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Septic System Ownership in Washington State

Septic tanks are more commonly known as on-site sewage systems in the State of Washington. These systems can also be classified as large on-site sewage systems (LOSS). If you own or intend to acquire an on-site sewage system in the State of Washington, the information in this article will guide you through the rules and regulations that you need to know.

Regulation of Septic Systems Washington

The regulations for on-site sewage systems are found in Chapter 246- 272A of Washington's Administration Code (WAC). The code describes how systems are to be designed, installed and maintained. For the average homeowner, however, the code is detailed and can be difficult to understand. The code also ensures that contractors in the field are certified and reliable, so leaving it to the professionals might be the best idea.

Licensure Requirements for Septic System Contractors

The design of on-site sewage systems can only be done by licensed professional engineers. In addition, to construct, install, repair, expand, connect or modify an on-site sewage system in Washington, service providers must obtain approval and a permit from the local health department.

Designers are required to pass a written test, hold at least a high school diploma, have at least 4 years experience, and pay the relevant licensing fees. Inspectors cannot act as designers and to gain their license they must also pass a written test and pay the relevant fees. Inspectors must be employed within a health jurisdiction. Consumers can check the status of an individual or a company's license through the Washington State Department of Licensing.

Installing a new Sewage System in Washington

If a single family resident wants to design and install an on-site sewage system it is at the discretion of the local health department whether or not to demand a license. When it comes to installing, however, a permit will still be required.

How to file a Complaint

The Washington State Department of Licensing provides an online complaint form should a consumer need to file a complaint against a service provider. The completed form can be forwarded to the address below.


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How to Contact Washington about Septic Systems

Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors
PO Box 9025
Olympia WA 98507-9025
(360) 664-1575

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