More communities in Western Washington now have access to low interest loans to replace aging septic tanks.
The Department of Ecology said there are more than one million privately owned and operated septic systems in the state of Washington and many homeowners may not know their system needs to be replaced.
“I didn’t know anything was wrong until the King County Health Department sent me a notice that the overflow of sewage was exposed on my property,” said Marna Soldano who owns a home in Renton.
Soldano recently learned her septic system was leaking raw sewage, which is a dangerous health and environmental hazard.
“When a septic tank leeks the pathogens, viruses and pharmaceuticals that we ingest they go into our water system directly without any filtering,” said Danielle DeVoe who works for the Washington State Department of Ecology. “When the polluted water reaches our steams anything that’s in the water gets infected whether that be our fish, animals or kids playing in the creek coming into contact with everything we are flushing down the toilet.”
While Soldano had her septic pumped regulatory, annual maintenance would have exposed the toxic problem before it spilled over.
“I had no clue that it had gone to that extent,” she said. “I didn’t know there was sewage on top of the ground.
But replacing a septic system can be very costly and in Soldano’s the bottom line was more than $30,000 dollars.
“It freaked me out - it’s horrific - it’s a lot of money,” said Soldano.
The state Department of Ecology, The Washington State Department of Health both partner with non-profit lender Craft3 to provide affordable loans to residents like Soldano.
“If it wasn’t for that I don’t know what I would have done,” she said. “The house probably would have eventually been red tagged and shut down cause I don’t know what I would have done.”
The state says the affordable loan program is low interest and covers the whole process. According to non-profit Craft3, the loan is available in Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum and Whatcom counties.
Keeping your septic system clean and healthy helps our communities and environment remain vibrant.