Septic Betterment Loan Program
The Town of Concord is currently able to offer Septic Betterment Loans of up to $30,000 to help offset some of the costs associated with the replacement of a failed on-site sewage disposal system. These loans are offered at a 2% interest rate, to be paid back over 10 years; the loan is secured as a betterment assessment against the property. During unsettled economic times, the Town is fortunate to be able to offer this type of financial assistance to its residents and encourages them to take advantage of the program. For an informational packet and application please contact the Health Department at 978-318-3275.
Title 5 Building Reviews
A Title 5 Building Review is required whenever a property is renovated (prior to applying for a building permit). This includes, but is not limited to applications for decks, additions, finished basements, sheds and swimming pools. The purpose of this review is to protect your septic system from potential damage during construction and to ensure there is sufficient design capacity to serve the property after renovations. An application for a Title 5 building review Form C (PDF) must be submitted with a detailed description of the proposed construction. An existing and proposed floor plan of the entire building must also be included with the application. Please note that a building permit will not be issued until a Title 5 Review is completed. For additional informational view the Title 5 Building Review Handout (PDF).
Steps Involved in Replacing Your On-Site Wastewater System
If you are building a new on-site wastewater system, or upgrading or replacing an existing one, there are both State and Local requirements that must be followed in order to protect human health and the environment. As the owner of the property, you are ultimately responsible to insure all actions are in accordance with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. View the Massachusetts website regarding the Title 5 Regulations and view the Concord Board of Health Local Regulations (PDF).
In order to properly complete the task of constructing a new system or replacing an older system, you will first need to hire an Engineer, view the Engineer webpage, to perform soil testing (commonly referred to as a "perc test") and design your system. The engineer will submit (or ask you to submit) a Form A: Soil Test for Septic (PDF), along with the appropriate fee. View a listing and more details of Septic Fees (PDF). The engineer will then schedule the soil testing with the Health Department. After the soil test has been completed your engineer will design a system which will meet your specific needs. They will submit, or ask you to submit, the set of construction plans and Form B: Disposal System Construction (PDF) for review by the Health Department along with the appropriate fee. View the Septic Fees (PDF).
When you submit a set of plans you may need at a minimum a plot plan of your property. You may visit the Town of Concord WebGIS website for a generic map of you property or you may need to submit an official plot in which case you would need to hire land surveyor. A copy of your plot plan may also be available from the Registry of Deeds website. The WebGIS website will also allow you to examine your property to see if any wetland, flood plain, or other environmental issues exist that may require additional approvals prior to the construction of your system. If there are wetlands on your property, you should contact the Natural Resources Department and if there is flood plain on your lot, you should contact the Building Department. You may be dealing with several departments at this stage; each requiring its own set of application material. Please keep communication open with each department as they each have different requirement for the review process.
The Health Department staff will review the plans submitted by you or your engineer for compliance with Title 5 Regulations (PDF) and Concord Board of Health Local Regulations (PDF). If a variance has been requested from the regulations, a hearing before the Concord Board of Health may be required. You and your engineer will be advised, well in advance of the hearing date, as to what preparations are necessary. Once all of the approvals have been granted for the construction of your new or replacement on-site wastewater system, you should obtain bids from a minimum of 3 licensed System Installers. Once you have selected your installer, system installations usually take 1-2 weeks to complete, depending on the complexity of the design and the amount of landscaping needed once the system is installed. During construction, both the Health Division and the Engineer will be out to inspect the work done by your installer.
When the construction is complete, your engineer will submit an "as-built" plan to the Health Department for review. Once that plan is approved, the Health Department will issue a Certificate of Compliance, which signifies that all work was completed in accordance with the State and Local regulations.