Time of Transfer Inspections

Iowa's Time of Transfer inspection law took effect July 1, 2009.  Any property with a septic system that transfers title on or after this date must be inspected prior to the sale or deed transfer

The Groundwater Hazard Statement has been modified to include a disclosure of septic systems on the property and whether an inspection has been performed.  Any inadequacies must be upgraded at the time of sale.  The seller may upgrade the system prior to sale, or the buyer and seller may negotiate price and responsibility for fixing the system.  The sale is allowed to proceed once there is a Bremer County permit issued for the repairs or upgrade.  Weather delays may be provided for by a binding acknowledgement between the buyer and the Bremer County Board of Health.  Be aware that Bremer County may not grant this acknowledgement if weather conditions would have allowed the inspection to be performed at the time of listing. Exceptions are granted in the law for foreclosure, parent to child transfers, divorce settlements and administration of an estate.  Please contact Bremer County Environmental Health for specifics.

The primary purpose of this program is to eliminate systems that have a septic tank, but do not have a leach field, sand filter or other secondary treatment device.  These systems are illegal because they generally pipe raw sewage directly into a road ditch or tile drain that flows to a ditch or stream.  Raw sewage contains dangerously high bacteria levels that can potentially expose people, generally children, and pets to pathogens that are carried in fecal material.  As the material enters a stream, it pulls oxygen out of the water as it decomposes, posing a hazard to fish and other aquatic life.  As the material is carried downstream, it also has the potential to pollute drinking water sources that are supplied by that stream.

There are 350 Certified Time of Transfer Inspectors in Iowa who have completed DNR certified training to ensure uniformity and strict adherence to DNR procedures.


Septic Contractors (TOT)

Iowa DNR Time of Transfer Online Database