The Title V Septic Inspection: Helpful Information For Home And Property Owners

Title V refers to regulations created by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) in 1995 that govern septic system inspections within the state. The purpose of this legislation is to provide protection for the environment and especially for the waterways and groundwater systems vital to safe drinking water for residents. 

Information about each septic system, including the capacity, installation, and condition of each septic system is recorded and tracked under this legislation. Changes in property ownership, use, condition, and size can result in the need for a new Title V septic inspection with results being provided to local health agencies. 

Those who currently own homes or other property within the state may find the following information helpful in understanding and abiding by Title V regulations.

Exemptions to the rule

While most changes in homeownership will require a Title V inspection, there are a few exemptions, such as: 

  • when ownership is transferred from one spouse to another
  • when ownership is transferred between siblings or between parents and their child or children
  • when the property is part of a trust with one or more beneficiaries who are first-degree relatives

Changes of ownership among more distant relatives, such as between grandparents and grandchildren or between an aunt or uncle and a niece or nephew, do not usually fall within these exemptions and will likely require a Title V inspection to be performed. 

Confidential Voluntary Assessment 

Home and property owners in the state who have concerns about the condition of their septic system may be wary of having an inspection done because of concerns about how public records of a negative inspection might impact their property value or ability to sell. In these cases, the state offers property owners the opportunity to use a process call Confidential Voluntary Assessment. 

Under a Confidential Voluntary Assessment, property owners can proceed with a septic inspection without being required to report the results to their local health department. Instead, property owners are free to use the inspection process to determine if repairs and upgrades are needed to bring their septic system into compliance. Once the needed repairs or upgrades are made, a full Title V septic inspection can be performed as part of transferring ownership. 

Home and property owners who will need to have a Title V septic inspection performed must use an inspector who has been properly certified and licensed by the State of Massachusetts. Any necessary repairs or upgrades can also be performed by this certified installer. 

Learn more about title V septic inspections by contacting a septic service in your area.