Septic Systems / Title 5

ExcavatorSeptic systems that are not properly designed or maintained contribute pathogens and nutrients to groundwater and surface water, endangering drinking water supplies, shellfish beds, and surface water bodies.

Title 5 of the State Environmental Code, 310 CMR 15.000, protects you, your family, and your neighbors from these public health threats. MassDEP, local Boards of Health, and system owners all share the responsibility for the proper siting, construction, upgrade, and maintenance of on-site systems.

On-site wastewater disposal systems include conventional septic systems, cesspools, and innovative/alternative systems. They are individual systems that treat small wastewater flows, usually under 10,000 gallons per day. Over 30% of homes in Massachusetts use on-site wastewater systems, as well as small businesses and institutions in unsewered areas.

Septic System GroundDownload a copy of the Title 5 regulations (PDF).

Download a copy of the City of Taunton Homeowner’s Guide to Title 5 Septic System Repairs (PDF).

There are local regulations on the following items related to septic systems in Taunton. Get a copy of each regulation:


  • Percolation Test Application New Construction: $300 plus $250
    • Consultant fee - Two separate checks
  • Percolation Test Application for Repairs: $200
  • Additional Perc Test Holes: $100 per hole
  • Septic System Application New Construction: $300 plus $150.00consultant fee. Two separate checks.
  • Septic System Application Repairs: $200 plus $150
    • Consultant fee - Two separate checks
  • If the job includes an abandonment add an additional: $25
  • If the job includes a variance add an additional: $25
  • If abandoning a well add an additional: $50
  • Emergency repairs/component replacements: $100
  • Abandonments for sewer tie-ins: $50
  • Title 5 Inspection Report Submission: $25

Note: Abandonments done as part of a sewer tie-in require their own permit.

All fees must be made by check or money order payable to the City of Taunton. Please identify what the fee is for on the memo section of the check.

Percolation Tests

Munsell Percolation TestA Percolation Test Application (PDF) must be filled out with the appropriate fee to start the process.

  • Once a completed application & trench permit are received, the Health Agent will contact the engineer to schedule the test.

Septic System Plans

Septic plans must be stamped by the Conservation Department before being submitted to the Board of Health.

All requests for variances and soil logs must be submitted with the plans along with the appropriate checks payable to the City of Taunton.

Once the plans have been reviewed by the Septic Plan Review Agent, the home owner, contractor, and engineer will receive a letter either approving or requesting a revision of the plan with a list of required changes.

Requesting a Variance / Local Upgrade Approval

Any requests for reduction in the systems distance to property line must have proof of abutters notifications and must be approved by the Board of Health at the monthly Board meeting.

All variance paperwork must be submitted along with the septic system application. There is an additional $25 fee charged for the septic system application.

Septic System Inspections

Before starting any work, an installer licensed by the Taunton Board of Health must come into the office and request the permit and plans for the job. This permit and the licensed installer must be on site at all times.

The Taunton Board of Health conducts an open hole inspection prior to the system being installed and a final inspection once the system is in place.

The Board of Health also reviews the As-Built Plan for the septic system before issuing a Certificate of Compliance.

We recommend calling the office two days in advance to request an inspection so that we may be better able to conduct the inspections at the time requested.


Before starting any work, an installer licensed by the City of Taunton must fill out an abandonment application. The permit for the job cannot be given until we receive a copy of the sewer permit, trench permit, and the appropriate abandonment fee has been paid.

If an abandonment is being done in conjunction with a septic system installation, then the abandonment is part of the septic system permit.

The Taunton Board of Health witnesses all septic tank and cesspool abandonments being crushed and back-filled.

Note: We only witness abandonments that are the result of a sewer tie-in. We do not witness those abandonments done due to an installation of a new septic system.

  • Fee: $50 per abandonment

Title 5 Inspections

Title 5 inspections can only be conducted by a licensed Title V Inspector. The Department of Environmental Protection issues these licenses and you can find a list of licensed individuals by clicking here.

All Title 5 reports done in Taunton must be submitted to the Board of Health within 30 days of the inspection date for review. A $25 filing fee is charged for each Title 5 report and must be supplied along with the report.

If a system fails a Title 5 inspection, the home owner is given two years to repair the system, unless the system poses a danger to public health and safety, in which case the Board of Health would require that the system be repaired in a more timely manner.

Septic System Installers

Soil HorizonsIf you would like to be a septic system installer or do sewer tie-ins in Taunton, you must take a one-time exam issued by the Board of Health and score a 76% or better. After passing the exam, an installer will only need to renew his or her installers permit every year.

If you would like to set up a time to sit for the exam, please contact the Board of Health at 508-821-1400.


  • $25 Exam
  • $100 Yearly Permit Fee

Access an Electronic Application below.

Register a Complaint

To register a complaint, please call 508-821-1400 so that your issue can be addressed in a timely manner.