On October 6, 2016, the Washington State Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case of Whatcom County v. Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board. The case challenged the validity of Whatcom County’s Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulations relating to the protection of water quality and quantity under the Growth Management Act (GMA). In order to comply with the court ruling and GMA, an amendment to WCC 24.05 will be introduced to the Whatcom County Council on January 24, 2017 that would require O&M evaluations only be performed by licensed O&M specialists. If adopted, homeowner evaluations will no longer be accepted.
The Whatcom County Code allows homeowners who become certified, to complete evaluations of their on-site sewage systems (OSS), except for the following:
Property owners are not eligible to evaluate their OSS when a property is offered for sale. A Licensed Operation and Maintenance Specialist must be hired to perform these evaluations.
All gravity, non-pressurized mound (gravity mound), pressure distribution, pressure mound, and sand filter OSS may be evaluated by homeowners.
To determine your system type, refer to your OSS permit if you have a copy. The system type is usually noted on the front page.
Health Department documents related to On-site Sewage Systems (OSS) and Drinking Water in Whatcom County can now be found online. If there is no permit available for your OSS, it is most likely a gravity system.
We have developed the following Homeowner Online Septic Training (HOST) materials to facilitate online homeowner training and certification to evaluate your own OSS. Please follow the steps listed below to complete the process.
Please begin by reading the HOST study guide (This may take a minute or two to load)
Review the HOST presentation (This may take a minute or two to load - training certification form is located here)
Print the Homeowner Report of System Status (HROSS) evaluation form
After completion of your evaluation, please submit the Homeowner Report of System Status (HROSS) form and your Homeowner On-Site Sewage Operation and Maintenance Certification of completion to the Whatcom County Health Department (located within the HOST Presentation). As part of our on-going evaluation process of the Homeowner Operation and Maintenance Certification program, we are following up on the results of HROSS submittals. WCHD staff may contact you and make a site visit to review your evaluation.
For a fee of $0.15 per page, you may also obtain hard copies of the HOST study guide and HOST presentation from our office.
OSS Operation & Maintenance Rebate Program
Directions to make Sludge Stick or Scum Stick
Please contact us at Health_EH_Parcel@whatcomcounty.us if you have difficulty accessing the documents.