Septic Maintenance Rebate Program

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.

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 neighborhood and for the community downstream.


What Rebates Are Available?

Standard Septic Rebates will provide:
  • $150 for evaluation or
  • $150 for equipment install or
  • $250 for pumping activities
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.

To qualify for the Standard Septic rebate, you must have a private residence with a septic system located in Whatcom County.
Septic Assistance Rebates* will provide:
  • $200 for evaluation and/or
  • $300 for pumping activities
  • $500 overall for both activities
You may be eligible to receive multiple rebates per application. Rebates for evaluation and pumping activities.

*To qualify for a Septic Assistance Rebate, the applicant must receive the Whatcom County Assessor’s Property Tax Exemption for Senior Citizens and People with Disabilities. Please visit
System Evaluation by a Licensed Professional
Equipment InstallationSeptic Tank Pumping by a Licensed Professional  
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.
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 systemPumping 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  

* For more information on the Septic Assistance Rebates Program, read our FAQs.

Scroll down for further information and instructions for receiving a rebate.

Rebate Eligibility and Application Steps

Rebate Steps FINAL(Online)

 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 completed a Whatcom County Health Department 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 (3) years.

2. Attend a Homeowner Septic Workshop or Complete a Refresher Training 

In-person training workshops are hosted by Whatcom County Health Department. You can find training dates and locations on their website: If you cannot attend an in-person session of the Health Department's Homeowner Septic Workshops you may take the training online. In order to be able to qualify for a rebate, homeowners who take the training online will also need to complete the homeowner training refresher quiz and submit it along with their rebate application.


If you have received a rebate before you need to meet one of these training requirements:

1) You have completed another 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 (included on page three of the rebate application), or                                

3) You have completed the online training and have completed the refresher quiz

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 your application.

4. Submit your Application and Copy of Invoice
Mail, e-mail, or drop off your completed and signed application and copy of your itemized invoice to the Whatcom County Public Works-Natural Resources Division.  

Click the links below to download the Rebate Application & Quiz 
English --- Spanish --- Punjabi --- Russian

Mail rebate application materials to:
Attn: Septic Rebate Program
322 N. Commercial Street, 2nd Floor
Bellingham, WA 98225

or email rebate application materials to:
[email protected]

Once your completed application and receipt have 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) 778-6267, or e-mail [email protected].

Whatcom County Health Department Homeowners Septic System workshops are required to become eligible for the septic rebate program. Here is a breakdown of options to receive a septic rebate:  

You have completed an in-person workshop within the last 3 years
You have completed an in-person workshop, but it has been over 3 years
You have completed the online training

Submit your rebate application with a copy of your invoice for work done on your septic system.

Make sure to put the date of the workshop you attended on your rebate application

Complete the refresher quiz and include it with your rebate application and a copy of your invoice for work done on your septic system.

Complete the Health Department’s online training and submit your application, quiz, and invoice now.

Please email [email protected] with any questions about these changes. 

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement PC-01J89801 to the Washington State Department of Health. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.