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Unearthing the mystery of septic systems

Visual Communications Specialist Adriana Lippy
by Adriana Lippy02/13/2018 3:17 p.m.
Updated: 01/04/2019

If you are on a septic system, you know how important it is in keeping your family and your environment safe. Most homeowners know on-site septic systems treat sewage from homes. But how septic systems work can be a bit of a mystery. It can be hard to wrap your mind around something that is invisible!

How can you see one without digging it up? Enter interactive 3-D models of septic systems. Don’t worry! You won’t need a holodeck to see these models. You don’t even need special software. Sketchfab is an online 3-D model viewer that runs in your internet browser. Open one of the eight models on your computer, tablet or smart phone, and you’ll be able to explore the mysteries of an entire septic system—from toilet to drainfield.

For the big reveal of our new tool, we decided to bring these models to the people who talk with homeowners the most often: septic professionals. Recently, we hosted a booth at the 2018 Washington On-Site Sewage Association (WOSSA) conference.  The conference drew 381 septic professionals from all over the state to the Greater Tacoma Convention Center. Visitors interacted with the models through two touch screen monitors. Health Department booth at the 2018 Washington On-Site Sewage Association Conference

Septic professionals saw lots of potential uses for the models. They were excited to be able to pull out their phone or tablet and walk a homeowner through their septic problem right on the spot.

Septic professionals interacting with staff at the Health Department booth at the 2018 Washington On-Site Sewage Association Conference

You don’t have to wait for a septic inspection or repair to learn about your system. Check out the 3-D models on our website. We also have information about how to care for your septic system.

  1. Updated: 01/04/2019
Visual Communications Specialist Adriana Lippy

by Adriana Lippy

Adriana helps tell our public health stories creatively with compelling images.


We invite your comments but will delete those with profanity, personal attacks, derogatory statements, ads or promotional material. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department does not provide personal medical advice; please contact your health care provider.