Municipal Office Resources

Subsurface Wastewater/Plumbing Rules and Permits


Page Index

Subsurface Wastewater & Internal Plumbing Rules

Documents and Forms

List of Documents and Forms for Download

Variances

External Resources

Online Permit Search

Training

For More Information

Drinking Water Resources


Below are resources and guidance materials to assist Town office staff in the preparation and submittal of plumbing permits and the State’s share of permit fees.


Please Note:

  • There will occasionally be extenuating circumstances that result in fees tabulated by means other than the standard fee schedule. When these circumstances do arise, please contact Brent Lawson, the State Site Evaluator, for guidance and then attach explanatory information with the corresponding permit(s).
  • The Water Quality Surcharge (a.k.a. “DEP fee”) is a $15.00 fee over and above the fee charged for a permit. It should be applied to all non-engineered systems (component line items 1, 2, 5, and 7 on the SSWW HHE-200 permit application). The DEP surcharge is not applicable to any of the other disposal system components. The water quality surcharge is a provision of Title 30-A, Chapter 185 (§4211, 5-D).
    The water quality surcharge should not be considered when determining the State’s 25% share of permit fees. All surcharge fees collected are owed to the State and should be remitted separately from the State's share of fees.

 

Subsurface Wastewater & Internal Plumbing Rules

 

Documents and Forms

Important Reminders:

  • Please be sure your documentation is complete, accurate, and legible.
  • All fields on a form should be addressed. If not otherwise instructed, any field or question that is not relevant to the work being described should be so noted (‘NA’).
  • When correcting documents, please do not cross-out, scribble-out, or over-write notations. Instead, use a white correction product to make these adjustments. Remember: Many of these are also legacy documents. They are intended, in part, to serve as a useable, accurate record of fees and property improvements.
  • Internal plumbing permit transfers should be presented separately from the original permit, with only a $10.00 fee. No additional fixtures should be noted on a permit transfer.
  • Signatures
    • On all documents and forms, if space for a signature is indicated, the signature should be considered required.
    • On SSWW Disposal System and Internal Plumbing permit applications (HHE-200, -200A, and -211), signatures from both the issuing LPI and the property owner/applicant are mandatory.
    • SSWW disposal system designs must bear the signature of the designing site evaluator.
    • Variance requests must be signed by all three parties: the issuing LPI, the site evaluator, and the property owner/applicant. In some cases, the signature and/or a letter of approval from the State Site Evaluator may also be required.
    • Permit applications that have not been signed by all required parties should be considered INVALID.


‘Fillable’ PDF Forms

Some of the forms below can be printed and completed by hand or filled-in using your computer (specific PDFs only). To use on your computer, simply follow these easy steps:

  1. Download the blank form and save it to your computer, either on your desktop or in a folder you can easily access
  2. Each time a new permit is issued, open the blank form at its location on your computer
  3. ‘Save As’, re-naming the document using the permit number, applicant name or address, and/or other pertinent information
  4. Using your computer keyboard, fill-in all applicable fields; use the TAB key to navigate through the document
  5. Click ‘Save’
  6. Print

 

List of Forms Available for Download

 

Variances

Variances to the Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules

If your system design does not meet the minimum requirements of the Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules it may be possible to obtain a variance to the Rules. There are two types of variances, First Time System and Replacement System. There are also two levels of approval: Local and State. For all variance requests, a complete, signed Disposal System Variance Request form (HHE-204) must accompany the disposal system application (HHE-200)

First Time System Variances

An application for a first-time system variance consists of a completed application for a permit to install a system or part of a system. It must include complete plans and specifications for the proposed system and other pertinent information as required on the HHE-200 (design and application) and HHE-204 Form (Variance Request Form), along with the signatures of the owner/applicant, and the Local Plumbing Inspector.

If the variance being requested is to waive the minimum soil suitability criteria, additional measures such as, but not limited to, enlarging the disposal area or raising it with extra fill are needed. These measures get points from a series of tables in the Rules. If a system is inside the shoreland zone (250 feet from a major water body) or in a regulated subdivision, the minimum acceptable point score is 65. Otherwise, the minimum acceptable score is 50. Designs that cannot make these minimum scores are not approvable.

Replacement System Variances

Replacement System Variances do not require a point score. Otherwise, they are very similar to First Time System Variances. An application for a Replacement System Variance consists of a completed application for a permit to install a system or part of a system. It must include complete plans and specifications for the proposed system and other pertinent information as required on the HHE-200 and HHE-204 Forms, along with the signatures of the owner/applicant and Local Plumbing Inspector.

Local versus State Approval

Most variances can be approved at the Local level by the Local Plumbing Inspector. In those cases where the Local Plumbing Inspector’s authority is exceeded, the Department of Health and Human Services will review the application and issue an approval if appropriate.

Before submitting a variance to the Department for review, the applicant must obtain the signature of the Local Plumbing Inspector on the variance request forms. There is no review fee for State-level variance review.

 

External Resources

 

Online Permit Search

The Maine Drinking Water Program provides a searchable online database of subsurface wastewater disposal system designs, organized by the Town in which each system is located.

Click here to begin your search.

When searching for records of septic designs, please be aware that our records are not complete; we only have documentation that is provided by the Towns, so, contacting the issuing municipal office might offer better success. Towns have a responsibility to maintain these records as well, and so most include septic designs in files kept for every property (tax files, in some towns).

 

Training

Training is available for subsurface wastewater disposal system development, inspection, and permitting. Information on training opportunities can be found on the training page of this website. If you or your organization would like to arrange a more focused training or explore the possibilities of hosting a training event, please contact us.

The 2024 Subsurface Wastewater Professionals' Training schedule is now available. Trainings for LPIs and contractors are planned for eight locations across the state between February and June.

Click here to learn more.

 

For More Information

To learn more, or for assistance, please contact:

  • Elizabeth Pellegrino, Environmental Analyst:  Email or phone 207-287-5681
  • Barrett Cosgrove, Environmental Health Specialist:  Email or phone 207-215-5273
  • Brent Lawson, State Plumbing Inspector/Site Evaluator:  Email or phone 207-592-7376

 

Drinking Water Resources


Updated 2/28/2024