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Face your septic system inspection fears

April 29, 2014

Health Department now offers an affordable loan program for repairs, upgrades of failing systems

– If you own one of the 110,000 on-site septic systems serving homes or business in Pierce County, then you understand the fear: You haven’t had your system inspected and pumped in several years. Will an inspection reveal a problem or a costly fix?

Taking care of septic repairs just got easier. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department now offers an affordable loan program through Craft3, a nonprofit lender serving Washington and Oregon.

“Getting your system inspected routinely is a step every septic system owner should take to save money and protect the environment,” said Gary Porter, On-Site Sewage program manager. “But when your system does need a repair, we can help ease the financial burden with this new affordable loan program.”

Craft3’s Clean Water Loan is available to help septic system owners repair, upgrade or replace failing systems. Loans can cover all upfront and construction costs, including septic system design, permits, and installation and includes a reserve of up to $1,750 to help property owners pay for ongoing inspections, repairs and compliance issues.

Aging septic systems and those not properly maintained can start to fail or malfunction and create a public health concern with surfacing sewage. The health department or a certified septic professional can assess the status of your system to determine if it needs to be pumped, repaired or replaced.

The loan program is fit for a wide range of properties, incomes and credit backgrounds, reducing financial barriers for families and small businesses. It also offers an economic boost to local businesses, as funds go directly to the contractor with a portion available upfront for materials and labor. The new offering is a complement to other programs in the area, such as Pierce County Community Connections’ financial assistance for septic repairs program, Pierce County Surface Water Management’s Septic Repair Grant and Loan Project and the Pierce County Sewer Connection Assistance Program.

In addition to the new loan partnership, the health department has an incentive program available to Key Peninsula residents who own pressure distribution or gravity systems. Call (253) 798-6577 or log on at to learn what type of system you have. To learn more about the new loan program or the incentive program, call (253) 798-4788 or email

About Craft 3:
Craft3 is a certified nonprofit, non-bank Community Development Financial Institution with a mission to strengthen economic, ecological and family resilience in Pacific Northwest communities. Craft3 provides assistance to property owners, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, individuals and others including those who do not normally have access to credit. For more information on Craft3, visit or call (877) 480-5765.


Edie Jeffers, Communications Manager, (253) 798-2853,
JiHae Yi, Health Promotion Specialist, (253) 798-4754, or

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