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.
Applications and forms related to TOST
TOST site evaluation reports and reports on the TOST program
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. coli—impaired 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).
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.