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Population: 1,235,786

Information on the state of New Hampshire 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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William E. Evans, P.E., Administrator
Subsurface Systems Bureau, or
Robert P. Minicucci II, P.E.
Innovative Technology Coordinator
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES)
6 Hazen Drive
Concord, New Hampshire 03301
(603) 271-3304 or (603) 271-2941 (respectively)
(603) 271-6683 (fax)





Regulations, Statutes & State Codes:
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New Hampshire State Regulations

New Hampshire Constitutions, Statutes and Codes

Subdivision and Individual Sewage Disposal System Design Rules
Chapter Env-Ws 1000
August 26, 1999

New Hampshire onsite regulations were last updated in 1999. Current regulations may be found on the World Wide Web site above. State Code is not currently under revision, and there are no plans to revise it prior to July 31, 2002.

For a list of technologies that are approved in New Hampshire for onsite wastewater treatment and disposal, go to the Web site http://des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pip/factsheets/ssb/ Site-by-site approvals are possible for experimental installation, especially to address problems associated with failed systems on old, small lots.

Surface discharge is not an option for onsite septic disposal systems in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Code allows drainfield area/size reductions. Treatment systems reviewed under Env-Ws 1024 that are deemed to reliably produce secondary-quality effluent (30/30) are given a 50% reduction in leachfield sizing. For a list of technologies considered for drainfield reductions see http://des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pip/factsheets/ssb/documents/ssb-12.pdf

No funding program exists to assist homeowners either replacing failing systems or installing new systems, nor are there plans to develop one.

Onsite wastewater demonstration, research, or testing projects are ongoing in New Hampshire; there are two such operations now active. Information about the first one, an evaluation center, may be obtained by contacting:

Dick Clough
Granite State Designers & Installers
PO Box 1567
76 S. State St.
Concord, NH 03302
(603) 228-1251

Questions about product testing, the second project, may be directed to:

Dr. Aaron Margolin
Professor of Microbiology
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824
(603) 862-1234

New Hampshire Code recognizes/requires management programs or districts to monitor and maintain onsite systems or individual liquid waste systems. When innovative/alternative technologies approved under Env-Ws 1024 are used, the property owner is required to have a maintenance contract.

New Hampshire tracks the number of permits issued for new construction each year. For the fiscal year 7/1/00-6/31/01, 8,587 designs were approved. Of these, 761 were for repair/replacement. These numbers represent State records. Municipalities maintain their own records, which vary from good to haphazard.

The State of New Hampshire considers a system failed when either the plumbing doesn't drain or there is wastewater at the surface. The most common reason for system failure in the state is use beyond design parameters/limits.

New Hampshire has a licensing/certification program for designers and installers of onsite wastewater systems. For design purposes a licensed designer must perform the site evaluation. For other purposes, such as for a bank considering financing the property, there is no licensing requirement, although we are moving toward establishing one.

For information pertinent to municipal wastewater regulations, contact:

John Bush, P.E., Administrator
Wastewater Engineering Bureau
(603) 271-2001 (phone)


Quick Facts:
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Total number of onsite systems: About 38,000 have been installed since 1986 (since adequate
records have been kept); 1990 U.S. census reports about 250,000 systems total.

Number of new systems installed each year: 3300-4000.

Failure definition: Hydraulic failure of leach field, or plumbing backup.

Number or proportion of systems presently failing: Less than 5%.

Number or proportion repaired annually: About 500.

Number or proportion replaced annually: NA

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

Number or proportion of repairs or replacements that require advanced technology (e.g.,
disinfection, nutrient removal):
Almost none, perhaps fewer than 10/year.

Cost of a conventional septic system installation: $6000; range $1000-$20,000.

Cost of a centralized sewer tie-in (including fees and cost of the sewer lateral): $1200, not
counting tie-in fees, which are set locally and vary.


Septic Stats:
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NEW HAMPSHIRE 1,109,252 503,904 303,911 141,959 46,866 11,168 250,060 246,692 7,152
BELKNAP COUNTY 49,216 30,306 13,505 12,588 3,312 901 13,292 15,963 1,051
CARROLL COUNTY 35,410 32,146 11,502 12,441 6,291 1,912 3,966 27,073 1,107
CHESHIRE COUNTY 70,121 30,350.00 15,675 11,128 2,846 701 13,151 16,628 571
COOS COUNTY 34,828 18,712 11,398 2,892 1,742 2,680 10,304 7,435 973
GRAFTON COUNTY 74,929 24,206 22,664 10,923 6,793 1,826 18,574 22,956 676
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY 336,073 135,622 102,798 25,510 6,864 450 91,630 43,353 639
MERRIMACK COUNTY 120,005 50,870 30,279 15,008 5,024 559 25,281 25,149 440
ROCKINGHAM COUNTY 245,845 101,773 55,890 36,602 8,278 1,003 41,632 59,095 1,046
STRAFFORD COUNTY 104,233 42,387 29,136 9,732 3,004 515 23,975 18,131 281
SULLIVAN COUNTY 38,592 19,532 11,064 5,135 2,712 621 8,255 10,909 368


Onsite Demonstration Programs:
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There is no information available on Onsite Demonstration Programs in New Hamsphire.

Onsite Management Communities:
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There is no information available on Onsite Management Communities in New Hampshire.