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What can be done about my neighbor's leaking septic tank?

States, tribes and local governments are responsible for regulating individual septic (onsite) systems. EPA provides guidance and technical assistance to help develop and enhance septic (onsite) programs.

We recommend you contact the EPA regional and state contacts listed at the following site: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/septic/contacts.cfm 

You may also want to view the A Homeowner's Guide to Septic Systems:

There may be a listing for your state's health agency on the contact pages listed above.  We also recommend you contact this agency.  You can also use this CDC directory to find your state health agency: 



If you have concerns about your well water, please know that "EPA regulates public water systems; it does not have the authority to regulate private drinking water wells. Approximately 15 percent of Americans rely on their own private drinking water supplies, and these supplies are not subject to EPA standards, although some state and local governments do set rules to protect users of these wells."

More information is available on the Private Drinking Water Wells Home page, http://water.epa.gov/drink/info/well/index.cfm. This Web site will also direct you to FAQs, Basic Information on drinking water wells, and local resources.

We also recommend you read the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water publication, Drinking Water from Household Wells.  In this resource you can locate information about groundwater pollution and what you can do to protect your well.

Drinking Water from Household Wells, http://www.epa.gov/privatewells/pdfs/household_wells.pdf (PDF, 24 pp, 1.61 MB, About PDF)

If you have additional questions you may contact the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water:

Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (4601)
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460-0003

Phone and Fax:
Phone:  202-564-3750
Fax:  202-564-3753

The Safe Drinking Water Hotline can provide additional information on drinking water quality issues and standards for public water systems, but private household wells are not regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

They can be contacted by calling 1-800-426-4791.  The hotline is open Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm eastern time (except Federal holidays).

Online FAQs that may include links or referrals to information that may be of help with private well questions are located at:   http://safewater.supportportal.com/

Safe Drinking Water Hotline
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460

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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 23002-21503
  • Date Created: 6/13/2008
  • Last Modified Since: 8/7/2014
  • Viewed: 2280

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