Subsurface Wastewater Program Policies

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Maine Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules

Policy Number: 08-05-011

Effective Date: August 1, 2005

Issue: How is the setback distance between a replacement system and an abutter’s potable water supply well determined?

Background: Section 702.3.2 of the provides for the location of a replacement system less than 100 feet from an abutter’s well if the replacement system is no closer to said well than the disposal method being replaced.. If site conditions require the replacement system to be located closer to the abutter’s well than the existing disposal method, the abutter is asked to sign the HHE-306 Form, Well Setback Release. This section attempts to balance the rights of the system owner and the well owner; providing an equal or greater level of protection for the well than existed prior to the installation or the replacement system.

It is the responsibility of the site evaluator, utilizing information provided by the property owners to document the location of both the existing disposal method and the abutter’s well so that compliance with Section 702.3.2 can be determined. This may require excavation, probing, or magnetic locater work to identify the location of both features. When locating an existing disposal method or a potable water supply well an accuracy of ±2 horizontal feet is assumed.


A replacement system does not require completion of an HHE-306 Well Setback Release Form if all components of the replacement system are located no closer to an abutter’s well than the closest component (building drain, building sewer, treatment tank, disposal area) of the disposal method being replaced, recognizing a location accuracy of ±2 horizontal feet for both components. The following sketches illustrate this policy.

Russell G. Martin, PE
Director, Subsurface Wastewater Program