Funding for Local Loan Programs
On-site sewage systems — such as septic systems — are an excellent way to treat residential or small business wastewater in areas where a sewer system is not available. Failing on-site sewage systems (OSS) threaten Washington’s drinking water supply, which primarily comes from groundwater. They also hurt Washington’s multi-million dollar shellfish industry, which anchors the economies of many rural communities.
A failing OSS can be expensive to repair or replace. In Western Washington, a new conventional system can cost $15,000 or more; the cost for an alternative system can be a lot more. Since many of the soils in this part of the state require the use of alternative systems, property owners can find themselves facing a bill they may not be able to afford.
Local programs are here to help
We provide funds to local governments to set up low-interest loan programs to repair or replace failing OSS. These loan programs make loans to property owners unable to qualify for conventional bank loans and to owners of marine waterfront property where failures might directly affect Puget Sound.
The Water Quality Combined Funding program provides funding for this program.
These funds come from two sources:
- Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF): Loans can be used by counties and cities to, in turn, loan money to land owners to repair or replace failing OSS.
- Centennial Clean Water Fund: Grant funds can help defray some of the operating costs and lending risks for these programs. Counties and cities can use the grant funds to cover operating costs for the program, small grants to property owners, and to establish a loan loss reserve account to cover their obligations if a property owner defaults on a loan.
The OSS program includes both the Regional On-Site Sewage System Loan Program and Local Loan Programs. Both programs and appropriate contact information are found below.
The Regional On-Site Sewage System Loan Program
The Regional On-site Sewage System Loan Program (RLP) provides financing for the repair and replacement of OSS through Craft3, a non-profit third-party lender. The RLP is a partnership between us, Department of Health (DOH), local counties and health departments, and Craft3.
Loans through the RLP are available in the following counties:
- Grays Harbor
Craft3 offers affordable Clean Water Loans to help property owners repair or replace their failing septic systems and — if approved by the county — to connect to municipal sewer systems.
Loan features include:
- Financing the full cost of designing, permitting, installing, and maintaining your septic system
- Competitive interest rates and no up-front costs
- Highly inclusive for a range of incomes and property types (including commercial and non-owner occupied)
- Deferred payment options may be available for homeowners with lower income.
- A $2,000 reserve to support the system’s ongoing health
For more information, or to apply for a loan, contact:
*Craft3 is an equal opportunity lender, provider, and employer. Not all applicants will qualify. Craft3 NMLS ID#390159
Local Loan Programs for individuals with failing Onsite Sewage Systems
We provide funding for OSS local loan programs run by local governments — such as county health departments. The local government uses our funding to provide loans and grants to individuals for the repair and/or replacement of OSS.
Each program is a little different. Some governments include educational workshops, septic surveys, and rebates in addition to a financing program.
Is there a program in my area?
Local loan programs exist on both the east and west sides of the state. While most Puget Sound counties have joined the Regional Loan Program (RLP), San Juan and Skagit Counties continue their independent programs. Spokane Conservation District in Eastern Washington also runs a successful OSS repair, replacement, and connection local loan program.
San Juan County
San Juan County provides financing for OSS repair and replacements throughout the county, focusing on failures posing risks to public health or water quality.
Environmental Health Specialist II
Loans are available county-wide, with priority given to properties that drain to shellfish harvest areas, marine waters, bodies of water with water quality concerns, and groundwater protection areas.
In addition to the loan program, Skagit County:
- Offers septic education classes that are funded in part by grant dollars.
- Supports the Clean Samish Initiative and County Clean Water programs and the Marine Recovery Areas efforts.
Skagit County Treasurer’s Office
Spokane Conservation District
Spokane Conservation District offers loans for homeowners to repair or replace their failing septic system, or connect to existing sewer lines. The program is offered county-wide, and may include grants for homeowners who qualify under hardship criteria.
Water Resources Program Manager
509-535-7274 ext. 224
IT Specialist and OSS Loan Officer
509-535-7274 ext. 233