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About Massachusetts Septic System Regulations (Title 5)

Homes that are not connected to a local sewer system use septic systems or cesspools, both of which are regulated by the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and local boards of health. Local boards of health are the primary regulatory authorities; however, the DEP is involved in certain approvals.

A septic system has a tank, a distribution box, and soil absorption system commonly known as a "leach field" or "leaching field." A cesspool has a pipe carrying waste from the home to a pit that distributes liquid waste.

Improperly functioning septic systems and cesspools are a major cause of the pollution of our coastal waters, rivers, and water supplies. Since 1995, the state environmental code governing septic systems, commonly referred to as Title 5 regulations, has required inspections of septic systems and cesspools prior to a home being sold or enlarged. This inspection also includes a soil evaluation test, which a DEP-approved soil evaluator must perform. In most instances, systems that fail inspection must be repaired within 2 years.

Wherever feasible, a failed system must be upgraded to full compliance with Title 5. If this is not possible, in many instances the local Board of Health is authorized to approve a "Local Upgrade Approval" that brings the system as close to full compliance as possible in accordance with certain minimum criteria. In such cases, homeowners must apply to a local board of health for a variance from Title 5 regulations.

Cesspools that exhibit signs of hydraulic failure, are located extremely close to private or public water supplies, or otherwise fail to protect or pose a threat to public health, safety or the environment will need to be upgraded. Also, cesspools must be upgraded prior to an increase in design flow (i.e., the addition of a bedroom).

For more information about septic systems, Title 5 regulations or cesspools, please contact us today.

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Client: Leigh H.
"Buyers Brokers Only, LLC made my home-buying process painless from start to finish. I was well-informed throughout the entire process, and I didn't have to hire a separate attorney because they do it all!"

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"I just have to say Thank You. You made the entire process as easy and painless as I wanted it to be. You answered all questions and had valuable insight. "

Client: Alexis V. & Michelle T.
"... as we continue to settle down in our new home, we cannot stop marveling at our good fortune. With your patient assistance, we found a lovely home. You were wonderful to work with, and we will always recommend you to anyone we know who is looking to buy a house."

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"Thank you so much for all your hard work & dedication in helping me to find the perfect condo. You will never know how much it means to me!! Thank you for being so patient with my 50 million questions about everything!! You have been such a blessing through this whole process, and I could never have done it without your constant guidance & help!!"

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Our coverage area includes: Barnstable County, Bristol County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Norfolk County, Plymouth County, Suffolk County, and Worcester County in Massachusetts. Rockingham County, and Hillsborough County in New Hampshire. The following are just some of the Massachusetts cities and towns where we provide real estate buyer agent services: Acton, Abington, Amesbury, Andover, Ashland, Ayer, Avon, Barnstable, Bellingham, Belmont, Berlin, Beverly, Billerica, Bolton, Bolyston, Boston (including, East Boston, Charlestown, North End, South Boston, Dorchester, West Roxbury, Roxbury, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, Chinatown, South End, West End, Back Bay, Allston, Brighton and Beacon Hill), Bourne, Boxborough, Boxford, Bradford, Braintree, Bridgewater, Brockton, Brookline, Burlington, Cambridge, Canton, Carlisle, Carver, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Cohasset, Concord, Danvers, Dedham, Dover, Dracut, Dunstable, Duxbury, Essex, Everett, Fall River, Falmouth Fitchburg, Foxborough, Framingham, Georgetown, Gloucester, Grafton, Groton, Groveland, Hamilton, Hanson, Harvard, Haverhill, Hingham, Holbrook, Holliston, Hopedale, Hudson, Hull, Ipswich, Lakeville, Lawrence, Leominister, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Lowell, Lunenburg, Lynn, Lynnfield, Malden, Manchester, Marblehead, Marlborough, Marshfield, Mashpee, Maynard, Medfield, Medford, Medway, Melrose, Mendon, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, Millbury, Millis, Milton, Nahant, Natick, Needham, New Bedford, Newbury, Newburyport, Newton, North Andover, Northborough, Northbridge, North Reading, Northbridge, Norfolk, Norton, Norwood, Norwell, Peabody, Pembroke, Pepperell, Plainville, Plymouth, Quincy, Randolph, Reading, Revere, Rockland, Rockport, Rowley, Salem, Salisbury, Sandwich, Saugus, Scituate, Sharon, Shirley, Shrewsbury, Somerville, Southborough, Stoneham, Stoughton, Stow, Swampscott, Taunton, Tewksbury, Topsfield, Townsend, Tyngsborough, Upton, Uxbridge, Wakefield, Walpole, Waltham, Wareham, Watertown, Wellesley, Wenham, Westborough, West Boylston, West Bridgewater, Westford, West Newbury, Weston, Westwood, Westport, Weymouth, Whitman, Wilmington, Winchester, Winthrop, Woburn and Worcester, Wrentham, Yarmouth. The following are just some of the New Hampshire cities and towns where we provide real estate buyer agent services: Atkinson, Brentwood, Derry, Dover, Durham, East Kingston, Epping, Exeter, Greenland, Hampstead, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Hollis, Hudson, Kingston, Londonderry, Manchester, Nashua, New Castle, Newmarket, Newton, North Hampton, Pelham, Plaistow, Portsmouth, Raymond, Rye, Salem, Seabrook, Stratham and Windham.

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