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No-cost variance process will replace $1,000 bond requirement for properties with on-site wastewater treatment (septic) systems
Submitted by the Erie County Department of Health
The Erie County Department of Health’s division of environmental health is ending its waiver process for property transfers effective April 1. This waiver process required a $1,000 returnable bond for some property transfers when sewage disposal (septic system) and water supply (private well) inspections could not be completed before sale due to weather conditions or other circumstances.
This change was included in a set of Erie County sanitary code updates in January that were approved by the Erie County Board of Health. ECDOH estimates that the previous waiver process affected between 300 and 500 property transfers in Erie County each year.
“We have communicated this change in our process to real estate attorneys and Realtors, and now, the general public,” Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein said. “Inspections at the time of purchase are an important check to keep land and groundwater free from harmful bacteria and contaminants from failing water systems. Hopefully, this takes some of the stress out of home and property sales, for the seller and purchaser.”
Property transfer applications submitted on or after April 1, where the sewage disposal system and water supply cannot be inspected prior to closing, must also include the new variance application signed by the purchaser.
Questions regarding this new process can be directed to the ECDOH division of environmental health at 716-961-6800. Full details and the required variance application forms are available on the ECDOH website. (Link: https://www3.erie.gov/envhealth/property-transfers.)