Underground Injection Control (UIC) systems such as dry wells, drill holes, soakage trenches, and infiltration galleries used to manage storm water or discharge other fluids below the ground are regulated in Oregon by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. French drains are underground injection systems when used to discharge storm water underground.
The UIC Program is a federal program under the Safe Drinking Water Act and is administered by DEQ to protect groundwater from pollution. The use of UIC systems is prohibited unless the activity is approved by DEQ through Authorization by Rule or allowed under an Individual Water Pollution Control Facilities (WPCF) permit issued by DEQ.
Many owners or operators installed UIC systems or allowed installations of new UICs without applying for registration and obtaining authorization. The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act has no “grandfather clause”.
Owners and operators of UIC systems without Authorization by Rule or WPCF permit are not in compliance with state rules and federal regulations. Operating a UIC system without applying for Authorization by Rule or a WPCF permit after December 31, 2008, is considered a violation and is subject to penalties.