Title 5 FAQs
Common Questions about Title 5 Inspections in Bellingham, MA
What is Title 5?
Title 5 is a regulation to ensure that septic systems (conventional septic systems, cesspools, and innovative/alternative systems) are protective of human health and the environment.
When is an inspection required?
In general, Title 5 requires an inspection at the time of property transfer or there is an expansion of the facility. For example, conversion of a retail store to a restaurant requires an inspection. See Septic System Inspections for details.
How long is an inspection valid?
For most property transfers, the inspection must occur within two years prior to the time of transfer. Exceptions to this requirement are: If a system has been pumped annually since its inspection, and pumping records are available, the inspection is valid for three years.
Who is responsible for obtaining the inspection and submitting results?
The property owner or facility operator is generally responsible for obtaining an inspection of the system. An inspection must be conducted by a MassDEP-approved System Inspector. The System Inspector must record the inspection results on the MassDEP-approved inspection form and submit the form within 30 days of the inspection. In most cases, the inspection report is submitted to the local Board of Health. Reports for large systems and shared systems must be submitted to both the local Board of Health and MassDEP.
Buyers’ rights in property transfers
Title 5 requires that a copy of the inspection report be provided to the buyer or other person acquiring title to the property served by the system. The inspection is intended to provide sufficient information to make a determination as to whether or not the system in its current condition is adequate to protect public health and the environment. The inspection, however, is not a guarantee that the system will continue to function adequately and is not a guarantee that the system will not fail at a later date.
Certified Source: © 2015 Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
What if I recently had my driveway paved?
If you have had your driveway paved, we recommend waiting six months to a year from the time of paving before your next septic service. Our trucks are very heavy and could damage your driveway if they drive on your driveway too soon.
What if I recently had my driveway sealed?
If you have had your driveway sealed, we recommend waiting at least two months from the time of sealing before your next septic service. Our trucks are very heavy and could damage your driveway if they drive on your driveway too soon.