STEP Information

STEP stands for Septic Tank Effluent Pump. Most customers' household waste goes directly into our sewer collection pipes; waste from customers on STEP systems doesn't. Instead, household wastewater spends time in a STEP sewer system before heading out to the main sewer collection lines. There is a "STEP in-between" flushing your toilet and wastewater being transported to the treatment plant.

How does my STEP System work?

Your STEP system includes a holding tank for sewage, a screen chamber, and a small, high-pressure pump within the tank. The liquid waste is pumped through a small pressure line into sewer lines leading to the LOTT Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The STEP system pump is controlled by a system of floats within your tank. The electrical box mounted on the side of your house controls the floats and pumps. The floats activate an alarm in the electrical (alarm) box when the fluid level in the tank gets too high or too low.

Why must my tank riser lid be visible?

This helps us locate your system quickly in an emergency situation. A hidden or inaccessible lid means that your STEP system cannot be serviced.

  • Tank lids must remain visible and must NOT be covered by sod, shrubs, or bark and maintain a 24-inch clearance.

  • You can place items weighing less than 30 pounds, (e.g., birdbath, potted plant, or other yard decoration) on the lid, as long as they can be easily removed for maintenance.
  • It is possible that major landscaping items, e.g., shrubs and trees that obstruct access to the tank lids may be damaged during the performance of operation and maintenance activities. In accordance with the STEP system easement, the owner waives any claim against the City for damage to said items in the case where work by the City is done in a reasonable manner.

Can I hide my alarm box?

No. You must maintain a a 3-foot clearance around and in front of the electrical (alarm) box. This means no shrubs or fences can block the box. This allows technicians to access the box to perform routine and emergency maintenance.

I am putting up a fence, is there anything I should know?

Yes please make sure your alarm box is located in front of your fence line. Why? Because if your alarm box is located behind a fence, we cannot perform maintenance unless you are home.

Emergency Contact Information:

To Report an Alarm 24 hours a day: Call 360.753.8333 


Contact Information: