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SepticSmart Program

Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Regulation Changes

A public hearing for recommended adoption of the proposed changes is scheduled for the April 14 Board of Health meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at Boulder County Public Health (Auditorium), 3450 Broadway, Boulder, Colorado.

Unable to attend? Submit comments by email or call 303-441-1564.

Executive Order Temporarily Amending Property Transfer Regulations

Due to the flood event in Boulder County, inspectors cannot access many properties being sold. Therefore, Boulder County Public Health Property Transfer Certificates have been temporarily amended to allow the sale of properties that cannot be accessed by inspectors and septic tank pumpers. Buyers are required to have their OWS inspected by a licensed engineer or NAWT inspector and make any necessary repairs within one year of the sale.

If your system has been impacted by the flood, please call 303-441-1564 to discuss any concerns you may have and to learn more about the repair permit process. Water quality specialists may also be available to visit your site to provide further guidance. You may also contact the Boulder County Flood Rebuilding and Permit Information Center at 303-441-1705 or

Groundwater Contamination

Septic systems are the second most frequently cited source of groundwater contamination in our country. Unapproved, aging, and failing septic systems have a large impact on the quality and safety of our water supply.

Find out more about the problem and strategies to protect our waters and the health of the community.

Mailings to Properties in High-Risk Areas

In many areas of Boulder County septic systems (i.e. onsite wastewater systems) are located in areas that pose a greater risk to waterways and human health. Because of this increased risk, homeowners in high-risk areas may have received a letter from Boulder County Public Health requesting that their systems receive permits to ensure the safety of our water supply.

Septic System Approval

The deadline for approval of septic systems is December 31, 2023. Boulder County Public Health anticipates that most residents will have received approval of their system  before this deadline in order to ensure protection of our waters.

Property Transfer

After researching nationally how the issue of unapproved septic systems is being addressed, Boulder County Public Health discovered one common strategy was to require inspection of a property’s septic system at the time of property sale or transfer.

The Boulder County Board of Health adopted a property transfer regulation in 2008 to ensure that any issues with the septic system are disclosed to the new buyer, and that the existing owner or new buyer will make the repairs within one year of the closing date.

Risk Factors

There are many factors that put some areas with septic systems at greater risk than others. Boulder County Public Health has worked with experts to determine the areas in Boulder County that are at greater risk.

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