Health Notes: Cesspool closeout deadline extended two years

Posted 11/8/23

The Westport Board of Health local septic regulation was recently amended to extend the deadline for cesspools to be upgraded to meet current Title 5 standards to February 1, 2028. The Board of …

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Health Notes: Cesspool closeout deadline extended two years

Posted

The Westport Board of Health local septic regulation was recently amended to extend the deadline for cesspools to be upgraded to meet current Title 5 standards to February 1, 2028. The Board of Health heard concerns about the financial impact for many homeowners and voted to grant up to two extra years for the upgrade to be completed. Please note that if a cesspool has failed or the homeowner is selling a property with a cesspool, it may be necessary to do the upgrade sooner.
In the meantime, the Board supported an effort to provide a significant tax relief for homeowners who fixed their failing cesspools and septic systems. The new Massachusetts Tax law changes that provide up to $18,000 in tax credits over six years was signed by the Governor on October 3rd, and will be a huge help to affected Westport homeowners. More details about this new tax law are highlighted in the October Westport Health Notes column, which can be found at :

There are also several loan programs available to homeowners needing to upgrade their cesspool or a failed septic system. The Town offers the Community Septic Loan program at five percent interest, and MassHousing offers low interest financing through participating banks to help homeowners address a failing or non-compliant septic system. The interest range is 0 to 2.5 percent, for income eligible homeowners with up to $127,700 annual income. Local participating banks are BankFive and First Citizen’s Federal Credit Union. More details are at www.masshousing.com/home-ownership/homeowners.
Cesspools concentrate the wastewater in one location, often deep within the ground. This polluted groundwater flows into drinking water wells, the Westport River and other surface water streams and ponds. If a well is close to the cesspool, there is an increased risk of the drinking water being contaminated. Therefore, the Board of Health continues to encourage homeowners with cesspools on their property to begin the process of upgrading as soon as feasible. For more information, the BOH website (www.westport-ma.com/board-health) has a septic section with links to applicable regulations, resources, and septic repair loan and tax credit guidance.

Westport Health Notes is a regular publication of the Westport Board of Health.

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