Water Quality

ORS 468B.005
Definitions for water pollution control laws

As used in the laws relating to water pollution, unless the context requires otherwise:


“Disposal system” means a system for disposing of wastes, either by surface or underground methods and includes municipal sewerage systems, domestic sewerage systems, treatment works, disposal wells and other systems.


“Industrial waste” means any liquid, gaseous, radioactive or solid waste substance or a combination thereof resulting from any process of industry, manufacturing, trade or business, or from the development or recovery of any natural resources.


“Nonpoint source” means any source of pollution other than a point source.


“Point source” means any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to a pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, vessel or other floating craft, from which pollutants are or may be discharged. “Point source” does not include agricultural storm water discharges and return flows from irrigated agriculture.


“Pollution” or “water pollution” means such alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of any waters of the state, including change in temperature, taste, color, turbidity, silt or odor of the waters, or such discharge of any liquid, gaseous, solid, radioactive or other substance into any waters of the state, which will or tends to, either by itself or in connection with any other substance, create a public nuisance or which will or tends to render such waters harmful, detrimental or injurious to public health, safety or welfare, or to domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational or other legitimate beneficial uses or to livestock, wildlife, fish or other aquatic life or the habitat thereof.


“Sewage” means the water-carried human or animal waste from residences, buildings, industrial establishments or other places, together with such ground water infiltration and surface water as may be present. The admixture with sewage of wastes or industrial wastes shall also be considered “sewage” within the meaning of ORS 448.305 (Special ordinance authority of certain cities), 454.010 (Definitions for ORS 454) to 454.040 (Determination of costs payable by users), 454.205 (“Municipality” defined) to 454.255 (Plans and cost estimates), 454.505 (Definitions for ORS 454) to 454.535 (Sewage Treatment Works Construction Account), 454.605 (Definitions for ORS 454) to 454.755 (Fees for certain reports on sewage disposal) and ORS chapters 468, 468A and 468B.


“Sewerage system” means pipelines or conduits, pumping stations, and force mains, and all other structures, devices, appurtenances and facilities used for collecting or conducting wastes to an ultimate point for treatment or disposal.


“Treatment works” means any plant or other works used for the purpose of treating, stabilizing or holding wastes.


“Wastes” means sewage, industrial wastes, and all other liquid, gaseous, solid, radioactive or other substances which will or may cause pollution or tend to cause pollution of any waters of the state.


“Water” or “the waters of the state” include lakes, bays, ponds, impounding reservoirs, springs, wells, rivers, streams, creeks, estuaries, marshes, inlets, canals, the Pacific Ocean within the territorial limits of the State of Oregon and all other bodies of surface or underground waters, natural or artificial, inland or coastal, fresh or salt, public or private (except those private waters which do not combine or effect a junction with natural surface or underground waters), which are wholly or partially within or bordering the state or within its jurisdiction. [Formerly 449.075 and then 468.700; 2003 c.469 §1]

See also annotations under ORS 449.075 in permanent edition.

Attorney General Opinions

Lessee filling tidelands as requiring a permit, (1971) Vol 35, p 844


Last accessed
Mar. 11, 2023