On-Site Sewage Program

On-Site Sewage System Operation & Maintenance Program

Our on-site sewage program provides services to help ensure safe treatment and disposal of wastewater in areas of San Juan County not served by municipal sewage treatment plants. The program provides technical assistance to property owners and contractors, including information on siting, design, installation, operation, and maintenance of on-site sewage systems.

In order to protect the groundwater and marine and freshwater resources and the public health of San Juan County and to prevent costly repairs and future failures to their on-site sewage systems property owners are required to have their system inspected on a periodic basis beginning in 2009.


The inspection must be completed by either a licensed wastewater inspector or a certified homeowner who has attended a homeowner training class presented by San Juan County Health & Community Services.

Gravity systems need to be inspected every three years unless located in a designated sensitive area (usually areas surrounding commercial shellfish growing enterprises). All other systems that include but not limited to pressure systems, sand filters, mound systems, gravity systems located in designated sensitive areas and aerobic treatment systems are required to be inspected on an annual basis.


Effective in 2014, the On-Site Sewage System Inspection Report filing fee has been replaced by a $10 fee collected with the property tax on parcels that have septic systems.

Health & Community Services is offering a Homeowner O&M (Operations & Maintenance) Class so property owners can become certified to inspect their own on-site sewage systems. Classes are offered one to two times per year in the spring and/or fall and are typically held on San Juan Island and Orcas Island.

You may become certified to inspect your own sewage system if you have one of the following system types:

  • Gravity
  • Pressure distribution
  • Sand filter
  • Mound

“Proprietary” systems (i.e. Advantex, Glendon, Nuwater, Orenco, etc.) must be inspected by a certified inspector. Please see the “Contractor Listings” below for a current list of inspectors serving San Juan County.

San Juan Island

There are no classes open for registration at this time on San Juan Island. Please check back later. 

There are no classes open for registration at this time on San Juan Island. Please check back later. 

If you would like to be notified when the next class is scheduled please send an email to Chelsea Parrott at chelseap@sanjuanco.com with the following information:

  1. Name
  2. Phone number
  3. Email address
  4. Whether you would attend a class on San Juan or Orcas Island. 

Regulations & Program Plans

Last updated: September 25, 2023