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Septic Maintenance

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 use 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.

  1. 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
  2. If recommend by the installer, contact a licensed designer to design a repair and apply for a permit from the Snohomish Health District
  3. Once the repair is approved, you will receive a letter in the mail
  4. Hire a certified installer to request the permit be issued for installation and complete the work
  5. 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
  6. 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.

Maintenance records

Some properties have septic maintenance records included with their septic as-built record. Septic as-builts and maintenance records are available through OnlineRME database of septic records. You will need the street address or Property Tax Account Number (PTA), to look up the records.

Contact us

Water & Wastewater

3020 Rucker Ave., Suite 104
Everett, WA 98201


8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday

Did you know?

You must be certified by the Snohomish Health District before installing an on-site septic system, even if you have a certification from a county other than Snohomish.