Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection

If you live in the State of Massachusetts and own a home that has an on-site sewage system, otherwise known as a septic system, chances are you have at least heard of a Title 5 Inspection. This guide will cover absolutely everything you need to know about getting a Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection, what you can expect when you get one and what to do about the results.

What is a Title 5 Inspection?

The State Environmental Code is in charge of inspecting every stage of the process with regard to Massachusetts residential septic systems, including the design, construction, expansion, inspection and placement. Throughout the State of Massachusetts, the Title 5 code is administered locally by the Board of Health in each city. Which means that if you live in the city of Middleboro, you would deal with the Middleboro Board of Health.

What is the Purpose of a Title 5 Inspection?

A Title 5 Inspection is designed to ensure that your septic system is running efficiently, that it has been properly pumped and maintained and that there are no issues with regard to the construction or use of it. A Title 5 Inspection is required for residential septic systems each and every time you sell your home. A Title 5 Inspection is also required for specific types of renovations or remodeling projects.

How Do I Get a Title 5 Inspection?

You need to hire a licensed, certified septic system inspector, such as All-Clear Septic & Wastewater in Acushnet, Massachusetts. They service customers all over Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island and are certified to do an official Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection. After the inspection, the technician will submit a copy of the report to the Board of Health. Depending on the findings of the inspection, the Board of Health will either accept the inspection, reject it due to findings or send out an enforcement order compelling the home owner to comply.

What Can I Expect During a Title 5 Inspection?

If you need a Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection and you’ve never personally experienced one before, it can be a little nerve-wracking to worry about what the inspector will find. Every part of your septic system will be inspected, including the septic tank, distribution box and cesspool. Your drain field will also be checked during this process. The inspector will try to locate all of the components for your system and check for signs of hydraulic failure. Construction will be checked, determining where the high groundwater elevation is located and the overall design flow of your system. In some cases, the inspector will request that the homeowner get the “as-built” plans that are held on file at the Board of Health, or to see pumping and/or maintenance records for the last two years in order to complete the report. Make sure you have everything available or can get the required information if it is requested by the inspector.

What Do the Results Mean?

There are three results provided from a Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection: pass, conditional pass or fail. What happens next depends upon your results and what the inspector suggests in his report.

  • PASS – A passed Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection of residential septic systems is good for two to three years, depending on your pumping schedule. The Board of Health will not need to do anything if your system is passed. Inspection information must be shared with the buyer – whether it is passed or failed – if you are in the process of selling your home.
  • CONDITIONAL PASS – A conditionally passed Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection is an indication that some component of your septic system has broken down or failed and needs to be replaced. Examples of this would be a crushed pipe, a septic tank that is leaking, a distribution box that has failed or a broken baffle, among other things. The good news is that the repairs that are required for a conditionally passed system to become Title 5 compliant are usually substantially less expensive than what it would cost to completely replace the system under a failed inspection. Under a conditional pass, once the repair has been made it becomes Title 5 compliant and achieves a passing result. A new report is submitted to the Massachusetts Board of Health to show that the system has now passed the Title 5 inspection.
  • FAIL – A failed Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection of residential septic systems can go one of two ways. If it is determined that your system poses a threat to public health, you will need to replace or repair your system within a specific allotted amount of time. However, if your system failed, but is not considered a threat to public health, the inspector will give you two years to complete all of the work necessary to get it to pass. The work can only be done by a septic system repair technician that is licensed and certified in the State of Massachusetts. Soil testing will need to be completed and a new septic system that will work better with your home and usage will need to be designed and installed.

Can I Get a Private Inspection to Check My System?

Yes. The State of Massachusetts allows certified Title 5 Inspectors to do what is known as a Confidential Voluntary Assessment. This evaluation will not be reported to the Board of Health or any other government office. This gives the homeowner the opportunity to make repairs or upgrade their system in advance of having their system inspected for the sale of the home or any other reason.

Who Should I Call to Check and Maintain My System?

All-Clear Septic & Wastewater in Norton, Massachusetts is a very good choice for any homeowner or business owner in Southeastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island. All-Clear is licensed and certified to perform Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection and Confidential Voluntary Assessments of your septic system. All-Clear has a wide range of Preventative Maintenance programs that can help you keep your septic system under control to avoid costly repairs or replacements as a result of neglect or improper septic use. Call All-Clear Septic today for information about the services they provide or to set up an appointment.

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