Living Green Olympia: Thurston County Property Sellers with Septic Systems Have New Rules

Thurston County Property Sellers with Septic Systems Have New Rules

Thurston County, WA has new rules in place impacting the ownership transfer of any property in the county with a septic system, for sales taking place after September 1, 2010.  Owners will need to complete a "Time of Transfer (Sale) Application" from Thurston County and pay a $170 fee (except in a few scenarios like inheritance, foreclosure, court-ordered transfer etc).  The purpose of the new rules is to identify failing septic systems in order to protect public health, and it will also improve the available records on systems in the county.

Along with the application, the owner will need to have their system inspected/pumped by a county certified pumper, and the pumper's report will be sent to the county too.  Since there are many older septic systems in Thurston County with incomplete info in the records, this new rule will add a wealth of additional data about the systems out there.  Sketches of systems, if not already on file at Thurston County, will also be submitted with the application.

Our NWMLS forms will now include a Thurston County septic system addendum that has been modified to reflect this county requirement, as well as making the reports available for review and approval of the buyer.  So buyers will have more information about the septic system serving the property they are buying, and assurance that it is operating properly.



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Nancy Conner, City Realty Inc,    360-701-1086      

Comment balloon 4 commentsNancy Conner • September 03 2010 06:06PM


Good morning Nancy,

Glad Thurston County wants to keep things out of the toilet... Seriously, I think it's good to update septic requirements, especially with older systems.  Have a good Labor Day weekend.  

Posted by Cherise Selley, Colorado Springs Realtor (Selley Group Real Estate, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Good morning to you too Cherise!  And yes, Thurston County has quite a few older systems without much in the way of records, so this will begin to get some necessary updates made - & hopefully catch some of the systems that need help.  (Since all our water comes from the ground aquifers, that's a good thing!!).  What are you doing for Labor Day weekend? 

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA almost 10 years ago

I'm not real familiar with septic systems - but when visiting friends at their Georgia lake home in the mountains, I became very aware of them.  Has to be a good thing to get a handle on who has them, where they are, and what condition they're in.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Hi Margaret!  I think many people moving to the Olympia area are surprised at just how many homes do have septic systems as the city sewer doesn't extend out very far at all.  Thurston County does put on a really good class on how to take proper care of a septic - so at least people don't inadvertently cause their system to fail ('cause that's expensive as well as a real hassle).

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA almost 10 years ago