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Washington County Environmental Health

Washington County Seal

A Division of

Washington County Engineering and Development Services
3650 Highway 36 North
Brenham, Texas 77833
Phone 979-277-6290

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.

Office hours are from 7am until 4pm, Monday through Friday (except 2024 Holidays).

For information on the programs our office administers, please see below topics.

  • We administer on-site sewage facility (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.

    Permit applications are available below or may be completed at our office.

    Single-Family Residential or Accessory Structure Septic Permit

    Multi-Unit Residential or Non-Residential Septic Permit

    Completed permit applications and information for the owner of an ATU may be submitted by email or delivered to our office.

    After submitting the permit application, the fee may be paid (see Fees - Payments).

    The permit application, fee, site evaluation, design, and any other required documents must be submitted to this office for review and approval before work on the septic system begins.

    If the septic system and the structure it is connected to are on or partially on two or more different lots or tracts of land, a Joined Properties Affidavit is also required from you.  The Joined Properties Affidavit should be read, completed and NOTARIZED, and then filed in the County Clerk's Office under deed records.  You DO NOT need to return a copy of this affidavit to our office, the County Clerk's Office will provide it to us.

    If you are having an aerobic system installed, the following two documents are required from you in addition to the permit application:

    1. The Information for the Owner of an ATU should be read, completed and signed, and returned to our office.  This page does NOT need to be notarized or filed.

    2. The Affidavit to the Public should be read, completed and NOTARIZED, and then filed in the County Clerk's Office under deed records.  You DO NOT need to return a copy of this affidavit to our office, the County Clerk's Office will provide it to us. 

    Please contact our office if you are unsure about which permit to use or if you have any questions or need assistance.

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

    Frequently Asked Questions about OSSFs

    Septic System Services Directory

    To help keep your septic system working properly or if it does not appear to be working well, see our Septic System Troubleshooting Guide.

    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 Washington County Environmental Health.  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@washingtoncountytx.gov or otherwise deliver it to our office.

    Homeowner Maintenance of Aerobic System Training.  Successful completion of this course satisfies Washington County training requirement for homeowners wanting to maintain their own aerobic septic system, rather than hiring a maintenance provider.

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

    Funding assistance with the cost of septic system installation or repair for low income and indigent persons click here for information.

    For additional information and assistance contact Renee Hamilton by email at rhamilton@washingtoncountytx.gov, or by phone at 979-277-6290 x2.

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  • We work 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@washingtoncountytx.gov, or by phone at 979-277-6290 x1.


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

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

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  • We administer floodplain determination & floodplain development permitting for property located in unincorporated areas of Washington County.

    Because Washington County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, a permit and authorization are required before any development/construction within the floodplain begins.

    Development and construction that occurs outside of the floodplain does not require a floodplain permit.

    Permit applications are available below or may be completed at our office.

    Floodplain Determination/Development Permit 

    Completed permit applications may be submitted by email or delivered to our office.

    After submitting the permit application, the fee may be paid (see Fees - Payments).

    The permit application, fee, and planning materials must be submitted to this office for review and approval before work begins.

    If you have any questions, please contact our office for assistance.

    Floodplain Services Directory

    For floodplain information on property in the City of Brenham contact City of Brenham Development Services.

    For floodplain information on property in the City of Burton email Burton City Secretary at burtonsecr@cityofburton-tx.gov or call 979-289-3400.

    Find floodplain administrators in other areas here. 

    Base Level Engineering (BLE) data has been developed for some areas of Washington County that includes estimated Base Flood Elevations, and Flood Depths.  BLE results are available for use by the public on the Estimated Base Flood Elevation Viewer.

    Floodplain maps of Washington County are available online from several sources and may be viewed at our office.

    1. The floodplain may be viewed on the Washington County Engineering and Development Services Web Map Application.  After opening the map, select "Washington County Floodplain" from the Layers List.

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

    3. 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”.

    4. 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 this “Stay Dry” link for information and instructions.

    Reduce Flood Risk is an online interactive flood mitigation resource that aims to help property owners better understand their flood risk and the most effective flood mitigation strategies for their particular property.

    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.

    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 and assistance contact Mark Marzahn by email at mmarzahn@washingtoncountytx.gov or by phone at 979-277-6290 x3.

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  • Subdivisions and other Developments in the unincorporated areas of Washington County are administered by Washington County Engineering and Development Services; they are the main point of contact.  Our division, the Environmental Health Office, reviews these proposals for compliance with floodplain and on-site sewage facility (OSSF) requirements.

    Contact our office if you have any questions about floodplain or OSSF requirements relating to Subdivisions and other Developments.  For all other questions about Subdivisions and other Developments, contact Washington County Engineering and Development Services.

    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 platted/re-platted subdivisions and developments, see Subdivision-Development FP-OSSF Guidance

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

    Base Level Engineering (BLE) data has been developed for some areas of Washington County that includes estimated Base Flood Elevations, and Flood Depths.  BLE results are available for use by the public on the Estimated Base Flood Elevation Viewer.

    Floodplain maps of Washington County are available online from several sources and may be viewed at our office.

    1. The floodplain may be viewed on the Washington County Engineering and Development Services Web Map Application.  After opening the map, select "Washington County Floodplain" from the Layers List.

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

    3. 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”.

    4. 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 this “Stay Dry” link for information and instructions.

    For additional information and assistance contact Mark Marzahn by email at mmarzahn@washingtoncountytx.gov, or by phone at 979-277-6290 x3.

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Washington County Engineering and Development Services Web Map Application

 

If you experience problems using our webpage, please notify Mark Marzahn by email at mmarzahn@washingtoncountytx.gov or by phone at 979-277-6290 x3.