Title V - Septic Systems

State Regulations

For information on septic systems, the state regulations, Title V 310 CMR 15 the State Sanitary Code: (Standard Requirements for the siting, construction, inspection, upgrade and expansion of On-Site Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems and for the Transport and Disposal of Septage), please go to the MADEP Title 5 website where you can find permit applications, answers to frequently asked questions, inspection information, training materials, and descriptions of innovative technologies.

City Health Department Regulations

The Leominster Health Department has additional requirements that are more stringent than Title 5.

Title 5 Inspections

Every house or building that is served by an on-site septic system must have a Title 5 inspection performed by a MADEP approved inspector when it is transferred to another owner. The State Report Form is prepared by the inspector and submitted to the owner and the Health Department. The Leominster Health Department reviews all Title 5 inspections that are submitted for compliance. Inspections are valid for two years or three if the system is pumped every year for each of the three years. Written documentation of the pumping will be required to validate the data.

The Department has some of the historically recorded information on septic systems in our files so if you need specific information on a system please contact us. We will do our best to recover any available data for you.

Soil Evaluations & Percolation Testing

Soil evaluations and percolation testing are required to replace a septic system at an existing or proposed house or building where no municipal sewer system is available. To properly locate a septic system a sub-surface investigation is required by the state regulations. A MADEP certified soil evaluator is needed to evaluate the surficial geology in any area that is proposed for a soil absorption system (SAS). The soil evaluator will determine the consistency of the soil, the seasonal maximum groundwater elevation and a percolation rate (rate of water acceptance). This information will be used by a Civil Engineer or Registered Sanitarian as a basis for a septic system design. All testing must be witnessed by a Health Department representative. The current fee for this service is $100

Septic System Design Permitting Process

All new septic systems must be properly designed and permitted prior to construction. This is applicable to systems for new construction and for replacing or repairing a system at an existing house. The following steps must be taken to complete this task:

  • A MADEP Certified Soil Evaluator must perform soil testing and percolation tests at every location proposed for the placement of a septic system. The testing must be witnessed by a representative of the Health Department.
  • A topographic plan must be developed as a basis for a design plan. A Professional Engineer or a Registered Sanitarian must prepare the design plans in accordance with the state and local regulations.
  • The plan will be submitted to the Leominster Health Department for review. Once it has been approved, the plan can be used for any permitting that may be needed to obtain approval from the Conservation Commission or the Building Department. The approved plan shall be used for construction.
  • A licensed septic system installer must be retained to install or repair any system in the City of Leominster. A representative from the Health Department will make several inspections of the methods and materials used during construction. Any field changes that may be needed must be approved by the Health Department. The designer will inspect the completed system and provide an "as-built" drawing to the Health Department.
  • The final step is to have the Designer, the Health Department Inspector and the Installer sign the "Certificate of Compliance" to certify that the installation was performed in accordance with the applicable regulations and within the permit parameters. The completed documents will be put into the Health Department files for future reference.
  • Leominster Board of Health Regulations for On-Site Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems. Requirements in addition to 310 CMR 15.

The Board of Health of the City of Leominster, acting under the authority of Chapter 111, Section 31 of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and amendments and additions thereto, and any other power thereto enabling, and acting there under and in accordance therewith G.L. c 111, and 127A and G.L. c. 111, and 31, and in the interest of and for the preservation of the public health and safety, duly make and adopt the following rule and regulation:

Septic System Design Plan Submittal

Complete submittals include three copies of the plan, an Application for Disposal System, Construction Permit (filled out by the designer, signed by the applicant) and the appropriate fee. The plans will not be accepted without the properly executed application form or fees.

15.021 Certificate of Compliance

(3) In addition to all of the necessary requirements to obtain a certificate of compliance, an "as-built" plan will be required for every system or system component that is installed or replaced. The "as-built" plan shall be prepared by the designer and shall include enough topographic information to determine that the final grading over and around the system is in compliance with Title V.

15.221 General Construction Requirements for All System Components

(5) All piping shall be schedule 40 PVC including the perforated pipe used in soil absorption system laterals.

15.241.1 System Venting

All systems that are vented to the atmosphere must be equipped with a granular activated charcoal filter to reduce and or eliminate odors.

15.251 Leaching Trenches

Minimum area 750 square feet

3 Trenches 50 feet in length with the appropriate effective width and depth.

15.252 Leaching Fields

Minimum leaching area required = 1,000 square feet

(g) The minimum aggregate depth below the invert of the distribution lines shall be no less than 12".

15.354 Abandonment of Systems

(3) (a) The facility owner shall make arrangements with the Health Department to witness the procedures after a sewer connection permit has been issued by the Leominster Department of Public Works and the approval to abandon has been given.


Any person that does not comply with these regulations or the application thereof shall be subject to the following fines: First violation, $100, second violation $200, third and any subsequent violations $300. Each day of non-compliance will be considered an additional and separate violation.


If any provision of these regulations or the application thereof is held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the invalidity shall be limited to said provisions, and the remainder of these regulations shall remain valid and effective. Any part of these regulations subsequently invalidated by any state law shall automatically be brought into conformity with the new or amended law and shall be deemed to be effective immediately.