Florida Senate - 2017 SB 1748 By Senator Stewart 13-00689B-17 20171748__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to onsite sewage treatment and 3 disposal system inspections; amending s. 381.0065, 4 F.S.; requiring that onsite sewage treatment and 5 disposal systems be inspected by specified 6 professionals at the point of sale in real estate 7 transactions; specifying system inspection 8 requirements for sold properties that are within a 9 specified distance of Florida waters; specifying 10 repair requirements for such properties if the 11 inspection indicates that repairs are needed; 12 specifying penalties for certain violations of such 13 requirements; requiring the Department of Health to 14 adopt rules; amending s. 381.00651, F.S.; deleting 15 provisions prohibiting specified ordinances from 16 mandating onsite sewage treatment and disposal system 17 evaluations and soil examinations at the point of sale 18 in real estate transactions; providing an effective 19 date. 20 21 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 22 23 Section 1. Paragraph (w) of subsection (4) of section 24 381.0065, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 25 381.0065 Onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems; 26 regulation.— 27 (4) PERMITS; INSTALLATION; AND CONDITIONS.—A person may not 28 construct, repair, modify, abandon, or operate an onsite sewage 29 treatment and disposal system without first obtaining a permit 30 approved by the department. The department may issue permits to 31 carry out this section, but shall not make the issuance of such 32 permits contingent upon prior approval by the Department of 33 Environmental Protection, except that the issuance of a permit 34 for work seaward of the coastal construction control line 35 established under s. 161.053 shall be contingent upon receipt of 36 any required coastal construction control line permit from the 37 Department of Environmental Protection. A construction permit is 38 valid for 18 months from the issuance date and may be extended 39 by the department for one 90-day period under rules adopted by 40 the department. A repair permit is valid for 90 days from the 41 date of issuance. An operating permit must be obtained prior to 42 the use of any aerobic treatment unit or if the establishment 43 generates commercial waste. Buildings or establishments that use 44 an aerobic treatment unit or generate commercial waste shall be 45 inspected by the department at least annually to assure 46 compliance with the terms of the operating permit. The operating 47 permit for a commercial wastewater system is valid for 1 year 48 from the date of issuance and must be renewed annually. The 49 operating permit for an aerobic treatment unit is valid for 2 50 years from the date of issuance and must be renewed every 2 51 years. If all information pertaining to the siting, location, 52 and installation conditions or repair of an onsite sewage 53 treatment and disposal system remains the same, a construction 54 or repair permit for the onsite sewage treatment and disposal 55 system may be transferred to another person, if the transferee 56 files, within 60 days after the transfer of ownership, an 57 amended application providing all corrected information and 58 proof of ownership of the property. There is no fee associated 59 with the processing of this supplemental information. A person 60 may not contract to construct, modify, alter, repair, service, 61 abandon, or maintain any portion of an onsite sewage treatment 62 and disposal system without being registered under part III of 63 chapter 489. A property owner who personally performs 64 construction, maintenance, or repairs to a system serving his or 65 her own owner-occupied single-family residence is exempt from 66 registration requirements for performing such construction, 67 maintenance, or repairs on that residence, but is subject to all 68 permitting requirements. A municipality or political subdivision 69 of the state may not issue a building or plumbing permit for any 70 building that requires the use of an onsite sewage treatment and 71 disposal system unless the owner or builder has received a 72 construction permit for such system from the department. A 73 building or structure may not be occupied and a municipality, 74 political subdivision, or any state or federal agency may not 75 authorize occupancy until the department approves the final 76 installation of the onsite sewage treatment and disposal system. 77 A municipality or political subdivision of the state may not 78 approve any change in occupancy or tenancy of a building that 79 uses an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system until the 80 department has reviewed the use of the system with the proposed 81 change, approved the change, and amended the operating permit. 82 (w)1. Any permit issued and approved by the department for 83 the installation, modification, or repair of an onsite sewage 84 treatment and disposal system transfers
shall transferwith the 85 title to the property in a real estate transaction. A title may 86 not be encumbered at the time of transfer by new permit 87 requirements by a governmental entity for an onsite sewage 88 treatment and disposal system which differ from the permitting 89 requirements in effect at the time the system was permitted, 90 modified, or repaired. An inspection of a system must be 91 performed by a septic tank contractor or master septic tank 92 contractor registered under part III of chapter 489, a 93 professional engineer who has wastewater treatment system 94 experience and is licensed under chapter 471, or an 95 environmental health professional certified under this chapter 96 in the area of onsite sewage treatment and disposal system 97 evaluation; however, a governmental entity may not require an 98 inspection under this subparagraph may not be mandated by a99 governmental entityat the point of sale in a real estate 100 transaction, except as specified in subparagraph 2. This 101 paragraph does not affect a septic tank phase-out deferral 102 program implemented by a consolidated government as defined in 103 s. 9, Art. VIII of the State Constitution (1885). 104 2. In addition to the onsite sewage treatment and disposal 105 system inspection requirements relating to real estate 106 transactions specified in subparagraph 1. for properties within 107 1,000 feet of Florida waters, the following additional 108 requirements apply: 109 a. An inspection of any onsite sewage treatment and 110 disposal system must be completed before any real estate 111 transaction involving a sale of a property. Such inspections are 112 valid for 1 year after the date of completion of such 113 inspection. 114 b. All inspections must include fully emptying the onsite 115 sewage treatment and disposal system and cleaning the walls of 116 the system in order to conduct a full inspection of its 117 surfaces. 118 c. If the inspection indicates that repairs are needed to 119 the onsite sewage treatment and disposal system, the inspector 120 shall notify the department of such need. Upon closing of a real 121 estate transaction involving a property needing such repairs, 122 the seller shall notify the department of the sale. The new 123 property owner has 6 months after the date of sale to make such 124 repairs. The department may, upon request of the new property 125 owner, grant a reasonable extension of time for such repairs for 126 ongoing construction or renovations occurring on the property. 127 d. If the selling property owner obtains more than one 128 inspection within 1 year before the closing of a real estate 129 transaction, the department shall determine, based on a review 130 of all inspections submitted during this period, the repairs to 131 the system required to be made by the new property owner and 132 provide notice of its determination to the new property owner. 133 The new property owner has 6 months from the date of receipt of 134 such notice to make the repairs. 135 e. After the expiration of time prescribed for repairs in 136 sub-subparagraph c., the department shall inspect the system to 137 ensure that the repairs were completed properly. 138 f. If the department finds that the system was not repaired 139 to sufficiently remedy the system deficiencies noted in the 140 initial inspection, the department shall notify the property 141 owner of such deficiency within 15 days. The property owner has 142 45 days after the receipt of the notice to remedy the 143 deficiency. If, upon reinspection, the department finds that a 144 property owner still has failed to remedy such deficiency, the 145 property owner is subject to an administrative penalty of up to 146 $500 and an ongoing penalty of $10 per day until the property 147 owner reasonably demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the 148 department, that repair work to remedy the deficiency has been 149 initiated and will be properly and timely completed. 150 g. The department shall adopt rules to implement this 151 subparagraph, including adopting a standard for when repairs are 152 required pursuant to this subparagraph based on the overall 153 provisions of this section. 154 Section 2. Paragraph (a) of subsection (6) of section 155 381.00651, Florida Statutes, is reenacted to read: 156 381.00651 Periodic evaluation and assessment of onsite 157 sewage treatment and disposal systems.— 158 (6) The requirements for an onsite sewage treatment and 159 disposal system evaluation and assessment program are as 160 follows: 161 (a) Evaluations.—An evaluation of each onsite sewage 162 treatment and disposal system within all or part of the county’s 163 or municipality’s jurisdiction must take place once every 5 164 years to assess the fundamental operational condition of the 165 system and to identify system failures. The ordinance may not 166 mandate an evaluation at the point of sale in a real estate 167 transaction and may not require a soil examination. The location 168 of the system shall be identified. A tank and drainfield 169 evaluation and a written assessment of the overall condition of 170 the system pursuant to the assessment procedure prescribed in 171 subsection (7) are required. 172 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.