Septic System Ordinances


AKA: Point of Sale (POS), Time of Sale/Transfer (TOST), Mandatory septic inspection or pumping

Michigan is the only state without a statewide sanitary code…meaning it is left up to counties or townships to set standards. In Michigan, the public health code charges local health departments with developing and implementing codes regarding water wells and septic systems. Local communities around the state are beginning to pass Time of Sale/Transfer (TOST) septic ordinances (also called Point of Sale, or POS). Time of Sale/Transfer ordinances which require local inspection of well and septic systems prior to the sale of a property.

These are designed to identify well and septic systems that are no longer functioning as designed (or were installed without regard to the code) and then require corrective action if necessary. Older systems, which may not meet current codes, are typically grandfathered in as long as they are still functioning. However, if a system is determined to be failing then repair or replacement is required. There are other policy options that can be considered as well such as a mandatory inspection or a mandatory pumping ordinance.


Additional References

OrganizationCountyResource DescriptionResource Link
Tip of the Mitt Watershed CouncilCharlevoix County Article: "The Septic Question"Click here

Additional Ordinance Examples

MunicipalityCountyResource DescriptionResource Link
Kalkaska CountyKalkaska CountySanitary Code Chapter 5: Wastewater and Sewage DisposalClick here
Manistee CountyManisteeSanitary Code Chapter 5: Wastewater and Sewage DisposalClick here
Springfield TownshipOakland CountySection 40-639 (b): Lots abutting waterbodies- septic tank minimum setback regulationClick here
Shiawassee CountyShiawassee CountyClick here
Washenaw CountyWashtenaw County Time of Sale Inspection Requirements ProgramClick here