Environmental Health
Septic Systems
   Operational Certificates  
  Renewing the Certificate  l  What If I Don't Renew My Certificate?  

What Do I Need to Renew the Certificate?

Prior to your renewal date, you will receive a Septic System Operational Certificate Renewal packet, which includes:

  • Renewal fee invoice and letter
  • Coupon for pumping
  • Consumer tips guide

Septic System Inspection - Contact a Septic Professional

  1. Inspect the septic tank and have it pumped or repaired, as necessary. Your septic system must be inspected by a certified septic system professional. For additional information go to Septic System Professionals or contact our office at (360) 867-2626. If the scum and/or sludge levels indicate, the tank should be pumped (see Septic Inspection & Pumping Guide [PDF]). NOTE: If you are unsure of where your septic tank or drainfield is located, see Locate Your Drainfield.
  2. Inspect the drainfield area. Look for signs of failure, note any wet spots, seeps (algae and drainage on banks or slopes), or areas where water is surfacing.
  3. Inspect other system components such as pump, distribution box, and monitoring ports. Look for indications that the pump system is malfunctioning, such as sewage backing up in the house, too high or low liquid levels in the septic tank, or surfacing sewage over/near the pump chamber.

Owner-Inspector Certification

Property Owners who wish to inspect their own septic system must apply and demonstrate qualifications to inspect their system.  Only gravity, pressure distribution, mound and Glendon septic systems qualify for owner-inspection certification.  Septic systems that have a sand filter, aerobic treatment unit or require a contract with a Monitoring Specialist do not qualify for owner-inspection certification. Please read the following documents thoroughly before applying.

  1. Policy for Owner Certification to Self-Inspect On-site Sewage Systems;[PDF] and,
  2. Application for Septic System Owner-Inspector Certification.  [PDF] 

What If I Don't Renew My Certificate?

If your Certificate has not been renewed, your sewage system will be classified as non-conforming. This means other permit approvals can be withheld until the Certificate is renewed.

By keeping your Certificate renewed on a timely basis, you can avoid the additional renewal fees and untimely delays during future building projects or property sales.

How Do I Reinstate a Non-Conforming Septic System?

The certification renewal process for non-conforming systems requires the following:

  • Septic system must be pumped and inspected by a septic professional (Septic System Professionals) lists.
  • An application for Field Inspection (see Operational Certificate Field Inspection form) must be completed and submitted to the Environmental Health office (see Guidelines for process).
  • Any past due Operational Certificate fees must be paid at the time the field inspection application is submitted. If you do not have a current non-conforming notice with the list of outstanding fees please call our office at 360-867-2626.
  • Once the application, certificate fees, and pump and inspection report are received a staff person from our office will complete a field inspection.
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This page last updated: 03/30/18