The Thurston County Board of Health will hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday (June 14) to receive testimony on a series of recommended updates to the on-site septic system management plan.
The hearing will be in Building 1, Room 152, at the courthouse complex, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia. The plan, which has been proposed by an advisory committee but hasn’t been adopted by the Board of County Commissioners, is designed to protect the county’s drinking water, officials say.
“The plan would fund septic system education to all residents in Thurston County, help staff find and make sure that failing or deficient septic systems are repaired, and ensure that any problems with a home’s septic system are corrected before the home is sold,” stated a news release from the county.
One of the biggest changes: Replacing the way the county collects certain septic fees with an annual charge to all septic owners via their property statements.
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The tiered fee structure ranges from $22 to $66 a year, depending on location of the septic system and documented water-quality problems in the area. A 50 percent discount would be available for senior citizens and disabled residents.
“It charges the highest amount for septic systems in Marine Recovery Areas or other special area, an intermediate amount for septic systems in Puget Sound watersheds that are not special areas, and the lowest amount to septic systems in the Chehalis watershed,” states a draft resolution for the Board of Health to consider.
Under the plan adopted in 2008, septic fees are collected for operational permits, pump reports, time of transfer application and charges in a shellfish protection districts, according to a county fact sheet.
There are about 53,000 septic systems in the county. The proposal was the subject of community meetings held Dec. 5 in Olympia, Dec. 9 in Rainier and Feb. 11 at Griffin School.
See the plan at co.thurston.wa.us/health/ehomp. For information, call Thurston County Environmental Health Septic Help Line at 360-867-2669.