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The City of Lynden has partnered with Whatcom County Health and Whatcom Conservation District to launch a Septic Smart Campaign.

The purpose of the campaign is to provide financial incentives for septic system owners to maintain or convert their systems to City of Lynden sanitary sewer.        

Failing on-site sewage systems (OSS) or septic systems within the city limits represent a potential source of pollution to Lynden waterways.

According to the press release, there are currently 167 OSS within Lynden city limits.

These systems require regular maintenance and, according to the Health Department, should be regularly evaluated for proper function. 

This Septic Smart campaign aims to motivate City residents with OSS to evaluate and maintain their septic systems either by a professional or on their own, and to decommission their OSS and connect to sewer using the City’s Septic to Sewer program.

Launching this Septic Smart Campaign will increase awareness, motivate homeowner to evaluate and maintain their septic systems, and encourage some eligible homes to connect to City Sewer.

The Septic Smart campaign is built upon education and outreach efforts to inform Lynden residents with OSS of their eligibility to participate in incentive programs offered by the City and Whatcom County.

Whatcom County offers a septic rebate which will reimburse certain costs associated with a system evaluation, installation of operation and maintenance equipment, or septic tank pumping.

Rebates are available, based upon actual costs, by a licensed professional, for system evaluations (up to $100), installation of equipment (up to $100), or septic tank pumping (up to $200).

One rebate activity will need to be chosen for each property. 

Lynden established a Septic to Sewer Program (STS) in 2016 because of the concern of potential pollution from failing systems.

This program provides eligible property OSS owners in the Lynden a financial incentive to connect to the City sewer system by waiving the connection (FCI) charges, currently $7,126 for a single-family residence.  

Lynden Mayor Scott Korthuis said that the City of Lynden is “committed to good stewardship of the environment which includes ensuring good water quality in the streams and rivers that run through our community.”

“I’m quite proud of our award-winning wastewater treatment system and want to make sure that community residents who have septic systems are aware of their responsibilities and know about the great opportunity offered through the city’s Septic to Sewer Program,” Korthuis said.

Proper handling of sanitary sewer is vital to water quality in the City of Lynden and also important for those who live downstream, the press release stated.

Proper treatment can be accomplished by a well-maintained OSS, or by converting and connecting to the City’s sewer collection system and wastewater treatment plant.

For more information about the Septic Smart Campaign or Septic to Sewer Program, visit lyndenwa.org/septic or call the Public Works Department at 360-354-3446.