Go to the Regulators' page.  Go to the Designers' page.  Go to the Contractors' page.  Go to the Homeowners' page.

Maine is a predominantly rural state, and as such we rely heavily on decentralized sewage disposal facilities for human waste (septic systems). The State of Maine has regulated septic systems as a means of protecting public health since 1920 to varying degrees. Over the years, the Maine State Plumbing Code and the State of Maine Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules (MS Word) have been administered by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (MECDC) and its predecessors.

Part of the Maine CDC Drinking Water Program, the Subsurface Wastewater Unit adopts and enforces rules that 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 [42 MRS § 42 (3, 3-A, 3-B)].

What's New?

On this page:


New Guidelines on the Placement of Portable Toilets

In response to Rules adopted in September, 2023, the Maine Legislature passed An Act Regarding the Placement of Portable Toilets (LD 2201 – Public Law 2023, Ch. 614). Under this legislation, a person* may place and use a temporary portable toilet on a property as long as the temporary portable toilet is maintained and serviced in a reasonable manner to protect the public's health and safety and the environment. (*Persons required to be licensed under Title 22, Chapter 562, excepted). The new legislation takes effect August 8, 2024.  Click here for DHHS guidance on this amendment (PDF).


State Site Evaluator

Brent Lawson, State Site Evaluator, will be out of the office for an unknown period of time. During his absence, Site Evaluators and Local Plumbing Inspectors (LPIs) should please contact Alex Pugh for assistance: Email Alex.L.Pugh@Maine.gov or phone (207) 592-2086.


DEP Small Community Grant Program

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) offers several community-based loans and grants, notably the Small Community Grant Program to towns seeking to replace malfunctioning septic systems that are polluting a waterbody or causing a public nuisance. This program is administered by the municipalities, so property owners should contact their local Code Enforcement Officer.


Revised HHE-211 (Internal Plumbing Permit Application) Now Available

The HHE-211 (Internal Plumbing Permit Application) has been revised to allow for the recording of more complete information. Updates include fields for property owner/applicant's phone number and email address, and more precise identifiers for manufactured housing.

Use of earlier versions of the HHE-211 should be discontinued in favor of the newest, revised form.

The revised HHE-211 is available in two formats: PDF E-form, to be completed electronically, and Standard, to be completed by hand. Both versions can be found on the Forms for Download and Municipal Office Resources pages of this website.


Amended Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules

The Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules (10-144, Chapter 241) have been amended, with changes becoming effective on September 23, 2023. Highlights of the amended rules include:

  • The removal of permit search fees;
  • A new section on seasonal conversions;
  • Changes to soil fill age criteria (shoreland zones);
  • Changes to temporary portable toilet requirements;
  • A new section addressing waste discharge from water softeners and iron systems; and
  • Clarification of design flows for short-term rentals.

All septic system designs permitted on or after 9/23/2023 must follow the amended (2023) rules.

To view the amended rules or learn more, visit the Maine Subsurface Wastewater Rules page of this website.


Municipal Office Resources

The Subsurface Wastewater Unit is pleased to introduce a new webpage dedicated to providing easy access to resources and guidance materials for Municipal office staff. Information on this page will assist in the preparation and submittal of SSWW/plumbing permits and the State’s share of permit fees, as well as offering subsurface wastewater, plumbing, and drinking water resources useful for Towns and private well owners.

Visit the Municipal Office Resources page.


EPA's 'Closing America’s Wastewater Access Gap' Program

This program provides no-cost technical assistance to communities with failing septic systems or without existing wastewater infrastructure. Through the program, EPA also helps communities – including homeowners and utilities – apply for financial assistance to address wastewater needs, with funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other federal funding programs for water infrastructure.

Click here to learn more.


Certified Contractor Renewal

Certified contractors expiring at the end of 2024 need to fill out the renewal form along with a certificate of a class that was attended for continuing education credits before the end of the year or your certificate will expire.

To submit your renewal application, or for more information, contact Brent Lawson:  Email or phone (207) 592-7376.


Site Evaluator License Renewals

Online Site Evaluator license renewal is available.  Click here to access this service. 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.

For more information, contact Brent Lawson:  Email or phone (207) 592-7376.


Online Training for Certified System Inspectors

The Subsurface Wastewater Unit of the Drinking Water Program now accepts completion of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors' online How to Inspect Septic Systems course for intial inspection certification as well as for continuing education for presently certified System Inspectors. This course is the largest, most in-depth septic system course of its kind.

The 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 DWP will issue a Certified Septic System Inspector certificate to an applicant.

This septic system inspection course is open and free to all InterNACHI members. Non-members can only view a portion of the course.


Product Approvals

Click here to view a listing of products that have been approved for use in subsurface wastewater systems in Maine

Updated 6/26/2024