Subsurface Wastewater Disposal and Waste Discharge Licensing

The Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for protecting ground water quality though its waste discharge licensing program. In general, there are two groups of discharges for which subsurface waste discharge licenses are issued: non-domestic subsurface wastewater disposal systems and municipal subsurface wastewater disposal systems.

Non-domestic Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

A waste discharge license from the DEP is required for the subsurface disposal of non-domestic wastewater -- wastewater from commercial, industrial or residential sources which has constituents unlike that of or of significantly higher strength than that of domestic wastewater. The DEP has issued six waste discharge licenses for subsurface waste water disposal for the following facilities:

  • Commercial car wash;
  • Commercial egg production facility where egg washing occurs;
  • Salmon butchering and packing facility;
  • Drinking water treatment facility discharging filter backwash water; and
  • Septage processing facility to dispose of septage leachate.

With the exception of the facilities listed above, the DEP continues to evaluate non-domestic, subsurface discharges on a case-by-case basis regarding the need for a license. In making these decisions, the DEP considers the volume, constituents and pollutant concentrations of the wastewater, the impact of the wastewater on groundwater quality, and available treatment technologies.

Individuals operating businesses which generate non-domestic wastewater and who are discharging or planning to discharge this wastewater to a subsurface system should contact Gregg Wood, e-mail gregg.wood@Maine.gov, telephone: (207)287-3901.

License Application Forms for Non-domestic Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems (first time and renewal, file both)

General Application Form for Waste Discharge Permit pdf file; msword file
Subsurface Wastewater Disposal System pdf file; ms word file

NOTE: If using a form in Microsoft Word (msword), please note that altered forms will not be accepted. Extending the length of a form so that more information may be included is not considered an alteration.

Fee Information - Waste Discharge License Fees

Municipal Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Publicly-owned treatment works -- known by their initials "POTW" -- include any municipal or quasi-municipal sewer or wastewater treatment system. The majority of POTWs are licensed by the DEP to discharge their wastewater to rivers in the state, but about a dozen municipalities discharge this wastewater into subsurface disposal systems. These subsurface POTWs are also licensed and regulated by the DEP.

Questions about municipal subsurface waste discharge licensing should be directed to Gregg Wood, e-mail gregg.wood@Maine.gov, telephone: (207)287-3901.

License Application Forms for Municipal Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems (first time and renewal, file all three)

General Application Form for Waste Discharge Permit pdf file; msword file
Publicly Owned Treatment Facilities pdf file; msword file
Subsurface Wastewater Disposal System pdf file; ms word file

NOTE: If using a form in Microsoft Word (msword), please note that altered forms will not be accepted. Extending the length of a form so that more information may be included is not considered an alteration.

Fee Information - Waste Discharge License Fees