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Sewage Enforcement Officers (SEO)

SEO News Items

Inspection Fees for Complaint Investigations

The Department recently received an inquiry from a local agency regarding the charging of a fee for a Sewage Enforcement Officer to conduct a complaint investigation. We have been advised by DEP's regulatory counsel that the imposition of such a fee is not sanctioned by the Sewage Facilities Act and is not one of the powers and duties granted to municipalities by the legislature. Please consult with your regional DEP office if you have any questions in this regards.


The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) entered into a joint policy in June 1996 (modified December 2002) regarding privies, holding tanks, and water supplies under pressure for existing leased campsites on state lands. To further provide clarification to SEOs and campsite Lessees of the obligations under the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act and DEP's and DCNR's regulations regarding sewage disposal on leased campsites, DEP and DCNR have partnered to develop this new fact sheet.

Chesapeake Bay States sign data sharing agreement on Advanced Onsite Wastewater Treatment

On April 16, 2015, the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) to share data developed to document the performance of advanced onsite pretreatment units for nitrogen reduction. This will simplify and expedite the approval processes for these technologies in each individual state, and reduce costs to residents and manufacturers. Prior to this MOC, all states nationwide approved systems on an individual basis, and many do not take data collected by other state programs into account.

The benefits of data sharing include:

  • Approved protocols that can be used by the manufacturing community and shared between states
  • New technologies being brought to market more quickly via additional manufacturers
  • Expanded use of nitrogen reducing treatment systems
  • Reduced burden on states to individually monitor and evaluate performance data
  • Reduced costs associated with technology approval, which can reduce the costs of systems and pass that savings along to the consumer

These advanced treatment systems reduce nitrogen loading by an average minimum of 50 percent. Onsite systems are the smallest source of nutrient loading to the Bay at 3-4% according to the modeling efforts at the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office.

SEO Conflicts of Interest

As a result of recent inquiries from SEOs regarding conflicts of interest, please follow this legal directive if conditions apply.

All SEO Letters

  • January 14, 2016 (PDF)
    2014- 2016 certification cycle, Bureau name change, new DEP website, SEO "seals", DCNR leased campsites and sewage disposal, Winery wastewater. NOTE: This online version of the letter contains a minor clarification to #5, leased DCNR Campsites, that was not in the original letter. This clarification is italicized and bolded for ease in its location.
  • March 23, 2012 (PDF)
    SEO Training, Certification, and Updates Regarding Onlot Alternate Technology Classification Listings


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Any questions regarding SEO certification or continuing education should be directed to the Secretary of the State Board for Certification of Sewage Enforcement Officer via email at or by telephone at 717-772-2186.


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