COOMWA opposes Rules at “Time of Property Transfer” for OSS when no such inspection/reporting is required for sales of properties on sewer systems

The State Department of Health is recommending more … and more stringent … Rules when selling a property served by OSS. COOMWA is fighting hard to oppose the changes. OSS owners should not be held to a higher standard than those served by sewage systems.

There is scientific data to indicate that sewage systems are more harmful to the environment. Functional OSS are organic, using the tank to mitigate over 80% of waste before entering the soil which neutralizes remaining effluent. Sewers move waste to treatment facilities that use chemicals. In many cities in Washington, those treatment plants overflow, putting raw sewage into open water. In addition, sewer lines can deteriorate or break, putting untreated sewage into the ground.

The State of Washington has designated the Department of Health to oversee Rules related to OSS. It is the Department of Ecology that oversees sewage systems. This delegation of duties makes it difficult to have scientific standards between the OSS and sewers.

WAC246-272A currently states:
Section 0270 Operation, monitoring, and maintenance—Owner responsibilities.
1.(k) At the time of property transfer, provide to the buyer, maintenance records, if available, in addition to the completed seller disclosure statement in accordance with chapter 64.06 RCW for residential real property transfers.

Recommended changes:
Section 0270 Operation, monitoring, and maintenance—Owner responsibilities.
1. (k) At the time of property transfer:
(i) Provide to the buyer, all available OSS maintenance and repair records, in addition to the completed seller disclosure statement in accordance with chapter 64.06 RCW for residential real property transfers;
(ii) Obtain an inspection, as required in WAC 246-272A-0260, by an inspector authorized by the local health officer, unless the local health jurisdiction has evidence that an inspection occurred within the previous twelve months. The local health officer may verify the results of the property inspection for compliance with WAC 246-272A-0260; and
(iii) Obtain an inspection of proprietary treatment products per the product manufacturer recommendations, as required in WAC 246-272A-0260, by an inspector approved by the local health officer unless the local health jurisdiction has evidence that an inspection occurred within the previous twelve months. The local health officer may verify the results of the property inspection for compliance with WAC 246-272A-0260.
(iv)Submit the results of the inspection to the local health jurisdiction using the department approved property transfer inspection report form, as required by the local health officer. The local health officer may require a compliance schedule for repair of a failure discovered during the property transfer inspection.

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