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If your sewer alarm goes off during our regular business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday please call the Operations Center at 360-817-1567, or City Hall at 360-817-1560. After hours, weekends or holidays call Sonitrol at 360-737-0592.

What You Need To Know About Your STEF or STEP System

If your home or business has a septic tank on the property, it is tied into the City of Camas sewer main as a part of the municipal wastewater treatment system. Solids collect in the septic tanks, and are pumped every 6-10 years by the City. The wastewater is filtered and sent out to the wastewater system. Residents can protect the wastewater treatment system, home plumbing systems, and the environment by not flushing items that do not degrade readily. Even products that claim to be "flushable", such as wipes, or feminine hygiene products, are not suitable for septic tanks or wastewater systems because they do not break down. Please flush wisely to protect pipes and the environment.

Septic Tank Effluent Pumping Systems (STEP)
The “STEP system” means a sanitary sewage system which utilizes a high head pump, alarms, and a control panel to pump grey water from a collection tank into pressurized mainlines.                                                        

Septic Tank Effluent Filter System (STEF)  
The “STEF system” means a sanitary sewage system which operates by siphonage instead of pumping and which contains a high-level alarm and electrical panel.

Identifying the System your Property Contains
The Homeowner can identify the system installed at their residence by looking at the alarm panel located on their residence.This panel will be approximately 12”x 12” if a STEP system, and 6” x 6” if a STEF system. The alarm is located on this panel and can  be depressed to turn off the alarm. 

Ownership of the STEP/STEF System
After inspection and acceptance of an installed STEP/STEF system on residential property, the City shall be the owner of all components of the STEP/STEF system with the exception of the sewer line from the structure to the tank, which shall be owned by the property owner. The City will be responsible for maintaining the components of the STEP/STEF system owned by the City, and in addition will be responsible for pumping the STEP/STEF tank and disposing of waste material when required.  The owner will be responsible for maintaining the sewer line connecting the tank to the structure on the homeowner’s property.  The owner will also be responsible for paying for all electrical costs associated with the operation of the STEP/STEF system. (City of Camas Ordinance 13.62.060)

The City and its employees need to have access to the homeowner’s property for the purpose of maintaining and inspecting the STEP/STEF system.

Damage to the STEP/STEF System 
The cost of repairing any damage to a STEP/STEF system which has resulted from the negligence, gross negligence, or intentional acts of the owner shall be the responsibility of the owner.  This responsibility includes  any clogging which may result due to improper use of the system by the homeowner. (City of Camas Ordinance 13.62.070)

Landscaping over STEP/STEF Tanks
The green riser lids cannot be covered by landscaping. The riser lid to the access chamber must be accessible at all times to insure proper and timely emergency and/or maintenance response to the system. Accessible means visible to the naked eye, and with a minimum of one-inch separation from the top of the riser lid to the adjacent ground surface. (City of Camas Ordinance 13.62.080)

The Top Five Most Asked Questions About Your STEP/STEF System: 

1. Is my residence tied into City sewer? Yes, even though you have a septic tank you are still tied into the City of Camas’ sewer main.

2. What is my responsibility? The City of Camas maintains the tank pump control panel and line leaving the tank going to the street. The homeowner maintains the line between the house and the tank. 

3. How often are the tanks pumped? The tanks are pumped every seven to ten years. The City of Camas is responsible for the pumping and routine maintenance of the tank. The homeowner should not put cleaning additives into their tank .

4. Why do the round, green sewer lids have to be exposed? The City of Camas maintenance workers need to know at all times where these lids are located so they can perform routine maintenance and respond quickly to emergency service calls.

5. What do I do if the alarm goes off? Call the Operations Center during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri. at 360-817-1567.  After hours, weekends or holidays call Sonitrol at 360-737-0592.  Please call immediately after silencing the alarm to prevent sewage back up at the residence.

Camas Public Works News

Public Works Administration
616 NE 4th Avenue
Camas, WA  98607
360.817.1563 - PRESS 1

Operations Center
1620 SE 8th Avenue
Camas, WA  98607

Engineering
360.817.1561

Inspection Line
(to request an inspection)
360.834.8860

Equipment Rental
360.817.1542

Sanitation
360.817.1564
hotline 360.817.1531

Street Department
360.817.1565

Water & Sewer
360.817.1567
For utility payments
or changes to accounts
360.834.2462

Waste Water Treatment Plant
1129 SE Polk Street
360.834.3263

After Hours Utility Emergencies
360.737.0592

Illicit Discharges (IDDE) Hotline
360.817.1565

Ecology
360.407.6300

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