Title 5 itself

310 CMR 15  State Environmental Code, Title 5

Best bet

Septic Systems and Title 5, Mass. Department of Environmental Protection
Best source for all things Title 5 from the people who regulate it. Includes FAQ, forms, guidance and policies, regulations, and more

Massachusetts laws

MGL c. 21A, § 13
State Environmental Code; adoption; preparation of sewage disposal systems; enforcement of Code

MGL c. 21A, § 13A
System inspectors of on-site sewage disposal systems; penalty

MGL c. 111, § 31E
Individual sewage disposal systems; action on applications

MGL c. 111, § 127B 1/2
Installation of septic system; petition; agreement to provide services; costs

Additional Massachusetts regulations

310 CMR 11   
Environmental Code, application and administration

310 CMR 70   
Environmental results program certification


Title 5 Septic System Forms, Department of Environmental Protection

Selected case law

Tortorella v. Board of Health of Bourne , 39 Mass. App. Ct. 277 (1995)
Court stated that it was a "paramount obligation [of the Board of Health] to protect the environment." This demonstrates that Title 5 is considered part of the state's environmental code as well as its public health law

Vanderwiel v. Jones , 1996 Mass.App.Div. 184 (1996)
"Real estate broker violated MGLA c.93A when she mistakenly believed that the house she was selling had no sewage problems and had a Title V system and negligently convinced the buyer not to have a septic system inspection."

Web sources

Buying or selling property with a septic system, Dept. of Environmental Protection
If you are buying or selling property with a septic system installed, an inspection of the system may be part of the process. Certain types of ownership changes have different requirements. Learn what your requirements and rights are.

Massachusetts Title 5 septic rules, by Rich Vetstein, 2013.
Includes helpful information on getting an inspection, what is a conditional pass, what happens if your system fails, fees, certification, costs, and time required to install a new system.

Title 5/Septic systems: financial assistance opportunities for system owners, Dept. of Environmental Protection
These programs may help septic-system owners with failing systems.

View residential property tax credits, Dept. of Revenue
See section "Repair or replacement of failed cesspool or septic system credit (Title V)"

Print sources

Environmental Handbook for Massachusetts Conservation Commissioners, 9th ed., by Alexandra D. Dawson, Sally A. Zielinski, 2006, sec. 16.4.1

MAHB Legal Handbook for Boards of Health, MAHB, 1995. chapter 4

The Rivers Bill, Title 5 & More. MCLE, 1996

Title 5 Land Use Controls Revisited. MCLE, 1995

Title 5: New Solutions to Tough Problems. Mass. Bar Association, 1996



Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only


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Last updated: July 31, 2019