Small on-site sewage systems (OSS), when properly managed, provide effective, long-term sewage treatment and limit the amount of contaminants discharged to the environment. An effective management strategy includes:
- Rigorous licensing and certification processes for OSS professionals including:
- State license for OSS designers and professional engineers.
- Local certification for OSS pumpers, installers, and in some counties, operation and maintenance providers.
- Rigorous permitting processes such as:
- Detailed requirements for OSS location, design, and installation.
- Precise testing requirements that show acceptable OSS performance.
- Strict operation and maintenance and monitoring procedures.
- Evaluation of installed OSS to make sure they meet performance requirements.
- Local health jurisdictions (LHJs) may require OSS inspection when a property transfers ownership to make sure the system meets requirements and functions properly.
- LHJs may require OSS evaluation report submittals in specified areas.
- Risk management for sensitive areas, which may include stricter requirements to protect public health and the environment. Examples of sensitive areas are those that are near wetlands or shellfish beds, are close to a drinking water well, or have soil conditions that require increased OSS treatment.
- Special management strategies for areas of enhanced management where OSS have contributed to or are likely to cause pollution problems.
Successful on-site sewage system management is accomplished by state and local regulators, OSS professionals, and homeowners working together to ensure OSS work properly.
For questions, please contact the Wastewater Management Section.