Schaub Team Blog
Posted by Jamie Jewell on Mar 23 , 2023 - 07:16 am
In January 2023, the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department (BLDHD) announced a unified sanitary code requiring property owners in Leelanau to have their septic and well systems inspected at the time of transfer. A similar ordinance has been in place for Benzie residents since 1992.
The code states that properties in Leelanau and Benzie Counties with onsite wells and/or onsite sewage treatment systems must be evaluated prior to the property being sold or transferred to a new owner – this includes when a parent passes a property to a child.
According to BLDHD, the purpose of the regulation is “to protect public health and prevent or minimize the degradation of groundwater and surface water quality by malfunctioning sewage treatment systems and to assure safe drinking water supplies.”
Our team asked some specific questions to the BLDHD office to clarify some commonly asked questions.
Q: What is the process for having a well and septic evaluation completed?
- Sellers, in preparation for listing their property, should complete and submit a Sewage/Well Evaluation Application. All required inspections must be completed prior to closing. Schaub Team suggests that Sellers submit the application as soon as a Listing Agreement is signed.
Q: Does a recent well or septic evaluation by another company meet the requirements for the new POS ordinance?
A: No. The BLDHD needs to perform the well and septic evaluations.
Q: How long are the POS evaluations valid?
A: Well and septic evaluations are valid for 3 years. Water tests are valid for 6 months. After those times, new evaluations and tests need to be ordered.
Q: If your home or business is connected to a municipal sewer system, are you still required to have a Point of Sale (POS) inspection done?
A: If a dwelling is served by a municipal sewer system and served by a water well, a septic evaluation does NOT need to be performed, but a well evaluation is still required.
Q: If a home or business is connected to a municipal water system, what inspections are required?
A: If a dwelling is served by a community (Type I) or (Type II) Non-Community water supply and served by an on-site or community septic system – which is different than a municipal system, a water well evaluation does NOT need to be performed, but it is still required that a septic system evaluation be performed.
Q: Would anyone living in the Village of Suttons Bay connected to both sewer and water be completely exempt from performing a POS inspection?
A: If a dwelling is served by both a municipal septic system and a municipal water supply, our (BLDHD) office does not need to perform an inspection.
Q: What is the cost of a POS inspection?
- Fees are tied to the age of the system and/or if the system has been previously inspected after a certain date. The fee schedule can be found at this link (BLDHD FY 2023 Fee Schedule) or on the BLDHD website (www.bldhd.org). When an application is submitted, a credit card is required but will not be charged until BLDHD determines the cost. Once the Seller is provided the cost they will have the option to mail a check or charge the credit card on file (a 3% fee applies). To view existing records held by BLDHD by dwelling visit Environmental Health Digital Records Portal.
For additional questions, contact Environmental Health at 231.256.0201 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.