Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-19.15
The Rhode Island Cesspool Act of 2007

SECTION 23-19.15-2

§ 23-19.15-2. Legislative findings.

The general assembly hereby recognizes and declares that:

(1) There exists a need to abate pollution and threats to public health caused by cesspools.

(2) It is estimated that there are more than twenty-five thousand (25,000) cesspools within the state as of 2013.

(3) Cesspools are a substandard and inadequate means of sewage disposal.

(4) Cesspools contribute directly to groundwater and surface water contamination and environmental impacts will be exacerbated by increased precipitation, storm frequency, and sea level rise.

(5) Wastewater disposed from cesspools contains bacteria, viruses, ammonium, and other pollutants, and may also include phosphates, chlorides, grease, and chemicals used to clean cesspools.

(6) Wastewater disposed from cesspools violates drinking water health standards for certain contaminants.

(7) Wastewater disposed from cesspools can pose significant health threats to people who come into contact with, or consume, contaminated surface waters or groundwaters.

(8) Appropriate treatment of sewage disposed into the ground is essential to the protection of public health and the environment, particularly in relation to Narragansett Bay and the rest of the state's coastal region, and public drinking water resources.

(9) Replacement of cesspools with onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) technology reduces risks to public health and the environment.

(10) In sewered areas, sewer tie-ins offer a readily available, environmentally preferable means of mitigating problems and threats caused by cesspools.

(11) A fund exists to assist homeowners with the costs of removing cesspools and inadequate septic systems and replacing them with an approved OWTS if the community in which the homeowner resides has created a wastewater management district in accordance with chapter 24.5 of title 45.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2007, ch. 136, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 233, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 163, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 185, § 1.)