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Cross septic system maintenance off of this year’s ‘to do’ list

December 19, 2013

Health Department incentive program helps you save money, protect environment

TACOMA, WA - It's one of those maintenance issues that typically falls to the bottom of the "to do" list. But getting your septic tank inspected and pumped helps to protect your investment in your home - and the health of your family and the environment.

Burley Lagoon resident Heather McFarlane decided to tackle this important homeowner responsibility - and saved $300 in the process.

McFarlane took advantage of Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department's Septic Care Incentive program. It's available to Key Peninsula residents with pressure distribution or gravity septic systems.

But saving money was only part of the benefit for McFarlane. She believes that every property owner has a role to play in protecting the environment and improving water quality. "Taking care of our septic systems allows us to make a real contribution to keeping our watershed free from harmful bacteria while giving us peace of mind for the winter ahead," she said.

While funds are available you can save up to $450:
  • $125 off your inspection.
  • $200 off your tank pumping.
  • $125 off your riser installation.
Proper operation and maintenance of your septic system helps to:
  • Extend the life of your system and save money; septic system repairs or replacement is expensive.
  • Protect ground, surface and drinking water from contamination.
  • Prevent bacterial pollution from entering Puget Sound directly or through storm water run-off into creeks and streams.
  • Keep shellfish harvested from public waters safe to eat.
  • Prevent sewage from surfacing.
This program will end when the funds run out, so contact the health department today.

If you own a pressure distribution and gravity system, you should hire a certified septic professional to inspect it every three years. If you're not sure what type of system you have, contact us at (253) 798-6577 or log on at to look up your Record Drawing.

To learn more about the incentive program, contact us at (253) 798-4788 or email at with "Incentive Program" in the subject line. Limited funds are available, and the program will end when funds run out. Savings are not valid for home sale (Report of System Status) inspections. Grants from Washington State Department of Health and Environmental Protection Agency make the Septic Incentive Program possible.

Edie Jeffers, Communications Manager, (253) 798-2853, (253) 405-6822,

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