DEP Regulations

So you think you can build…

If your land is located in the watershed it’s going to cost a lot more than land outside of the NY watershed.

Please use this link to the watershed area in NY state: for other states we recommend that you visit your state Department of Environmental Conservation/Protection website.

*Read downloadable PDF called ‘Wastewater Treatment Standards’ section 75-A.1 (b) for more definitions.

Many of us love the idea of owning a river, stream or other watercourses. However, contrary to popular belief, these pretty watercourses located on your land, don’t not entitle you to do ‘whatever you want to do’ with them!
When you making your land selection for purchase, make sure that it isn’t riddled with watercourses. The restrictions put in place by the DEP clearly state that you cannot build, nor disturb (that includes using any heavy machinery) any land that falls within a one hundred feet radius of any watercourse.

A watercourse as defined by the Commissioner of Health is: “A visible path through which surface water travels on a regular basis. Drainage areas which contain water only during and immediately after a rainstorm shall not be considered a watercourse.”

There’s a lot to learn. If you clear more than one acre (it doesn’t matter how many plots you own), you are required to file a ‘Notice of Intent’ with NYSDEC and prepare a ‘Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan’ – AKA – SWPPP. If you disturb more than two acres that occur on slopes of fifteen percent or greater or within one hundred feet of a watercourse a full SWPPP must be prepared and submitted to the DEP’s Storm water Design Review Section for review and approval.

Our best advice to contact your DEP representative, work closely with them, they will guide you and advise you about the best ways in how to pass your septic application. Also do get recommendations for a qualified engineer and surveyor to ensure that your submitted plans are to scale, properly annotated and designed. GOOD LUCK!