Township of Franklin, NJ
Hunterdon County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Township of Franklin 9-11-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-16. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Subdivision of land and site plan review — See Ch. 310.

§ 415-1 Findings; purpose.

A. 
Findings. It is found and declared that:
(1) 
Residential peat biofilter wastewater treatment systems are in use within the Township of Franklin.
(2) 
Peat biofilter wastewater treatment systems, similar to any other physical structure, require ongoing maintenance and proper operation to ensure proper functionality.
(3) 
When existing on-site wastewater treatment systems have malfunctioned even when the systems have been designed, constructed, and sited in accordance with applicable standards, largely due to lack of proper 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 ground- and surface-waters, contamination of potable water supplies, foul odors, nuisance problems and other hazards to public health.
(4) 
It is determined to be in the interest of public health and the environment, safety and welfare to establish provisions to regulate the management of such systems to protect the public and environment against system failures and resultant pollution.
(5) 
The licensing 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.
(6) 
In order to enable the use of on-site system technology that enhances treatment of wastewater, management and maintenance are a necessity.
(7) 
Economic benefits to all on-site system owners by improving the quality of wastewater management will extend the serviceable life of on-site systems, preventing or postponing the need for costly repairs or replacements.
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 to:
(1) 
Establish a management program for peat biofilter wastewater treatment systems in the Township of Franklin in order to ensure the proper operation and maintenance of such systems. This chapter requires all peat biofilter wastewater treatment systems subject to local regulation to be satisfactorily operated, inspected and maintained on a regular basis in order to minimize future malfunctions of such systems.
(2) 
Regulate peat biofilter wastewater treatment systems in the Township of Franklin to protect public health and welfare and the environment. This includes a means of educating peat biofilter wastewater treatment systems owners/operators, as defined herein, in the characteristics of such systems and the proper procedures for altering, operating and maintaining them.
(3) 
Develop a management program to maintain records regarding peat biofilter wastewater treatment systems in the Township.
(4) 
Promote and assure the proper use and maintenance of peat biofilter wastewater treatment systems.

§ 415-2 Title.

This chapter shall be known as the "Residential Peat Biofilter Wastewater Treatment Systems Management Ordinance of the Township of Franklin."

§ 415-3 Definitions.

All definitions given in Subchapter 2 (N.J.A.C. 7:9A-2.1) of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Standards for the Construction of Individual On-Site Wastewater Treatment 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:
BOARD OF HEALTH
The Board of Health of the Township of Franklin.
EDUCATION PROGRAM
An educational program prepared and administered by the Board of Health regarding the function of peat biofilter wastewater treatment systems and the proper procedures for the operation and maintenance of such systems. The educational program shall be performed in accordance with the minimum requirements of N.J.A.C. 7:9A-3.14.
ENFORCING OFFICIAL
The Health Officer of the Township of Franklin or his designee.
LICENSED SEPTIC SLUDGE REMOVAL OPERATOR
Any person, firm or corporation which has been duly examined by the enforcing official and found qualified to pump on-site wastewater treatment systems, and who has been properly registered with all appropriate local, county and state authorities.
ON-SITE WASTEWATER TREATMENT SYSTEM
An individual subsurface sewage disposal system as referred to in N.J.A.C. 7:9A. A septic system is one example.
OPERATOR'S LICENSE
A license issued to an applicant pursuant to this chapter for the operation of a peat biofilter wastewater treatment system.
OWNER/OPERATOR
The person who owns or leases the realty improvement which is served by a residential or nonresidential on-site wastewater treatment system 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.
PEAT BIOFILTER TREATMENT SYSTEM
A individual subsurface sewage disposal system that uses sphagnum peat moss or peat fiber for removing and retaining contaminants from the wastewater prior to disposal in a conventional disposal system or drip irrigation field.
PLOT PLAN
A plan prepared by a licensed land survey and/or professional engineer showing the type (if known) and location of the on-site wastewater treatment system servicing the property, as well as the location and type of any on-site water supply. All plots plans shall be drawn to scale and list the dimensions used.
SYSTEM
An individual or nonindividual on-site wastewater treatment system, including all of the component parts thereof.

§ 415-4 Scope; applicability.

A. 
Scope. The owner and/or occupant of any realty improvement serviced by a peat biofilter wastewater treatment system located in the Township of Franklin shall be subject to all of the requirements of this chapter.
B. 
Applicability. No person within the Township of Franklin shall operate a residential peat biofilter wastewater treatment system unless such construction, installation, alteration, maintenance or operation is in accordance with all applicable sanitary regulations and this chapter.

§ 415-5 License to operate.

A. 
Requirement for license. Within 30 days after the effective date of this chapter, no owner or occupant of a property in the Township of Franklin upon which a peat biofilter wastewater treatment system is located shall operate or otherwise use a system unless a currently valid license to operate the system has been issued by the Board of Health in accordance with the schedule herein to the owner of the property on which the system is located.
(1) 
The Board of Health or its designee may issue a license to operate a peat biofilter wastewater treatment system to the owner and occupant of a property upon submission of the following:
(a) 
A special use request approval from the Board of Health authorizing the use of a peat biofilter wastewater treatment system and any waivers associated with the alteration of the existing malfunctioning system.
(b) 
A copy of the recorded deed notice to the property that identifies the technology, and acknowledges the owner's responsibility to operate and maintain it, and grants access to the property to the Health Officer, or his designated representative, for the purpose of system monitoring and inspection.
(c) 
A copy of a minimum five-year service contract with the manufacturer of the system that includes inspection of any motors, airflow, effluent and sludge. The contract shall provide for annual preventative maintenance by specially trained service personnel to ensure the system is functioning properly and to optimize treatment performance.
(d) 
A certification from the manufacturer, and a licensed professional engineer, that the system has been installed in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications and the approved system design.
(2) 
All licenses issued pursuant to this section shall be on a form provided by the Board of Health. Once issued, a license shall be transferable upon change of ownership or occupancy of the premises for which the license has been issued. A fee, as provided in § 415-10 of this chapter, shall accompany each application for a license or renewal. The initial application for a license shall include a plot plan prepared by a licensed land survey showing the as-built 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 location, if known, of any wells and septic systems on adjoining properties.
B. 
Expiration/renewal. The license to operate shall expire one year after issuance. The Board of Health shall notify the licensee or its designee at least 45 days before the license expires and shall be directed to apply for a renewal of the license.
(1) 
Requirements for renewal:
(a) 
The Board of Health or its designee shall not renew the license unless the licensee has submitted the following to the Board of Health or its designee:
[1] 
Submission of a septic system inspection report on a form approved by the Board of Health 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 a staff member of the Board of Health, or a licensed professional engineer.
[2] 
An annual report from the system manufacturer identifying the system, the status of the maintenance contract, and identifying any service problems with the system and how they were corrected. All annual reports shall be submitted to the Township in writing.
[3] 
Every three years from the initial license date, verification that the septic tank has been pumped shall be provided for license renewal.
[4] 
Verification that a valid maintenance contract is currently in effect for the peat biofilter wastewater treatment system.
(b) 
No person shall test an on-site wastewater treatment system in a manner that will adversely affect the functioning of the system. Hydraulic loading shall not be applied in excess of the design flow capacity. All solids shall have been removed from the septic tank and/or grease trap prior to testing unless the hydraulic loading is applied at a point that will bypass the septic tank and/or grease trap.
(2) 
Renewal term. Any license shall be renewed for a period of one year. As a condition precedent to a license renewal, the owner/operator shall pay the fee required by § 415-10 herein.
C. 
Suspension of license: The Board of Health or its designee may suspend or revoke the license 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 licensee fails to take immediate steps to correct said malfunction as directed by the Board of Health 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 Board of Health 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.
(4) 
Operation of peat biofilter wastewater treatment system under a suspended license shall be subject to penalties under § 415-11 of this chapter.
D. 
Modified term of license. The Board of Health 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 license to operate. The Board of Health may consider a modified licensing renewal or pumping/inspection schedule based on the following:
(1) 
The age of the system;
(2) 
Past history of maintenance;
(3) 
Changes and/or modifications to the treatment works approval permit issued by the NJDEP authorizing the use of peat biofilter wastewater treatment systems;
(4) 
Proximity of the system in relation to wells, adjacent properties, flood hazard areas, wetland areas, wetland transition zones or other environmentally sensitive areas.

§ 415-6 Use standards.

A. 
General.
(1) 
The peat biofilter wastewater treatment system shall be used only for the disposal of sanitary 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.
(2) 
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.
(3) 
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.
(4) 
Disposal of materials containing toxic substances into a peat biofilter wastewater treatment 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.
(5) 
Inert or nonbiodegradable substances should not be disposed of in the peat biofilter wastewater treatment 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.
(6) 
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.
(7) 
Major plumbing leaks shall be repaired promptly to prevent hydraulic overloading of the system.
(8) 
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.
(9) 
Swimming pools and additional building structures shall be set back according to the requirements of N.J.A.C. 7:9A-4.3.
(10) 
Although water softener backwash may be disposed into the peat biofilter wastewater treatment system in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:9A-12.1, to reduce hydraulic loading to the system and preserve the serviceability of the system, HVAC condensate and water softener backwash are required to be discharged to a separate seepage pit designed in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:9A-11.
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 disrupt the system.
(2) 
Grading shall be maintained in a condition that will promote runoff of rainwater away from the system and prevent ponding.
(3) 
All drainage from roofs, footing drains, ditches or swales shall be diverted away from the system.
(4) 
Vegetation shall be maintained to prevent soil erosion.
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 Board of Health or its designee.
(2) 
Except when done as part of or in conjunction with an alteration, a permit must be obtained from the Board of Health prior to abandoning a septic system or component of a septic system.
D. 
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.

§ 415-7 Appeal to Board of Health.

Any person aggrieved by any decision of a designee of the Board of Health made pursuant to this chapter shall have the right to appeal that decision to the Board of Health. 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 Board of Health 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: See N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq.

§ 415-8 Enforcement; malfunctioning systems.

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 7:9A-3.4) shall constitute a nuisance and shall be repaired, modified or replaced pursuant to an order of the Board of Health or its designee to correct the condition caused by the malfunction. Alterations shall be performed in accordance with N.J.A.C. as adopted and implemented by the Board of Health by virtue of this Code and any amendments thereto.
(2) 
Any peat biofilter wastewater treatment system which is constructed, installed, altered, operated or maintained in violation of this section, N.J.A.C. 7:9A-1 et seq., any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to this chapter or any approval, permit, certificate or license issued pursuant to this chapter is hereby declared to be a nuisance.
(3) 
In addition the powers provided for in N.J.A.C. 7:9A-1.1 et seq., the Board of Health retains its authority to abate any nuisance in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 26:3-45 et seq.
B. 
Malfunctioning on-site wastewater treatment system; inspections of system; revocation of license.
(1) 
The Board of Health shall have the right to inspect any system that shows evidence of any malfunction. Such evidence may include, but not be limited to, foul odors, leakage to ground surface, or saturated soil/lush vegetation over system. Water and/or soil samples may be taken to confirm the existence of a malfunctioning system.
(2) 
The Board of Health may require that any malfunctioning system be corrected by servicing, replacement or alteration of the system.
(3) 
Until any necessary replacement or alteration of a system has been accomplished, the Board of Health 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 Board.
(4) 
No provision of this chapter shall be interpreted as precluding the Board of Health from revoking a license issued by the Board for the operation of a system in the event that the Board 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.

§ 415-9 Right of entry.

In furtherance of the rights granted to the Board of Health 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 on-site wastewater treatment 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 Board of Health as enumerated therein.

§ 415-10 Fees.

A. 
An initial license fee of $100 shall accompany each initial application for system licensure.
B. 
Upon renewal of each license, a renewal license fee of $50 shall accompany the application for license renewal.
C. 
If an inspection is required to complete the license renewal, an additional fee of $500 shall be due at time of license renewal.
D. 
Any fee which is submitted late shall be assessed a late fee of $5 for every work day after the fee is due.

§ 415-11 Violations and penalties.

A. 
A person who violates any provision of this chapter, or any term or condition of any certificate 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 more than $1,500.
(2) 
A period of community service not to exceed 90 days.
B. 
Each separate day and each violation of any provision of this chapter, any term or condition of any certificate or license or any notice or order issued by the Board of Health shall constitute a separate and distinct violation under this chapter.
C. 
Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the remedies of the Board of Health for violations of this chapter. The Board of Health 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 certificate or license issued by the Board or Health or for any failure to comply with any notice or order issued by the Board of Health or its enforcement official under this chapter.