State Laws You Should Know
Septic System Turf Battle
Bill Ward, Executive Vice President, HBAI
In the mid 1990’s the Illinois Dept. of Public Health and its Private Sewage Advisory Board started a turf battle to limit the selection of septic systems used in Illinois and greatly increase minimum lot sizes for the use of those systems.
Public Health proposed an Administrative Rule mandating one-acre lots for homes on septic systems, and the Advisory Board membership was using their authority to accept only their private systems already in use in Illinois, and deny acceptance of new systems which were environmentally friendly, more efficient, and required less land density.
Home Builders and the Illinois Association of Realtors aggressively reacted to these proposals by turning back Public Health’s Administrative Rules prior to passage at the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules; and passing legislation taking away their authority to affect land requirements.
Public Act 88-690 states the following: The Department is expressly prohibited from amending the private sewage disposal code by rule if there are increases in land density requirements. Amendments that increase the land density requirements must be approved by the Illinois General Assembly. ILCS 225/7 (b).