What Are The Laws Governing Grandfather Law On Septic Tank? (TOP 5 Tips)

  • According to Wikipedia, a grandfather clause is a provision in which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations, while a new rule will apply to all future cases. I thought I would clear up this idea that if an acreage has an existing septic system, regardless of its condition it will be “grandfathered”.

What does grandfathered property mean?

In Real Estate Development the term Grandfathered means that an existing building does not have to comply with a current zoning or building code because it was legally built before the application of such code. Buildings can be Grandfathered by existing before a code was written.

What are the new septic tank regulations?

Under the new rules, if you have a specific septic tank that discharges to surface water (river, stream, ditch, etc.) you are required to upgrade or replace your septic tank treatment system to a full sewage treatment plant by 2020, or when you sell a property, if it’s prior to this date.

What is considered grandfathered in?

Definition of Grandfathering in the Sense of Allowing a Preexisting Use to Continue Despite a Later Regulation. Summary: “Grandfathering” is allowing an existing operation or conduct to continue legally when a new operation or conduct would be illegal.

Can you sell a house with an old septic tank?

If you’re selling a property with a septic tank, then you must be transparent with buyers about the fact the property uses a one and provide a detailed specification of the system. In fact, You are required by law to inform a buyer in writing about the presence of a septic tank.

What are the laws of grandfather clause?

1) A provision in a new law that limits its application to individuals or businesses that are new to the system, while those already in the system are exempt from the new regulation.

Can you revoke a grandfather clause?

A grandfather use can lapse if the property owner fails to take advantage of it over time. It can’t be “revoked” immediately, but the nonconforming use could potentially become strictly regulated and purposefully ended according to a reasonable legal time frame.

Is my septic tank illegal?

No, septic tanks aren’t going to be banned. Septic tanks do a good job of holding back solids and separating solids from liquid, they also offer a small degree of biological cleaning, however the waste that is discharged from them is still very high in ammonia and requires treatment before entering the environment.

Do I need a certificate for my septic tank?

The General Binding Rules were designed to simplify the regulation of small sewage discharges. Septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants no longer need to be registered and there is no legal requirement to keep records of maintenance (although this is advisable).

Does a septic tank have to be registered?

A septic tank discharges water into the ground, and the quantity of such is important so as to avoid damage to the environment. If your septic tank discharges two cubic metres or less above ground, then you don’t need to register it. If it releases five cubic metres, or less, below ground level then it is also exempt.

What are grandfathering rights?

A policy or provision (usually contained in statute) under which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations while a new rule will apply to future cases.

Does the grandfather law still exist?

No. The federal law became effective when it was signed by President Trump. The law does not have a military exemption. Therefore, sales to any persons under the age of 21, including military personnel, are illegal.

Is grandfather clause a legal term?

Grandfather clause is a contractual or statutory provision exempting persons or other entities already engaged in an activity from rules or legislation affecting that activity.

Who is responsible for a septic tank?

Homeowners. If you’re an owner-occupier and your property has a septic tank, it’s very straightforward: you are fully responsible for your septic tank. If there are any issues with it, it is up to you to fix them.

Is it legal to sell a house with non compliant septic tank?

If you are selling the property, it is your responsibility to install a sewage treatment system compliant with the general binding rules. Being non-compliant will not only detract potential buyers but you may also be subject to enforcement action by the Environment Agency.

Do septic tanks lower property value?

The research shows that having a septic system as opposed to a standard sewage system does not increase or decrease the value of your home, although there are some things about that septic system that can affect resale.

What is “GRANDFATHERING” and how will I be affected by it.

When it comes to Grandfathering, what exactly is it? In the last two weeks, I’ve seen the word “grandfathering” used in reference to septic systems a few times, which I thought was interesting. First and foremost, I’ll define the phrase. Wikipedia defines a grandfather clause as a provision that allows an old rule to be used in some current situations while a new rule is applied in all future situations. I wanted to dispel the myth that if an acreage already has a septic system in place, it will be “grandfathered” in regardless of its condition.

The notion that a septic system that is hazardous and sick is “OK” is not correct.

For the record, I can tell you that several of the systems I’ve examined over the past two weeks are neither safe nor in good working order.

My experience as an onsite waste water design consultant has given me some insight into the characteristics of an effective sewage system.

Before you can even apply for a permission to install a new system, you must first create a design plan.

To summarize, before you sign on the dotted line, give this some serious consideration.

Title 12. Health

In order to build your report, first select the parts that you’d want to be included in it. Then click on the “Create Report” option, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Once the report has been prepared, you will have the choice to download it as a pdf file, print it, or email it to anyone you choose.

12VAC5-610-70. Grandfather clause.

An application for a building permit may be submitted by any owner of a grandfathered property, in accordance with the procedures outlined in 12VAC5-610-250. According to Part III (12VAC5-610-450et seq.) of this chapter, the local health department may conduct a site and soil evaluation, and a permit shall be issued for a system that complies to the greatest extent possible with the provisions of this chapter, provided that the site and soil conditions would not prevent the system from operating successfully.

Neither the separation distance between a subsurface absorption system and a drinking water supply, nor its length, may be less than the separation distance established by regulations in effect at the time the grandfathered lot was approved (subdivision approval) or at the time the first permit was issued for the grandfathered lot was issued.


When a statement approved by the division is registered and indexed in the grantor index of the land records of the circuit court that has jurisdiction over the site of the sewage treatment and disposal system, the division has completed its task.

The statement may also include any other information that the division deems necessary to inform them of the unique nature of grandfathered lots.

Any owner of a lot for which a certification letter or subdivision approval was issued after November 1, 1982, may submit an application for a construction permit in accordance with the procedures outlined in 12VAC5-610-250 within 18 months of the date of the certification letter or subdivision approval.

Authority derived from Sections 32.1-12 and 32.1-164 of the Code of Virginia.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are offered solely for the reader’s convenience and are not guaranteed to be live or up to date.

The reader is recommended to consult the source material indicated in the regulation in order to confirm that the information included by reference is accurate.

As a result, we will not be able to reply to legal queries or provide legal advice, including the application of law to specific facts, on our website. An attorney should be consulted in order to fully understand and safeguard your legal rights.

Can a septic system be grandfathered in?

Although many systems installed prior to that year do not comply with the updated regulations, these systems are grandfathered in for the time being so long as they are in proper working order, do not pose any health risks, do not create a public nuisance, and are not undergoing any changes or repairs that would necessitate the addition of additional capacity to the system. Although many systems installed prior to that year do not comply with the updated regulations, these systems are grandfathered in for the time being so long as they are in proper working order, do not pose any health risks, do not create a public nuisance, and are not undergoing any changes or repairs that would necessitate the addition of additional capacity to the system.

  • Ohio’s new sewage regulations will NOT compel everyone in the state to replace their septic system on an automated basis.
  • While some counties have modernized their own rules since then, some counties have not followed this trend.
  • An aseptic tank is a mechanism that is used to dispose of sewage in a safe manner.
  • Is it necessary to put gray water into a septic tank?
  • Homeowners in rural areas who have individual sewage disposalsepticsystems frequently transfer at least some of their washing machinewater away from their septic tank.

Grandfather Law (new house, buyer, inspector) – Pennsylvania (PA)

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We are looking to purchase a house and the septic system on the property drains into a ditch on the property. It has been like this since the house was built in 1978. Would this go under the grandfather law or would we have to change it if we bought the house? Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
What area? I believe this would depend on the municipality. The closer you get to any city, the less lenient the municipality generally will be.
Location: Pennsylvania22,295 posts, read13,279,006timesReputation: 37318
Even in the boonies, they’re starting to get more strict.Open sewage is a health hazard, and smelly.As BTA88 said, check before you buy.The seller may have to fix it, or you may be able to get a lower price on the place with the knowledge that you’ll have to fix it.
Quote:Originally Posted byPAhippo. or you may be able to get a lower price on the place with the knowledge that you’ll have to fix it.Due to the numerous uncertainties in PA’s septic codes word to the wise, do NOT count on this option without an actual issued permit by the local SEO – unless you can afford to gamble and lose all the money on the property.
Location: Selinsgrove, PA1,518 posts, read6,361,685timesReputation: 562
Yes to what ki0eh said.Have a code inspector/sewage enforcement officer (usually found through the county courthouse) inspect the property.The fix may be very costly indeed.
12,725 posts, read12,992,826timesReputation: 6793
Quote:Originally Posted byJSternerWe are looking to purchase a house and the septic system on the property drains into a ditch on the property. It has been like this since the house was built in 1978. Would this go under the grandfather law or would we have to change it if we bought the house? Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank youI seriously doubt it. The neighbor had a superb 5 year old septic system on a new house, and he had to replace it with a sewer connection when the new sewer was put in. If he couldn’t get a bye, then I don’t know why they would give you one!The law is:A sewage system may not discharge untreated orpartially treated sewage to the surface of the ground or into the watersof this CommonwealthDefinition ofWater of this Commonwealth—Rivers,streams, creeks, rivulets, impoundments,ditches, water courses, stormsewers, lakes, dammed water, ponds, springs and other bodies or channelsof conveyance of surface and underground water, or any of their parts,whether natural or artificial within or on the boundaries of thisCommonwealth.You may consider it dirty pool, but I am sure some potential buyer will report the violation. He would be compelled to fix it before selling the property, or he could sell it at an appropriate discount where the new owners would be compelled to fix it.
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Pa Septic Tank Grandfather Rules Study

Septic tank is the technical term. A proportional volume of the liquid layer, known as effluent, flows out of the septic tank and into the effluent treatment system for every cubic foot of wastewater that enters the tank. Scum and sludge will not be flushed out with the wastewater if the septic tank is correctly planned, constructed, operated, and maintained. While septic tank effluent may look clean, microorganisms can be found in it. More information may be found at: EducationView Study

State and Local Regulations—Pennsylvania – SepticGuy.com

Onsite-Wastewater Management, Inc. (Onsite-Wastewater Management, Inc.) 2004-2005 All Rights Reserved. Toll Free: 866.276.5500 Office: 415.388.2260 Fax: 415.389.8445 Toll Free: 415.388.2260 › More information may be found at: EducationView the Case Study

Development StandardsRegulationsAdams County Government

Detailed information:Official Code Interpretation Manual (as of January 23, 2020). To see the whole Development Standards and Regulations Document, please click here (may be slow due to large file size).

The most recent update was made on July 27, 2021. The Community and Economic Development Department can be reached by phone at 720.523.6800 or by email for older copies of the rules. More information may be found at: EducationView the Case Study

A Guide To Florida Septic Tank Regulations and Rules

Details: Regulations & Rules for Septic Tanks in Florida. Current oversite responsibilities for onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems are carried out by the Florida Department of Health. This includes the installation, maintenance, operation, or changes of these systems. When the amount of waste generated surpasses 5000 gallons per day, the situation is taken care of by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. More information may be found at: EducationView Study

Texas Septic Tank Requirements

Photograph courtesy of Valerie Loiseleux/E+/Getty Images.

In This Article

  • Site evaluation for a septic tank
  • Types of septic systems
  • Do-it-yourself (DIY) septic tank installation
  • Septic Tank Permits

In Texas, they say that everything is larger, and this is certainly true in terms of septic tank standards. To have an aseptic tank constructed in the Lone Star State, you’ll have to go through a number of hoops, including site inspections, permits, and permitted installation processes, to name just a few of them. If you’re building a home on the range, here are some things to bear in mind while establishing a septic system: Making sure you have the right permits in place before constructing a new septic tank or updating an existing one is the first step to taking care of business.

There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule.

  • In order to qualify, the tank must serve a single-family dwelling located on a property with a minimum of 10 acres in size (and this residence might be the sole residence on the site)
  • The tank must not be a source of public nuisance or harm groundwater. Neither the tank nor the property can be more than 100 feet apart from each other. The tank is unable to dispose of the wastewater on the land
  • As a result,

Emergency septic tank repairs are another exemption, and they are not required to get a permit in this case. Even if you complete the repairs within 72 hours after starting them, you must still submit them to the appropriate permitting authorities. In addition to the state criteria, licenses issued by local authorities may be subject to more strict regulations.

Grandfathered Septic Tank Systems

If the following conditions are satisfied, a house septic tank in Texas may be grandfathered and exempt from some regulatory procedures, depending on the circumstances:

  • The system must have been installed before to September 1, 1989, or prior to the establishment of an authorized installation program by a local dealer The tank must be equipped with a treatment and disposal system. The tank is not being utilized to treat a bigger volume of sewage than it was when it was initially constructed.

Septic Tank Site Evaluation

Since September 2002, the state of Texas has mandated a site review of any place where a septic tank system will be constructed before it will allow the system to be implemented. The suitable evaluation may only be carried out by a licensed site evaluator or a qualified professional engineer who are both licensed. A septic system evaluation is performed to evaluate the soil quality, including percolation rates, groundwater levels, and other characteristics that will be used to identify which septic system is most appropriate for the site’s conditions.

Evaporative-transpiration (E-T) systems, for example, are acceptable for the vast majority of installations, provided that the slope of the field does not exceed 30 percent.

Mound systems, low-pressure dosing, absorptive drain fields, and leaching chambers are all subject to the same limits and criteria as the others.

Consider the results of your site evaluation to determine groundwater levels, rock horizons, and minimum depths, which will aid you in selecting the appropriate system.

DIY Septic Tank Installation

Under Texas law, it is permissible to construct your own septic system. Certain systems, on the other hand, cannot be marketed to individual property owners and must instead be sold through manufacturing representatives. Additional requirements include that if you pay for any work done by contractors while installing the tank yourself, the contractors must be licensed to do so by the State of Texas. One such instance would be the hire of a contractor to dig a hole for the installation of the septic tank.

Basics for Septic Systems

On-site sewage facilities, also known as OSSFs, must be developed on the basis of a site evaluation that takes into consideration the specific requirements of the location. The system of choice for around 20% of new homes being built in Texas is the radon mitigation system. An On-Site Sewage Facility (OSSF), sometimes known as a “septic system,” is a sewage treatment system that is located on a property. As a result of the unexpected surge in new housing construction in suburban and rural regions, more Texas families are reliant on an OSSF for the treatment and disposal of their domestic sewage.

  1. Systems that accomplish their jobs well while also protecting the environment are made possible by new methods to design and oversight of OSSFs.
  2. A number of soil tests are ruling out traditional systems, which separate liquids from solid waste in a holding tank and then distribute them throughout a drainfield using underground pipes or other proprietary items in many regions of the state.
  3. However, because the majority of Texas soils are incapable of adequately absorbing contaminants, different treatment procedures are necessary.
  4. Any work on an OSSF must be done by a licensed installer or, in the case of a single-family property, by the homeowner himself or herself.

Who checks to make sure the requirements are followed?

Local governments in most parts of the state have taken on the obligation of ensuring that OSSFs in their jurisdictions comply with all applicable state regulations and procedures. There are several local governments that serve as “authorized agents” (AA) of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which is in charge of managing the OSSF Program. A “designated representative” (DR) assists the AA in carrying out their tasks, which include examining plans for constructing, changing, extending, or repairing each OSSF; granting permits; and checking the system’s installation, among others.

The OSSF’s authorized agents and representatives also investigate and respond to complaints to verify that the OSSF is in compliance with minimal requirements.

After that, the agent can file a criminal complaint with the local judge of the peace, who will then investigate the matter.

Industrial or hazardous waste cannot be introduced into an OSSF; instead, this waste will be handled in the soil, destroying the OSSF by actually killing the microorganisms that break down the biosolids and causing it to fail.

Keep in mind that septic systems are intended to manage human waste rather than chemicals.


All OSSFs will require maintenance at some point in their lives. Conventional anaerobic systems require the septic tank to be pumped out on a regular basis in order to remove sediments and prevent the system from backing up. It is advised that you pump your septic tank once every three to five years in order to avoid short circuiting the treatment process and causing damage. To acquire a list of registered sludge transporters in your region, go to theSludge Transporter Queryonline. Aerobic systems are more complicated and require more upkeep than anaerobic ones do.

  1. A number of regulatory authorities have enacted more strict rules, which may include homeowner training or even prohibiting homeowners from performing upkeep on their properties.
  2. In order to guarantee that the system runs appropriately, it is recommended that you contract with a licensed maintenance provider to verify, debug, and test the system as required by 30 TAC 285.91(4).
  3. Once every six months if the system employs an electronic monitor, automated radio, or telephone to alert the maintenance provider of system or component failure as well as to monitor the quantity of disinfection remaining in the system, reporting might be lowered to once every six months.
  4. If any needed repairs are not completed, the permitting authority will be notified of the failure.
  5. The pills are extremely reactive, and within 10 minutes, they will have killed 99 percent of the germs present in the effluent.
  7. Please contact us at (800) 447-2827.

Where can I find more information and assistance?

The Small Business and Local Government Assistance Section of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) provides free, confidential assistance to small enterprises and local governments seeking to comply with state environmental requirements.

Call us at (800) 447-2827 or visit our website at TexasEnviroHelp.org for more information.

Well & Septic

onsite sewage disposal systems (OSDS) supplying newly constructed buildings and any replacement OSDS on land held in the Critical Area must be equipped with the greatest possible technology for eliminating nitrogen, according to the Act (BAT). On October 1, 2009, Senate Bill 554 became law. Beginning on or after October 1, 2009, every septic system constructed in the Critical Area that is begun will be required to contain BAT. When we say “best available technology for nitrogen removal,” we are referring to an OSDS nitrogen removal system that has been approved for use and has received financing from the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF).

Does it apply to me or my project?

The following provisions of the Act are applicable:

  1. If a portion of the property is located within the Critical Area, and if construction begins after October 1, 2009, and if a new, improved, or replacement septic system is necessary (In Cecil County, BAT is not required for simple septic system repairs like as a blocked or broken pipe, BAT is required). Please keep in mind that replacing a septic tank necessitates the installation of BATs.

The legislation does not allow for a grandfathering provision based on the date of application or the date of issuance of a license or permit. BAT is needed on any septic system installations in the Critical Area that occur after October 1, 2009, even if the necessary permits have previously been acquired.

What are the Requirements for Operation and Maintenance (O M)?

  • All BAT systems require ongoing operation and maintenance, which is accomplished through the maintenance of a service contract with a qualified service provider designated by the BAT’s manufacturer. Each BAT system shall be inspected and have necessary operation and maintenance performed by a certified service provider at least once per year, with approval from the MDE. A governmental agency or their designee may also assume responsibility for O M as either the responsible management entity or by issuing renewable operating permits

What Financial Assistance is Available?

The BRF may be able to cover the cost difference between a traditional system and one that incorporates BAT provided sufficient monies are made available in line with the Maryland Annotated Code. The Annotated Code specifies that grants can be made for up to 100 percent of the BAT cost, with priority given first to failing systems located in the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area, and then to failing systems that the Department determines pose a threat to public health or water quality.

For information on how to apply for Bay Restoration Fund grants to cover BAT-related expenses, please see this page.

Individual Household WellSeptic Loan Program administered by SERCAP Individual Programs Application for the SERCAP More information about SERCAP programs may be obtained by dialing 540-345-1184.

What penalties are there for noncompliance?

Senate Bill 554 enables fines of up to $8000 for the construction of a septic system on a property in the Critical Area after October 1, 2009, according to the National Association of Counties. The MDE has also said that, in order to enforce the Act’s obligations, it may be necessary to seek injunctive relief from the courts. Any licenses for properties that have not complied with this Act will be denied by the Cecil County Public Health Department.

Information that is accurate The information in the following guide is for private well maintenance and water testing in Cecil County, Maryland. CCHD-EHS Well Guide for the Years 2010-2021

Grandfathered Clauses & Your Property

If you’ve ever had an older house or cottage, or if you’ve done any remodeling in the past, you’ve probably heard the word “lawful prior non-conforming use,” which is more often referred to as “grandfathered.” However, most people refer to it more colloquially as “grandfathered.” If there is an issue with an existing property that does not comply with by-laws, regulations, or building requirements, it is common to hear the word “grandfathered.” This is especially true when it comes to real estate and property ownership.

  • When dealing with an electrical, plumbing, or construction issue in an older property that does not comply with current building rules, you should consult with a professional immediately.
  • As long as your building is safe, it may not be required to be altered, moved, or demolished in order to satisfy more recent building codes — it has been “grandfathered in” to the older standards.
  • How does it all come together?
  • When investigating a problem, inspectors, by-law officers, and/or real estate attorneys first look at the records and history of the property, and then they examine all of the facts in regard to municipal and provincial building regulations, among other things.
  • The majority of the time, sellers may rest easy if the issue was already resolved before the new standards were implemented and if the use was permitted under the previous zoning regulations (and if legal permits were obtained at the time).
  • Concerns peculiar to Muskoka include: Because of the large number of older homes and cottages in Muskoka – many of which date back to the 1800s – grandfathering difficulties arise on a regular basis.
  • Furthermore, some individuals believe that because a cottage is used only seasonally or is purely a recreational property, it is exempt from meeting current zoning and building requirements, which is not the case.

If you are considering purchasing a home in cottage country, it is critical that you first learn about which items are grandfathered and which are not.

In addition, there are stringent environmental regulations that must be adhered to at all times.

Furthermore, there are modern conservation rules in place to protect rivers and lakes, which means that water tables, septic tanks, septic beds, wells, and other similar structures must follow to tight codes.

What comes next?

Additionally, engaging with an experienced real estate legal team will be extremely beneficial, as they will perform research on outstanding permits, existing liens, encumbrances, violations, and other concerns pertaining to planned uses for your property, which will save you time and money.

We specialize in real estate law, and it is our responsibility to make certain that nothing is overlooked and that your best interests are always safeguarded during the process.

In the event that you’re thinking of remodeling, purchasing, or selling a home in Bracebridge or the surrounding Muskoka region, get in touch with our experts now at (705) 645–8743 to learn more about the services we provide and how we can assist you.

Department of Environmental Quality : About Septic Systems : Residential Resources : State of Oregon

In areas where houses and businesses are not linked to a municipal sewage system, a septic system is the most popular type of sewage treatment for those areas. When simplified to its most basic form, a septic system is comprised of two parts: a septic tank in which solids settle and decay and a drainfield in which liquid drained from the tank is treated by bacteria in the soil. Septic systems that are more sophisticated are constructed in places with high groundwater levels and/or poor soils.

Septic systems that are properly operating treat sewage in order to reduce groundwater and surface water contamination.

Learn more about how septic systems function by reading this article.

Before you buy

If the land is undeveloped, inquire as to whether the property has been examined for appropriateness for septic systems by either the Department of Environmental Quality or a local government contract agent, and if so, request a copy of the site evaluation report. The following are the questions you should ask:Has the site changed since it was last evaluated?

  • Well construction, fill, roads, and other modifications can all have an impact on appropriateness. Is the land suitable for your development needs, taking into account the kind of system stated as acceptable on the report and the placement of the septic system that has been approved?

If the property has not yet been examined, you may choose to request that the present owner arrange for an evaluation to be done. Application for a site review can be made through either the Department of Environmental Quality or a local government contract agent. Before deciding to acquire the land, you must determine what sort of septic system will be necessary, as well as whether or not the permitted system site will fit your development requirements. Existing sewage treatment systems- If you are considering acquiring a home with an existing septic system, you should engage a trained inspector to assess the system before making the purchase.

  • Is it true that the system was implemented without a permit? If not, it is possible that the system is very old (permits have been necessary since 1972, and in certain counties even earlier), or that it was unlawfully built. Systems that have been illegally developed may pose a threat to public health or produce pollution. In the future, you may be forced to upgrade or replace the system, and you may be held accountable and penalized if the system malfunctions or poses a concern to public health and safety. If your family or business has a large number of members, is the system the correct size to meet their needs? Permit documents often include information on the system’s capacity in gallons per day. Typical household water use is 450 gallons per day for a four-bedroom home. How old is the system, and has it been adequately maintained over its lifetime? Is there documentation demonstrating that the septic tank was pumped on a regular basis? Have there been any difficulties or complaints that have been brought to your attention in the past? It is possible that your local permitting agency has records of complaints or infractions that have not been addressed yet. Before you moved here, how many people lived in the house? Perhaps the approach works well with a single person but not so well with four individuals. Is the septic tank connected to all of the plumbing fittings
  • And Is there evidence of a septic system failure, such as puddles over the septic tank or flooded drainfields? If the property is next to surface waterways, check to see that there are no direct discharges from the property. When it comes to septic system replacement, is there a suitable location if the existing system fails? In the event that there are any septic permit documents, they will show the replacement area that should still be “laid aside” for this purpose. What is the role of a qualified inspector? Some septic installers and pumpers have received training in the inspection of existing systems, while others specialize in the installation of new septic systems or pump tanks, as appropriate. Certified maintenance providers may also have the qualifications of a qualified inspector. The goal is to find out what their credentials are in septic system assessments (as opposed to only septic tank evaluations), as well as to obtain some recommendations. Verify the credentials of the references before hiring a contractor.

Signs of septic system failure

  • Pools of water or wet places, unpleasant aromas, and/or dark gray or black soils in the vicinity of your drainfield are all signs that something is wrong. Water from the sewer overflows into the lowest drains in the home. The sound of drains gurgling and poor draining (first check for obstructions)
  • Soapy flows onto the ground surface, into ditches, or into surface waterways It is impossible to mow over the drainfield because the earth is too soft.

Installing a new system

In order to have a new septic system installed, a two-step procedure must be followed. 1. Submit an application for a site review. The tests pits you give on your property will be evaluated by a DEQ or county agent, who will decide the size and kind of septic system that will be required, as well as the placement. 2. Submit an application for a building permit. For application forms, contact your local DEQ office or county agent, or you can obtain DEQ application forms from this website. There is a cost for both the site appraisal and the issuance of the building permit.

Maintaining septic systems

By having your septic tank tested for solids accumulation on a regular basis, you may prevent having to pay for expensive repairs. When the solids buildup in your septic tank exceeds 40%, you should have it pumped by a pumper who is licensed by the DEQ. For advice on how often to get your septic tank examined, contact the Department of Environmental Quality. You may avoid costly repairs by having your septic tank tested on a regular basis (roughly 5 to 7 years) for sludge accumulation.

When the solids buildup in your septic tank exceeds 40%, you should have it pumped by a pumper who is licensed by the DEQ. A well created and maintained system may endure a long time if you follow the commonSeptic System DO’s and DON’Ts.

But, It’s Grandfathered! Six Common Myths about Nonconforming Uses

The phrase “grandfathering” is frequently encountered in the context of municipal governance. Planning commissions, zoning boards of adjustment, building inspectors, selectmen, and code enforcement officers are all tasked with determining whether specific land uses are permitted, whether they may continue, and in what form they should continue. Frequently, these officials are confronted with the claim that a structure, company, or activity has been “grandfathered” and so must be permitted. Is this correct?

  1. Is it possible for local government to control a grandfathered usage in any way?
  2. The purpose of this article is to offer an explanation of what grandfathering is and to dispel some of the most prevalent misconceptions about how it works.
  3. There are many more questions than there are answers in this situation.
  4. One common misconception is that there is some kind of rule stating that “thou must not interfere with a grandfathered land usage.” No, not at all.
  5. The term has evolved over time to serve as a convenient way of referring to the legal notion of shielding lawfully pre-existing nonconforming uses of property from being prohibited by later-enacted legislation.
  6. Owners of real estate are protected by the New Hampshire Constitution and land use statutes, which both prohibit the government from taking away their inherent right to use their property without a court order.
  7. Brust, 122 N.H.

Whenever the government acts in an unreasonable manner to deny a property owner their vested rights, we call this “taking,” and the Constitution mandates that the government make a reasonable effort to compensate the property owner in order to avoid a second “taking.” Naturally, governments would like to keep this scenario from occurring as much as possible.

  • RSA 674:19 is a cryptographic hash.
  • This protection, on the other hand, is not absolute.
  • Henniker, 134 New Hampshire 425, 427 (1991).
  • Examples include Seabrook v.
  • Simonsen, 117 New Hampshire 1010 (1999).
  • The nonconformity (the portion of the use that would now be forbidden) might be due to the nature of the activity (residential use, pig farm, retail shop), or it could be due to physical characteristics (height, width, or depth) (setbacks, size restrictions, frontage).
  • He was in compliance with local zoning regulations, which required a minimum 20-foot setback.

Smith’s home would have been shielded from the stricter limitation if the law had been revised in 2005 to require a 25-foot setback from the front property line because (a) the house fulfilled the setback requirement when it was erected and (b) it had continued to exist since that time.

If, for example, Mr.

Because the home would not have been “lawfully existing” at the time of the code’s increase in setback to 25 feet, it is unlikely to be grandfathered under the terms of the ordinance.

Town of New Boston, 140 N.H.


This is not always the case.

First and foremost, if the usage is discontinued, it may be lost.

See, for example, Lawlor v.

61 (1976).

Salem v.

328 (New Hampshire Supreme Court) (2001).

These are simple examples; most real-world situations are more complicated and rely on a variety of factors to determine the outcome.

In addition, some local statutes specify a set time period during which a use must be re-established in order to avoid abandonment (a “use-it-or-lose-it” clause) in order to prevent abandonment from taking place.

773; McKenzie v.


Second, the concept of grandfathering is to allow property owners to preserve what they have in their current location but restricting the development or extension of that use.

As an example, see the case of Shopland v.

219 (1995).

Construction of extra storeys on a nonconforming structure may also be considered an extension, even if there is no growth of the building’s footprint, and hence a banned extension.


408 (1997) (1991).

In certain cases, even though the new use is less nonconforming than the original use, the change may not be permitted if the zoning rule does not authorize that use in that district.

Natural expansion of a nonconforming use, on the other hand, may be permitted in some restricted instances provided the owner can demonstrate that the extension is not so significant that it amounts to a completely different use from the original.

For example, see Severance v.

359 (1996).

The provisions of the zoning ordinance are also quite significant.

As a result, a summer house that has been grandfathered in can be transformed into a year-round residence.

What is the lesson here?

Myth3: The owner of a substandard property (one that is smaller than the present zoning permits) is grandfathered in for any and all of the uses permitted in that particular district.

Remember from Myth1 that grandfathering preserves lawfully existing nonconforming uses that were previously approved.

There are three methods in which a property owner might improve a subpar lot.

As a result of these provisions, previously developed properties are free from later-enacted frontage and/or lot size limitations, and in some situations, structures may be constructed on those properties by special exception.

) (Once again, it is critical to pay attention to the specifics of the ordinance.) If the code does not contain a savings clause, the owner will be required to request a variance from the zoning board of adjustment (ZBA), as well as a building permit and site plan approval (as required by the municipality), before constructing any construction on a substandard property.

  1. Even the Constitution, on the other hand, does not mandate that every property, regardless of size, must be able to sustain at least one single-family dwelling.
  2. For example, an owner of a substandard shorefront lot was denied a variance for the construction of a seasonal home because there was insufficient space for a septic system on the property.
  3. Derry, 113 N.H.
  4. Third, if the property is part of a vested subdivision, the owner may still be permitted to construct a structure, which leads us to.
  5. This is only true if the property owner satisfies a number of requirements.
  6. 574; Chasse v.
  7. 574; RSA 674.39.

These rights can also be transferred to subsequent owners of the land parcels in question.

Rye, 147 N.H.

The situation is, of course, slightly more complicated than that, as it is with everything else involving grandfathering.

An owner in this situation could find himself caught between RSA 676:12 (which protects some applicants from proposed zoning changes) and RSA 674:39 (which protects all applicants from proposed zoning changes) (protecting those who have received approval and have recorded the plan).

RSA 674:39 is a cryptographic hashing algorithm.

This is an extremely common misunderstanding.

Approvals from the local government: The second myth was that a grandfathered use could be expanded in a few very specific circumstances, which we discussed in detail in Myth2.

See, for example, Bio Energy, LLC v.

145 (1996).

“There is no such thing as an inherent or vested right to endanger the health or safety of the community,” according to the State Fire Code.

NH State Building Code Review Board, 154 New Hampshire 585 (2006).

RSA 153:5 is a verse from the book of Revelation.

Regulations for driveways: The legal right to preserve a driveway entrance that poses a possible threat to the integrity of a public road or to the public’s safety does not apply to any property owner, even if the property is grandfathered in.

Regardless of whether or not they are located inside the highway right-of-way, property owners are responsible for maintaining driveway connections to municipal roadways, including grades, culverts, and any other associated infrastructure.

This may come as a surprise to property owners.

No doubt about it; they have the ability and, more importantly, the responsibility.

Municipalities have been required to license junkyards since 1965, which include motor vehicle junkyards and salvage yards, machinery junkyards, and other similar collections of materials (whether or not it is a business).

If a yard was built before 1965, it is typically considered to be grandfathered in terms of its location.

However, regardless of when a yard was established, it must continue to comply with all other operational requirements imposed by this statute, including, among other things, the Best Management Practices (BMPs) for junkyards established by the Department of Environmental Services (Department of Environmental Services).

All property owners are required to seek and renew an annual license from the governing body.

Therefore, a junkyard owner may have the legal right to keep the yard where it is, but he or she does not have the legal right to operate the yard in any specific way.

Junkyards may be prohibited by municipalities through local zoning regulations; however, legitimately pre-existing junkyards are grandfathered in the same manner that other pre-existing land uses are; the extension and alteration of those junkyards are also restricted in the same way.

In these situations, as with all grandfathering issues, there are frequently more questions than there are answers. Currently, Christine Fillmore is employed as a Staff Attorney in the Legal Services and Government Affairs Department of the New Hampshire Local Government Center.

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