Subsurface Sewage Disposal

The Stamford Department of Health, Environmental Health and Inspections Division, regulates the installation of Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems (SSDS), otherwise known as septic systems.  Providing plan review, site evaluation and final inspections on newly installed systems, the department permits only correctly installed SSDS's thus ensuring the Public Health. 

The regulations for SSDS installation are in the Public Health Code of the State of Connecticut, §19-13-B100a; §19-13-B103; the Technical Standards, (pursuant to §19-13-B103); and the Design Manual, Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems for Households and Small Commercial Buildings.

Q. Does the Department of Health have a record of my SSDS and/or well?

A. The Department of Health may or may not have records of septic systems and wells for homes constructed during the 1950's and 1960's. However, most likely records would be on file for homes constructed after those time periods.

Q. Can I receive a copy of my SSDS and/or well?

A. Yes. Open to the public office duty hours as of March 1, 2012 are Monday through Friday 8:45am to 12:00 noon. You may also call 203 977-4382 requesting information regarding your property. Please be sure to leave your name, telephone number, fax number if available and the address and lot number of the parcel.

Q. May I add to my house?

A. If public sewers are not available, 19-13-B100a of the State of CT Public Health Code requires that prior to allowing any type of building addition (whether you are adding bedrooms or not) a subsurface sewage disposal system ( SSDS ) code complying area (CCA) shall be established on your lot for future septic repair use. This work usually involves hiring a licensed septic installer or a State of CT registered professional engineer and more than likely requires a backhoe to excavate deep test holes for design purposes.

Q. Can the Department of Health inspect my SSDS?

A. The Department of Health issues permits for septic system installations and inspects those systems prior to backfilling. You would need to contact a licensed installer or State of Connecticut registered professional engineer to inspect a septic system that has been previously installed.

Q. How often should I pump my tank?

A. Approximately every two years, but this will vary based on usage and occupancy.

Q. May I install a garbage grinder or disposal?

A. The majority of the septic systems are not designed to receive waste from garbage grinders or disposals. The fats and oils as well as the suspended ground up fine particles can make their way into the leaching system, cause clogging and ultimately a septic system failure. Additionally, where internal sewage pumping is required, sewage ejector pumps are recommended as opposed to sewage grinder pumps. The cost of a new septic system for residential dwellings can range anywhere from $20,000 to $90,000 depending on the soil conditions and the size of the system needed.

Q. I have a water treatment system for my well water; can this harm my septic system?

A. Wastewater (backwash) from water treatment systems by law cannot discharge into septic systems. A separate dedicated leaching structure is required and shall be constructed in accordance with DEP guidance and/ or general permit. This leaching structure shall meet the same required separating distances as a sewage disposal system.

Note: You may also call 203 977-4382 for more information.