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Septic Systems

All houses and businesses not on the municipal sewer system are served by septic systems. The Massachusetts regulations governing septic systems known as Title 5 (310 CMR 15.000) are the minimum standards for construction and maintenance. The DEP web page for septic systems is:
Percolation tests and soil evaluations conducted by a certified Soil Evaluator and witnessed by the Board of Health will determine if a site is suitable for a disposal system.  All new systems and most upgrades must be designed by a Massachusetts Registered Engineer or Registered Sanitarian. System installers must be certified by the Berkshire County Boards of Health Assn. and hold a current installer license issued by the Town of West Stockbridge.

Procedure for permitting wells and septic systems:

Application for Disposal System Construction Permit:

Note:  Following documents will need a pdf viewer such as Adobe Reader

(Print Out, Complete, & Submit to Board of Health)
  Local short form:
  Local application for system installer:

Title 5 Inspection

With certain exceptions such as family transfers, Title 5 requires that all septic systems be inspected within two years prior to sale of a property. An inspection may be ordered by the Board of Health. The Title 5 inspection is conducted by a state-approved system inspector and witnessed by the Board of Health agent. Information on Title 5 inspections may be found at:
The Title 5 inspection may designate the system pass, conditional pass, needs further evaluation by the local approving authority, or fail. A pass means none of the failure criteria in the inspection have been met. Conditional pass means that the system will pass with repair or replacement of certain components of the system, such as replacement of a septic tank or distribution box. Further evaluation usually refers to a system which may not meet current construction standards or setback distances, such as to a drinking water well. The Board of Health will make a determination if the system passes after reviewing well water test results or other conditions. If a system fails, the homeowner normally has two years to repair or replace the system, unless the Board of Health deems the system to be a health or environmental threat, in which case a shorter deadline may be established
Title 5 Tax Credit:  There is a Massachusetts tax credit up to $6000 available for repair or replacement of failed septic systems available for a principal residence. For information see:
Please consult with your tax preparer about eligibility.

Town of West Stockbridge 21 State Line Road, West Stockbridge, MA 01266
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