertight receptacle which receives the discharge of sewage from a sanitary drainage system and which is so designed and constructed as to separate solids from liquids, digest organic matter during a period of detention and allow the liquids to discharge to another treatment unit or into the soil outside of the tank through an absorption facility.


“Sewage” means domestic water-carried human and animal wastes, including kitchen, bath and laundry wastes from residences, buildings, industrial establishments or other places, together with such ground water infiltration, surface waters or industrial waste as may be present.


“Sewage disposal service” means:


The construction of subsurface sewage disposal systems, alternative sewage disposal systems or any part thereof.


The pumping out or cleaning of subsurface sewage disposal systems, alternative sewage disposal systems or nonwater-carried sewage disposal facilities.


The disposal of materials derived from the pumping out or cleaning of subsurface sewage disposal systems, alternative sewage disposal systems or nonwater-carried sewage disposal facilities.


Grading, excavating and earthmoving work connected with the operations described in paragraph (a) of this subsection.


“Subsurface sewage disposal system” means a cesspool or the combination of a septic tank or other treatment unit and effluent sewer and absorption facility.


“Zone of aeration” means the unsaturated zone that occurs below the ground surface and the point at which the upper limit of the water table exists. [1973 c.835 §208; 1975 c.167 §1; 1977 c.828 §1; 1991 c.598 §3; 1999 c.551 §3; 2009 c.248 §3]

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Authority to license practice of cleaning septic tanks and cesspools, (1974) Vol 37, p 277

Chapter 454

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Employment of journeyman plumbers to construct drain and sewerage lines, (1976) Vol 37, p 1404


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021