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Town of Dennis, Massachusetts
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Frequently Asked Questions
How can I obtain a copy of my septic system as-built?

Email the Health Department ( to check and see if one is on file in our records. If we have the information we can email it to you, or you can come in and pick up a copy.

How often do I have to pump my septic system?

We recommend that septic systems should be pumped every three to four years, according to use (seasonal, etc.) of the property.

How long are Title 5 Inspections valid?

Inspections are valid for two years, unless the system was pumped yearly, and records kept, in which case, the inspection is valid for three years (the home owner is responsible for providing the pumping records). If the dwelling is a part of a condominium complex with greater than five units, then the condominium is required to inspect all their systems every three years.  Therefore, these inspections are valid for three years.

How long is a Certificate of Compliance valid?

Certificates of compliance are accepted in lieu of Title 5 inspections for two years from the date the compliance was issued.

How close to a septic system can a full foundation wall be?

The septic tank must be 10' away and the leaching area must be 20'. A septic system (all components) can be 10' away from a slab foundation or a frost wall. An in-ground swimming pool is required to have the same setbacks as a full foundation.

Should a septic tank or cesspool be pumped before a Title 5 inspection?[Marker]

The system should not be pumped within two weeks before the inspection. A cesspool may be required to be pumped as part of the inspection.

What do I do if I find a dead bird?

If the bird appears to be recently deceased and is in good condition then call the Health Department for direction.

If I want to rent my house, do I need a permit?

Yes, a Rental Occupancy Permit is required if you wish to rent your house.

Are permits transferable?

No permits are transferable.  The new owner/operator must apply and pay for new permits prior to use/operation.

When/Where are the Board of Health Public Meetings held?

The Board of Health meets on the Second Thursday of every month at 7:00 p.m. at the Town Hall located at 685 Route 134 in South Dennis.  Location is subject to change, please contact the Health Department for confirmation.

What can/can’t I bring to Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day?

Please BRING: pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodent poisons, “no pest” strips, flea collars, gasoline, brake and power steering fluids, radiator flush, white wall cleaner, bug and tar remover, furniture polish, metal polish, moth balls, drain cleaners, spot removers, solvents, cesspool cleaners, acids, oil based paints and stains, marine paints, auto paints, solvent based paint thinners and strippers, turpentine, mineral spirits, acetone, varnish, shellac, photo and pool chemicals, chemistry sets, thermostats, switches, thermometers containing mercury. 

Please DO NOT Bring: used oil and oil filters, spent antifreeze, lead-acid and rechargeable batteries, empty propane gas cylinders, empty cans, television and computer monitors, latex paint.  All of these items can be recycled at the Recycling Center.  

Do not bring: medical or bio-hazardous materials, syringes, explosives, ammunition, fireworks or flares, smoke detectors (place in cardboard box, tape shut, dispose of in trash)

How often are public bathing beaches tested for water quality?  

All public beaches are tested weekly by the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment during the summer season.  If the bathing water fails the bacteria testing, the beach will be posted for “No Swimming”.

Dennis Town Seal
Town of Dennis, Massachusetts
685 Route 134
South Dennis, MA 02660
PH: 508.394.8300    FAX: 508.394.8309
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