HAE

What is Changing? 
As of July 1, 2021, Larimer County will begin a program that will require inspection of on-site  wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) at time of property transfer.

 
What is a Transfer of Title Program? 
Under a Transfer of Title Program, property served by an on-site wastewater treatment system  must be inspected by a certified 3rd party inspector to identify any conditions requiring repair,  and verify the design of the system is consistent with its current use. The inspection report is  then submitted to the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) prior to  the closing.  


Why is the County starting this program?  
Failing on-site treatment systems pose a risk to public health and can have a serious impact to  our ground and surface water. Many buyers are unaware of how to evaluate an OWTS or what  to look for to determine if it is functioning correctly, or if the system is properly sized for the  home. A functioning OWTS is an important part of the home and needs to be inspected to  ensure it is in good condition. Statewide, counties operating Transfer of Title programs identify issues needing repair in around 20% of the OWTS that are inspected. If not properly inspected,  these systems are then transferred to buyers who may not understand the implications of having a malfunctioning system or the costs involved with repair.  

A transfer of title inspection gives buyers peace of mind that the system is in working order, and  protects the interests of all involved.  

Does every system require an inspection? 
No, there are several exemptions to inspection requirements; systems that were installed in the  last three years, property acquired through inheritance, property transferred to a trust, and a  few other similar circumstances do not require an inspection.  


Who completes the inspection?  
Inspections will be completed by third-party inspectors certified through the National  Association of Wastewater Technicians (NAWT). A list of certified inspectors is available at the NAWT site. A list of certified inspectors will also be maintained on the LCDHE website.  

Trainings for individuals in Larimer County to become NAWT certified were held in Loveland in February 2020, and classes are scheduled for 2021. The Colorado Professionals in On-Site Wastewater (CPOW) holds these classes across the state.


Process for Obtaining an Acceptance Document 
Once an inspection has been completed, the inspector will submit the report to LCDHE for  review. An online system for receiving the inspection reports and applications is being used so reports can be submitted at any time.  

An owner or owner’s agent may also request an acceptance document and submit a copy of the  inspection report.  
If the OWTS passes inspection and meets criteria within the regulations, LCDHE will issue an  Acceptance Document. An Acceptance Document is valid until the date of closing or for a period  of 12 months, whichever comes first.  

Failed Inspections 
If the OWTS fails inspection or is otherwise deemed not suitable for an acceptance  document, the property owner must apply for a repair permit to correct the problems.  


Alternatively, a buyer may agree to make the repairs themselves if they file an Agreement to  Repair with LCDHE. The buyer must then apply for a permit and complete necessary repairs  within 180 days of the closing.
 
Winter Inspections 
If snow cover, frozen ground, or lack of access prevents an inspection, a Conditional Acceptance Document may be issued if the buyer agrees in writing to complete the required inspection and  make any necessary repairs within 180 days of the closing.