- Relevancy of Title V Regulation to a Real Estate Licensee
- Disclosure obligations under Consumer Protection Act 93A
- The impact to a seller and buyer in negotiating a P&S Agreement
- Public health issues
- Septic Systems: impact on water quality
- Massachusetts commercial lease clause impact
- Definition of a "Septic System"
- Mass. DEP: "on-site waste water disposal system that treats waste water usually under 10,000 gallons a day"
- 2010: Massachusetts had approximately 650,000 residential and commercial septic systems or 30% of all homes: There are no federal regulations.
- The Overview History of Massachusetts Title V
- DEP adopted Title V regulation 310 CMR 15.00 originally in effect 1975, revised Nov. 10, 1994 and revised again April 21, 2006.
- Beginning Jan. 1, 2007, system inspectors and soil evaluators will be requested to renew approvals every 3 years.
- Massachusetts towns may have independent Title V regulations. No state and town uniform codes.
- DEP's Goal: To provide sufficient information to make a determination as to whetheror not the on-site disposal system is adequate to protect public health and the environment
- Designing A System
- Review of a deephole test
- Review of a percolation test
- Discuss seasonal issues for the tests
- Massachusetts: 310 CMR 15.00 Effective March 31, 1995
- All on-site disposal systems must be inspected at or within 9 months prior to title transfer.
- Exemptions on residential properties: Title transfer between spouses, parents, children, siblings and revocable/irrevocable trusts or refinancing
- Validity: must inspect within 2 years prior to time of transfer with exceptions. Report is valid for 2 years or, if pumped each year, then valid for 3 years.
- Exceptions with revised rules: weather conditions; frequent pumping with records on file; exceptions for foreclosures or deeds in lieu of foreclosure; tax taking by government; levy of executors; bankruptcy; sales of condominiums; new construction or upgrades.
- Grace period of 6 months after transfer for inspection if weather conditions prevent inspection as stipulated by Code 310 CMR 15.301
- Title V triggered: within 2 years of a sale of property; change of use or footprint; design flow of 10-15,000 gals per day; every year for shared systems; a property is divided or ownership of 2 or more properties is combined or; by Mass DEP orders.
- Lenders still might require "holdback" if inspection is delayed.
- Discuss DEP interpretations of "weather conditions"
- Local Massachusetts Boards of Health standards may exceed state requirements.
- Massachusetts buyers and sellers may negotiate who will pay and who will perform the inspection.
- Inspections to be conducted by qualified and certified Title V Massachusetts professionals at state and local levels.
- Verify inspector's insurance and errors and omissions liability insurance
- Key Elements of a Report
- General layout of the system
- Type of use
- System operating correctly
- Water use records
- Description of system
- Evaluation of distribution box, tank, pumps and leeching field
- Vacant vs. occupied building
- Reporting responsibilities to Town Hall
- Within 30 days of inspections to be valid vs. voluntary
- By owner or facility operator
- Buyer and Seller may change responsibilities
- When a System Fails
- "Conditional" Title V certificate prior to repair or replacement
- Cesspool replacement issues
- Repairing vs. replacement and related costs
- Town Board of Health mandates
- Town options for sewer connections
- Discuss Alternative Technologies allowed by DEP
- Other issues: Setbacks with river/well/stream; could involve conservation
- Expansion of change of use. See January 1, 2007 Revisions to Title V
- Massachusetts Tax Credits and Financial Aid
- Massachusetts Tax Credit: January 1, 1997
- Tax credit for homeowner on primary residence only
- Cap of $1,500 per year and maximum overall credit of $6,000 for a four year period.
- Financial Aid with Farmers House Administration; Mass. Housing Homeowner Loan Program; Mass. 'betterment law" and state/town grants
- Large Commercial Systems
- 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
- No person shall discharge from the industry categories to any regulated systems.
- No system shall receive oil, hazardous materials or waste, medical wastes or radioactive waste.
- New Systems in Massachusetts
- Any change in use or expansion that requires building permit/occupancy permit triggers Title V.
- No new system shall be constructed and no system shall be upgraded ornexpanded 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
- Minimal septic tank size to be 1,500 gals but determined by Board of Health.
- Commercial septic systems are usually much larger and more complex than residential.
- Maintenance tips critical to the up-keep of a septic system
- Have tank pumped 1 time per year with garbage disposal use or every 3 years
- Keep record of pumping inspections and other maintenance
- Learn location of septic systems and drain field
- Keep commercial building sump pumps away from septic system
- Do not dispose of hazardous chemicals
- Review the impact on commercial leasing abilities for future tenants
- Practice water conservation
- Know the location of flow diversion valve and turn once a year: adds life to system
- Divert roof drains and surface water from septic system
- Do not park or drive over system
- Do not grow landscaping in area of septic systems
- Discuss the use of DEP approved tank additives
- Recommend to keep grease, plastics, gasoline, oil, paint, paint thinner, pesticides, antifreeze, etc. out of system
DEP: Title V Percolation and Deep Hole forms
DEP: Title V Official Inspection Form
MGL 131 Chapter 40
310 CMR 10.00
Title V Hotline available through Massachusetts Department of Public Health
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