Board of Health Activities

Septic Systems

The 1995 Revision of Title V, the State Sanitary Code pertaining to on-site sewage disposal, has changed the enforcement and policies for administration of septic system repairs, new construction (building), and upgrading old systems at the time of property transfers. The "New" Title V allows soil testing to be conducted year-round, not just during the spring or wet season. Towns must now have a State approved Soil Evaluator witness all tests for septic systems. The Health Agent has successfully completed several soil science classes conducted by UMASS Amherst and is a Certified Soil Evaluator. A major change to Title V is the sale of property. The State now requires a Title V inspection of the septic system serving a structure before it can be sold. If this inspection determines that any or all parts of the septic system fails to comply with the minimum standards, the septic system must be replaced or upgraded prior to the sale of the property. The Board of Health Agent is present during all Title V inspections. The last major change of Title V is the permitted use of alternative technologies for new or repaired septic system installations. There are currently several dozen technologies which provide better treatment of septic tank effluent, which allows for a smaller area requirement and distance reductions to environmental sensitive areas (water table, wells, wetlands, etc.).

Food Service

As required by State Statutes, the Board of Health inspects all establishments which prepare and sell food and drink. These include Restaurants, Bakeries, Caterers, Convenience Stores and Markets, Bed and Breakfast Establishments, Residential Kitchens, and Special Events such as Church Fairs, Day Vendors, Farmers Markets, and Festivals. Due to the serious nature of Food-Borne illnesses, the Board encourages citizens to report any conditions encountered in food service establishments which might cause illness to patrons. The new Food Code of Massachusetts now requires each Restaurant to have a Certified Food Manager, who is qualified to oversee compliance to the new code.

Tobacco Regulations

The Board of Health on January 12, 2005, adopted the Tobacco Control Regulations Governing Smoking in Workplaces, Public Places, Membership Associations and Food Establishments in the Town of Acushnet and published it in the Legal Notice Section of the Advocate on January 20, 2005. A copy of the Regulation can be obtained in the Board of Health office, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Water Supplies

Approximately 60% of Acushnet is serviced with public water from New Bedford, leaving 40% of the dwellings supplied with an on-site private water source, which might be by artesian drilled well, or a shallow dug or driven point well. With increased land development and more roads and driveways, increased surface run-off can contaminate unprotected private water supplies. The Board of Health must approve the location and installation of all on-site water sources, for both new or existing households & businesses.


The State Housing Code insures safe and adequate shelter for renters and homeowners. The code covers all areas of habitability, including structure, wiring, heat, smoke detectors, water and sewage, minimum square footage, light, safety, exits, lead paint, rodents and trash, security and conditions which can result in injury. This code requires the Board of Health to investigate all complaints within a specific amount of time, and also requires the Board to issue corrective orders to the property owner to initiate correction within days. The Housing Code enables the Board to conduct hearings and to condemn properties and remove occupants after such hearings.


The Board of Health responds to all complaints it receives regarding health or safety issues, such as rodent infestations, trash, odors & dust, sewage overflows, noise, and any other condition which may effect health and safety. The Board respects the privacy of a complainant, and maintains anonymity of callers notifying the Board of these unhealthy conditions.


The Board of Health is responsible for many other public health and environmental areas, such as day camps, swimming pools, garbage and offal transport, tanning salons, stables, and mobile home parks. The Board also acts as a liaison between the public and other Town departments and commissions. Also Mosquito spraying can be done on your property from June until September by calling the Bristol County Mosquito Control at 508-823-5253.

 Notification of mosquito adulticide applications

Bristol County Mosquito Control Project

Our adulticide program will begin after Memorial Day (weather permitting). Overnight temperatures must be above 55 degrees to spray effectively. Its purpose is to control nuisance and/or disease carrying adult mosquitoes. This service is performed at the request of residents or when virus is discovered in a particular area. We use the product Anvil 10+10 ULV (Sumithrin, EPA Reg. #1021-1688-8329) which is applied using Ultra Low Volume sprayers. We will begin taking spray requests on May 19, 2015.

The following number: 1-617-582-6218 is furnished, on a 24-hour basis from May 28 through October 31, to allow residents access only to schedules and locations of adulticiding a day in advance to applications. I want to emphasize that this number will not be used to request spraying.

Our office will be open Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for spraying requests and to obtain further information. Our office number is 508-823-5253. We can also be reached via fax for spray requests, 24 hours a day, at 508-828-1868 and by email:

We have also set up a new website for people to access additional information concerning our project, virus information, fact sheets, prevention techniques, and more. You can find it at