Financial assistance programs help Clark County residents in need of onsite sewage system maintenance and repairs

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This Septic Smart Week, Clark County Public Health is reminding homeowners of the importance of keeping onsite septic systems up to date on inspections and maintenance.

By ensuring systems are in good condition, owners can protect their property’s value and avoid needing costly emergency system replacements. Public Health recommends homeowners work with county-certified professionals to complete system inspections and get advice about maintenance, repairs, or onsite septic system replacement.

“Addressing small problems and taking corrective actions will avoid bigger problems down the road,” said Chuck Harman, Environmental Public Health program manager. “By doing so, onsite septic owners protect their investment, maintain a sustainable wastewater treatment method, and protect groundwaters that serve as Clark County’s primary drinking water source.”

Several financial assistance programs are available to help Clark County residents cover the costs of onsite sewage system maintenance, repairs, and replacement.

Clark County Community Services’ Housing Preservation Program assists with deferred, low-interest, flexible loans for onsite sewage system repair and maintenance. Over the past 15 years, the program has funded 48 septic repair or replacement projects totaling nearly $640,000, with an average loan amount of about $13,000.

Here are some Clark County projects funded through the Housing Preservation Program:

  • In August 2019, the program provided financial assistance for a homeowner in the Washougal River Watershed to install a 1,000-gallon septic tank. The two-bedroom home utilized a well and needed to decommission the old septic tank. The total project cost was nearly $11,000.
  • In October 2017, the program provided more than $19,000 to replace a simple gravity system and 1,000-gallon tank. The two-bedroom home is in the Gibbons Creek area of Washougal, and the property presented challenges due to the slope of the land where the drainfield was located.
  • In January 2019, the program helped a property owner in the Salmon Creek Watershed to replace a failing simple gravity system and 1,000-gallon tank. The three-bedroom home is located on a ¼-acre lot with multiple trees and roots. The contractor was able to save all the trees, including a large old maple tree, and complete the project.

Visit the Community Services website for more information about the Housing Preservation Program or contact Dawn Lee at 564.397.7811 or

A new local program, Poop Smart Clark, now has funding available for septic system repairs in select areas of Clark County. The grant-funded program is administered by Clark Conservation District and provides financial assistance to people with septic systems in areas near polluted streams.

Poop Smart Clark reimburses up to $130 for inspection costs and $500 for pumping and repairs, and now up to $20,000 for a limited number of full septic system replacements or major repairs. Assistance is available for property owners in specific watersheds of the East Fork Lewis River.

The program runs through fall 2024. Visit the Poop Smart Clark website for more information.

To learn more about these financial assistance programs and others, and for a list of certified professionals, visit the Public Health website.