Subsurface Wastewater Unit

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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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Small Community Grant Program (SCG)

With the 130th Maine Legislature’s approval of Governor Mills’ The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, one-time funding in the amount of $3,000,000 has been allocated to the Small Community Grant program, administered by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). This funding was provided by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, to be used toward State Fiscal Recovery. In 2022, $1,000,000 was available for Municipalities to apply for projects, of which $768,000 was allotted to projects. The total remaining funds are available in 2023.

The Maine DEP is now accepting applications for Small Community Grant (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. Grant applications will be accepted throughout the year, but will be reviewed on a quarterly basis. To be considered in the first round, Applications must be submitted by February 28th, 2023, before 5pm. Click here for instructions on submitting an application.

The Maine DEP will assess the applications and send out a letter to the Municipalities by March 17th, 2023, determining grant eligibility. For more information, please go to the Small Community Grant handbook that is located on the SCG website:

For more information please see the following website,

Town Office Resources

Resources and guidance materials to assist Town office staff in the preparation and submittal of plumbing permits and the State’s share of permit fees.

Certified Contractor Renewal

Certified contractors expiring at the end of 2021 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. Please send them to Any questions please call Brent Lawson at 592-7376

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.

Upcoming Training

2023 Subsurface Training Agenda

This training will consist of going over the proposed rule changes as well as the installation and inspection process.
9:00-12:00 (standard) Time may run a little longer
Breakfast items and coffee will be available
4 CEU’s for LPI’s, new or recertification of Installers and Inspectors

Email below to register

Waterboro - CLASS FULL! 02/08/2023
Winthrop 02/15/2023
Bradford 02/22/2023
Skowhegan 03/01/2023
Raymond 03/08/2023
Bethel 03/21/2023 (new date)
Belfast 03/29/2023
Caribou - also joined by LUPC as well 05/17/2023
Brewer 06/07/2023 221 Green Point Rd, Brewer, ME


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.


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:


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:


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 Brent Lawson 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 Brent Lawson, 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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Product Approvals

Approved products for use in subsurface wastewater systems in Maine

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