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Washington County Environmental Health Department

Washington County Seal


Washington County Courthouse Annex
105 W. Main Street, Suite 100
Brenham, Texas 77833
Phone 979-277-6290     Fax 979-277-6291

Office hours are from 8am to noon and 1pm until 5pm, Monday through Friday (except 2019 Holidays).  With a small staff and many of our duties involving fieldwork, the office may be closed temporarily on occasion; but you are welcome to call ahead.

Our goal is to serve the citizens of Washington County and our many visitors by protecting public health and preventing pollution.  We strive to provide efficient, courteous, and timely service, mindful that our actions must be based on common sense, good science, and fiscal responsibility.  We hope you find our webpage helpful.  Please contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.

  • This office administers septic system permitting throughout Washington County.

    All new, altered, repaired, or enlarged septic systems require a permit before work begins, regardless of acreage.  Routine maintenance such as tank pumping does not require a permit; however, you should receive a Manifest from the waste hauler and keep it for your records as proof of proper disposal.

    When deciding what type of septic system to install on your property it is important to know all your options.  Different types of septic systems, their required maintenance, and the overall long-term cost can vary a great deal depending on the type of system you choose to install; and you are likely to have to live with it for years.  For these reasons, permit applications are not available on-line or from any other source, and the property owner must contact our office for information on septic systems and to obtain a permit application.  This is not intended as a burden, but rather to assist the owner in making an informed decision.  If you are located out of our area this can usually be completed by phone, followed by email and/or fax.  After submitting your permit application, the fee may be paid online or by phone by Credit/Debit Card thru Certified Payments (see Fees - Payments).

    Septic systems are designed based on water usage rates.  If you are on a public water system, providing a copy of your records for the previous twelve months to your septic designer/installer and our office will help insure that the system is sized correctly.

    Washington County does NOT require any certain type of septic system, you have options, and may choose to install any system that meets code.

    Frequently Asked Questions about OSSFs

    Information for the property owner considering an aerobic "ATU" septic system

    Permit application fees are $200 for single-family residential, $360 for non-single-family residential, and $280 for non-profit organizations.  You will need the Legal Description of your property from your Deed to complete a permit application.  This information is available from the Washington County Clerk and the Washington County Appraisal District.

    Please see Septic System Permitting Information and Septic System Permitting Procedures for additional information.  For a listing of some septic system professionals working in our area see our Septic System Services Directory.  The permit application, fee, site evaluation, and design must be submitted to this office for review and approval before work on the septic system begins.

    To help keep your septic system working properly or if it does not appear to be working well, see our Septic System Troubleshooting Guide for information on likely causes of problems, possible solutions, and preventing failure.

    Septic system components must be installed certain distances from other features, such as water wells.  For a complete list, see 
    Minimum Required Separation Distances.

    Septic System Maintenance Providers working in Washington County are required to register with the Washington County Environmental Health Dept.  Maintenance contracts are only accepted from maintenance providers whose registration is current and in good standing.  See Aerobic Maintenance Directory

    Maintenance Providers: registration is free of charge, please complete our Maintenance Provider Registration Form and email it to rhamilton@wacounty.com or otherwise submit it to our office.

    The TCEQ compiles a list of court judgements against OSSF licensees that may be viewed here: List of OSSF Licensing Court Judgements

    For additional information, to obtain a permit application, to check the current status of any maintenance provider, or to file a complaint, contact Renee Hamilton by email at rhamilton@wacounty.com, or by phone at 979-277-6290, when prompted press 2.
  • This office works to enforce a number of state and local laws concerning illegal waste dumping, outdoor burning, junk vehicles, dilapidated structures, and other public nuisances throughout the unincorporated areas of Washington County.  Our enforcement strategy requires us to make choices about where to spend time and money for the best public benefit, and we strive to apply laws and regulations with integrity and fairness to all.

     

    Illegal Dumping, it's Costing You!

     

    Burn Ban Status

    Outdoor Burning Guidelines

    Outdoor Burning Rules Guidance

    Texas Constitution and Statutes

    Texas Administrative Code

    Texas State Law Library


    Washington County does not enforce deed restrictions.  Enforcement of such restrictions and covenants is typically initiated by the affected person by proceedings at law against the person violating the restriction or covenant, either to restrain violation or to recover damages.
     
    For additional information, assistance, or to file a complaint, contact Jose Luis Gamboa by email at jgamboa@wacounty.com, or by phone at 979-277-6290, when prompted press 1.


    To report an incident outside normal business hours call 979-277-7373.

     
    In the event of an emergency, dial 9-1-1

  • This office administers floodplain determination & floodplain development permitting for property located in the unincorporated areas of Washington County.

    Because Washington County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, all development within the floodplain requires a permit and authorization before construction begins.  Development and construction that occurs outside of the floodplain does not require a floodplain development permit.

    For floodplain information on property in the City of Brenham call 979-337-7200.

    For floodplain information on property in the City of Burton call 979-289-3400.

    TexasFlood.org is a website of the Texas Water Development Board that provides flood-related data and information on what to do before, during, and after a flooding event.

    Floodplain maps of Washington County may be viewed at our office, and are available online thru several services.

    1. 
    The floodplain may be viewed on the Washington County Appraisal District Interactive Map.  After opening the map, select "Floodplain" from the Layer List.

    2. The Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is available from FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center.

    Option A: Enter an address, a place, or longitude/latitude coordinates for the location, and click “Search”.

    Option B: If the address is unknown, or you want to see a list of all flood maps for a given jurisdiction, click “Search All Products”.

    3. The FEMA flood hazard file is available in Google EarthYou must first have Google Earth installed on your computer before downloading and viewing the FEMA flood hazard file.  Click on this “Stay Dry” link for information and instructions.

    Official Floodplain Determinations/Floodplain Development Permit Applications are $100 for single-family residential, and $200 for non-single-family residential. You will need the Legal Description of your property from your Deed to complete a permit application. This information is available from the Washington County Clerk and the Washington County Appraisal District.

    Please see Floodplain Determination and Permitting Information and Floodplain Determination and Permitting Procedures for additional information.  For a listing of some floodplain professionals working in our area see our Floodplain Services Directory.  The permit application, fee, plans, and specifications of the development must be submitted to this office for review and approval before construction begins.

    Additional permits may be required to comply with state, and federal regulations for development within areas designated as wetlands.  For information on wetlands determination and regulation see the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  For information on flood insurance see the National Flood Insurance Program or contact an insurance agent.

    For additional information, to obtain a floodplain determination, floodplain development permit application, or to file a complaint, contact Mark Marzahn by email at mmarzahn@wacounty.com or by phone at 979-277-6290, when prompted press 3.

  • This office reviews proposals for divisions of tracts of land in the unincorporated areas of Washington County outside the City of Brenham ETJ for compliance with floodplain and OSSF requirements; whether the land division is a platted/re-platted subdivision or a subdivision variance request.  In 30 TAC 285 the TCEQ defines a subdivision as a division of a tract of land, regardless of whether it is made by using a metes and bounds description in a deed of conveyance or in a contract for a deed, by using a contract of sale or other executory contract to convey, or by using any other method.

    The purpose of the floodplain review is to identify Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA), and to reduce hazards, loss of life, and property damage within flood-prone areas.

    The purpose of the OSSF review is to evaluate the overall suitability on lots that will use OSSFs for sewage disposal.

    For proposed platted/re-platted subdivisions, see Subdivision-Development FP-OSSF Guidance

    For subdivision variance requests, see Subdivision Variance FP-OSSF Guidance

    Planning materials must be submitted to this office for review and approval before the land is divided.

    This Floodplain-OSSF Review is in addition to any requirements another agency may have.  There is no additional fee charged by our department for this review.

    Floodplain maps of Washington County may be viewed at our office, and are available online thru several services.

    1. 
    The floodplain may be viewed on the Washington County Appraisal District Interactive Map.  After opening the map, select "Floodplain" from the Layer List.

    2. The Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is available from FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center.

    Option A: Enter an address, a place, or longitude/latitude coordinates for the location, and click “Search”.

    Option B: If the address is unknown, or you want to see a list of all flood maps for a given jurisdiction, and click “Search All Products”.

    3. The FEMA flood hazard file is available in Google EarthYou must first have Google Earth installed on your computer before downloading and viewing the FEMA flood hazard file.  Click on this “Stay Dry” link for information and instructions.

    For additional information, or if you need assistance contact Mark Marzahn by email at mmarzahn@wacounty.com, or by phone at 979-277-6290, when prompted press 3.

If you experience problems using our webpage, please notify Mark Marzahn by email at mmarzahn@wacounty.com or by phone at 979-277-6290, when prompted press 3.

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