Septic Systems

               41 Old Main Rd (1)
155 Katherine Lee Bates SAS install
16 Joyce St. septic install


Click on this link for the regulation.

FHR 15.00 draft 

On October 16, 2023, the Falmouth Board of Health will hold a hearing on proposed changes to the town’s local regulation regarding septic systems (FHR 15.00).  The Hearing will be held in the Hermann Room of the Falmouth Public Library at 5:30 p.m..  The major changes to this regulation are as follows:

  • Cesspools encountered during a Title 5 inspection for transfer of title would now be considered automatic failures thus requiring a Title 5 system upgrade.  
  • Adjusted groundwater elevation will need to be a minimum of elevation of 2.0 using the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAV88). 
  • Alternative technology septic systems that are allowed a reduction in vertical groundwater separation under their Use Approvals from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection will no longer be allowed to have that reduction for properties that have >25% of their land located within 300’ from a marine resource.  Those properties located within this requirement must fully comply with Title 5’s groundwater separation requirements.  
  • All design plans will need to show a location on the property, whenever possible, where a future Innovative/ Alternative enhanced treatment septic system can be added if they become required in the future.  Plans would also be required to show an additional 6” of vertical separation between the septic tank and the soil absorption system for the same purpose.
  • Applications for septic systems that include Innovative/ Alternative enhanced treatment technology would now include a signed applicant Certificate of Understanding from the property owner.
  • Individuals or entities that operate and maintain Innovative/ Alternative enhanced treatment systems would need to obtain a license from the Falmouth Board of Health and would need to provide proof of appropriate qualifications.
  • Soil absorption systems would need to have inspection ports within 3” to grade.
  • The addition of a test for TKN to the required well water quality analysis when a property is served by an on-site potable water well and a Title 5 inspection is being performed.


A septic system is an individual wastewater treatment system that allows the surrounding soil to treat wastewater flows from a residential or commercial property. Septic systems may vary in many ways, but the basic components to a modern system are the septic tank, a distribution box, and the soil absorption system.

Your septic system conducts the primary treatment for your household wastewater by temporarily holding it in the septic tank where heavy solids and lighter scum are allowed to separate from the wastewater.  The solids stored in the tank are partially decomposed by bacteria and later removed, along with the lighter scum, by a professional septic tank pumper.  After the wastewater leaves the septic tank it moves on to the distribution box, which evenly distributes the flow to all areas of the soil absorption system.  The effluent is slowly dispersed to the surrounding soils, where it undergoes secondary treatment by biological activity at the soil interface; a film develops here which is known as the biological mat, or biomat.  The clarified wastewater eventually makes its way through the soils to the groundwater.

Falmouth PermitEyes system allows all applications to be submitted and viewed online. 

To apply for a Septic Disposal Works Construction Permit, Installer's License, Pumper & Hauler's License, Witness of Soil Percolation Test, & Submission of a Title 5 Report, use links below. 

New Users Click Here to create a UserID for Falmouth Permit Eyes

Returning Users Click Here to submit applications and view application status

Septic System Forms and Regulations

Documents and Links

  • There is a tax credit available to homeowners for the repair or replacement of a failed septic system; please click here for more information, and click here for the tax form. This credit may also be claimed by individuals who are required to connect to a town sewer system, click here to find out more.
  • Barnstable County Community Management Septic Loan Program offers financial assistance to homeowners replacing a failed septic system.
  • The Homeowner Checklist provides a list of useful questions that homeowners should ask when hiring professionals for a septic system installation.