Septic Maintenance Rebate Program

Clean water is essential for human health and for the health of fish, shellfish, wildlife, and livestock. Everyone, including you, is in a watershed right now. A watershed is an area of land where all of the water drains to a common point, such as the mouth of the Nooksack River.  Activities in our watershed affect the water quality of streams, rivers, and bays.   

Maintaining your septic system is part of the solution to improving water quality in your community and downstream.

Septic Rebate Program Under COVID-19 Restrictions


Whatcom County Health Department in-person septic system workshops have been postponed until further notice.  These workshops are required to become eligible for the septic rebate program.  On a temporary basis, we are able to offer these options:

  1. If you have already completed a Health Department workshop in the past three years, you may submit your rebate application with a copy of your invoice.  If it has been longer than three years, remember to complete the refresher quiz before submitting your application.
  2. If you have not completed a workshop, you may:
    • Wait until the in-person workshops resume and submit your application after you have completed the training.  Rebate applications can be received for 12 months after the work on your septic system has been completed.  Grant funds will still be available for rebates after in-person workshops resume.
    • Complete the Health Department’s online training and rebate quiz and submit your application and invoice now.  You will be eligible for a $75 rebate for an evaluation or a $150 rebate for septic tank pumping completed by a certified professional.

Please email lrobison@co.whatcom.wa.us with any questions about these changes.

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Evaluating and Maintaining Septic Systems Costs Money...We Can Help!

Having your system regularly inspected and performing maintenance tasks saves you money in the long run and helps protect our waters, but we understand that it takes time and money right now.  The septic rebate program can reimburse you for costs associated with a system evaluation, installation of operation and maintenance equipment, or septic tank pumping.

Funding is limited and rebates will be awarded on a first-come, first served basis until funds are exhausted.


What Rebates Are Available?

Rebates are available, based upon actual costs, for system evaluations, installation of equipment, or septic tank pumping. You will need to choose one rebate activity per property.

System Evaluation by a Licensed Professional (up to $100, $75 for online training)

Evaluations are required every 1-3 years depending on the type of system you have. Replacing a failing septic system can be very expensive. Inspections are important because they can reveal minor problems in the system before they turn into major, expensive problems later.

Septic Tank Pumping by a Licensed Professional (up to $200, $150 for online training)

Pumping is a type of maintenance that may be identified in your inspection. The inspector will measure the solids in your septic tank. Your septic tank needs to be pumped when the solids in the tank make up about 1/3 of the total tank volume.

Equipment Installation (up to $100, $75 for online training)

Equipment such as risers and lids, baffles, or outlet filters can help with the effectiveness and ease of operation and maintenance activities for your septic system.

Rebate Steps Graphic FINAL-01
1. Am I Eligible to Receive a Rebate? 
If you own a private residence with a septic system and can answer yes to the following questions, you are eligible for a rebate.

ü  I own a private residence with a septic system located in Whatcom County.

ü  I have attended a Whatcom County Health Department In Person Homeowner Septic Training.

ü  I have hired a licensed specialist to complete one of the three eligible rebate activities in the past year.

ü  I have not received a septic system rebate for this property in the last three years.

2. Attend a Homeowner Septic Workshop or Complete a Refresher Training 
During COVID-19 restrictions, if you have never attended a Health Department Septic Workshop, you may complete the online training provided by the Whatcom County Health Department and rebate quiz (attached here with the application).  Once you have completed the online training and quiz, you can take the next steps.

OR
 
If this is your second time receiving a rebate you need to meet one of these training requirements:
1) You have completed a Health Department workshop in the last 3 years, or
2) You completed your Health Department workshop more than 3 years ago and you have completed the refresher quiz (attached to application document) or attended a second workshop.

3. Hire a Licensed Professional
Select a licensed professional from the Health Department’s list to complete an eligible rebate activity. We recommend contacting more than one licensed professional to obtain the best service and pricing. Work must have been completed within one year of submitting application.
 
4. Submit your Application and Copy of Receipt
Send, e-mail, or drop off your completed and signed application and copy of your receipt to the Whatcom County Public Works-Natural Resources Division. 

Click Here for the Rebate Application & Refresher Quiz
 
 
Attn: Rebate Program
322 N. Commercial Street, Suite 110
Bellingham, WA 98225

e-mail: PICProgram@co.whatcom.wa.us
phone: 360.778.6230

Once your completed application and receipt has been received by Whatcom County Public Works, you will typically receive a rebate check in the mail within 4-6 weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions. If we’ve missed one of your questions, try our FAQs below, give us a call at (360)778-6230, or e-mail PICProgram@co.whatcom.wa.us.

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement PC-01J18001 through the Washington State Department of Health. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency or the Washington State Department of Health, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.