Sanitation Development & Septic Systems

Septic systems are systems designed to collect and dispose of sewage on properties if a public sewer system is unavailable.  All new connections and repairs must be reviewed and approved by the Environmental Health & Safety Officer.

Owner Responsibilities

  • Disposal of sewage on a property is in conformance with the Environmental Health & Safety Code, Chapter 6
  • All plumbing fixtures on the property which may discharge sewage must be diverted to an approved disposal system
  • Owners must maintain, repair, or replace their septic systems as necessary to ensure proper operation of the system

Standard Septic Systems Process

1. Completed Sanitation Development Permit Application
Complete your application, which includes a tax lot map, a preliminary site development plan, a map of the vicinity, and your initial Site Evaluation Fee.  You can return these items to our Environmental Health & Safety Officer by e-mailing them to, by returning them to our office in person, or by mailing them to us at:

CTUIR - Tribal Planning Office
ATTN:  Environmental Health & Safety Program
Pendleton, OR 97801

2. Site Evaluation
Site evaluation includes digging test pits to determine the suitability of a site for a septic system.  This looks at characteristics like soil profile, proximity to ground and surface water sources, slope, and unstable land forms.  Hiring a licensed contractor to complete this evaluation is helpful.  You must get permission from the CTUIR Cultural Resources Protection Program prior to digging test pits.

3. Pay Sanitation Development Permit Fee
This fee is dependent on the type of sanitation system you install or repair.

3. Installation of Septic System
Working with a licensed installer is helpful.

4. Inspections
You will need to schedule a Pre-Cover Inspection prior to backfilling the system for use.  This inspection ensures the system was installed per the approved plans.  Please call our Environmental Health & Safety Officer at 541-276-3099 at least 2 business days in advance to schedule your inspection.

IHS-Funded Septic Systems

Members of federally recognized Indian tribes, bands or groups may be eligible to apply for funding from Indian Health Services for new water supply and sewage disposal facilities on owner-occupied property during the construction of new and "like-new" homes.  Please see the brochure below for more information.  Contact our Environmental Health & Safety Officer at 541-276-3099 for more information on eligibility criteria and permitting processes.