Maine Subsurface Wastewater Team

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Maine is a predominantly rural state, and relies heavily on decentralized sewage disposal facilities for disposal of human waste, i.e., septic systems. The State of Maine has regulated septic systems as a public health issue since 1920 to varying degrees. Over the years, the Maine State Plumbing Code, Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules (Rules) in their various versions have been administered by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (MECDC) and its predecessors.

The Subsurface Wastewater Team, within the MECDC's Division of Environmental Health, Drinking Water Program is charged under 42 MRS § 42 (3, 3-A, 3-B) to adopt rules which regulate subsurface sewage disposal systems, licensing of persons to evaluate soils for subsurface wastewater disposal systems, and inspection of plumbing and subsurface waste water disposal systems.


What's New at the Subsurface Wastewater Team?

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Shoreland Zone Inspection Law

It has come to the Division of Environmental and Community Health’s attention that a rumor is circulating which alleges that the new shoreland zone inspection law has been delayed until June of 2020.  This is false. 

L.D. 216, "An Act To Protect Water Quality by Standardizing the Law Concerning Septic Inspection in the Shoreland Zone" went into effect on January 1, 2020.  It has not been delayed.


SFY 2019 Small Community Grant Program Funding Requests

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for SCG program funding requests to correct malfunctioning septic systems which directly or indirectly discharge sewage to waterbodies of the State, or are causing public health problems. The SCG Application must be submitted by February 7, 2020, before 5pm.

On November 6th, voters approved Referendum Question No. 2, An Act to Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue to Fund Wastewater Infrastructure Projects. Passage of this Act provides funding for the Small Community Grant (SCG) Program in the amount of $2,000,000 administered by the Department of Environmental Protection. In 2019, $1,000,000 was released and the remaining will be released now for Municipalities to apply.

The Municipality must submit the Grant Application to determine initially if the Owner(s) qualifies for grant funds by providing the following information:

  1. Applicant Information form
  2. Application Description of Existing Conditions Form
    1. Tax Assessors Card for the property
    2. Copy of the most recent Federal Income Tax Return for all owners (individuals or entities) associated with property.
      1. Do not include IRS attachments unless specifically requested by the Department of Environmental Protection. Black out social security and bank account numbers.
      2. In cases where a Federal Income Tax return is not filed, the owner must provide alternative documentation to the applicant for review and approval by the Department.

The Department of Environmental Protection will assess the applications and send out a letter to the Municipalities by February 28th, 2020 to proceed or not to proceed with the Discharge Field Report to determine the final eligibility to receive grant funds. For more information please go to the Small Community Grant handbook that is located on the SCG website https://www.maine.gov/dep/water/grants/scgp.html.

Please submit the Grant Application to Zoe.LeBlanc@maine.gov or by mail addressed to Zoe LeBlanc, SCG Project Engineer, Bureau of Water Quality, 17 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0017, by February 7th, 2020, before 5pm.

If you have any questions about the process, please contact Brandy Piers, SCG Coordinator by email at brandy.m.piers@maine.gov or by phone at (207) 287-6093 or Zoe at the above email or phone (207) 287-2730.


New HHE-200A Form for Tanks Only

We are pleased to introduce the HHE-200A permit application form.  This new alternate HHE-200 is to be used for the direct replacement of septic tanks with setbacks met per Subsurface Wastewater Rules.  Going forward, whenever a septic tank needs to be replaced because it is leaking and unrepairable, is the wrong size, or simply requires updating, this form should be used as long as no other components are needed for the direct replacement of a septic tank.  Learn more.


SITE EVALUATOR LICENSE RENEWALS

Online Site Evaluator license renewal is available. Click here to open a new window and follow the instructions there. You will need your current active license certificate number.  The online renewal service is available 24-7, although technical assistance is only available during regular business hours through the online renewal site. Contact Brent Lawson (207) 592-7376 with any licensing questions.


UPCOMING TRAINING

 

Subsurface Wastewater Team 2020 Training Schedule


March 11----------------Bridgton
Contact & Sign up:  Brenda Day
Phone # 647-8786
Email: bday@bridgtonmaine.org
PLACE:  Town Office - 3 Chase St #1, Bridgton


March 18----------------Greenville

CANCELLED

We apologize for any inconvenience.



March 25-------------Ellsworth

CANCELLED

We apologize for any inconvenience.



April 8----------------Skowhegan
Contact & Sign up:  Cynthia Kirk
Phone: 474-6904
Email:  ckirk@skowhegan.org
Place:  Skowhegan Community Center - 39 Poulin Dr, Skowhegan


April 15---------------Wells
Contact & Sign up:  Jodine Adams
Phone:  646-5187
Email:  jadams@wellstown.org
Place:  Wells Activity Center, 113 Sanford Road a.k.a. Route 109, Wells.  (across from Wells Urgent Care)


 May 20---------------Caribou
Contact & Sign up:  Judy Dinsmore
Phone:  493-5752
Email:  jdinsmore@nmdc.org
Place:  NMDC – Up from the Caribou Inn



June 3-----------------Brewer
Contact & Sign up:  Michael Falvey
Phone:  942-2905
Email:   ceo@glenburn.net
Place: Brewer Public Works Garage


NOTICE REGARDING THE SUBSURFACE RULES

The Department has identified a significant error in Table 4C of the Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules, 10-144 CMR 241.  Specifically, the design flow standard for Marinas currently reads:


Marina

100 gpd plus 10 gpd per slip or mooring (clothes washers are not included; design flow for clothes washers must be calculated separately); w/bathrooms add 30 gpd per slip; w/o bathrooms add 100 gpd per slip.

This design flow standard for marinas should read:


Marina

100 gpd plus 10 gpd per slip or mooring plus 12 gpd per employee without bathrooms;

30 gpd per slip or mooring plus 12 gpd per employee with bathrooms (clothes washers are not included; design flow for clothes washers must be calculated separately)

Site Evaluators should use the correct design flow standard when designing a subsurface wastewater disposal system to serve a marina.  The normal state variance process can be utilized should an LPI require it as verification of the design flow standard discrepancy.  Please contact the Department should you have any questions.

Policy for Variances

The Subsurface Wastewater Team has adopted a policy on the use of microfiltration advanced treatment systems to overcome technical difficulties on sites with marginal or failing conditions. The policy may be downloaded. Please forward questions to David Braley, Team Leader, Subsurface Wastewater Team.

Presby Environmental Inc. Reminder

Contrary to Table 6H of the Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules (Permitted Substitution of Proprietary Devices) no effluent disposal product(s) may be substituted for any Presby Environmental, Inc. product(s).  Pursuant to the January 11, 2010 registration approval letter for the Advanced Enviro-Septic no other company or manufacturer’s product(s) may be substituted for the Advanced Enviro-Septic or Enviro-Septic, at the request of Presby Environmental, Inc. although the Advanced Enviro-Septic may be substituted for Enviro-Septic. 

This substitution prohibition does not apply to designs which generically specify a fabric wrapped tube. The Division apologizes for any confusion or inconvenience resulting from inclusion of Presby Environmental Inc. products in Table 6H.

 


Online Training For Certified System Inspectors

The Division now accepts completion of International Association of Certified Home Inspectors' online How to Inspect Septic Systems course for intial inspection certification and for continuing education for presently certified System Inspectors. This course is the largest, most in-depth septic system course of its kind according to InterNACHI.

This septic system inspection course is open and free to all InterNACHI members. If one is not a member only a portion of the course can be viewed.

The How to Inspect Septic Systems course includes 10 credit hours; 79 minutes of video; 61 quiz questions in 9 quizzes; a 50-question final exam; and a printable Certificate of Completion.

Upon reciept of a copy of the Certificate of Completion the Division will issue a Certified Septic System Inspector certificate to an applicant.

 

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Most Recent Product Approvals

View the list of all approved products

Canplas Industries, Ltd., Endura and Endura XL

The Canplas Industries, Ltd. Endura and Endura XL comprise a line of grease interceptors.

Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc., Septic Stack 13

The Septic Stack 13 consists of four inch diameter high density perforated polyethylene pipes, bundled together in groups of two over five and one over two to include 13 rows of pipes. Bundles are covered with nonwoven filter fabric prior to backfilling.

Geomatrix GST

Geomatrix System LLC has received approval for use of GST in Maine. The GST consists of a proprietary high surface area stone system.

Presby EnviroFin

Presby Environmental Inc. has received approval for use of EnviroFin in Maine. The EnviroFin consists of a properietary treatment and dispersal system.

View the list of all approved products

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