1. Septic Systems: Impact on Water Quality
    2. Massachusetts Commercial Lease Clause Impact
    3. More Complex with commercial properties due to septic system sizes
  2. Massachusetts: 310 CMR 15.00 Effective March 31, 1995
    1. All on-site disposal systems must be inspected at or within 9 months prior to title transfer.
    2. Exemption on refinancing or change of ownership among same partnership or spouse.
    3. Grace period of 6 months after transfer for inspection if weather conditions prevent inspection as stipulated by Code 310 CMR 15.301
    4. Lenders still might require "holdback" if inspection is delayed.
    5. DEP interpretations of "weather conditions"
    6. Local Massachusetts Boards of Health standards may exceed state requirements.
    7. Massachusetts Buyers and Sellers may negotiate who will pay and who will perform the inspection.
    8. Inspections to be Conducted by Qualified and Certified Title V Massachusetts professionals
    9. Massachusetts Tax Credit: January 1, 1997
      • Goes to Homeowners
      • Cap of $1,500 per year and maximum overall credit of $6,000 for a four year period.
    10. Reporting Responsibilities.
    11. "Conditional" Title V certificate.
    12. Massachusetts towns may elect to connect to town sewer on failures.
    13. Alternative Technologies
    14. Setbacks - River/Well/Stream
    15. Expansion of Structure or change of use.
  3. Large Commercial Systems
    1. Systems with design flow of 10,000 gals/day or greater but less than 15,000 gpd/day
      • To be inspected frequently
      • May require issuance of groundwater discharge permit
      • May require the installation of technology capable of discharging effluent which meets Class I groundwater standard.
      • Most impact on commercial/industrial properties
    2. No person shall discharge from the industry categories to any regulated systems.
    3. No system shall receive oil, hazardous materials or waste, medical wastes or radioactive waste.
  4. New Systems in Massachusetts
    1. Any change in use or expansion that requires building permit/occupancy permit triggers Title V.
    2. No new system shall be constructed and no system shall be upgraded or expanded if it is feasible to connect the facility to a sanitary sewer.
      • Exceptions to the rule
      • Remedial use of an alternative system
      • Variances and special approvals
      • Grand-fathering on industrial category users
    3. Minimal septic tank size to be 1,500 gals.
      • Remember Commercial Septic Systems Are Usually Much Larger and More Complex than Residential.

Critical to the up-keep of Septic System

  1. Have tank pumped 1-2 times per year.
  2. Keep record of pumping inspections and other maintenance
  3. Learn location of septic systems and drain field
  4. Keep commercial building sump pumps away from septic system.
  5. Do not dispose of hazardous chemicals
  6. Impact on commercial leasing abilities for future tenants.
  7. Practice Water Conservation
  8. Know the location of flow diversion valve and turn once a year: adds life
  9. Divert roof drains and surface water from septic system
  10. Do not park or drive over system
  11. Do not grow landscaping in area of septic systems
  12. Do not use commercial septic tank additives
  13. Keep grease, plastics, gasoline, oil, paint, paint thinner, pesticides, antifreeze, etc. out of system

Suggested Handouts:

  • Title Question and Answer Document, 1/96
  • Subsurface Sewage Disposal System Inspection Form 4/25/97

Reference Material:

  • MGL 131 Chapter 40
  • 310 CMR 10.00
  • Title V Hotline available through Massachusetts Department of Public Health