Become certified to inspect your own septic system with free 2-hour class

Photo: Whatcom County Health Department

The Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) is offering training to certify homeowners to conduct required inspections of their residential septic systems. The free 2-hour workshop will teach homeowners the necessary steps to confirm their septic systems are operating properly and be trained in the steps to complete a septic system evaluation.

Since WCHD began offering the classes in 2009, over 5,800 homeowners have been trained to do their own septic system inspections, reducing the financial burden on homeowners to complete these required, routine checks of their system. Approximately 14% of all septic inspections completed annually are done are by homeowners according to a WCHD announcement.

Septic system inspections ensure the system is functioning well so sewage and wastewater, and the disease-causing bacteria they contain, don’t leak or spill into the surrounding environment. About 2-3% of evaluated systems need to be replaced each year, but most evaluations identify minor problems before costly repairs or system replacements are needed.

Septic systems must be evaluated either annually or once every three years, depending on the type of system according to the WCHD. Evaluations are often completed by a licensed specialist, and in some cases the evaluation must be completed by a professional. But, in other cases, the evaluation can be done by the homeowner.

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The July 19th training will be held at the Whatcom Education Credit Union Education Center at 5659 Barrett Road from 6pm to 8pm. Pre-registration is required by contacting the health department at (360) 778-6000 and registration is limited to 50 participants.

A free, online training is also available for homeowners who wish to be certified. More information on trainings and operating and maintaining septic systems can be found at


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