Septic Care Workshops & Resources
Snohomish County offer FREE Septic Care Workshops for homeowners! The next septic care workshop is estimated for July of 2018. Further details will be posted here as they become available.
- Snohomish Health District
- Septic System Maintenance by Type
- Finding a Certified Septic Contractor
- When Do Septic Systems Need Maintenance?
- Additional On-Site Septic System Resources
Snohomish County Health District is your best resource for information and assistance on:
- Septic & waste water
- As-Built records
- Permit process
- Septic maintenance
- Certified septic system contractors
- Sewer and Water Districts
Track the status of your septic permit with Snohomish County Health District through their new
The best way to determine the type of septic system you have is through an "As-Built Drawing" of your system, which also shows where your system is located. Snohomish County residents can look up their property's As-Built Drawing in the Snohomish Health District's D.A.V.E. database by entering the site address. Please note that some older homes may not have records in the D.A.V.E. system.
These short videos, produced by Thurston County, present great overviews of different septic system types and how to care for them:
- Understanding and Maintaining Gravity Flow Systems
- Understanding and Maintaining Pressure Distribution Systems
- Understanding and Maintaining Sand Filter Systems
- Understanding and Maintaining Mound Systems
There are several different certifications for septic contractors, and the type of certified professional you select is dependent upon the project type. View a quick guide on the type of contractor needed for different project types.
Here are a few tips to consider when hiring a septic system professional:
- Get more than one price quote for the service needed.
- Make sure the contractor is certified for the work to be performed (visit the Snohomish County Health District link above for a list).
- Before starting any work, get a written contract from the septic professional that includes a price and a description of the work to be performed.
- Ask for references from the contractor.
- Walk the project site with the contractor to get detailed feedback on the proposed work.
- Discuss the project payment structure before work begins.
The EPA notes that the average septic system should be inspected every three years, and be pumped every three-five years. Systems with mechanical components such as pumps and float switches need to be inspected every year. Systems serving larger households, or processing more waste and wastewater may require more frequent inspection and pumping.
Common symptoms of septic system failure that indicate a need for system inspection and maintenance include:
- Wastewater backing up into household drains, or excessively slow draining.
- Bright green, spongy grass over the drainfield area, even in dry weather.
- Pooling water, or muddy soil around your septic system.
- A strong odor around the septic system or drainfield, or inside the home.
Here are links to additional resources for Septic System owners, grouped by function:
- Washington State Department of Ecology: What you can do: On-Site Septic Systems
- Washington State Department of Health: Do-It-Yourself Inspection Field Guide for Gravity Systems
- Washington On-Site Sewage Association (WOSSA): Consumer Information page
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): EPA SmartSeptic
- EPA SmartSeptic: Homeowners Guide to Septic Systems