A new law in Rhode Island requires the removal of existing cesspools from service after a property is sold. This is among the changes to onsite wastewater rules this year in Rhode Island. Replacing a cesspool with a septic tank typically costs approximately $12,000-$15,000. Homeowners who choose to attach to their municipality’s sewage system pay around $7,000. Two percent loans are available for those who qualify. New cesspools have been banned in Rhode Island since 1968, but there are still about 25,000 in operation. The Cesspool Act that has recently been signed into law, requires cesspools to be disconnected and replaced with a modern septic system or connection to a sewer system within 12 months of the sale of the property. It’s important to note, if a homeowner closed on the sale of their property prior to January 1, of this year, the upgrade requirement does not apply until the next time the property is transferred. The changes now being enforced are anticipated to result in approximately 400 cesspools being taken out of service every year. The removal of cesspools from yards and other property across the state, is expected to be a fundamental step toward improving the water quality of Narragansett Bay.
Providence installers and residents alike, are you interested in continuing education courses? Did you know the University of Rhode Island at Kingston is offering instructive courses in wastewater processes? One of the offered courses you may be interested in is a Functional Inspections course. This one-day class focuses on how to perform a functional (point-of-sale) inspection of a conventional wastewater treatment system which is typically done prior to home sales. Topics covered include a brief inspection refresher, elements of a functional inspection, newer tools and techniques, and wastewater management. This course also includes a field trip to practice what you’ve learned. Additional courses range from surveying techniques to nitrogen in the environment and how it effects wastewater systems.