About TOST

The Time of Sale or Transfer (TOST) program in Barry and Eaton counties requires properties with on-site wells and/or on-site sewage systems to be checked when the property is sold or transferred to a new owner. These checks are done to make sure that wells and septic systems are not failed and do not require important maintenance. 


For more information about TOST, see the TOST fact sheet

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Applications and forms related to TOST

Evaluation Reports

TOST site evaluation reports and reports on the TOST program

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Site for Registered Evaluators and people interested in becoming one

Purpose of TOST

TOST was put into place to protect the health of our community and our environment. Having wells and sewage systems that are maintained properly helps prevent diseases in humans and the contamination of the environment, especially the ponds, streams, rivers, and lakes that we all share. TOST helps us to find wells and sewage systems that are failing or in need of maintenance (see "Case Study: How BEDHD Environmental Health Finds 'Hidden Dangers”).

Drinking water from wells that are close to contamination sources or that are not properly built or maintained can endanger the health of everyone who drinks from and uses them. Poorly constructed, unmanaged, damaged, or contaminated wells can allow bacteria (such as E. coli), chemicals, and other contaminants to enter the water that people use. These contaminants can lead to illness—including stomach and intestinal issues—in people.

Sewage systems that are failed or missing important parts can allow untreated sewage to flow into groundwater, ponds, streams, rivers, and other bodies of water. This untreated sewage can contain bacteria (including E. coli), parasites, and viruses that can make humans and animals sick. When the untreated sewage enters the ground or nearby bodies of water, the health of many people can be impacted—even people who don’t live on the property with failed sewage system. This untreated sewage can make water used for activities such as swimming and fishing unsafe, and it can contaminate the groundwater that we all share.


(For photos and explanations of well problems that could endanger human or environmental health, see "TOST in Pictures Part I: Wells.)


(For photos and explanations of sewage system problems that could endanger human or environmental health, see "TOST in Pictures Part II: Septic.)


(For a map of E. coliimpaired surface waters in our district, see this map.)

How TOST Works

Once it is determined that a property with an on-site well and/or sewage system is going to be sold or transferred…


Registered Evaluator Visit

A Registered Evaluator (see below) will visit the property at the request of the buyer or seller. The Registered Evaluator will examine the well and/or sewage system and then send a report to BEDHD.

BEDHD Report Review

BEDHD will review this report to see if there are issues that must be addressed. If BEDHD determines that there are major issues, we often visit the property, meet with the property owners, and propose a plan to fix the problem(s).

Transfer Authorization

Once the problem(s) are fixed, or if there were no corrections needed at all, BEDHD will issue a Transfer Authorization. A Transfer Authorization means that the sale or transfer of the property complies with the TOST Regulation.

To help keep everyone in our community safe, property owners who are going to sell or transfer their property should plan ahead to start the TOST process early. 

What if TOST finds a major problem?

The majority of properties that go through the TOST program do not have major issues with their systems. These properties are passed. Examples of systems that might need to be fixed can be found in the Evaluation Categories Guides on our "Forms" webpage


If a problem is found, sale or transfer of the property can still happen. In this case, the property owners and BEDHD will agree upon a corrective action plan to address the problem(s). The TOST regulation does not stop the sale or transfer of a property. If a property is sold or transferred without a Transfer Authorization from BEDHD, the transfer is still legal. However, the seller may have violated TOST. In these cases, BEDHD works to get the seller’s and the new owner’s voluntary compliance with TOST. If voluntary compliance is not possible, BEDHD may take enforcement action. Properties may also transfer under an approved escrow agreement (see the "Escrow Cost Study" for more information about escrow costs over the past ten years).

List of Registered Evaluators

Registered Evaluators (REs) are independent persons approved and registered by BEDHD to evaluate wells and sewage systems for the TOST program.


List of certified Registered Evaluators

TOST Improvements

BEDHD strives to continue to improve its Time of Sale or Transfer (TOST) program to make it easier for everyone, and we seek input from local citizens, township officials, Registered Evaluators (REs), and realtors.


In September 2015, BEDHD made several changes to TOST. These changes have made the program better in several areas, including communications, the decision appeal process, correction options, evaluation criteria, and evaluation categories. 


See the "TOST Improvement Highlights" for further information on the changes.

The Impact of TOST

The TOST program has helped BEDHD identify many sewage systems and wells in our district that could pose a threat to human health. Below are maps showing some of these types of problems identified between 2007 and 2017.


BEDHD has published several reports on TOST, including a 12-Month Report, a Three-Year Report, and, most recently, a 10-Year Report. These reports identify the progression of the TOST program and its impact in both Barry and Eaton counties.


To view these reports please visit the "Reports and Inspection Results" page


Maps of public health issues relating to sewage systems found ​because of the TOST Program:

Maps of public health issues relating to wells found because of the TOST Program:


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