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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

Regular office hours are from 8am to noon and 1pm until 5pm, Monday through Friday (except 2018 Holidays).  With a small staff and many of our duties involving field work, the office may be closed temporarily on occasion; but you are always welcome to call ahead.


Keep Washington County Beautiful

BURN BAN STATUS

Stop Raising Mosquitoes

Resources to Help Small Businesses Comply with Environmental Regulations


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 this site helpful.    Please contact our office if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

The Environmental Health Department administers the following:

  • On-Site Sewage Facility (OSSF - Septic System) Permitting
  • Code Enforcement
  • Floodplain Determination/Development Permitting
  • Prescribed Burn Permitting
  • Land Division - Floodplain and OSSF (Septic System) Review


For information on individual programs, please see that topic below.

Current Fee Schedule  We accept Cash, Checks, Money Orders and Credit/Debit Cards.

Make Checks and Money Orders payable to Washington County.  Please do not mail cash.

Non-profit organizations must submit verification of their status to qualify for the reduced OSSF permit fee; such as federal tax status as a 501(c)(3) or their filing with the Texas Secretary of State.

 

A 2.75% processing fee will be charged to your card and paid directly to Certified Payments.

 

Credit/Debit Card payments may also be made online and by phone thru Certified Payments.

To pay online: Go to https://certifiedpayments.net/index.aspx?BureauCode=5299494

To pay by phone: Call Certified Payments toll-free at 1-866-549-1010

Enter Bureau Code 5299494 when prompted.


For assistance with online and phone payments, please call Certified Payments at 1-866-539-2020.


 On-Site Sewage Facility (Septic System) Permitting

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’s 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’re 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.

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.

For additional information, to obtain a permit application, or to file a complaint, contact Renee Hamilton by e-mail at rhamilton@wacounty.com, or by phone at 979-277-6290, when prompted press 2..


 Code Enforcement

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.

Burn Ban Status

Outdoor Burning Guidelines

Outdoor Burning Rules Guidance

Texas Constitution and Statutes

Texas Administrative Code

Texas State Law Library


Recycling Information from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Are you tired of seeing litter along the roadways?
Don't just complain, join Keep Washington County Beautiful!


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 e-mail at jgamboa@wacounty.com, or by phone at 979-277-6290 when prompted press 1.

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

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


 Floodplain Determination/Development Permitting

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.

Current flood maps of the unincorporated areas of Washington County may be viewed at our office, and are also available online thru several services.

1.
The floodplain may be viewed on the Washington County Appraisal District Interactive Map


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

Option A: Enter a complete address for the location, and click “Search”.  The flood map number and date for that location is displayed; and you may view and/or download the flood map.  To print a section of the map you are viewing click “Make a FIRMette”.  Next align the three shaded boxes over the area you want to print, the scale and north arrow, and the title block.  Then create your FIRMette as a PDF or image file that you can save and print.

Option B: If the address is unknown, or you want to see a list of all flood maps for a given jurisdiction.  Click on “Search All Products”.  Then, under “Jurisdiction” select a State (TEXAS), then a County (WASHINGTON COUNTY), and then a Community (WASHINGTON COUNTY*).  Next click on “Search”, then click on “Effective Products”, then click on “FIRM Panels” which will bring up a list of maps.  From here maps may be viewed and/or downloaded.  The top map is the index; on it, choose the area of the county you want to look at and note its map number (Product ID).  Then go back to the maps list and click “View” on the map number (Product ID) you want to look at.  To print a section of the map you are viewing click “Make a FIRMette”.  Next align the three shaded boxes over the area you want to print, the scale and north arrow, and the title block.  Then create your FIRMette as a PDF or image file that you can save and print.

3. The FEMA flood hazard file is available in Google Earth.

You 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 e-mail at mmarzahn@wacounty.comor by phone at 979-277-6290, when prompted press 3.


Prescribed Burn Permitting


This office administers prescribed burn permitting throughout the unincorporated areas of Washington County.

Prescribed Burn Permits are required only when a Burn Ban is in effect. 

Prescribed Burns that occur when there is not a Burn Ban do not require a permit.

Burn Ban Status

Outdoor Burning Guidelines

Outdoor Burning Rules Guidance

Prescribed Burn Permit Applications are $25.  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 Prescribed Burn Permitting Information and Prescribed Burn Permitting Procedures for additional information.  For a listing of some prescribed burn professionals working in our area see our Prescribed Burn Services Directory.  The permit application, fee, and burn plan must be submitted to this office for review and authorization before the burn is conducted.

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

 


Land Division - Floodplain and OSSF (Septic System) Review


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 rules; 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.

The floodplain may be viewed on the Washington County Appraisal District Interactive Map

For proposed platted/re-platted subdivisions, see Subdivision-Development FP-OSSF Guidance for additional information.

For subdivision variance requests, see Subdivision Variance FP-OSSF Guidance for additional information.

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 Washington County Road & Bridge Department or any other agency may have.  There is no additional fee charged by our department for this review; however, fees may be charged by other agencies.

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


 Staff Directory

Mark Marzahn, Environmental Health Director

Phone 979-277-6290, when prompted press 3

mmarzahn@wacounty.com

Renee Hamilton, Environmental Health Specialist

Phone 979-277-6290, when prompted press2

rhamilton@wacounty.com

Jose Luis Gamboa, Environmental Health Specialist

Phone 979-277-6290, when prompted press1

jgamboa@wacounty.com

Environmental Health Department

Courthouse Annex
105 W. Main St., Suite 100
Brenham, Texas 77833
Phone 979-277-6290

Fax 979-277-6291 


 
Additional Information, Resources, and Links



Take Care of Texas is a statewide campaign from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality where you can discover ways to conserve water and energy, keep our air and water clean, and reduce waste.



FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS OPERATING IN WASHINGTON COUNTY


Food establishment permits, inspections, and complaints for all types of retail food establishments (restaurants, event & festival food vendors, and mobile food trucks & trailers) operating in the unincorporated areas of Washington County and within the City of Burton are handled by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Events such as the Bluebonnet Festival and the Scarecrow Festival in Chappell Hill and the Cotton Gin Festival in Burton are in these areas.

If you need help or would like to request that an application be mailed or faxed to you, contact the Texas Department of State Health Services Foods Licensing Group at 512-834-6626 or go to their website at: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/


Food Establishments operating within the City of Brenham please contact the Brenham Health Department at 979-337-7216 or go to their website at: http://cityofbrenham.org/police/publiccode.php



 

 


 

  • For information on subdivision platting & variances, driveway access on county roads/right-of-ways, underground utility line regulations, and to purchase an address sign, contact the Washington County Road & Bridge Department.

 


Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Texas Department of State Health Services

Texas Water Development Board

Texas Floodplain Management Association

Federal Emergency Management Agency

National Flood Insurance Program

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


 

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

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