Underground Injection Control (UIC)

If you know what a UIC is, consider skipping this part of Sprecher Group’s website. If not, read on for a brief introduction of UICs …

Looking into a drywell

Looking into a drywell

Septic disposal drill hole

Septic disposal drill hole

Simply put, a UIC is any sort of structure (think dry well or drill hole, for example) 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, the 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, 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 (think number of UICs, composition of liquid being discharged by 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, including DEQ’s “Closure of an Injection System” Fact Sheet.

All UICs, including existing ones, are required to be registered with DEQ, and non-compliant UICs must be closed (also called decommissioned). The Closure Fact Sheet describes how to legally 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 is typically needed to properly 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.

Drill hole in catch basin

Drill hole in catch basin