Septic tank talks delayed until April

Published on Thu, Feb 14, 2008 by Jack Kintner

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Septic tank talks delayed until April

By Jack Kintner

The Whatcom County Council, faced with opposition to certain parts of proposed ordinances requiring frequent professional inspection of on-site septic systems (OSS), decided to delay consideration until they meet April 1 as the county health board.

The 46-page On-site Sewage System Local Management Plan was developed by the Whatcom County Department of Health in response to state legislation that seeks to address failing septic systems, especially in areas deemed sensitive, such as estuaries.

At issue is the frequency of required inspections and that they be done by licensed and trained professionals.

The plan calls for inspections of complex systems every year and for less complex gravity systems every third year.

The cost of inspections runs from $150 to $300.

Council member Barbara Brenner has also been exploring the possibility of securing low-interest loans for homeowners whose systems are determined to have failed.

The county board of health will meet Tuesday, April 1, at 10:30 a.m. in the county council chambers. Copies of the current OSS regulations, the proposed management plan and other information is available online from the county health department at or by calling 676-6724.