We can define the standards for today’s onsite sewage disposal system (OSDS) inspection standards as the current law in Maryland; a 1999 statute that says “Anyone performing a septic inspection for the purposes of a real estate transfer must take an approved course by Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE).”
This is the class that I took in 2004. MDE taught us what chemicals enter a septic tank (salt, ammonia, etc.) and what chemicals exit (nitrates). This would have been very educational if I were a chemistry major looking to do experiments with household wastewater, but I was trying to learn how to do a proper septic inspection. The guidance was not there.
Still without much guidance from MDE, some companies started to offer a more detailed septic inspection. They omitted pumping as it was seen as a maintenance procedure versus adding value to the septic inspection. Soon these companies flourished and saw the void they were filling. The real estate industry needed them.
This is around the time that the Maryland Onsite Wastewater Professional Association (MOWPA) formed. They eventually developed a class, manual and standards. I’m proud to say that I’ve been a part of this process that continues today. Our goal is to develop a better septic inspection and make it conducive to the real estate industry. I’m proud to say that I, along with our Lab Director, Kevin Barnaba, are both instructors for Maryland’s only septic inspector’s course.
MOWPA is currently re-writing their now 8-year old standards to better reflect the most efficient inspections and to better meet the needs of the real estate industry.
Tim is the President and Owner of Home Land Environmental. A graduate of Salisbury University in 2000, Tim started Home Land in 2004. He graduated from the Maryland REALTORS® Leadership Academy in 2016 and Tim was selected as the 2017 Affiliate of the Year by the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors (GBBR). He is on the Board of Directors for GBBR and is active in their Young Professionals Network Committee. He is a member and former board member of the Maryland Onsite Wastewater Professionals Association (MOWPA). He is an Instructor for the MOWPA Septic Inspector’s Course which is required for all inspectors to perform septic evaluations for the purposes of real estate transactions in Maryland. Tim also teaches Realtor CEU classes through schools and REALTOR boards all over the state. He is the father of two, and has coached baseball and football, and is the former Treasurer of the PTA.
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