Township of Jefferson, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Jefferson 5-2-2007 by Ord. No. 9-07. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Public health nuisances — See Ch. 326.
Sanitary regulations — See Ch. 384.
Sewage systems — See Ch. 391.
Sewers — See Ch. 395.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 435.
Zoning — See Ch. 490.

§ 436-1 Findings; purpose.

A. 
Findings. It is found and declared that:
(1) 
Individual and nonindividual on-site subsurface sewage disposal systems are in use within the Township of Jefferson.
(2) 
Subsurface sewage disposal systems have malfunctioned even when the systems have been designed, constructed, and sited in accordance with applicable standards, largely due to lack of proper system management or improper operation and maintenance. These malfunctions have been shown to adversely affect public health and welfare and the environment. Such systems constitute a potential source of pollution of groundwaters and surface waters, contamination of potable water supplies, foul odors, nuisance problems and other hazards to public health.
(3) 
It is determined to be in the interest of public health, safety and welfare to establish provisions to regulate the management of such systems to protect the public against system failures and resultant pollution.
(4) 
The permit provisions contained in this chapter are necessary to protect the public health safety and welfare and it is therefore necessary to exceed the provisions contained in N.J.A.C. 7:9A-1 et seq. This is hereby declared to be a "special ordinance" in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:9A-3.1(b) and shall be forwarded to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection within 10 days of adoption.
B. 
Purpose. In addition to the purposes set forth in N.J.A.C. 7:9A-1.1., it is the purpose of this chapter:
(1) 
To establish a management program for individual and nonindividual subsurface sewage disposal systems in the Township of Jefferson in order to ensure the proper operation and maintenance of such systems. This chapter requires existing, new and proposed individual and nonindividual subsurface sewage disposal systems to be pumped out at least once every three years in order to minimize future malfunctions of such systems.
(2) 
To regulate individual and nonindividual subsurface sewage disposal systems in the program area in such a way as to protect public health and welfare and the environment, and to provide for a means of educating owners/operators, as defined herein, in the characteristics of such systems and the proper procedures for altering, operating and maintaining them.
(3) 
To develop a management program to maintain records and manage systems in the program area.
(4) 
To promote and assure the proper management and maintenance of individual and nonindividual sewage disposal systems through time.

§ 436-2 Title.

This chapter shall be known as the "Subsurface Sewage Disposal System Management Ordinance of the Township of Jefferson."

§ 436-3 Definitions.

All definitions given in Subchapter 2 (N.J.A.C. 7:9A-2.1 et. seq.) of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Standards for the Construction of Individual Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems, N.J.A.C. 7:9A-1.1 et seq., and any amendments thereto (NJDEP Regulations) are hereby incorporated into this chapter, with the following additions:
ACTIVE USE
For initial licenses, this term shall mean: The use or direction of waste water to a system after the adoption date of this chapter. For renewal licenses, this term shall mean: The use or direction of waste water to a system at any time during the period of the license.
EDUCATION PROGRAM
An educational program prepared and administered by the Health Department regarding the fundamentals of individual and nonindividual subsurface sewage disposal systems and the proper procedures for the operation and maintenance of such systems. The educational program shall be deemed to be in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:9A-3.14.
ENFORCING OFFICIAL
The Health Officer or Senior Sanitarian of the Township of Jefferson or his or her designee.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT
The Health Department of Jefferson Township.
INDIVIDUAL SUBSURFACE SEWAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEM
An individual subsurface sewage disposal system, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:9A-2.1, serving a single-family detached residential housing unit.
LICENSED SEPTIC CLEANER
Any person, firm or corporation, who has been found qualified to pump out an individual or nonindividual subsurface sewage disposal system, and who has been licensed by the Health Department of Jefferson Township.
NONINDIVIDUAL SUBSURFACE SEWAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEM
An on-site subsurface sewage disposal system serving a property other than a single-family home. Such systems include but are not limited to those systems defined in N.J.A.C. 7:9A-1.8(c)2. Typical examples include but are not limited to: commercial buildings, restaurants, food establishments, commercial/residential mixed uses, and systems servicing multiple units.
OWNER or OPERATOR
The person who owns or leases the realty upon which an individual or nonindividual subsurface sewage disposal system is located and/or the person who uses or operates said system. The owner of the realty and the operator of the system, if different, are jointly and severally liable for the obligations imposed by this chapter.
PERMIT TO OPERATE
A permit issued to an applicant pursuant to this chapter for the operation of an individual or nonindividual subsurface sewage disposal system.
PLOT PLAN
A sketch drawn by the owner/operator, or agent on their behalf, showing the type (if known) and location of the individual or nonindividual subsurface sewage disposal system servicing the property, as well as the location and type of any on-site water supply. All plot plans shall indicate dimensions if known.
PROGRAM AREA
This chapter shall be applicable throughout the entire Township of Jefferson.
[Amended 7-16-2014 by Ord. No. 4-14]
RETAIL FOOD ESTABLISHMENT
Any fixed or mobile restaurant; coffee shop; cafeteria; short order cafe; luncheonette; grill; tearoom; sandwich shop; soda fountain; tavern; bar; cocktail lounge; nightclub; roadside stand; industrial feeding establishment; private, public, or nonprofit organization, institution, or group preparing, storing or serving food; catering kitchen; commissary; box lunch establishment; retail bakery; meat market; delicatessen; grocery store; public food market, or any similar place in which food or drink is prepared for retail sale or service on the premises or elsewhere, and any other retail eating or drinking establishment or operation where food is served, handled or provided for the public with or without charge.
SYSTEM
An individual or nonindividual subsurface sewage disposal system, including all of the component parts thereof.

§ 436-4 Scope, applicability and exemptions.

A. 
Scope. The owner and/or occupant of any realty improvement serviced by an individual or nonindividual on-site subsurface sewage disposal system located in the program area shall be subject to all of the requirements of this chapter.
B. 
Applicability. No person shall operate an individual or nonindividual subsurface sewage disposal system within the program area unless such construction, installation, alteration, maintenance or operation is in accordance with all applicable sanitary regulations and this chapter.
C. 
Exemptions. Any system not in active use shall be exempted from this chapter. The Health Department may require an owner or operator of a system seeking exemption under this section to submit proof in the form acceptable to the Health Department so as to qualify for this exemption. Also, any system, regulated under the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection NJDPES permit or is not located in the program area is exempt from this chapter.

§ 436-5 Permit to operate.

A. 
Requirement for permit: On and after (within three years of the effective date of this chapter) no owner or occupant of a property in the Township of Jefferson within the program area upon which an individual or nonindividual subsurface sewage disposal system is located shall use or operate the system unless a currently valid permit to operate the system has been issued by the Health Department in accordance with the schedule established by the Health Department with notification by the Health Department to the owner of the property on which the system is located. The program area is defined as the area within the Musconetcong drainage basin.
(1) 
The Health Department or its designee may issue a permit to operate and provide educational information relative to the proper operation and maintenance practices (pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:9A-3.14) to the owner and occupant of a property upon one or more of the following events:
(a) 
Issuance of a certificate of compliance for a new system within the program area.
(b) 
Issuance of a certificate of compliance for the alteration of a system within the program area.
(c) 
Upon the sale or transfer of premises within the program area.
(d) 
For all existing individual and nonindividual sewerage disposal systems located within the program area in Jefferson Township, as scheduled by the Township, but no later than three years from the effective date of this chapter.
(2) 
All permits issued pursuant to this section shall be on a form provided by the Health Department. Once issued, a permit shall be transferable upon change of ownership or occupancy of the premises for which the permit has been issued. A fee as provided in § 436-11 of this chapter thereof should accompany each application for a permit or renewal. The initial application for a permit shall include a plot plan (if available), showing the location of the septic system (both the tank and the disposal area) and of any private water source on the property. The plot plan shall also include the general location, if known, of any wells and septic systems on adjoining properties.
B. 
Expiration/renewal. The permit to operate shall expire three years after issuance. The Health Department shall notify the permittee or its designee at least 90 days before the permit expires and shall be directed to apply for a renewal of the permit. The renewal notice shall include educational materials relative to the proper operation and maintenance practice for such systems in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:9A-3.14.
(1) 
Requirements for renewal: Health Department or its designee shall not renew the permit unless the permittee has submitted the following [B(1)(a) or (b)] to the Health Department or its designee:
(a) 
Evidence that the septic tank (or in the case of an alternate system, the comparable component of such system) has been pumped by a licensed septic cleaner as required by § 436-7 of this chapter within the term of the expiring permit.
(b) 
Submission of a septic system inspection report on a form approved by the Health Department indicating that the system has been maintained, is not in need of pumping and is functioning in conformance with the requirements of this chapter. Said form shall be prepared, completed and certified by one of the following:
[1] 
A licensed septic installer;
[2] 
A NJDEP-registered inspector;
[3] 
A licensed septic cleaner;
[4] 
A licensed professional engineer;
[5] 
A licensed health officer or sanitarian;
[6] 
Other person acceptable to the Health Department.
(c) 
Any such inspection under this section shall be conducted within the year prior to renewal and shall include but not be limited to the following:
[1] 
A complete walkover of the septic field;
[2] 
Measurement of the effluent in inspection ports, (if any) and a reading of the groundwater monitoring port when such ports were included in the original septic design;
[3] 
An inspection of baffles and internal integrity of the tank;
[4] 
Measurement of the depth of solids in the septic tank; and
[5] 
A recommendation regarding the time interval until the next pump-out.
(2) 
Renewal term: Any permit renewed under Subsection B(1)(a), Actual pumping shall be renewed for a period of three years. Any permit renewed under Subsection B(1)(b), Inspection, shall be renewed for period of up to three years and may be reduced based on the septic system inspection report.
C. 
Suspension of permit. The Health Department or its designee may suspend or revoke the permit to operate in the following circumstances:
(1) 
It has been determined that the system is malfunctioning based upon criteria provided for in N.J.A.C. 7:9A-3.4(a) and the permittee fails to take steps to correct said malfunction as directed by the Health Department or its designee;
(2) 
The owner or occupant of the premises served by the system violates any provision of this chapter with respect to operation and maintenance of the system; or
(3) 
The owner or occupant of the premises served by the system denies the right of entry to the Health Department or its designee, or to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), as required in N.J.A.C. 7:9A-3.19, or in any way interferes with the administration or enforcement of this chapter.
D. 
Modified term of permit: The Health Department may on its own motion, upon notice and opportunity to the property owner or operator for a hearing, or upon application of a property owner or system operator, alter the time period of a permit to operate. The Health Department may consider the following factors in determining that a more frequent permit renewal and pumping/inspection schedule may be necessary:
(1) 
Limited size of the septic tank or disposal field;
(2) 
The fact that the existing system may be a cesspool;
(3) 
The age of the system;
(4) 
Past history of malfunction or other noncompliance;
(5) 
Location of the existing system in a flood hazard, wetland area, wetlands transition zone or other environmentally sensitive area;
(6) 
Proximity of the system to a well or water body;
(7) 
The type and/or intensity of sewage generation, such as pet grooming, hair salons, etc.
E. 
Special licensing provisions for retail food handling establishments: The permit to operate for a retail food handling establishment shall expire one year after issuance or one year from the date of the documented pump out, whichever comes first. The owner of said establishment shall have the right to apply to the Health Department for a longer permit renewal period, but in no case shall the permit renewal period exceed three years. In considering any such application the Health Department may consider the establishment's demonstrated compliance history of the management of the system.

§ 436-6 Standards on the use of subsurface sewage disposal systems.

A. 
General. The subsurface sewage disposal system shall be used only for the disposal of wastes of the type and origin provided for in the approved engineering design. No permanent or temporary connection shall be made to any source of wastes, wastewater or clean water other than those plumbing fixtures which are normally present within the type of facility indicated in the approved engineering design.
(1) 
Drainage from basement floors, footings or roofs shall not enter the sewage disposal system and shall be diverted away from the area of the disposal field.
(2) 
As set forth in N.J.S.A. 58:10A-17, no person shall use or introduce or cause any other person to use or introduce into any sewage water disposal system any sewage system cleaner containing any restricted chemical material.
(3) 
Disposal of materials containing toxic substances into a subsurface sewage disposal system is prohibited. Materials containing toxic substances include, but are not limited to, waste oil (other than cooking oil), oil-based or acrylic paints, varnishes, photographic solutions, pesticides, insecticides, paint thinners, organic solvents or degreasers and drain openers.
(4) 
Inert or nonbiodegradable substances should not be disposed of in the subsurface sewage disposal system. Such substances include, but are not limited to, disposable diapers containing plastic, cat box litter, coffee grounds, cigarette filters, sanitary napkins, facial tissues and wet-strength paper towels.
(5) 
Large quantities of cooking greases or fats shall not be discharged into systems not equipped with a grease trap designed and constructed as prescribed in N.J.A.C. 7:9A-8.1.
(6) 
Major plumbing leaks shall be repaired promptly to prevent hydraulic overloading of the system.
(7) 
Vehicle traffic and vehicular parking shall be kept away from the aspects of the system, unless the system has been specifically designed to support vehicular traffic.
B. 
Disposal field maintenance.
(1) 
The area of the disposal field shall be kept free of encroachments from decks, pools, sprinkler systems, driveways, patios, accessory buildings, additions to the main building and trees or shrubbery whose roots may cause clogging of any part of the system.
(2) 
Grading shall be maintained in a condition that will promote runoff of rainwater and prevent ponding.
(3) 
All drainage from roofs, footing drains, ditches or swales shall be diverted away from the disposal field.
(4) 
Vegetation shall be maintained to prevent soil erosion.
(5) 
Vehicle traffic and vehicular parking shall be kept away from the area of the disposal field, unless the disposal field has been specifically designed to support vehicular traffic.
C. 
Abandoned systems.
(1) 
When it is necessary to abandon a system or components of a system, all septic tanks, dosing tanks, seepage pits, dry wells and cesspools which are to be abandoned shall be emptied of wastes and removed or filled completely with sand, gravel, stones or soil material in a manner which is acceptable to the Health Department or its designee.
(2) 
Except when done as part of or in conjunction with an alteration or repair, a building permit must be obtained from the Plumbing Inspector prior to abandoning a septic system or component of a septic system.
D. 
Additional inspection and maintenance requirements for systems with grease traps.
(1) 
Grease traps shall be inspected and cleaned out at a frequency adequate to prevent the volume of grease from exceeding the grease retention capacity. Grease shall be removed whenever 75% of the grease retention capacity has been reached.
(2) 
Pumping of grease traps shall be performed by a solid waste hauler registered with the NJDEP in accordance with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 7:26-3.1.
(3) 
Equipment used in the pumping of grease traps shall meet the following requirements:
(a) 
Mobile tanks shall be securely mounted on trucks or trailers, shall be watertight and provided with a leakproof cover and shall be vented to permit the escape of gases but not the liquid or solid contents of the tank.
(b) 
Pumps and hoses shall be maintained and operated in a condition that will prevent the leakage of sewage.
(c) 
Equipment shall be available to permit accurate measurement of the volume of grease in relation to the grease retention capacity of the grease trap.
(d) 
Pumping of grease traps shall be conducted in such a manner that the entire contents of the grease trap, including both liquids and solids, are removed.
(e) 
Pumping shall be carried out in a manner that will prevent spillage of sewage onto the ground. If any spillage occurs, the solid portion shall be immediately removed and disposed of in a sanitary manner and the area of the spill shall be disinfected using a suitable chlorine-bearing compound.
(f) 
Grease and other waste materials removed from grease traps shall be disposed of in accordance with the requirements of the statewide sludge management plan adopted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 13:1E-1 et seq., and N.J.S.A. 7:11A-1 et seq., as well as any other applicable state or local rules, regulations, ordinances or directives.
E. 
Maintenance of dosing tanks.
(1) 
Dosing tanks and associated pumps, siphons, switches, alarms, electrical connections and wiring shall be maintained in proper working order.
(2) 
Any solids that accumulate in the dosing tank shall be removed and disposed of in a sanitary manner.

§ 436-7 Removal of septic tank sludge.

A. 
Any person, partnership, firm or corporation who empties, relieves or pumps out all or a portion of an individual or nonindividual sewage disposal system within the Township of Jefferson shall first apply to the Health Department to become a licensed septic cleaner. Any such license shall be for a term of one year and shall be subject to the payment of a fee as provided in § 436-11 of this chapter. In addition, any licensee must be registered as a solid waste hauler in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:26-3.c.
B. 
Prior to emptying, relieving or pumping out all or a portion of any individual or nonindividual subsurface sewage disposal system within the program area, the licensed septic cleaner shall obtain a septic pumping permit from the Health Department.
C. 
The licensed septic cleaner shall complete all information on the septic pumping permit and deliver one copy to the property owner and one copy to the Health Department within 14 days of the time the individual or nonindividual sewage disposal system is pumped. Failure to deliver said report within the required time frame shall be considered to be a violation of this chapter.
D. 
The Health Department may suspend or refuse to renew the license of any licensed septic cleaner who fails to comply with this chapter and/or finds said party to be in violation of this chapter.
E. 
Equipment used in the pumping of septic tanks shall meet the following requirements:
(1) 
Mobile tanks shall be securely mounted on trucks or trailers, shall be watertight and provided with a leakproof cover and shall be vented to permit the escape of gases but not the liquid or solid contents of the tank.
(2) 
Pumps and hoses shall be maintained and operated in a condition that will prevent the leakage of sewage.
(3) 
Equipment shall be available to permit the accurate measurement of the sludge and scum levels in relation to the bottom of the outlet baffle.
(4) 
Pumping of the septic tanks shall be conducted in such a manner that the entire contents of the septic tank, including both liquids and solids, are removed.
(5) 
Pumping shall be carried out in a manner that will prevent spillage of sewage onto the ground. If any spillage occurs, the solid portion shall be immediately removed and disposed of in a sanitary manner and the area of the spill shall be disinfected using a suitable chlorine-bearing compound.
F. 
Sludge shall be disposed of at a sewage treatment plant designated in accordance with district and/or state solid waste management plans pursuant to the statewide sludge management plan adopted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 13:1E-1 et seq., and N.J.S.A. 58:IA-1 et seq.

§ 436-8 Appeal procedure.

Appeal to property Maintenance Code Appeals Board as established by Jefferson Township Ordinance No. 7-02. Any person aggrieved by any decision of a designee of the Health Department made pursuant to the permitting provisions of this chapter shall have the right to appeal that decision to the Property Maintenance Code Appeals Board. Any aggrieved person seeking a hearing under this section shall make application to the Board in writing within 30 days of the decision to be appealed. The Property Maintenance Code Appeals Board shall schedule the matter for a hearing within 45 days thereafter. The hearing shall be conducted at a meeting held pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq.

§ 436-9 Enforcement.

A. 
Nuisances to be corrected.
(1) 
Any on-site sewage disposal system or component thereof that is found to be malfunctioning (as defined in N.J.A.C. 7:9A-2.1 and 3.4) shall constitute a nuisance and shall be repaired, modified or replaced pursuant to an order of the Health Department or its designee to correct the condition caused by the malfunction. Alterations shall be performed in accordance with Standards for the Construction of Individual Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems as adopted and implemented by the Health Department by virtue of this chapter and any amendments thereto.
(2) 
Any individual or nonindividual subsurface sewage disposal system which has not been maintained in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:9A:12, Septic Tank Maintenance, is hereby declared a nuisance.
(3) 
Any individual or nonindividual subsurface sewage disposal system which is constructed, installed, altered, operated or maintained in violation of this section, the DEP Regulations, any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to this chapter or any permit, certificate or license issued pursuant to this chapter is hereby declared to be a nuisance.
(4) 
In addition the powers provided for in N.J.A.C. 7:9A-1.1 et seq., the Health Department retains its authority to abate any nuisance in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 26:3-45 et seq.
B. 
Malfunctioning subsurface sewage disposal system: inspections of system; revocation of license.
(1) 
The Health Department shall have the right to inspect any system which shows evidence of any malfunction. Such evidence may include, but not be limited to, foul odors, leakage to ground surface, or soggy ground over system. Water and/or soil samples may be taken to confirm the existence of a malfunctioning system.
(2) 
The Health Department may require that any malfunctioning system be corrected by servicing or by replacement or alteration of the system.
(3) 
Until any necessary replacement or alteration of a system has been accomplished, the Health Department may require pumping and the removal of the entire contents of the septic tank for the system (both liquids and solids) at intervals specified by the Department.
(4) 
Provisions to this chapter shall not be interpreted as precluding the Health Department from revoking a permit issued by the Health Department for the operation of a system in the event that the Department shall determine that such action is necessary and appropriate for the enforcement of this chapter. Any such revocation shall be upon notice to the owner operator with an opportunity to comment or appeal.

§ 436-10 Right of entry.

In furtherance of the rights granted to the Health Department in N.J.S.A. 26:3-45 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 7:9-3.19, the Health Officer or his designee, upon presentation of identification, shall have the right to enter upon property where an individual or nonindividual subsurface sewage disposal system is located for the purpose of observation, inspection, monitoring and/or sampling of the on-site sewage disposal system. This authority is exercised by virtue of N.J.S.A. 26:3-31 as a necessary and reasonable method of furthering the duties of the Health Department as enumerated therein.

§ 436-11 Fees.

A. 
Fees to be paid by the licensed septic cleaner are:
(1) 
Septic cleaner's license: $20/year/vehicle.
(2) 
Septic cleaning permit: $5/system.
B. 
Fees to be paid by the owner or operator are:
(1) 
Three-year permit to operate: $0.00.

§ 436-12 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter, or any term or condition of any permit or license issued hereunder shall be liable for one or more of the following penalties [N.J.S.A. 40:69A-29(b)]:
(1) 
A fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000.
(2) 
A period of community service not to exceed 90 days.
B. 
Each separate day and each violation of any provision or this chapter, any term or condition of any permit or license or any notice or order issued by the Health Department shall constitute a separate and distinct violation under this chapter.
C. 
Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the remedies of the Health Department for violation of this chapter. The Health Department may proceed under any other remedy available at law or in equity for any violation of this chapter or any term or condition of any permit or license issued by the Health Department or for any failure to comply with any notice or order issued by the Health Department or its enforcement official under this chapter.

§ 436-13 Repeal of inconsistent ordinances.

All ordinances, codes or parts of same inconsistent with any of the provisions of this chapter are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.

§ 436-14 Effective date.

This chapter shall take effect 30 days after adoption and publication of a Notice of Adoption in accordance with New Jersey law.

§ 436-15 Severability.

In the event that any provision of this chapter or its application to any person is held invalid for any reason, such invalidity shall not affect any other provision of this chapter and to this end, the provisions of this chapter are severable.