New Septic System Ruling Delay Vetoed by Governor


The governor vetoed a one year delay in the implementation of the septic tank inspection law. As of July 1 THIS YEAR, all septic tanks, unless exempt, will be required to be inspected and not present an unsanitary condition prior to the county allowing or recording transfer of title.

Alert your sellers and buyers on this new requirement!

If a property closes after June 30, this regulation will be effective.

Any questions may be directed to:
Mr.. Daniel Olson, R.S.
Environmental Specialist Senior
Onsite Wastewater Program
Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources
502 E. 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034

fax: 515-281-9985

E-mail: daniel.olson@dnr.iowa.gov

Key provisions of the code (IA Code section 455B.172) ---

Certified inspection report must be filed with the county, or in the event weather or other temporary conditions prevent inspection, buyer must bind themselves to conduct an inspection at a practical time and be responsible for any required modifications to the septic system.
Know exempt properties, most of the type of transfers exempt under the property disclosure law are also exempt for the inspection law, including court ordered transfers, foreclosures, bank repossessions, estates, guardianships, conservatorship and trusts, joint tenants or tenants in common, intra-family transfers, between divorcing individuals, and properties intended to be demolished or razed.
If the owner can provide documentation of the tank being properly pumped within three (3) years prior to inspection by a commercial septic tank cleaner licensed by the DNR, as long as it includes the size, condition and its components- it would be exempt from inspection.
If the tank is failing or improperly functioning, it shall be renovated to meet current construction standards. the costs and responsibility shall be paid by either the seller, or within a time frame set by the county or DNR, the buyer.
If, after inspection, the system is found to be properly treating wastewater and not creating an unsanitary condition, the system is not required to meet current construction standards.
An inspection is valid for two (2) years for any ownership transfers during that period. Abstracts for properties with septic tanks shall include documentation of the requirements of this law.

Link to the Iowa Code
http://coolice.legis.state.ia.us/Cool-ICE/default.asp?Category=BillInfo&Service=Billbook&ga=82&menu=text&hbill=SF261 Detailed administrative rules enacted by the DNR -

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