OSSF Overview

On-Site Sewage Facilities (OSSF), sometimes referred to as “septic systems,” are wastewater systems, typically used in rural locations where public sewer systems are not available. These systems are designed to treat and dispose of effluent on the same property that produces the wastewater.

The issuance of OSSF permits are necessary to ensure that state and county regulations are met to promote public health, safety, and the general welfare of the environment, particularly our waterways.  Impaired water can lead to illness, the inability to enjoy recreational activities, the destruction of natural habitats, and more.

OSSF Services

The Authority offers the following services to property owners within the Authority’s OSSF jurisdiction:

  1. Permitting and Licensing of new septic systems
  2. License transfers
  3. Septic and sewer nuisance/complaint investigations

OSSF Jurisdiction

The Authority is the Authorized Agent for the TCEQ to regulate OSSF in Angelina County, San Augustine County, and in the regulated zone around Sam Rayburn Reservoir, designated as the Control Zone Rayburn (CZR). This zone begins at the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers 179-foot elevation line and extends 2,000 feet outward. If any part of a subdivision lies within the regulated zone, then the entire subdivision is within the Authority’s jurisdiction. 

OSSF Order & Rules for Enforcement

The Authority is the Authorized Agent for implementing and enforcing the State of Texas’ rules related to On-Site Sewage Facilities within the Authority’s jurisdiction.

The OSSF Rules for Enforcement outlines the policies and procedures that the Authority follows for the investigation and enforcement of complaints related to OSSF.  The updated OSSF Rules for Enforcement can be found here:

The State of Texas mandates the following rules to govern OSSF: 

  • Texas Health & Safety Code, Chapter 366
  • Title 30, Texas Administrative Code Chapter 285
  • Title 30, Texas Administrative Code Chapter 30, Subchapters A and G
  • Those rules are available in the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) document titled: On-Site Sewage Facility Rules Compilation (RG-472)

In addition to the state rules, in November 2021, the TCEQ approved an updated Order authorizing the implementation of additional rules specifically within the Authority’s jurisdiction. 

These additional rules are found in Section 10 of the Order.

OSSF Fee Schedule

Effective September 1, 2022, the following permit fees are in effect in all areas that the Authority is the Authorized Agent for OSSF permitting.

Fee Description Permit Fee TCEQ Fee Total
Single Family Residential OSSF*
Non-Single Family Residential OSFF - LIGHT 1
Non-Single Family Residential OSSF - Heavy2

No Refunds After 5-Day Grace Period

* Single Family Residential OSSF includes systems serving a single home and housing a single family, and single structure duplexes.

  1. Any Non-Single Family Residential OSSF with 3 or fewer structures or buildings connected to the system and does not engage in any type of food preparation or operations with higher-than-normal BOD/TSS concentrations or daily average flow.
  2. Any Non-Single Family Residential OSSF with 4 or more structures connected to the system, or engages in any type of food preparation, or operations with higher-than-normal BOD/TSS concentrations or daily average flow.

TCEQ-Approved OSSF Systems

TCEQ has approved three primary types of on-site wastewater treatment systems:

  1. Standard or Conventional Systems consist of a septic tank and a subsurface wastewater infiltration system (drain field) and rely on soil absorption and natural processes in the environment to treat wastewater. However, small lot sizes and some soil types, such as clay, are inadequate for the proper absorption and treatment of wastewater, therefore a conventional system cannot be installed.
  2. Proprietary Systems:
    1. Aerobic systems are installed in situations where a conventional system is unsuitable and utilize mechanical processes to treat the wastewater in a controlled setting before it is released into the environment. Aerobic systems typically utilize chlorination for disinfection before it is discharged to an above-ground irrigation field via a sprinkler system to dispose of the treated wastewater.
    2. Drip Distribution systems are often used in places where standard trenches are hard to install, such as steep slopes and forested areas, and distribute wastewater through a system of tubing with flow-regulating emitters. The tubing can be installed at various depths below the ground surface.

    For questions or information regarding on-site sewage facilities permitting, inspections, license-transferring, or nuisance complaints, contact:

    Angelina & Neches River Authority
    OSSF Department
    2901 N John Redditt Drive
    Lufkin, Texas, 75904
    Phone:  936-632-7795
    Email: ossf@anra.org


NRCD opened its Central Office on the 2nd floor of the old Lufkin City Hall building at 210 E. Lufkin Avenue and hired its first Executive Director.  NRCD began the implementation of its Control Zone Rayburn Program for regulating and licensing on-site septic systems within a 2000-ft zone around Sam Rayburn Reservoir.


The Authority’s Control Zone Rayburn On-Site Sewage Facility Program was expanded to include the portion of San Augustine County that lies within the Neches Basin.


The Authority participated in a Clean Water Act Section 319 grant to address bacterial impairments in the Attoyac Bayou watershed. This project, a collaboration between the Texas Water Resources Institute, Castilaw Environmental, the Authority, Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas A&M AgriLife, the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, and others, resulted in the development of the Attoyac Bayou Watershed Protection Plan (WPP), published in July 2014.


The Authority was awarded a Clean Water Act Section 319 grant from the TCEQ to replace failing septic systems in the Attoyac Bayou watershed. This project implemented a portion of the Attoyac Bayou WPP, which identified failing septic systems as the leading potential source of bacterial contamination.

The Authority upgraded its information systems, including servers, data storage, and mapping capabilities. As part of this upgrade, the Authority developed a database and maps of on-site sewage facilities within the Sam Rayburn Control Zone, as well as digital scans for storing electronic records for all permitted on-site systems.


The Authority once again expanded its On-Site Sewage Facility program by becoming the Authorized Agent for the permitting of OSSFs in Angelina County.


A new more stringent OSSF Order is approved by TCEQ.