Effective January 1, 2013, the on-site sewage system (OSS) operation and maintenance (O&M) program will be funded by a new annual OSS fee. The Whatcom County Council approved the 2013 fee schedule, which includes a new $19 annual OSS fee that will be included on property tax statements starting in 2013, and collected through the Treasurer’s Office with property tax payments. The fee will support our existing O&M program, and replaces the $35 OSS Report of System Status filing fee, and the septage surcharge of $3.00/100 gallons pumped that was collected from licensed pumpers. The annual fee will provide a more stable funding source and evenly distribute the cost of the program to all OSS owners. In addition, this method of fee collection will be more efficient, by eliminating staff time for receipting of individual reports and billing licensed pumpers.