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It’s easier than ever to get your septic system inspected

Selling your home is a busy, stressful time. And if you have a septic system, you’ll need to remember to get it inspected before the deal closes. 

We’ve heard from residents and realtors who asked us to streamline that process. We listened and made improvements! We think sellers and buyers alike will benefit from simpler applications and faster turnaround times. 

What exactly is an RSS?

If you have a septic system in Pierce County, you need to get a Report of System Status (RSS) when you sell your home. We provide RSS reports to indicate the current condition of your system. This process protects our water quality and makes clear how well your system works. 

In the past, it could take more than a month to complete an RSS. Those days are gone! 

We’ve added staff to help us process RSS reports faster, and we now aim to complete them in 10 business days or fewer. We’ve also gone paperless, so you can do the whole thing online.

You don’t have to wait until closing to request an RSS. In fact, we recommend you don’t. You can take care of it ahead of time to make the sales process quick and efficient.

How to request an RSS

Getting an RSS is easy. The first step is to contact a certified septic service company to request an Operation and Maintenance (O&M) inspection and tank pumping. Be sure to tell them the inspection is for the sale of the property. The report is valid for six months.

Next, submit an RSS application with your fee. Create an account at tpchd.org/o_and_m/. You can complete an application online, in person, or by mail. Include a check or money order. Print applications at tpchd.org/septic.

Once you file the application, our staff will visit your property to inspect the drainfield and reserve areas and check that your system complies with code. If everything checks out, we’ll fax, mail or email you the report.

Get to know your septic system

All septic systems need routine maintenance. The cheapest system you’ll ever own is the one you have now, so it pays to give it the TLC it needs. 

If you know where your system is and what kind you have, it’ll be easier to manage, prolong its life and save you money.

You can find record drawings, permits, and inspection reports that list the type of system and components and information about your property at eco.tpchd.org. Enter your address number and street, parcel number, or Service Request Number from your most recent RSS.

We want to help

We heard from many of you, including our partners at Tacoma-Pierce County Association of Realtors, who asked us to streamline the RSS process. 

Septic inspections are vital to public health and clean water. We do an average of 5,000 RSSs a year, and about 500 result in a system repair. That benefits home buyers, who can rest easy knowing their new system works.

We always want your feedback. We’re happy to talk to large groups or organizations. Contact us at ehsepticsystems@tpchd.org or you can email me, the water quality and protection program manager, at ccooley@tpchd.org. You can also contact environmental health specialist supervisor Randall Olsen at rlolsen@tpchd.org

When it’s time to sell your home, remember we’re here to make your life easier and protect our environment!

An environmental health specialist examines soil.