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Drinking Water Rules

Current Rulemaking

There are no current rulemakings.

Previous Rulemakings
Adoption of Annual Fees, Replacing Fees Associated with Sanitary Surveys
The Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division (Authority) permanently adopted Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 333-061-0089 and permanently amended OAR 333-061-0076 related to the collection of fees to partially defray the cost of the Authority’s regulation of public water systems.

This rulemaking concluded in December 2019 and the new and amended rules are effective as of January 1, 2020.

The new fee structure will increase Authority revenue approximately $1,850,000 every biennium to more fully support the Authority’s regulatory responsibilities and account for other expenses, including five additional positions and increased support for local public health agency partners, as approved by the 2019 Legislature (SB 27; Oregon Laws 2019, chapter 509). The revised fee structure also provides water suppliers with a more predictable fee schedule.

Fees related to sanitary survey inspections, which are conducted once every three to five years, are repealed in their entirety and replaced by an annual regulatory fee. The new fee structure is designed to keep fees simple and relatively low for the smallest public water systems. Fees for community water systems serving 501 to 3,000 service connections are increased by approximately 20% while fees for community water systems supplying water through more than 3,000 service connections are increased substantially.

The new rule and rule amendments are identified in the documents below, including a more detailed explanation of the fiscal impact of the proposed changes:

Public Hearing & Comment Period

The public comment period for this rulemaking ended on October 31, 2019.  A public hearing was held on October 17, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. in Portland, Oregon at 800 NE Oregon Street, Room 1D.

If you have any questions or would like to request a paper copy of the documents listed here, please contact Brad Daniels at 971-673-0405

Oregon Revised Statue (ORS) Oregon Drinking Water Quality Act

Enacted in 1981, the statute (periodically amended) includes Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 448.119 to 448.285; 454.235; and 454.255. The purpose of the above act is (in part) to:
  • Ensure that all Oregonians have safe drinking water;
  • Provide a simple and effective regulatory program for drinking water systems; and
  • Provide a means to improve inadequate drinking water systems.

Current Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) for Drinking Water

ORS 448.131 authorizes Drinking Water Services (DWS) to adopt administrative rules to ensure safe drinking water. OAR Chapter 333 Division 061 is reserved for regulations regarding public water systems and was last amended on January 10, 2018.

A complete set of rules in PDf iconChapter 333, Division 061.

Specific portions of the rules are also available as PDF files below, ordered by section number (some of the files include more than one section of the rules):

OARs for Water System Operator Certification

The purpose of operator certification is to protect public health and public water systems in Oregon. DWS accomplishes this by reviewing the experience, education and credentials of persons responsible for the production, treatment and distribution of public drinking water and determining their compliance with an established standard of proficiency. The rules include application guidelines, general operator criteria and grade requirements; operator system classifications and fees are also covered. They are provided below as PDF files; some of the files include more than one section of the rules, in which case the content is ordered by section number.

OARs for Domestic Well Testing for Real Estate Transactions

Amended in 2009, ORS 448.271 requires property owners, when selling Oregon real estate that includes a domestic well, to test the water for arsenic, nitrate and total coliform bacteria. Domestic wells are those used for drinking and other household purposes. Test results must be reported within 90 days to the real estate buyer and DWS after the seller receives the test results. Rules are downloadable as PDFs below. Get more information about domestic well testing for real estate transactions.

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