Industry News

Enhanced septic records search tool will ease siting of ADUs

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King County recently unveiled a new septic records search tool that enables Realtors to view septic system and Group B water system records on file with Public Health – Seattle & King County. The streamlined tool was developed with assistance and input of the On-site Sewage/Septic System Technical Advisory Committee, said broker Pam McCain, who represented REALTORS® on the committee.

Pam McCain

The new portal will make it easier to find septic and water system records on file with Public Health and to site ADUs because it includes an informational layer that shows sewer boundaries, explained McCain, a managing broker at John L Scott Real Estate’s Covington – Kent – Maple Valley office. McCain is also a longtime member of the Seattle King County REALTORS® Governmental and Public Affairs Committee. 

The tool links to digitized and digital records from early 1960s to present. Information was compiled from septic records and sewer connection information provided by utility districts and is updated as new information becomes available. All King County Group B records are available digitally.

Among the features of the new user-friendly search tool are:

  • A Layers List for interacting with map layers;
  • A Legend that opens a panel showing the map legend for all visible operational layers.
  • A Basemaps Gallery that includes a set of more than a dozen choices with streets, cities, parks, aerial photos, etc. from many different years.
  • A Feature Information panel with detailed information for a selected map feature, such as links to septic maintenance records via OnlineRME and documents associated with septic or Group B Water System records.

McCain said the streamlined tool marks an improvement from King County rules and will make it easier to site ADUs because the informational layers show sewer boundaries which will help identify the best opportunities to build ADUs that can be served by sewer.

Washington State’s Department of Health permits all new Group B water systems and will permit such a system to support two parcels by designing the system for four connections (two connections for each parcel). King County requires all water systems serving two or more parcels to be permitted as a Group B public water system. Group B systems serve fewer than 15 service connections and fewer than 25 people per day. New or expanding Group B systems must be approved by the State Department of Health or a local health jurisdiction.

King County requires all water systems serving two or more parcels to be permitted as a Group B public water system. The health department’s permitted configuration will allow each property the option of one connection for the main residence and a second for an accessory dwelling unit or provide an additional connection for a neighboring property in the future.

The On-site Sewage/Septic System (OSS) Technical Advisory Committee brings together industry partners and impacted parties to participate in OSS policy development and problem resolution. Their work contributes to a common understanding of OSS policies and best practices and helps maximize the public health benefit provided by the King County OSS Programs.

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