What is Title V?

Title V (or Title 5) of the Massachusetts’s state Environmental Code administered by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) governs our state’s septic systems. While complex, this code regulates the design, construction, and operation of septic systems in our state to protect our environment, specifically our waterways. While people often think of Title V Inspections for a real estate transaction, Title V is not limited to only selling your home. Title V enforces regulations pertaining to:
  • Care & Maintenance
  • Repairs
  • Inspections
  • Upgrade Design & Construction
  • New System Design & Construction
  • Alternative Systems
Most people only think about Title V when they are selling their home or need a Title V Inspection for another purpose. But what is a Title V Inspection?
A Title V Inspection is intended to ensure the septic system is performing adequately to protect public health and the environment. Our inspector will inspect/remove all covers, manholes & cleanouts. This includes uncovering the distribution box. All is done by our team with as little disruption to your yard as possible. Sod is cut, dirt is tarped & the sod is returned to minimize evidence of your yard being disrupted. Our inspector will also visually inspect the plumbing in your home exiting to the septic system. This may include any water filtration systems / softeners or sump pumps, if any. These items should not drain into the septic tank. He will also need to know if you have a garbage grinder and interview you briefly to gather other pertinent information.

Our office team will gather necessary paperwork prior to the inspection to research your property specifics including but not limited to ground water, system depth/elevations, well location (if applicable – both yours and neighboring properties). Once the inspection is complete, we will file the final report at the Board of Health on your behalf. All inspection reports must be fully paid for and submitted to the Board of Health within 30 days of the inspection.

Inspection outcomes:

  • Pass: System is in good working order, no signs of failure
  • onditional Pass: The system violates one criterion but can be fixed with a simple repair or replacement of the broken component.
  • Further Evaluation is Required by the Board of Health: The Inspector is unable to determine pass or fail due certain criteria as set in the Title V Code pertaining various components or system types being located in close proximity to of a body of water, wetlands, drinking water supplies, etc.
  • Failure: A system will be considered to have failed if any if any criteria as indicated in the Title V regulations violates the code or violates town/city specific rules that may be stricter than the state Title V code. If you have a system that fails inspection, go here for more information on septic loans and tax credits for septic repair/replacement: Title 5/Septic Systems: Financial Assistance Opportunities for System Owners

For more information on Title V inspections, including pass/fail criteria visit: Guidance for the Inspection of On-site Sewage Disposal Systems

REMEMBER: Title V inspections are good for 2 years, 3 years if you pump annually – we strongly encourage you to have your system inspected before listing your home!

Hopkinton residents with well water – do not forget to book Able for your well water test! These tests are good for 5 years and are required when selling your home if you have well water.