Septic Systems and Wells


Septic Systems and Wells

The Health Department enforces the 310 CMR 15.00 of the state Environmental Code Title V: Minimum Requirements for the Subsurface Disposal of Sanitary Sewage. Originally adopted in 1978, title V was completely rewritten and revised in 1995. The new regulations took effect on March 31, 1995, with the exception of the soil evaluation provisions which were implemented on January 1, 1996.

The role of the Board of Health in enforcing the Title V regulations is to:

  • Review preliminary and definitive subdivision plans, as well as plans for individual septic systems, to ensure appropriate citing and designs.
  • Witness and record the results of deep hole observation and percolation tests
  • Consider and act upon applications for permits to install, modify and repair septic systems with design flows of less than 10,000 gallons per day.
  • Inspect septic systems installations, repairs and upgrades to determine their compliance with Title V of the State Environmental Code.
  • Ensure proper septic system construction and appropriate handling of septage by considering and acting upon annually renewable permits for disposal works installers and septage transporters.
  • Order corrective measures and take necessary enforcement actions when Title V violations are found.

Copies of the Title V Code can be purchased from the Health Department, Room 210, City Hall for $9.65.

Local Regulations:
In Addition to the Title V code, Massachusetts General Laws, c..111, section 31 authorizes local Boards of Health to adopt septic system regulations equal to or more stringent than the State Codes. The following are local regulations pertaining to septic systems that the Haverhill Board of Health has adopted. A copy of these regulations can be obtained through the Haverhill Health Department.

  • Licensing of Septic Installers, dated 2/3/87
  • Dye Testing Fee, dated 1/24/89
  • Waste Haulers Regulation, dated 4/26/89
  • Septic Systems for Condos/Duplex Housing, dated 4/24/90
  • Distance Regulations Title V, dated 11/24/87
  • Submission of Definitive Subdivision plans, dated 1/16/96
  • Percolation and Deep Hole Regulation, dated 5/27/2014

Fees Associated with Septic Systems:

  • $150 per percolation test (2 percs and 2 deep holes) additional test are $100.
  • $225 Design review & construction permit (upgrade)
  • $350 Design review & construction permit (new)

Except where variances are specifically prohibited (310 CMR 14.41) and for schools, the Board of Health may vary the provisions of the 1995 Code when enforcement would be manifestly unjust and the applicant can prove that the proposed system design achieves the same degree of environmental protection as the 1995 code. A description of the variance procedure can be found in 310 CMR 15.410-15.422