Septic Tank Pump-Out Requirement

The Chesapeake Bay Protection Act and supporting state legislation requires that those of us living in the Chesapeake Bay watershed who have traditional septic systems must pump out their septic systems every five years or when the property is sold.  Everyone in our neighborhood has a traditional septic system and is subject to this requirement.

When a septic system is pumped out, the contractor who does the pump-out notifies the Northumberland County government who records the date then, five years later, sends notices reminding residents that a pump-out is due.  At our annual meeting on June 3 one resident remarked that he thought he was due for a pump-out but had not received a notification from the County.

The Northumberland County Office of Building and Zoning was responsible for notifying residents when pump-out is due.  However, program administration has shifted to the Northumberland County Health Department, and they are just getting up to speed and are a bit late getting out notices to people who need to have their tanks pumped.  Many of our neighbors had their tanks pumped in 2017 and are due. However, when one of our neighbors asked the Health Department, he was advised to sit tight until the Health Department sends out notices.  Of course, if someone wants to pump their tank, go ahead and have it pumped after which the contractor will report to the Health Department, and the new pump-out date should be entered in their database.