In this section:
- About TOST
- What was the purpose of TOST?
- What if I had a failure or received a Notice of Action Required?
- What if I suspect there is a violation of the Sanitary Code or Nuisance Code?
- The impact of TOST
The Time of Sale or Transfer (TOST) program in Barry and Eaton counties required properties with on-site wells and/or on-site sewage systems to be checked when property sold or transferred to a new owner. The program operated from 2007 to 2018. After May 5, 2018, the TOST regulation is no longer in effect and there is no BEDHD requirement for an evaluation or authorization to transfer for parcels served by an on-site well or on-site sewage system. BEDHD no longer regulates or oversees private evaluators. Reports created by private individuals who may complete evaluation are no longer submitted to or reviewed by BEDHD.
While TOST evaluation reports were available to the public online during the TOST program’s operation, they can no longer be accessed online. Records may still be accessed by filling out a Freedom of Information Act request form (see the FOIA/HIPAA webpage).
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 helped us to find wells and sewage systems that were 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 the 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.
Properties with violations of the Sanitary Code or Nuisance Code that required action under the TOST program will still require action although the program has been repealed. (See the Sanitary and Nuisance codes at the Laws and Regulations webpage.)
There are also some properties where the buyer or seller may have set up an escrow account to correct a condition on the property. BEDHD will still write escrow release letters upon demonstration that site conditions have been corrected.
If you suspect that there is a violation of the Sanitary and/or Nuisance Code, you can request an investigation by filling out a Nuisance Complaint Form, found on the Complaints webpage.
BEDHD has published reports including a 12-Month Report, a Three-Year Report, and, most recently, a 10-Year Report. These reports explain the progression of the TOST program and its impact in both Barry and Eaton counties.
- 12-Month Report (2008)
- Three-Year Report (2010)
- Three-Year Report in Pictures (2010) (very large file; load time may be slow)
- 2014 Program Study
- 10-Year Report (in full; 2017) (zooming required; to print PDF, select "Fit" or "Fit to Page" to properly display maps)
The TOST program 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.
Maps of public health issues relating to sewage systems found because of the TOST Program:
- Map of Septic Tank Failures
- Map of Illicit Discharges
- Map of Occasions when Sewage was Observable at Ground Surface
- Map of Unrecognizable Sewage "Systems"
- Map of No Sewage System Found
Maps of public health issues relating to wells found because of the TOST Program:
- Map of Substantial Well Construction Deficiencies
- Map of High Nitrate Well Failures
- Map of Unplugged Abandoned Wells
For photos and explanations of well problems found through TOST that could endanger human or environmental health, see "TOST in Pictures Part I: Wells.
For photos and explanations of sewage system problems found through TOST that could endanger human or environmental health, see "TOST in Pictures Part II: Septic.