Subsurface Wastewater Team Certifications

Voluntary Certification for Onsite Wastewater Disposal System Installers

Background

In June 1974 the State of Maine adopted a comprehensive set of rules covering the design, siting, permitting, and construction of septic systems, or as they are called today, subsurface wastewater disposal systems. These rules established criteria for site suitability, recognized various system components and construction techniques, required the use of a standard design form (HHE-200), and strengthened the system of permitting and inspecting systems at the local level. The rules have evolved over time but retain many of the fundamental principles upon which the 1974 Rules were based.

Malfunctioning and improperly installed septic systems are a health hazard. With nearly 20,000 new septic systems being installed in Maine each year, proper installation is critical to protecting the health of Maine citizens and the quality of Maine waters. During the winter of 1998 to 1999, the Division of Environmental Health, Subsurface Wastewater Unit developed a training and certification program to broaden the use of proper septic system installation techniques by installers, to address the installation issue. 

Purpose 

The primary purpose of the program is to protect the public health from malfunctioning onsite sewage disposal systems, by creating an incentive for Maine septic system installers to become educated on proper septic system installation techniques. A secondary purpose is to recognize installers who make an effort to educate themselves on these techniques and to provide an incentive to continue education efforts on proper installation techniques. 

Program 

A list of Certified Installers is maintained by the Team, on our web site.  The certifications are valid for a period of 5 calendar years. The following criteria must be met initially in order to be certified by the Division: 

  • Attendance at one (1) full-day basic training session; and
  • Submission of two (2) HHE-200 Forms (wastewater disposal system designs) the certification applicant installed, for which a permit was issued and an inspection performed by the Local Plumbing Inspector; or other relevant qualifications, reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

In lieu of the approved designs, an installer may submit evidence of alternate, relevant training, which will be reviewed on an individual basis. In addition to the initial certification requirements, the certified installer must attend at least 6 hours of training each 5 years thereafter, otherwise the certification shall lapse. Alternately, one may attend other relevant training to be reviewed on a case by case basis (for example, product manufacturer demonstrations).