Title 5 Septic System Inspections


What is a Title 5 Inspection?

“Title 5” refers to the section of the Massachusetts Environmental Code that requires the inspection of septic systems. The inspection report is valid for 2 years from the date of the inspection. However, deeming a system as “passed” is not a guarantee of future successful operation or longevity of the system.

A typical septic system, also known as a subsurface disposal system, includes several components. The septic tank is a large concrete chamber that collects the household waste. Solids are settled at the bottom of the tank and water exits the tank to a leaching facility, either a leaching pit or a leaching field.  

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Inspection Procedure

A typical septic system inspection includes:

  • researching existing records at the local Board of Health office

  • locating, exposing, and examining the system for signs of failure  

  • preparing a standardized report for the client and their representatives and the local Board of Health  

The inspection of the septic tank includes:

  • measuring the solids accumulation in the tank

  • assessing the physical condition of the septic tank, piping, and baffles

  • evaluating the need for maintenance pumping and any improvements for accessibility, such as manhole risers to reduce the level of excavation required for future inspection and maintenance

The inspection of the leaching facility includes:

  • evaluating the distribution box (if present) for level, even distribution of effluent, and structural integrity

  • evaluating the leaching system for evidence of solids carry-over from the septic tank, signs of backup or periods of hydraulic stress, root penetration, or any other symptoms of malfunction

Our Experience

Cooper Environmental Services, LLC has performed thousands of Title 5 septic system inspections. We minimize disturbance by carefully locating system components with electronic locating equipment to reduce the amount of excavation required. Wherever possible, we hand excavate and restore disturbed areas. We are also happy to coordinate our work with the homeowner, their caretaker, landscaper, or other contractors to achieve the best result.