Title 5 Inspections

Title 5 Inspections

Title 5 InspectionsAre you buying or selling a home and think the Massachusetts Title 5 Requirements are confusing?  Here is some information to help you through the process of a Title 5 Inspection.

In general:  On-site system inspections are required:

  • When properties are sold, divided or combined.
  • When there is a change in use or an expansion of a facility.
  • When MassDEP or the local Board of Health requires an inspection.
  • Title 5 requires inspections for large systems, shared systems, and condominiums on a periodic basis. Systems located in cities and towns with MassDEP-approved inspection programs are required to comply with local inspection requirements.   There are always exceptions to the rule, but these are general guidelines.Many people ask who is responsible when the septic system fails and needs to be replaced.  The owner or operator of the system is the legally responsible party required to upgrade a failing system. Prior to transfer of the property, this is typically the seller. Often, the buyer and seller work out the financial issues as part of the sale of the property. Title 5 does not require that a system be in passing condition prior to the sale, but most lenders will not issue a mortgage until the failing system is upgraded or funds to perform the upgrade are escrowed.

    Inspections are valid for a certain period of time. Inspections required in connection with a property transfer generally are good for two years. If a property is sold more than once in the two-year period, the single inspection is valid for all transfers. When a system is pumped on an annual basis and the pumping records are available, an inspection is valid for three years.

    How do I have my system inspected if I am selling the property in the middle of the winter?

    If weather conditions prevent an inspection before a sale, Title 5 allows the inspection to be done up to six months afterwards, provided that the seller notifies the buyer in writing of the need to complete the inspection.

    There are many components included in the system inspection.  General layout of the system components (location of the building sewer, septic tank or cesspool, distribution box and leaching field);  Type of use (e.g., house, school, retail space), Title 5 design flow, and whether the facility is presently occupied;  Analysis of the criteria specified in Title 5 that indicate system failure, and, for large systems, those which indicate threats to public health and the environment; Water use records from the previous two years, if available;A description of the septic tank, including its condition, approximate age, thickness of grease/scum layer, and other relevant information;A characterization of the distribution box and dosing tanks with pumps, if any, such as condition and evidence of solids carryover or backup; and The condition of the soil absorption system including, any signs of hydraulic failure.

    The property owner or facility operator is generally responsible for arranging an inspection. However, prior to the time title is transferred, the seller and buyer may contractually assign responsibility for the inspection, provided that it occurs within the specified timeframes.

    The completed Inspection Form must be submitted within 30 days of the inspection, in most cases to the local Board of Health. Inspection Forms for state and federal facilities must be sent to MassDEP. Both MassDEP and the local Board of Health get copies of the Inspection Form for large systems and shared systems (310 CMR 15.301(10)). 

     The buyer of the property receives a copy of the completed inspection form as well as the seller.

    Visit www.allclearseptic.com for more information or call 508-763-4431

  • This blog was posted on www.allclearseptic.com on December 16, 2015.
All Clear Septic

Septic Maintenance- Part 3

All Clear SepticAnother way to prevent unnecessary stress on your system is to know how many appliances are hooked up to your septic system and when they are operating.  Washing machines, dishwashers, showers, baths, and hot tubs all use a large quantity of water, and should never be used at the same time.  This large quantity of water, if drained all at the same time, has the possibility of stirring the solids in the bottom of the septic tank which can then make it to the drain field which reduces the effectiveness of the field and may clog the system.  If you can, do not use showers, washing machines and dishwashers at the same time.  This will allow the water to flow into the septic system and drain normally without stressing the system.  Hot tubs should never be drained into the septic system.  To drain it,  let the water cool and drain it onto the lawn or other location away from septic systems, drain systems, or the home itself, and in accordance with local regulations.

Garbage disposals also put a serious strain on the septic system.  Using one increases the amount of solids sent to the septic tank dramatically and decreases the time between pumpings.  In some cases the ground solids will float on the surface and may even pass to the drain field which can lead to blockages or other septic failures.  If you have a septic system, discontinue use of a garbage disposal to increase the life of your septic system and reduce the number of times you need to pump it.

Household chemicals and cleaners can seriously impact the function and degrade the physical structure of your septic system.  Most cleaning chemicals and cleaners should not be put down the toilet.  Depending on the chemical being used, it can kill the bacteria in your tank which help to naturally digest some of the solids and process the waste in the septic tank.  Without these bacteria, the tank will not function properly and will need to be pumped or serviced  much more often.  Hazardous waste such as gasoline, paint thinners, oils, paints, and pharmaceuticals should never be put into the septic system.  This dramatically increases the chance of polluting the soils and groundwater, and may cause serious damage to the septic systems’ structures and biological processes.

One of the easiest things you can do to help maintain your septic system is to keep good records of installations, pumpings and service calls.  With good records you will be able to help service personnel determine possible issues far easier as they will have a good history of the system and can help predict problems.  They will also be a good reminder of when you should have the system serviced or pumped to ensure a long-lasting and effective septic system.   CONTACT US ABOUT OUR MAINTENANCE PROGRAM.  WE GUARANTEE YOU WILL PASS A TITLE 5 INSPECTION IF YOU ARE ON OUR MAINTENANCE PROGRAM OR YOUR INSPECTION IS FREE.  ALL MAINTENANCE CUSTOMERS GET HALF OFF THE INSPECTION PRICE.

Remember, your toilet is not a catch-all for household waste.  It is far better to put whatever it is in the trash than into the septic system to help prevent costly repairs and repeated service calls.  If you do have questions or concerns about your septic system, don’t hesitate to call All-Clear Septic and Wastewater Services at 508-763-4431 today!

You can also visit www.allclearseptic.com for information.

This blog was posted on www.allclearseptic.com on December 9, 2015.

septic system

Basic Septic Maintenance- Part 2

All Clear SepticBasic Septic Maintenance-Part 2

Here are some of the basics for maintaining your septic system.

First, you will need to know  where your septic system is, and how to access it.  Many modern septic tanks have risers built in during construction, or added at some point during an inspection.  These allow p inspectors to access the tank and filters without having to search for the access point in the tanks.  Having these risers will greatly reduce both the cost and time of an inspection or repair.  If you do not have risers, seriously consider having them installed, and keep an accurate location map of the septic tanks until you do.  Without an accurate location of the tank, an inspector will literally have to dig and search until the tanks are found, which is costly.

Now that you know where your tanks are, you should know how to check the filter and and determine if you need to get it pumped soon.  The filter is located in the outlet pipe in the septic tank. While we recommend having this cleaned by a professional, you should be able to pull it out and shake it off, removing a lot of the debris.  Be sure to use rubber gloves when doing this, as it has untreated waste on it.  Replace the filter after and be sure it is seated properly so it will work properly.   You should also note if there are things floating in the tank.  You should never flush anything that is not specifically designed for use in septic systems.  If an item does not say “flushable” on the package, make sure it makes it into the trash can!

You should also keep track of the drain field, which is  where liquids are drained into the soil once all the solids are collected in the tank.  If you see there is standing water over the drain field, the grass is growing far more lush than elsewhere on the lawn, or there is a strange odor, there is possibly a blockage or some other problem with your system.  You should have a septic professional  inspect the field and discuss how to get it fixed.  Do not wait until sewage is flowing into the house before calling!

One thing many people who have septic systems forget is that you should not drive vehicles over or build heavy structures over the septic system and field.  Your septic system is made of pipes and chambers which have a significant amount of open air in them to help bacteria process waste.  Driving heavy vehicles over these areas, or building heavy structures over them will put unnecessary stress on the system and possibly cause it to collapse.  This will lead to a very costly repair or replacement of the system.

Along with driving or building over your septic, planting deep-rooting plants or trees around the system should be avoided.  While you may not see any immediate problems, as these plants and trees grow, the roots can work their way into the septic system and crack the pipes or septic tanks, clogging the drainfield and possibly collapse parts of the system should the tree or bush grow too large!  Be sure anything planted over the septic system has shallow roots and does not grow too large in size.  Not only will it prevent problems and reduce stress on system but it will make any future service calls far easier to perform.

Stay tuned for our last installment in maintaining your septic system.

Visit www.allclearseptic.com  for all the information you need or call 508-763-4431

This blog was posted on December 2, 2015 on www.allclearseptic.com

septic system

Basic Septic and Plumbing Maintenance

All Clear SepticWherever you live, you will have some form of plumbing, be it a septic system or a town or city-tied system.  Inevitably you will have some kind of problem with it.  Here are some tips and guidelines that will help you take care of the most basic issues yourself without having to call a plumber!  All-Clear Septic & Wastewater Services has put together this info to answer your questions and help you keep your septic system and plumbing working properly.

Before diving into what you should do to keep your septic system healthy, you should know why you need to spend a little time maintaining your system.  Simply following these steps will help prevent some fairly common errors which can lead to very expensive fixes.  Flushing the wrong things down the toilet or using the wrong additives can lead to costly repairs.  One of the biggest reasons to be sure you are keeping an eye on your system is the health of you and the people you live with.  Untreated waste can be dangerous and pose a health threat to people who come in contact with it.  It can also contaminate drinking water sources and groundwater.

Before going any further,  what you need to do is know what kind of system you have, and how to access it.  If you live in an urban area, you most likely have a city or town sewer-tied system.  Although  there is no tank or self-contained system you need to keep an eye on, it is still important to be careful what you put down your toilet and drains,since these systems also need to be maintained by the city to keep our environment healthy.   Be sure you don’t flush things which are not meant to be flushed, and keep harsh chemicals out of the drains. Some chemicals or cleaners may react badly with the pipes and cause premature deterioration which can lead to costly repairs.  If you have a septic system, there are many things you should be aware of to ensure your system is effective and does not contaminate the surrounding environment.  

Stay tuned for our next installment in maintaining your septic system.

Visit www.allclearseptic.com for all your septic questions and septic services.  Or call 508-763-4431

This blog was posted on www.allclearseptic.com on November 25, 2015.

All Clear Septic

The History of All Clear Septic

All Clear SepticThe State of Massachusetts initiated a law in 1995, requiring all on-site sewage treatment systems (septic systems) to fall under specific guidelines. This was in response to concerns about the contamination of groundwater and local drinking water supplies as a result of antiquated septic systems and cesspools within Massachusetts.

The Code of Massachusetts Regulations (310 CMR, Section 15.00) states that Title 5 Inspection: “Protects you and your neighbors from public health threats. DEP, local Boards of Health and system owners all share the responsibility for the proper sitting, construction, upgrade and maintenance of on-site systems.”

In 1995, the year that the law was implemented, Al Rivet, the owner of All-Clear, entered the septic industry as a Title 5 Inspector. However, after he had performed thousands of inspections, Al discovered that there was a need for a company in Southcoast Massachusetts that could provide inspections, effectively troubleshoot septic systems and provide any preventative maintenance or repairs that were required. As a result, the incorporation of All-Clear as a septic and wastewater services company was established in 2004.

The service offerings available to our customers through All-Clear have grown over the years, as consumer needs were identified through hands-on experience. We proudly offer Title 5 Inspections, confidential septic evaluations, troubleshooting services, annual maintenance, septic pumping, remedial repairs and septic rejuvenations.

The only service NOT provided by All-Clear is the installation of new septic systems. We refrain from providing installations so that there would never be a conflict of interest for us to fail a passing system. Providing quality septic services that you can trust and professional customer care is our top priority.

Visit www.allclearseptic.com or call 508-763-4431 to see how we can help you.

This blog was posted on www.allclearseptic.com on November 18, 2015.

Frequently asked septic questions

Frequently Asked Septic Questions!

FAQ

What do I need to do to sell my house or build an addition on my home?

If you own a home that has a private septic system in the State of Massachusetts, you are required to have a State-Certified Title 5 Inspector perform an official Title 5 Inspection on your system prior to selling your home or building an addition.

What is a Title 5 Inspection?

Since 1995, the State of Massachusetts has required homeowners to have their private septic system check thoroughly by a State-Certified Title 5 Inspector. Here is what you can expect from an official Title 5 Inspection – the inspector will:

  • conduct an interview with the property owner
  • research the paperwork for your property at your city’s Board of Health Department
  • survey the general size of the building or list a summary of the number of bedrooms
  • inspects the connection from the house/building to the system
  • inspects the inlet/outlet of the septic tank
  • examines the integrity of the tank
  • measures the liquid/contents of the tank
  • examines the integrity of the distribution box
  • measures the liquid/contents of the distribution box
  • checks the soil absorption system (SAS) condition
  • checks the relation of the system’s water table to the SAS
  • examines the integrity of the pipes using a special “sewer cam” (All-Clear specialty service, not required by the state)
  • provides an official 17-page document to the local approving authority and the owner, including all findings and a detailed sketch of the system

Is it possible to get an inspection even if I am not selling my home?

Yes, this type of inspection is called a Voluntary Assessment. All of the same steps in the above inspection detail will be taken, however the 17-page document will NOT be sent to your local approving authority – it is for your information only. A Voluntary Assessment is a great way to find out more about your own septic system. All-Clear highly recommends this to our clients as a means of properly maintaining, upgrading and repairing your system to prolong its life. Ask us about additional services we can provide to ensure the proper working of your septic system.

Can I get a Voluntary Assessment performed even if I don’t live in Massachusetts?

Yes, All-Clear is also certified to perform inspections in the State of Rhode Island.

Should I get my system pumped or cleaned before I get an inspection?

Absolutely not. The State of Massachusetts requires that your system be inspected under “normal use conditions” for a minimum of 2 weeks or more. If your system needs pumping during this period, we can arrange to have it done for you while the components of your system are exposed.

Will my landscaping be affected by the inspection?

The All-Clear team is very respectful to the landscaping of your home or property. In order to minimize the amount of physical work required to perform your inspection, we use state-of-the-art locating equipment that helps us to locate your system components within a 4-inch radius. We also use a specialized “sewer cam” to let us inspect your pipes without having to dig them up. Any sod that needs to be removed is cut carefully and laid on tarps so it can be neatly replaced when your inspection is complete.

What do I need to do after I get a new system installed?

You should first get a copy of the As-Built and Design Plans of your new system from the Health Department or the designer. These plans will help All-Clear to provide more effective service to your in the future, should any repairs be required. It is also helpful to have a diagram of your new septic system in the event of any future landscaping projects, parking places, driveways or other renovations to your home or property. You should also contact All-Clear to set up a Preventative Maintenance Plan to keep your new system running effectively and efficiently. Another great tip is to add a laundry filter to your washing machine to protect your new system.

How often do I need to get my septic tank pumped?

The answer to this question will depend greatly upon usage. On average, a family of four that lives in a three-bedroom house will need to get their tank pumped every 2-5 years. Your best bet is to find out more about the All-Clear Preventative Maintenance Program to stay on top of your system, helping you to get your tank pumped only as-needed.

Can I build over my septic tank?

Most municipal and State codes do not allow you to build anything on top of your septic tank. All-Clear does not advise building any pools, driveways, additions or other items over top of your tank. We also suggest strongly that you do not build or plant landscaping on top of your drainfield.

Should I open my septic tank if I think there is a problem?

You should never open your septic tank. While today’s systems are safe for you and your family, opening a tank without benefit of professional training can expose everyone to dangerous bacteria and gases. Your best bet is to contact a certified, professional service, such as All-Clear, if you suspect any problems occurring within your system.

Are there any important do’s or don’ts with regard to keeping the system trouble-free?

Yes, please view our Do’s and Don’ts page within our Education section. (LINK)

How much will it cost for services at All-Clear?

Please contact us direct for information about the services offered at All-Clear, as well as pricing information and our popular Preventative Maintenance Program.

Call 508-763-4431 or visit www.allclearseptic.com

This blog was posted on www.allclearseptic.com on November 11, 2015.

 

realtor loyalty program, Septic preservation

Realtor Loyalty Program Testimonial!

Here is  a great testimonial to the Realtor Loyalty Program from Beth Van der Veer of Jack Conway and Company.

“I so appreciated the wonderful gift card from Al and feel delinquent I have not thanked him properly. The realtor loyalty program is a special way to enhance his business, and will not be forgotten.”

 

Best regards,

Beth


Beth Van der Veer

Realtor®, GRI

 

Chairman’s Circle of Success

Senior Specialist

Relocation Specialist

Join ourealtor loyalty program, all clear septicr REALTOR Loyalty Program today!!!

We acknowledge and appreciate the referrals we get from out REALTOR® professionals!  Nurturing a strong relationship between REALTORS ® and the septic professionals creates a winning combination for all sellers.

To thank you for your referrals, we have created the REALTOR® Loyalty Program. 

You may receive periodic educational information by email, video and mailers.  This information is designed to help you not only learn more about our services, but help your clients more!

We will also thank your with a $25 prepaid Visa card for each referral that results in new business for All-Clear Septic and Septic Preservation Services!

Call  All Clear at 508-763-4431 for more information or visit www.allclearseptic.com

This blog was posted on November 4, 2015 on www.allclearseptic.com

septic system

Septic Tips for Proper Usage!

Do you have a new septic system, or are you moving to a house and have never had a septic system before?  Here are some tips you can follow to help keep your system working properly, provided by All-Clear Septic & Wastewater Services.  

  • The first and easiest thing you can do is schedule regular checks on your system with a licensed  septic system specialist.  Depending on the type and flow rate of the system, checkups can be scheduled anywhere from once every three months to three years. 

 

  • Pumping your system on a regular schedule is highly recommended.  The amount of use and size of the system will dictate the pumping schedule, but it is safe to say the more people using  the system, the more often you will need to have it serviced.


Watching your water use carefully will be a major factor in how well your septic system functions.  If you are able, use low-flow fixtures in your kitchen and bathroom. It  will considerably reduce overall usage and wear and tear on the system.

Try not to wash all your laundry on the same day.  Spread washes throughout the week.

Do not run your dishwasher and washing machine at the same time.  

Do not put anything but toilet tissue down the toilet.  A product labelled “flushable” may be ok for a sewer-tied system, but may not be ok for a septic system.

Do not drain hot tubs, pools, spas or other large-capacity water tank into the septic system. Pool chemicals can kill off beneficial bacteria in the system, and the massive rush of water can “flood” your leach field, rendering the system ineffective until it has properly drained.

Ensure risers are installed and easily accessible to septic system maintenance professionals.

Ensure all rainwater and drainage is directed away from the leach field to prevent flooding the system.

Use shallow-rooted grass, flowers and shrubs when landscaping on or around your system.  This will help prevent damage from deep-growing root systems.

Stop or reduce use of garbage disposal.  These can quickly create a blockage in your septic system and leach field, as well as introduce large quantities of grease and other solids which will require more frequent pumping and system maintenance.

Do not flush household cleaning chemicals or put them down the drain.  These can potentially kill the beneficial bacteria or cause significant damage to the system itself.  These can also pollute the groundwater if done in sufficient quantity or concentration.

Do not build structures or park vehicles on the tank or leach field.  This could cause damage to the system and compact the soil which prevents liquids from leaching into the earth freely.

Do not use septic system additives unless directed by your septic system maintenance professional.  These may cause issues with the system or eliminate the healthy bacteria within the tank.  Only use additives if they are approved by your septic system maintenance professional for your specific septic system.

If you still have questions or need service, call All-Clear TODAY at (508) 763-4431!

This blog was posted on October 29, 2015 on www.allclearseptic.com

septic system cleaning and pumping

Septic System Cleaning and Pumping!

SEPTIC CLEANING & PUMPING

Part of any good Preventative Maintenance Program is to ensure that your septic system is properly cleaned and is pumped on a regular basis. It is important to know the facts about septic cleaning and pumping to avoid making costly mistakes.

SEPTIC CLEANING

Getting your tanks cleaned on a regular basis will help to improve the efficiency of your septic system and keep it running smooth. It is important to select your service provider carefully to ensure that you get quality work.  Be sure that when comparing prices that you compare apples to apples.  Some differences that may effect cost are the size of the tank, how deep the covers are buried, and if there is a filter to clean.

All-Clear takes pride in the work that we do, utilizing specialized equipment to locate specific areas of your system, such as a sewer camera that is used to investigate the inside of your sewer lines, and jetting equipment to clean the pipes within the leach field.

SEPTIC PUMPING

pumpingSome pumping services will tell you that you need to get your septic system pumped every 6 months or on an annual basis. The truth is that a properly maintained septic system should only be pumped based on the accumulation of sludge and scum, which is typically every 2-5 years.  Pumping too frequently is costly and removes the “good” bacteria that keep the system running smoothly.

If you would like a system evaluation and to know how often you should be pumping, give All-Clear a call for an evaluation and to set up quick and easy pumping arrangements.

OUR GOAL: CLEANER AND MORE EFFICIENT SEPTIC SYSTEMS

All-Clear can get you started on the road to a healthier septic system for your residential or commercial property through our Preventative Maintenance Program. We are so confident in the services offered through this program that we offer a unique “Pass or It’s FREE Guarantee” on Title 5 Inspections to all of our customers that are in the Preventative Maintenance Program and have followed up with all of our recommendations. We also provide a 50% discount off of all Title 5 Inspections for our up-to-date Preventative Maintenance Program customers. Call us today at 508-763-4431 to get more information about our programs and services.

Visit www.allclearseptic.com for everything you need to know about your septic system.

This blog was posted on www.allclearseptic.com on October 22, 2015.

Septic Rejuvenation!

SEPTIC SYSTEM REJUVENATION

All-Clear also offers an exciting new service to our customers that utilizes a patented technology to save failed septic systems.  This method is used as an alternative to replacing the septic system. It allows failed septic systems to rapidly rejuvenate, extending the lifespan of the drainfield and the septic system, while enhancing the treatment process.

Rejuvenation is currently being used by over 2,000 different septic service providers throughout the United States and Canada and has proven successful in a wide range of different climates and soil types, with over 1,000 installations in New England.   This technology has been applied in residential situations for both single and multi-family dwellings, as well as commercial situations, servicing hotels, grocery stores, food processing facilities, healthcare services, marinas, restaurants, breweries, car washes and more.

Some of the benefits associated with Septic Rejuvenation include:

  • rapid restoration of proper septic system functions
  • lower costs for installation, operation and maintenance
  • enhanced removal of pathogens, nitrogen, and B.O.D.
  • minimal damage/disruption to existing property landscape
  • long term, cost-effective solution

PROVEN EFFECTIVE

The technology we use at All-Clear has been studied over an extended period of time. Rejuvenation has been proven effective, tested by leading universities, leaders in the septic industry and third-party organizations. The process is simple, yet revolutionary. It is similar to composting and has the ability to rejuvenate septic systems that are severely failed within just a few months.

 

TOUGH SEPTIC PROBLEMS SOLVED

 

Regardless of your type of septic system, from chambers to stone & pipe, drip and everything in between, our rejuvenation technology can help get your system back on track and running efficiently. The effectiveness of this method has been proven, documented and approved by the MA DEP and RI DEM.

YOUR WORST SEPTIC SYSTEM NIGHTMARES SOLVED

For more information about our revolutionary Septic Rejuvenation services or to schedule an evaluation with one of our licensed and certified technicians, call All-Clear at 508-763-4431. Ask about our Maintenance Prevention Program, designed to keep your septic system running properly to avoid costly repairs and emergency services in the future.

Visit www.allclearseptic.com for more information.

This blog was posted on www.allclearseptic.com on October 16, 2015.