Water Sewage Survey

The Environmental Health Division provides this mandatory service to private homeowners for a fee. When a property in Chautauqua County, served by a private water supply and/or an onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS), is sold or otherwise transferred, the Environmental Health Division must evaluate the private water supply and OWTS.

There are certain exceptions to this requirement as follows:

  • Transfers in foreclosures action.
  • Transfers in connection with a partition action under Article 9 of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law.
  • Transfers by operation of law, such as intestate or testamentary succession.
  • Transfers of owner-occupied single family residences between members of an immediate family. This exemption does not apply in cases of a real property transfer inspection is requested by a lending agency.

If any of the listed exemptions pertain to your property transfer you must submit a Water Sewage Survey Exemption Form.

Water Supply and Wastewater System Evaluation

The water supply and sewage/wastewater system components will be evaluated to ensure that they are functioning in compliance with the Sanitary Code of the Chautauqua County Health District at the time of the inspection. Recently installed onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) will be evaluated with a dye test and visual observation.  OWTS's that were installed more than 30 years ago OR without a Chautauqua County permit will require a more in depth inspection in which components must be uncovered and septic tanks, etc. must be pumped in the presence of Environmental Health Unit staff.

Wastewater treatment systems will be evaluated April 1st through November 30th, provided occupancy and weather requirements are met, see the Water Sewage Survey Application for specifics. Private water systems will be evaluated with visual observation and the collection of a water sample; samples will be analyzed for indicator bacteria.

Corrective Measures

If the evaluation reveals that the water quality or water supply components do not meet the requirements of NYSDOH and the Sanitary Code of the Chautauqua County Health District standards and/or the OWTS components are not functioning properly corrective measures must be taken. The corrective measures may include: well disinfection, installing continuous water disinfection, and/or repairing or replacing an OWTS. The corrective measures are clearly communicated to the owner's attorney via written correspondence.

Water Sewage Survey Packet

The water sewage survey application packet is designed to guide property owners through the process of requesting a water and sewage survey.
Our application and policies were updated in 2021.  Please read the instructions carefully and answer all the questions to the best of your knowledge before submitting the application.

PLEASE NOTE the Online Submission Form is NO LONGER offered. Please plan accordingly.

Application fees

(updated 2023)

Checks may be made payable to "Chautauqua County Director of Finance."

  • Inspection of a private water supply (includes 2 samples) & a sewage / wastewater system - $350
  • Sewage / wastewater system inspection only - $175
  • Water supply inspection only (includes 2 samples) - $175