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?

System Evaluation by a Licensed Professional (up to $100)
Septic Tank Pumping by a Licensed Professional (up to $200)Equipment Installation 
(up to $100)
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.
Pumping 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.
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 system

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. 

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 

Homeowner Training During COVID-19 Restrictions
Due to COVID-19 

During COVID-19 restrictions in-person training workshops have been suspended. Until in-person workshops resume, if you have never attended 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.

For more information about training options for rebate eligibility during COVID-19, please see the "Septic Rebate Program Under COVID-19 Restrictions" section. 


If this is your second time receiving a rebate you need to meet one of these training requirements:
1) You have completed a 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 attended a second workshop once in-person workshops resume.

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 Receipt
Mail, e-mail, or drop off your completed and signed application and copy of your receipt 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: Rebate Program
322 N. Commercial Street, Suite 110
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) 778-6230, or e-mail [email protected].

Septic Rebate Program Under COVID-19 Restrictions

Whatcom County Health Department in-person septic system workshops have been postponed until further notice. These workshops are required to become eligible for the septic rebate program. On a temporary basis, we are able to offer these options:  

You have completed an in-person workshop within the last 3 years (in 2019)
You have completed an in-person workshop, but it has been over 3 years
You have not completed an in-person workshop

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.

Wait until the in-person workshops resume and submit your application after you have completed the training. 

 Rebate applications can be received for 12 months after the work on your septic system has been completed. Grant funds will still be available for rebates after in-person workshops resume.

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-01J18001 through the Washington State Department of Health. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency or the Washington State Department of Health, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.