Innovative Alternative Septic Systems
Approval for Installation
Before any Innovative Alternative System
technology can be used in Massachusetts, it must be reviewed and
approved by the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).
Before it can be installed at a particular site in a given
community, the local board of health needs to review and approve
plans prepared by a qualified designer who is either a registered
professional engineer or a registered sanitarian. In certain
instances, the site-specific local approval must then be sent to
MassDEP for concurrence and final authorization.
Purchasing a property with I/A technologyIf you are thinking of purchasing a previously owned home that uses an I/A technology, you should get answers to the following questions from an on-site professional:
Maintenance and RepairI/A systems perform well when they are designed, installed, operated, and maintained in accordance with the technology specifications and MassDEP’s technology approval. However, I/A systems require a higher level of maintenance and are more expensive to operate and maintain than a conventional septic system. They can include pumps, aerators, fans and other mechanical parts, which increase the initial cost of the system and add costs for electricity to run the system.
If you own an I/A on-site system, you should know the kind of technology being used and keep good records on the system’s location. You also must follow the manufacturer’s specifications for operating the system, and be careful in using and discarding chemicals, such as disinfectants or paints, that may harm the system.
Title 5 requires that system owners have a special operation and maintenance (O&M) contract in place for the life of the system. Please see the Maintenance page for more details.