Delaware's revised waste-water system regulations will become effective Jan. 11.
The changes correspond to regulations in effect for the past four years in Delaware’s Inland Bays Watershed. They also protect homebuyers from acquiring malfunctioning septic systems. Currently almost all of Delaware’s rivers and streams are impaired – considered un-swimmable and unhealthy for aquatic life due to excess nutrients – nitrogen, phosphorus and bacteria– that are entering our waterways. DNREC’s Division of Water estimates that approximately 18 percent of the state’s 70,000 septic systems may be malfunctioning.
The revised regulations include requirements for small residential septic systems of less than 2,500 gallons of wastewater treated per day, as well as large community and commercial systems of more than 2,500 gallons of wastewater treated per day.
Among other changes, the regulations effective Jan. 11:
- Require inspection of all septic systems prior to property transfers
- Most if not all mortgage lending institutions currently require the inspection of a septic system prior to sale
- This requirement informs a buyer of a system’s type and condition and protects a homebuyer from acquiring a malfunctioning septic system
- Clarify the permitting process for siting, installing and maintaining all small systems
- Create new inspection protocols for system contractors and inspectors
- Allow homeowners to maintain their own innovative/alternative system, once certified through a homeowner training program
- Standardize the permitting process for spray irrigation and on-site systems
- Include procedures for distributing treated wastewater for agricultural use and other authorized purposes
For more information: (302) 739-9941 or visit dnrec.delaware.gov/fab/Pages/Septic-Rehabilitation-Loan-Program.aspx.