Septic Sewer Connection Guidelines

Sewer Connection Program Guidelines

Introduction
This guide is intended to provide general information for applying for financial assistance, the process required in abandoning your septic system and connecting to the Spokane County Sewer System. This is not an all-inclusive guide. There are items and situations that may not be covered. The Spokane Conservation District (SCD) assumes no responsibility for the property owner’s connection to the sewer.
Sewer Connection Assistance Program
The SCD’s Sewer Connection Assistance Program is designed to provide financial aid to property owners in the form of loans and grants. Property owners must apply and verify eligibility for funding. Eligibility is based upon household income levels and project benefit to ground or surface water resources. Below are the steps in the process.

Low-Interest Loans (eligibility)

  •  SCD will provide the following loan rates to qualified property owners determined by their income level and total cost of connection
  •  Five-year loan terms:

I. 3.6% for < 50% of Spokane County Median Household Income ($23,423 a year or lower).
II. 4.6% for 50 to 80% of Spokane County Median Household Income ($23,423 to $37,476 a year).
III. 5.6% for > 80% of Spokane County Median Household Income and for small commercial properties (over $37,476 a year).
*MHI – Median Household Income for Spokane County is $46,846 (2011 OFM preliminary data).

Small Grants (eligibility)

  • Available to lower income property owners
  • Financial loan officer will determine eligibility and award
  • Benefit to a ground or surface water resource

Program Steps
1. Contact the Spokane Conservation District (509-535-7274) to receive information regarding the sewer connection program and an application packet. Complete the application packet and submit it with all required documentation to Barry Tee, the SCD OSS Loan Officer. You will be notified within three (3) business days of your eligibility status. You can submit (hand deliver or mail) your application and all required documents to:
Spokane Conservation District
Septic Connection Program
210 N. Havana
Spokane, WA 99202

Required Financial Documentation
Applicants need to submit:

  • The completed and signed loan application
  • Most recent two months pay stubs. Please explain if your income is variable
  • Verification of any other income sources you would like considered in our credit decision

For those on Social Security or Disability:

  •  The completed and signed loan application
  •  In lieu of pay stubs, you will need to provide a benefit verification letter. This letter will serve as verification of your Social Security income. It can be obtained online at http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ or through the Spokane Social Security office at Suite 100, 714 N Ironbridge Way, Spokane, WA 99202, phone 1-800-772-1213
  • Verification of any other income sources you would like considered in our credit decision

2. Contact Qualified Sewer Contractors: Once you have received or downloaded the application form, the property owner should immediately contact several sewer contractors and collect three itemized project bids. The Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) has a list of professional septic contractors that are licensed and bonded. Or you can consult the telephone directory, under “Sewer Contractors or Septic Tanks & Systems-Cleaning”. Note: The SCD Sewer Connection Program requires that only a licensed and bonded Washington State Contractor will be allowed to make the sewer connection. Property owners will not be allowed to conduct the connection themselves. The SCD recommends that property owners get references to find a suitable and reputable contractor. The Spokane County Utilities Department offers the following suggestions in selecting a contractor for the job. (http://www.spokanecounty.org/faq.aspx?dept=130#FAQ513)

3. Submit Bids to SCD: The three bids must then be submitted to the SCD for review and faster approval for funding. All project costs should be contained within the original bid for workmanlike services.
Eligible Costs:
i. Connection permit
ii. All project labor and materials
a) Connection to sewer
b) Abandonment of septic system
iii. Landscape restoration to original condition (maximum of $1,000)

4. SCD Loan/Grant Agreement: A loan/grant agreement will be developed based upon eligibility of property owner. Once signed, the property owner can move forward and hire a sewer contractor to install the project and conduct workmanlike services.

5. Contractor Selection and Project Contract: The SCD will review the bids to assure the contractors are qualified, visit the project site, and then work with the sewer connection contractor to develop an agreement for the project completion and financing.

6. Letter of Credit: A letter of credit from the SCD will be issued to the selected septic connection contractor for workmanlike services. The letter is a guarantee of payment from the SCD once the work is completed and verified.

7. Obtain Necessary Permits: The SCD OSS Program requires the contractor/property owner to obtain all required permits to conduct connection to County Sewer System. The contractor/property owner must go to the Spokane County Public Utilities Building (4th Floor) to obtain a sewer connection permit (valid for one year) and schedule a date with the Spokane County Utilities Division (509-477-7529) to have an inspector visit the site and inspect the completed connection and septic tank abandonment. The SCD further requires that the septic tank abandonment be completed the same time the connection is completed. The tank must be pumped and filled with sand, pea gravel or native soil (according to applicable state and local rules and regulations (i.e. WAC 246-272A-0300).

8. Landscape Restoration: After the inspection, the trench will be back-filled and restored to its original site condition.

9. Project Completion/Verification and Payment: The contractor/property owner will notify the SCD of the project completion. SCD staff will visit the site and verify that the project and all workmanlike services have been completed. In addition, the SCD requires the following to satisfactorily close out the project and release final payment. The SCD will issue a check directly to the contractor or the property owner as contractually agreed.
SCD Payment Requirements:
i. County Inspection Notice approving the connection (copy or original)
ii. Contractor(s) invoice for all workmanlike services
iii. Copy of all receipts documenting project expenses
iv. Project completion and verification by SCD staff

10. Loan Repayment: The property owner will provide any required loan repayments according to the agreed upon repayment schedule

*Any expenses incurred prior to completing and signing an SCD contract for a grant or loan cannot be reimbursed.

All SCD Programs and Services are offered without discrimination