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Tell Us What You Think About Proposed Onsite Code Revisions

Tacoma, Wash.— Greater efficiency and better customer service drove work to revise the rules for septic systems. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department wants public feedback on the proposed revisions to the onsite sewage section of the environmental health code. The Health Department received input on the revisions from septic industry professionals.

The Health Department is accepting public comment now until May 30 on proposed revisions. Submit your feedback:

Online— Look for the form toward the bottom of the page.
By mail—Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Attn: Code Revision Team, 3629 South D Street, MS 1034, Tacoma, WA 98418.
In person—Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, 3629 South D Street Tacoma, WA 98418. Give your feedback at the front counter.

After the comment period ends, the Health Department will compile a summary of the feedback and post it on our website.

“Our partners in the septic industry told us which parts of the code were challenging for them and their customers,” said Gary Porter, onsite sewage & well permitting program manager. “We listened, and the revisions reflect our agency’s responsiveness to customer service,” Porter said.

One example of how the revisions would streamline the process and improve customer service: the elimination of the need to notify the Health Department when making extended maintenance minor repairs. These are repairs that don’t require industry professionals to get a permit. The revisions allow these types of repairs to happen sooner for customers without added administrative requirements.

Other improvements from the proposed revisions:

Align local code with state code.
Clarify code intent and meaning.
Reduce delays in issuing permits to customers.
Address needs of industry stakeholder groups while maintaining adequate public health protection.
Save time and money for homeowners, industry professionals, and the Health Department.

To read the full text of the proposed code revisions, a summary of the revisions, and the current code, go to Look in the Chapter 2 Code Revision Document section. In 2018 and next year, the Health Department will revise other parts of the environmental health code.

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About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment in order to protect public health. We are one of only 163 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at

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