A system with certain components which need repair or replacement can qualify for a conditional pass on the inspection report. Upon completion of replacement or repair of the specific system component, and with the approval of the Board of Health, the system will pass inspection.
Examples of system components eligible for a conditional pass include:
- A metal or cracked septic tank,
- A broken or obstructed pipe,
- An uneven distribution box,
- A malfunctioning pump chamber.
- Soil absorption systems and cesspools cannot be repaired under a conditional pass.
If a system fails inspection and the owner decides not to sell as a result, the owner still has an obligation to repair the system.
A failed system must be upgraded within 2 years, unless the local Board of Health or MassDEP authorizes an alternative schedule.
The septic system inspector is responsible for determining that the system meets or fails Title 5 standards as of the date of the inspection. If a system fails shortly after a sale, the buyer may have legal recourse, but it may be very hard to prove that the system was in failure at the time of the inspection.