Other States:
Population: 1,274,923

Information on the state of Maine is available for the following topics. To review this information, click on the links below.

Contacts| Regulations, Statutes & State Codes | Quick Facts | Septic Stats

Onsite Demonstration Programs | Onsite Management Communities



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James Jacobsen, Environmental Specialist IV
Maine Bureau of Health
Division of Health Engineering
10 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0010
(207) 287-5695
(207) 287-3165 (fax)



Regulations, Statutes & State Codes:
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Maine State Regulations

Maine Constitutions, Statutes and Codes

Maine Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules
144A CMR 241
June 1, 2001

Onsite regulations for Maine were last revised June 1, 2001. Regulations are currently not under revision, but there are plans to "fine tune" the existing Code prior to July 31, 2002, and revise the product registration protocol.

In Maine, conventional, advanced treatment, and experimental technologies are approved for use for onsite wastewater treatment and disposal. Other technologies may be allowed after a filed application for registration or for experimental review.

Surface discharge is an option in Maine for onsite septic disposal systems, but not under Maine State Plumbing Code, Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules. This would require a discharge license from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

State Code allows for drainfield area/size reductions based on wastewater loading rates. Advanced treatment technologies are considered for drainfield reduction.

Funding is available to assist homeowners replacing failing systems or installing new systems. Those interested in the program should contact:

Richard Green
Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection
17 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0017
(207) 287-3901

There is an onsite wastewater demonstration site currently operating in Maine. Lana Clough, Maine State Planning Office, may be contacted for additional information at (207) 287-8056, or at lana.clough@state.me.us

Maine State Code does not recognize or require management programs to monitor and maintain onsite systems or individual liquid waste systems, and there are no plans to do so. Maintenance/management programs are adopted by local ordinance, only if asked.

The State tracks the number of permits issued per year for new construction and for system replacement (approximately 10,000 each per year). These records are maintained at both the state and local levels.

In Maine, a failed system is defined as a system that is not operating or functioning properly. Indications of a malfunctioning system include, but are not limited to, any of the following: ponding or outbreak of wastewater or septic tank effluent onto the surface of the ground; seepage of wastewater or septic tank effluent into parts of buildings below ground; backup of wastewater into the building served that is not caused by a physical blockage of the internal plumbing; or contamination of nearby water wells or waterbodies/courses. Lack of maintenance is cited as the most common cause of system failure, followed by poor installation.

Maine licenses/certifies site evaluators and local plumbing inspectors. Only those individuals licensed by the Maine Bureau of Health may perform site evaluation/inspection. There is also a Voluntary Installer Certification program for educating system installers.

State onsite certification or licensing programs are available for inspectors, designers, engineers, and geologists. In spring 1999, Maine began a voluntary installer certification program.

For municipal wastewater regulations, please contact Leslie Rucker, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, at (207) 287-9031 or at leslie.a.rucker@state.me.us


Quick Facts:
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Total number of onsite systems: 500,000+.

Number of new systems installed each year: About 35,000 (there is some question about the
accuracy of this figure).

Failure definition: Effluent outbreak, ponding, plumbing backup; contamination of nearby

Number or proportion of systems presently failing: NA

Number or proportion repaired annually: NA

Number or proportion replaced annually: NA

Number or proportion of repairs or replacements that require alternative technology (e.g.,
sand filters, pressure dosing):

Number or proportion of repairs or replacements that require advanced technology (e.g.,
disinfection, nutrient removal):
Very few, <1%.

Cost of a conventional septic system installation: $6000-$10,000.

Cost of a centralized sewer tie-in (including fees and cost of the sewer lateral): NA


Septic Stats:
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Onsite Demonstration Programs:
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No information available on Onsite Demonstration Programs in Maine.

Onsite Management Communities:
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No information available on Onsite Management Communities in Maine.