Amendments to the Standards for Individual Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems (N.J.A.C. 7:9A) have been adopted and will appear in the April 2, 2012 New Jersey Register. The Onsite Wastewater Management Program has included some highlights on these amendments.
The Onsite Wastewater Management Program maintains the regulations governing low volume residential and commercial onsite wastewater treatment systems, commonly called septic systems. These regulations, the
Standards for Individual Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems (N.J.A.C. 7:9A) contain requirements for the proper design, construction, and operation of systems to protect public health and the environment. This program is coodinated with, and implemented though, the local health departments. The program is committed to improving New Jersey’s water quality and protecting human health and the environment and both improving and promoting local septic management.
A new wastewater regulation was adopted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), and took effect on April 2, 2012. The new regulation concerns septic systems and inspection requirements for all real property transfers. For further information, please consult the NJDEP website at
The important points you should know:
- Sales involving properties with septic systems may take longer to close.
- Any seller in New Jersey with property having a cesspool cannot complete a sale of that property until a new septic system is installed.
- The only exception is if the property is sold to a family member.
- For real estate transactions under contract before April 2, 2012, with closing scheduled prior to June:
- If a cesspool is in working order and the closing is within 60 days of the April 2 effective date (June 2), the cesspool is not required to be upgraded.
- If a cesspool requires repairs, the system must be upgraded prior to closing.
- Clients should consult with their attorneys for detailed information about their obligations.
- Shared septic systems are no longer allowed. Therefore, if a house with a shared system is to be sold, both properties must install new systems before closing.
- The new rule does not mandate an inspection; it establishes the protocol for municipalities and inspectors.
- If an inspection is done, inspectors are required to submit inspection results to the local health department.
- The regulation requires local health department officials to respond to every report of system malfunction.
- The health department is required to visit the property even if the inspection report indicates the septic system is working properly.
- Any other problem identified during the inspection is to be resolved between the parties to the transaction. The seller and buyer may negotiate who is responsible for corrections or upgrades.
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