When selling a house or commercial building/facility with a septic system, also known as an Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) in Pueblo County, the septic system must be inspected and approved by the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment (PDPHE) before closing.
The Transfer of Title Program is to protect buyers from purchasing a property with a failing septic system. The Transfer of Title Program requires the seller of the home, to submit an application to PDPHE to have the septic system pumped and inspected by a certified National Association of Wastewater Technician (NAWT).
An Acceptance Document is issued by PDPHE upon proof that the system is not in a state of failure and compliant with state and local OWTS regulations.
Who can inspect my system?
The inspection may be conducted by Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment (PDPHE) or a NAWT certified Transfer of Title Inspector registered with PDPHE. Some certified inspectors have the equipment to pump out the septic system and perform the certified inspection.
Individuals who plan to use PDPHE for the certified inspection, will need to fill out a Transfer of Title application. On the application, provide the date, time, and pumping company so, PDPHE can coordinate with them. The certified inspection fee is $300.00. This does not include any fees charged by the pumping company.
How long is the inspection good for?
An Acceptance Document is valid for 12 months, or until the title is transferred, whichever comes first.
How long does the process take?
PDPHE strives to process Transfer of Title applications and certified inspections within 3-5 business days of a request. This includes certified inspections conducted by a registered company. PDPHE recommends the seller have the inspection completed, before putting the house on the market. Having an inspection early, gives the homeowner time to perform any maintenance or repairs needed to bring the septic system into working order and in compliance with state and local regulations.
Can I get a second opinion or explanation?
Yes, PDPHE automatically verifies any failures documented by a private inspection. This is verified by a site visit or photographic evidence submitted with the inspection report. PDPHE must verify every failure and approve a permit (if required) prior to any repairs being made.
Sellers with concerns about a PDPHE certified inspection that resulted in a failure can call 719-583-4307 and speak to a Program Manager to discuss the findings.
If buyers have questions about the OWTS or inspection results, our staff will be happy to discuss the OWTS and inspection results with them.
My system failed – what happens next?
Regardless of who inspected the system, PDPHE issues a Deficiency Document that lists corrective actions that need to be taken to receive an Acceptance Document. Summaries of the corrective actions are on the second page. This report also has contact information for the PDPHE staff who processed your inspection. Questions can be answered by a phone call or email, staff are assist.
We are closing before repairs can be made – what do we do?
PDPHE can issue a Waiver of Acceptance Document in this scenario. The Waiver allows the buyer to assume responsibility for bringing the OWTS into compliance within a set time frame, typically 30-60 days after closing. To apply for a Waiver, PDPHE requires signatures from the buyer and seller, documenting that the buyer is purchasing the property as is and understands their responsibility to bring the system into compliance with the regulations.
The Waiver does not exempt a property from being inspected. An inspection is always required to document the state of the OWTS prior to being sold.