septic system management

Onsite Septic Management Plan Update

Jim's response to the following question from the Nisqually Valley News is below. What is your position on the new septic system tax? Why is it needed or not needed?

By state law as a Puget Sound county, we must have an Onsite Septic System (OSS) management plan in order to protect our water quality and improve the health of the Sound.  While property owners are responsible for the maintenance and operations of their own OSS, the County Board of Health is responsible for inventorying them all, including which ones are working well, protect areas with easily harmed groundwater, and educate the public on how to properly maintain an OSS.

Not all septic systems are created equal. Even a well-functioning modern system placed in the wrong soil types can pollute drinking water, rivers or the Sound even more than an aging or failing system that is correctly sited.  As a community, we have to work hard to protect our environment, while providing transparent and affordable regulations and fees so property owners can predict their costs.

The proposed update to the county OSS management plan is based on sound science and best practices. The goals set are strong, and coupled with the new fee schedule, attainable.  In fact, the new plan will reduce the costs of operating and licensing a septic system for the vast majority of property owners in the county over time. Because it is a fee, the money must be used to implement the OSS management plan and cannot be used to balance the general fund budget. With the proper citizen and commissioner oversight the new plan is a win-win for the environment and people of Thurston County.