State law (Chapter 246-272A-0270) requires that homeowners inspect and maintain their septic systems to ensure it is functioning properly. The longevity of your on-site septic system relies heavily on the way that you care for it.
- Monitor what goes into your system
- Schedule regular pumping for your septic tank. See our list of certified pumpers
- Protect the system from surface water and drainage, soil compaction, and other activities that might ause it to fail, such as flooding
- Complete additional routine maintenance that is required for some system types
Signs of septic system failure
- Sewage is surfacing on the ground over the drainfield or septic tank
- There is a strong sewage odor
- The ground above the drainfield is soggy and has unusually lush vegetation
- Sewage is backing up into the house
- Fixtures are draining slowly
Repairing your septic system
If you think you need a septic system repair, follow these steps to comply with Snohomish Health District and Washington State regulations. See our Septic Contractors page for a list of certified professionals.
- Contact a certified installer, who will be able to look at the multiple elements of your system and possibly determine the cause of the septic failure
- If recommend by the installer, contact a licensed designer to design a repair and apply for a permit from the Snohomish Health District
- Once the repair is approved, you will receive a letter in the mail
- Hire a certified installer to request the permit be issued for installation and complete the work
- Once the installer notifies your designer that the repair is complete, the designer will ensure that the repair was installed correctly and then submit an as-built to the Snohomish Health District
- A sanitarian from the Snohomish Health District will complete a final inspection to make sure the installation is correct and the as-built is an accurate depiction of your repaired septic system
"Snohomish County now offers a new program with financing options, incentives, and education to help you maintain a healthy septic system. Visit the Savvy Septic website
to learn more.
Some properties have septic maintenance records included with their septic as-built record. Septic as-builts and maintenance records are available through our online DAVE system. You will need the street address, Property Tax Account Number (PTA), Assessor Parcel Number or property owner name to look up the records. On-site sewage system operation and maintenance (OSSOM) professionals have an online system for adding to our online septic records.