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Financial assistance for on-site sewage/septic systems

Learn about loans or grants for on-site sewage/septic systems.

On-site sewage/septic system loans and grants

There are different programs that offer financial help if your sewage/septic system fails and needs repair or replacement.

The Craft3 Clean Water Loan Program

Craft3 is a local nonprofit, non-bank, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). They provide loans to help businesses, families, and communities in Oregon and Washington.

Craft3 offers Clean Water Loans to repair or replace failing on-site sewage systems. Many public and private partners support these loans, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Washington.

Learn more about Craft3

If you qualify, you may use the loans to repair or replace failing on-site sewage systems. The loans may cover the full cost of designing, permitting, installing, and maintaining your system. This could also include the cost of connecting to a public sewer, when permitted by the County.

Owner and non-owner occupied properties are eligible. This includes commercial, secondary, rental, and vacation properties. Businesses, nonprofits, and individuals are eligible to apply if they meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • The on-site sewage system is failing
  • The on-site sewage system is at least 25 years old
  • Property owner has been contacted by Health Officials and/or is under order to fix the on-site sewage system

Special rates and deferred payment options may be available for low-income homeowners.

How do I apply?

Apply at You can also email, or call 1-888-231-2170.

Other grants or loans for low-income homeowners

King County Housing Repair Program

The Housing Repair Program provides interest-free loan and emergency grant services to low- and moderate-income homeowners in King County. This allows homeowners to repair their homes and help preserve our region's stock of affordable housing.

This program also provides grants to individual low-income renters with a disability to help make their housing more accessible.

For more information, call 206-263-9095 or visit Housing Repairs Program.

Habitat for Humanity Home Repair Program

Habitat's Home Repair Program works with homeowners who need help with critical repairs that will ease health and safety issues. Any King County property owner can apply for financial help for a septic repair.

For more information, call 206-453-2950 or visit Habitat for Humanity's Home Repair Program.

USDA Rural Housing Service Program

Also known as the Section 504 Home Repair program, this provides loans to very-low-income homeowners to repair, improve, or modernize their homes. This can also provide grants to elderly very-low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards.

For more information, call 360-428-4322 extension 4 or visit USDA Housing Service Program.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan requirements

Lending institutions have the responsibility to determine who is of 'due diligence' or 'qualified' to perform an inspection.

  • In 1996, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Circular Letter 96-01SF was issued by the HUD Seattle Office. It stated:

    On-site Well and Septic Inspections. FHA's policy of requiring the local Health Authority's approval of the well and septic systems has been revised. Now, FHA will accept on-site inspections performed by either the local health authority or "state licensed engineers." In the State of Washington, "state licensed engineers" included State licensed sanitarians, and county approved well drillers and septic system designers. Licensed sanitarians are qualified to inspect both private well and septic systems, while the "approved" well drillers may inspect only wells and septic designers may inspect only septic systems. (January 26, 1996, page 10.)
  • In 1997, the HUD Home Ownership Center issued a new policy guidance document stating that it is the lender's responsibility to ensure on-site sewage/septic systems are permitted/approved and "adequate to service the property.”

    While the current policy does not list qualified individuals, the past Circular Letter 96-01SF noted above is used as guidance by the lending institutions.

For more information, contact the HUD's Processing and Underwriting Division in the Home Ownership Center toll free at 1-888-827-5605.

Veteran Administration (VA) loan requirements

VA loans allow only local health department sanitarians to perform an inspection, if requested by the appraiser.

  • In 2001, Circular 26-01-5, "Local" Requirements for VA Notices of Value was issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It states:

    Every Washington state property with an individual sewage disposal system requires evidence from the local health authority (or other source authorized by VA) that the system is acceptable. (June 20, 2001, page 9.)

    No other source has been authorized by the VA for Washington state.

For more information, contact the VA's Washington Regional Office at 206-220-6163.

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