Public Health takes over regulation of on-site wastewater treatment systems

Applications may be picked up at public health or community development

January 22, 2020

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Regulation and oversight of the on-site wastewater treatment system program (OWTS) transferred from the Garfield County Community Development Department to Garfield County Public Health as of Jan. 1, 2020.

Historically known as septic systems, OWTS are designed to treat wastewater generated from houses and businesses that are not served by a centralized public sewer system.

Applications are available online. Also, as a temporary convenience, applications to install, alter or repair an OWTS can be obtained at Public Health Department offices, 2014 Blake Ave., Glenwood Springs, or through Garfield County Community Development, 108 Eighth St., Suite 401. During the transition, applicants may experience slight processing delays.

For more information on the Garfield County OWTS program, please contact Public Health at 970-945-6614.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), residents with OWTS should remember to:

Inspect and pump tanks frequently. System components should be inspected by a professional every one to three years, and septic tanks typically need to be pumped every three to five years. Use water efficiently by conserving water and staggering the use of water-based appliances, such washing machines or dishwashers.

Properly dispose of waste. Don’t flush diapers, wipes or other items meant for a trashcan down the toilet. Also, limit the use of the garbage disposal and avoid pouring fats, grease, solids and harsh chemicals down the drain.

Protect soil treatment areas. Divert rain and surface water away and avoid parking vehicles and planting trees on these areas.

More information on how to properly care for an OWTS is available at

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Media contact
Renelle Lott
Chief Communications Officer
Garfield County
108 8th Street, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
970.945.1377, ext. 1453
970.366.2275 cell