There are increasing reports of unlicensed and uncertified individuals, or companies, soliciting and/or performing work on onsite sewage systems – without required permits – according to recent reports submitted to the Kitsap County Health District. The district reminds the public to be careful before hiring any individual or company to work on their onsite sewage system, and to verify that they are certified to do this work by checking the district’s Web site at www.kitsapcountyhealth.com.
State and local health rules require that permits be obtained to replace or repair onsite sewage systems (commonly known as septic systems), and that the people doing the repair work be certified and qualified. For many minor repairs no permit is needed, although a report of what work was completed is required to be submitted to the district for record keeping purposes.
Onsite Sewage Manager Dean Abbott noted, “If needed, there’s also funding assistance available to help people cover the costs of plans, installation, and fees – we readily help people get connected with these resources. We work with the owner and their certified contractors to ensure that the system is legally constructed so it protects wells, water systems, waterways, shellfish beds, swimming beaches, and neighboring properties from sewage contamination.”
Illegal contractors often require owners to pay them in cash so when the system has problems in the future, or is finally discovered, there is no paper trail to document the illegal installation or repair. Often times, they also construct the illegal system on a weekend or during the evening when they are less likely to be spotted by a Health District specialist. The owner is then left to fend for themselves, and often pay a second time to legally fix the system, while the bootlegger makes off with the cash. If the property changes ownership, the new residents may inherit the illegal system without any knowledge of the problem.
For additional information, contact the Health District’s Onsite Sewage Program between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at (360) 337-5285.