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Massachusetts Title 5 Septic Requirements

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, April 23, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries, LLC - Septic System in Sturbridge, Fiskdale, MA

One of the first things to consider when selling a Massachusetts home is to understand the Title 5 septic system law if the property does not have public sewer.

When your home is being serviced by a septic system, one of the most important considerations is getting your Title 5 certification done because the last thing you want is a problem with your septic system.

It is important to get the title 5 inspection taken care of before putting your home on the market. At the very least the inspection should be done within the first few weeks the home is posted for sale. Anyone who has ever had a failed title 5 can tell you how challenging it is to deal with.

The financial burden that a failed septic system creates can be pretty substantial. The cost to put in a new title 5 compliant septic system can range from $10,000 to $50,000 or more depending on the soil conditions, water table and whether ledge is encountered.

Aside from the unplanned financial headache, it also involves excavating your yard to install a new system.

So what happens if your Massachusetts title 5 septic system fails and you do not pass the Title V inspection?

In the event that your septic system fails, you need to get in touch with an engineer and the local board of health in the town where you are selling your home. The engineer will determine if there is a “reserve area” on the original septic system design that would allow for additional leach trenches to be added.

If the engineer determines that a reserve area is not possible, then a new septic system design will have to be drawn up. The septic design will be based on the soil testing that will be done. These tests are known as “perks and deep holes.” The perk test will determine how quickly the soil leaches and the deep hole test will ascertain the level of the water table. Soils that have gravel are more suitable for septic systems than those with clay and rock. A higher water table also is not beneficial for septic systems. With a high water table you may need to have what is called a “raised system” where additional soils need to be brought in.

Once the septic system design is completed and approved by the board of health the next step is to send it out for bid to a few septic system installers. You should get at least three bids because estimates can vary.

For more information on septic system inspections and Title V, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


Septic Systems & Title 5 in New Construction

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, April 16, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries, LLC - Septic System in Sturbridge, Fiskdale, MA

Whether you're building a new septic system or upgrading an existing one, there are Title 5 requirements that apply to new construction. Title 5 requirements must be followed in order to prevent damage to human health and the environment.

System owner's responsibilities

It is always the system owner's responsibility to ensure things are done in accordance with Title 5 regulations. If you have questions related to building or expanding a new Title 5 system, you should contact your local Board of Health directly as they are the primary regulatory authority for new construction.

For new construction of a septic system, the first step is to go to your local Board of Health as well as your local Building Department. You will need to obtain permits from both separately. You should initially provide each department with a verbal explanation of what you're proposing.

Required approvals before starting construction

In your initial conversation with the Board of Health and Building Department, it is important to ask them what Title 5 requirements and local requirements must be complied with in your particular case, and what specific approvals are needed from them. Both Departments will give you applications to be completed and returned. Once the Board of Health and Building Department have approved your applications, they will send you a letter in writing that either a) approves the request, b) approves the request but with specific conditions that must be met or c) denies the request.

Also, the Board of Health will tell you whether MassDEP has to approve any of the applications. MassDEP reviews an application only after the Board of Health has made a final decision. You must ensure that all of the necessary approvals from the Board of Health, the Building Department, and MassDEP, if appropriate, are received before you or anyone else begins any work.

Depending on the type of work you're proposing and approved for, you may need to hire a licensed system inspector to verify the location of system components, and perform the necessary work. There can be a variety of professionals involved: designer, soil evaluator, installer, inspector. However, even if you've hired a licensed inspector or system designer to do the work, you as the system owner are always responsible for your system. As work is being completed, you should be getting regular and detailed information and receipts from the professionals you've hired. For more information, refer to the Local Septic Management Homeowner Checklist.

Contact Morse Engineering and Construction and your local Board of Health for more information.

Septic System Installation Services ARE Essential in MA

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, April 02, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries, LLC - Septic System in Sturbridge, Fiskdale, MA

The world has been put on-hold, but your construction project does not need to be. You can still begin your home construction site work and septic system design and installation.

On the list of Essential Services in Massachusetts, construction is mentioned a number of times as supporting other essential services, but a new section titled “Construction-Related Activities” was added. This means we can work and Morse Engineering and Construction is open for business and taking all necessary precautions.

While much of the work done in Massachusetts has shifted to being performed remotely, if at all, construction sites are still full of activity. At Morse we ensure that work is done safely. Specializing in the design, construction, repair, and replacement of on-site septic systems in accordance with Massachusetts Title 5 regulations, we can inspect, install, design or repair. Contact us for more information.