If you know what a UIC is, consider skipping this part of Sprecher Group’s website. If not, read on for a brief introduction to UICs …
Simply put, a UIC is any sort of structure (for example, a dry well or drill hole) that places any sort of fluids (stormwater, septic system discharges, and more) below the ground surface; even certain types of French drains are included. The purpose of UIC regulation is to protect groundwater from potential contamination via UICs. Since 1984, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has regulated UICs in Oregon, and is continually modifying and improving the UIC program.
DEQ’s website contains a wealth of information about UICs. An excellent starting point is the background/overview web page, which also contains a discussion of exclusions to the UIC program.
As you might have guessed, the UIC program is fairly complex. Site-specific conditions (for example, number of UICs, what kind of liquid is being discharged to the UIC, depth to groundwater, type of surrounding soil and/or bedrock, proximity to drinking water wells, and much more) determine which rules and requirements pertain to a given site. DEQ’s Fact Sheet and Guidance webpage contains numerous links to UIC information.
All UICs, including existing ones, are required to be registered with DEQ, and non-compliant UICs must be closed (i.e. decommissioned). The Closure Fact Sheet describes how to correctly close sewage drill holes, stormwater UICs, and prohibited UICs. A licensed engineer (PE), licensed geologist (RG), or licensed well driller with experience in UIC closure may be needed to close a UIC system in Oregon.
Clicking on the “registration and application forms” text in the left sidebar of the DEQ UIC website brings up a webpage with links to various types of UIC application forms, including authorization by rule and authorization by permit.
Over the years, Sprecher Group has worked with various site owners to register UICs, and to register, sample, and close non-compliant UICs. We are familiar with PEs that can design retrofit systems for older UICs. Consider giving Sprecher Group a call with your site-specific UIC questions.