The Washington State code regulating onsite septic systems (246-272A WAC) requires Clallam County Environmental Health (CCEH) to develop and maintain an inventory of all known onsite septic systems, and also requires all septic systems to be inspected on a regular basis. Conventional gravity systems must be inspected at least every three years while most others must be checked annualy due to their electronic components.
CCEH tracks septic system inspection “status” in the permit database and whether a system is functioning properly. Every developed parcel in Clallam County that is not on sewer (as far as we know…) has a space in the database for septic operations and maintenance (O&M) inspection records. If a parcel has a residence or business but is not hooked up to a sewer system, we assume the wastewater is going to an onsite septic system even if we don’t have a septic permit on file for the system.
To help track septic system status information we’ve connected the permit database to the County geographic information system (GIS) so we can map system status. The parcels are color-coded to show the status –see map legend for details. Septic systems where we don’t have any records for are considered “unknown”– and are colored red on the map. The goal of this project is move all unknown or not current septic systems to green with a recent inspection report.
It is the responsibility of every septic system owner to have their system inspected on a regular basis. Remember, in the Marine Recovery Area (MRA) the first inspection must be performed by a licensed septic system designer or maintenance provider before becoming certified to submit DIY homeowner inspection reports.
Locating and monitoring septic systems helps the County identify projects that will improve water quality and the overall health of the environment.