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Texas Counties Deliver

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     Fax 979-277-6242

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 8am to noon and 1pm until 5pm, Monday through Friday (except 2022 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.

For information and assistance with the programs our office administers, please see below topics.

  • This office administers on-site sewage facility (OSSF) 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.

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

    Permit applications are only available to the property owner.  This is not intended as a burden, but rather so we can provide you with information to assist you in making an informed decision.  When deciding what type of septic system to install on your property it is important to know all your options.  Required maintenance and long-term cost can vary a great deal depending on the type of system you choose to install.

    Permit applications may be completed at our office or requested by email.  To avoid delay, please include as much of the following information as you can:

    • Appraisal District property ID number (R followed by five numbers) Washington County Appraisal District
    • A copy of your filed deed (if you have owned the property less than six months) Washington County Clerk
    • Installation address (if one has already been assigned) or contact Washington County Addressing
    • What type of structure will the system serve?
      • Single-family residential
      • Multi-unit residential
      • Non-residential
    • Installer’s name (if one has been selected).

     

    After submitting your permit application, the fee may be paid by cash, check, money order, or Credit/Debit Card (see Fees - Payments).  Permit application fees are $200 for single-family residential, $360 for non-single-family residential, and $280 for non-profit organizations (submit verification).

    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.

    Frequently Asked Questions about OSSFs

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

    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 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@wacounty.com or otherwise submit 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@wacounty.com, or by phone at 979-277-6290 x 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 x 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, development and construction 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 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.

    Permit applications may be completed at our office or requested by email.  To avoid delay, please include as much of the following information as you can:

     

    After submitting your permit application, the fee may be paid by cash, check, money order, or Credit/Debit Card (see Fees - Payments).  Floodplain Determinations/Permit Applications are $100 for single-family residential, and $200 for non-single-family residential.

    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.

    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 may be viewed at our office, and are available online from several sources.

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

    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 and assistance contact Mark Marzahn by email at mmarzahn@wacounty.com or by phone at 979-277-6290 x 3.

  • Division of land in the unincorporated areas of Washington County is administered by Washington County Engineering and Development Services.  The Environmental Health Office reviews these proposed land divisions for compliance with floodplain and OSSF requirements.

    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

    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 may be viewed at our office, and are available online from several sources.

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

    For additional information and assistance contact Mark Marzahn by email at mmarzahn@wacounty.com, or by phone at 979-277-6290 x 3.

  • 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

     

    Permit applications may be completed at our office or requested by email.

    After submitting your permit application, the fee may be paid by cash, check, money order, or Credit/Debit Card (see Fees - Payments).  Prescribed Burn Permit Applications are $25.

     
    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 and assistance contact Mark Marzahn by email at
    mmarzahn@wacounty.com, or by phone at 979-277-6290 x 3.

 

Washington County Engineering and Development Services Web Map Application

 

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