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Sewage Enforcement Officers (SEO)

SEO News Items

Act 26

On July 20, 2017, Act 26 was signed into law as an amendment to the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (35 P.S. §750) (Act 537). Act 26 amends Act 537 to allow alternate onlot sewage disposal systems to be proposed during the sewage facilities planning process for new land development. Act 26 also requires the Department to develop a review methodology for alternate systems and to apply that methodology to all the existing alternate systems on the web listing in consultation with the Sewage Advisory Committee. Act 26 takes effect on September 18, 2017. The Department must have the review methodology in place within 180 days from the effective date, or by March 16, 2018.

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.

New Fact Sheet - Understanding Onlot Sewage Disposal At Leased State Forest And State Park Campsites

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 (PDF) if conditions apply.

All SEO Letters

Note: The following All SEO Letters were sent via electronic mail. If you did not receive any of these letters, please contact RA-SEOtrng@pa.gov to update your email address and request which letter you would like to be resent.

  • Table of Contents for All SEO Letters (PDF)
  • September 3, 2019 (PDF)
    Draft Technical Guidance Document Site Suitability and Alternatives Guidelines for New Land Development Proposing On-Lot Sewage Disposal (385-2207-001) posted for public comment, Water Program Specialist position open in Central Office.
  • May 23, 2019 (PDF)
    Draft Technical Guidance Document Sewage Enforcement Officer Certification and Training Program Guidance (385-2314-002) posted for public comment.
  • April 11, 2019 (PDF)
    New DEP learning management system called the Pennsylvania Clean Water Academy, new Precertification Soils Course available.
  • March 19, 2019 (PDF)
    Announcement of the new Precertification Soils Course available to SEOs and having a DEP subsidy. (This was sent only to SEOs that never took the Advanced Soils Course #109)
  • March 9, 2018 (PDF)
    Announcement of open comment period on 2 draft Technical Guidance Documents developed in response to Act 26.
    NOTE: This All SEO Letter was sent via electronic mail. If you did not receive this email, please contact jvollero@pa.gov to update your email address.
  • August 25, 2017 (PDF)
    Act 26, Inspection fees for complaint investigations, SEO webpage and SEO news items.
  • February 16, 2017 (PDF)
    Alternate System classification for Premier Tech Aqua Ecoflo Coco Biofilter. NOTE: This online version of the letter contains clarification on what training is necessary in order for SEOs to independently review designs and issue permits for the Ecoflo Coco Biofilter. This clarification can be found at the end of the email in red.

SEO Training Program

Active Sewage Enforcement Officers

Contact us

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

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