Knowledge Base

Septic Systems and Liquid Waste

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The Washoe County Health District Environmental Health Services (EHS) division has regulatory authority over sewage and wastewater disposal within Washoe County.  The regulations cover residential on-site sewage disposal systems (septics), sewage and wastewater pumping contractors,  non-sewered toilet operators (portable toilets) and waste water dump stations.  The division also responds to complaints of improper sewage releases that could expose the public to risk.  Commercial septic systems do not fall under EHS authority by state statute; contact Nevada Division of Environmental Protection Bureau of Water Pollution Control for commercial septics permitting.

Development of properties that will be served by a septic system are required to undergo a design process to ensure that effluent discharge will not impact groundwater or create a public exposure risk.  The process begins with a test trench inspection to determine the appropriate type of septic system.  The design is then utilized for the building permit submittal for review.  Inspections of the system’s construction ensure the system is constructed according to plan.  On properties served by a septic system, EHS also reviews all property build outs (such as additions or garages) to ensure that the existing septic is not impacted and that suitable room is left for a repair in the event of failure.  When a septic system does fail, a similar process is used to permit the repair. 

Contact the Program

Latricia Lord, Senior Environmental Health Specialist

General email

Updated 12/6/2022 9:39 AM
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