Sewer Connection Incentive Program (SCIP)

Toilet - Connect to Public Sewer

Is your home on a septic system? If so, we invite you to learn more about Vancouver’s Sewer Connection Incentive Program (SCIP). SCIP provides an easy and affordable solution to septic owners in our service area who are ready to make the connection to our safe, reliable public wastewater system.

The City of Vancouver is working to protect and enhance the quality of our urban water resources, improve wastewater service and eliminate environmental health problems. The Sewer Connection Incentive Program (SCIP) was developed to help eliminate water quality and service problems from failing septic systems by replacing them with safe, public sanitary sewers.

About the program:
  • The Sewer Connection Incentive Program provides for construction of sanitary sewers while offering easy and affordable financing to homeowners.
  • The goal of the program is to protect our water resources and assist homeowners in removing septic systems, especially systems that are failing or aging.
Why is this program important:
  • Failing septic systems are a potential source of increased pollution to our water resources.
  • Failing septic systems often don’t fully treat waste, which can then migrate to a nearby stream, lake or shallow drinking water well.
  • In extreme cases, failed drain systems can result in untreated waste in yards, creating a major health hazard.
How the program works:
  • The City of Vancouver works with Clark County Public Health to select projects based on a rating system that looks at local health hazards, proximity to drinking water supplies, proximity to surface water, septic tank failure rate, coordination with roadway improvement projects and homeowners’ support for the project.
  • Once a project is selected, the City of Vancouver will design and construct a sanitary sewer extension in the street and bring a lateral line – a pipe from the sewer main – near the private property line. It generally takes about 9 months to a year from the time the project is selected until construction occurs. All residents will be notified by mail when construction of the sewer line and laterals are complete.
  • If you decide to connect to the sewer system, you will need to hire a plumber. The plumber will connect the lateral line to your house plumbing and decommission the old septic system. Please see the Costs section for additional information.
Are you required to connect to the new system:
  • Unless your septic tank is failing, you are NOT REQUIRED to connect at this time.
  • In the future, as state, federal and local regulations become more stringent, connecting to a sanitary sewer may become mandatory.
  • There are NO costs to you UNLESS you CHOOSE TO CONNECT to the sewer system. The following information is for property owners who DO wish to connect.
  • The City of Vancouver provides an up-front, two-year-guaranteed sewer main line fee, for single family residential properties, for the in-street construction before a neighborhood decides to support the project.
  • For those who do connect, the City of Vancouver provides low-interest financing for all related costs through its Sewer Connection Incentive Program.
  • Financing costs can be spread out in monthly payments over as much as 20 years.
  • A payment deferral system is available for those who are economically disadvantaged.
  • Under this program and based on current fees, estimated costs for a single family property would be:
    • A portion of the sewer line costs* – $9,600 (two-year guarantee for single family property)
    • System Development Charge – $2,740 (for a single family residential property)
    • Average estimated plumber costs – $4,000
    • Application fee –  $25 (City) | $122 (County)
    • Plumbing permit fee** – $66 minimum (City) | $94 (County)
    • Recording Fee – $100 (City)
    • * You will not be charged more than the actual construction costs. The guarantee quoted for a neighborhood will be good for two years following the completion of construction. After two years, the sewer main line fee will be the actual per lot cost or the two-year guarantee for that year in which the connection is being sought, whichever is less.
    • **Please contact the Permit Counter at (360)487-7804 for a plumbing permit estimate.
  • When you are connected to public sewer, you will receive a bill every two months for your sewer usage. A typical two-month sewer bill for 2017 is about $96 for single-family residences in the City and about $144 for single-family residences outside the City, with actual costs determined by your winter water usage.
If you are selling your property:
  • Those who sell their property after connecting to the public sewer system are required to pay the remaining balance of the loan at time of sale if utilizing the City’s financing program.
  • Lending agencies traditionally require connection to public sewer if/when ownership of a parcel transfers from one party to another.