Town of Fairhaven, MA
Bristol County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Town of Fairhaven 9-26-1979 as Ch. V of the 1979 Regulations. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Sewers — See Ch. 158.
Wetlands — See Ch. 192.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 322.
Fees — See Ch. 422.
Location of wells — See Ch. 487.
West Island Sewer Enterprise Zone — See Ch. 491.
Individual sewage disposal systems or other means of sewage disposal shall not be approved where a common sanitary sewer is accessible adjoining the property and where permission to enter such a sewer may be obtained from the authority having jurisdiction over it. The Board of Health may require the owner or occupant of any existing building or buildings, wherever a common sanitary sewer is accessible in an abutting way, to cause such building or buildings to be connected with the common sanitary sewer in a manner and within a period of time satisfactory to the Board of Health.
A. 
All individual systems for the disposal of sanitary sewage shall be designed, installed and operated in strict compliance with the provisions of Title V of the Massachusetts State Environmental Code, or any other existing applicable codes.
B. 
Septic tanks shall be located not less than 10 feet from a building and/or foundation wall and 10 feet from a property line. The leaching area shall be located not less than 20 feet from a building and/or foundation wall and 10 feet from a property line.
Every owner or agent of premises in which there are any private sewers, individual sewage disposal systems or other means of sewage disposal shall keep the sewers and disposal systems in proper operational condition and shall have such works cleaned or repaired at such time as ordered by the Board of Health. If the owner or agent of the premises fails to comply with such order, the Board of Health may cause the works to be cleaned or repaired and all expenses be paid by the owner. Sewage disposal works shall be maintained in a manner that will not create objectionable conditions or cause the works to become a source of pollution to any of the waters of the commonwealth.
Percolation testing shall be performed only during the period from October 1 through June 1, or at such other times deemed appropriate by the Board. Such measurements and testing shall be performed only during the period from October 1 through June 1, or at such other times deemed appropriate by the Board. All such measurements and percolation tests shall be witnessed by a member of the Board of Health or its authorized agent.
A minimum of two deep observation pits and two percolation tests shall be required. The observation pits and percolation tests shall be performed in the area designated as the primary and reserve leaching area. Additional tests will be required where the soil structure varies or where large disposal areas are required. A mechanical digger shall be utilized.
All disposal works construction permits shall be issued with the condition that the location of any septic tank access manhole which is below the ground surface or otherwise obscured from view shall be clearly marked either by the placement of a permanent marker above the access manhole or by the installation of a marker on the foundation wall of the building served by the disposal system.
All repairs to existing leaching areas shall require a plan prepared by a professional engineer or other professionals authorized to prepare septic system plans. All work must be installed in accordance with current state and local regulations. Approved subsurface sewage disposal plans that have not been implemented within two years must be reviewed and updated, if necessary, prior to the issuing of a disposal works construction permit.
A permit must be obtained by a licensed disposal works installer before repair or replacement of a septic tank may be executed. Having obtained the required permit, the work shall be completed to the satisfaction of the Board of Health within 30 days or the permit shall be automatically canceled. If more time is needed, the installer will be granted a hearing for extension.
[Amended 5-16-2017]
A certified statement by the design engineer, or other professional authorized to prepare subsurface sewage disposal system plans, who is unaffiliated with the construction disposal works installer, must be received by the Board of Health prior to the issuance of a certificate of compliance. The statement must ensure that the subsurface sewage disposal system has been installed according to the Board of Health approved plans and must include an as-built drawing prepared by the engineer who is unaffiliated with the construction disposal works installer, showing the final locations and elevations of all system components.
[Added 2-18-1986]
A. 
Amend Regulation 15.03(e) by adding the sentence: "There shall be a minimum leaching facility size requirement of 400 square feet per system for leaching beds or 300 square feet of leaching area for trenches, galleries or pits."
B. 
Amend Regulation 15.02(13) by increasing the sewage flow per bedroom to 140 gallons per day.
C. 
Amend Regulation 15.03(7) by adding: "The minimum acceptable distance between a well and a leaching facility shall be 150 feet."
D. 
The authority to adopt this section is contained in MGL c. 111, § 31. These amendments will become effective as of March 1, 1986.
Dewatered percolation tests, also known as "island percolation tests," whether by the method of pumping or by removing water mechanically with earth-removing equipment, shall not be permitted, except on a repair to a subsurface sewage disposal system serving a structure.
[Added 5-30-1989]
A certified statement by the design engineer must be received by the Board of Health prior to the issuance of a certificate of compliance. The statement must ensure that the subsurface sewage disposal system has been installed according to the approved plan and must include an as-built drawing showing the final locations and elevations of the system components.
[Added 4-1-1986]
No disposal works construction permit for a subsurface sewage disposal system shall be issued until a certification has been made by the design engineer as to the location and elevation of the foundation as shown on the approved plan.
[Added 3-25-1994]
A. 
Groundwater elevation shall be determined at the time of the year when the maximum groundwater level is usually reached during the months of December through April and shall be based upon actual groundwater elevation observations obtained from weekly readings of the Board of Health approved observation wells placed throughout Fairhaven and other Fairhaven Board of Health approved observation wells.
B. 
This policy shall become effective forthwith. Percolation tests performed and passed prior to this date shall require additional groundwater observations which conform to this policy except in those situations where Board of Health approved subsurface sewage disposal plans have been filed in the Board of Health office. This policy is adopted to conform to the intent and application of 310 CMR 15.00 and is not an amendment to that regulation.
[Added 11-6-1989]
A. 
The definition of a bedroom is adopted as described in a letter of policy put forth by the Department of Environmental Protection as being a room providing privacy, intended primarily for sleeping and consisting of all the following:
(1) 
Floor space of no less than 70 square feet.
(2) 
For new construction, a ceiling height of no less than seven feet three inches.
(3) 
For existing houses and for mobile homes, a ceiling height of no less than seven feet.
(4) 
An electrical service and ventilation.
(5) 
At least one window.
B. 
Living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, halls, bathrooms, unfinished cellars and unheated storage areas over garages are not considered bedrooms. Single-family dwellings shall be presumed to have at least three bedrooms. Where the total number of rooms for single-family dwellings exceeds eight, not including bathrooms, hallways, unfinished cellars and unheated storage areas, the number of bedrooms presumed shall be calculated by dividing the total number of rooms by two and then rounding down to the next lowest whole number. The applicant may design a system using design flows for a smaller number of bedrooms than are presumed in this definition by granting the approving authority a deed restriction limiting the number of bedrooms to the smaller number.
A. 
No building within the Town of Fairhaven shall be converted or altered or repaired so as to enable its use year round, nor shall its use be changed, unless the present existing subsurface sewage disposal system complies with the requirements of Title V, 310 CMR 15.00 and this chapter, or the system can be brought into such compliance.
B. 
In addition, no building shall be reconstructed, replaced or altered in any manner unless said subsurface sewage disposal system complies with Title V, 310 CMR 15.00 and this chapter or written approval is obtained from the Board of Health.
A. 
The owner or occupant of any building upon land served by a private potable well and a subsurface sewage disposal system, which do not meet the minimum separation distance as established under current Board of Health rules and regulations, this chapter and the Massachusetts Environmental Code, Title V, must, within six months, connect to the municipal water system when said system is adjacent to the parcel of land containing the potable well and subsurface sewage disposal system.
B. 
The potable well and all other wells on the property shall be disconnected so as not to create a cross connection between the municipal water system and the well or wells on the property. Said disconnection is to be inspected and approved by the Fairhaven Water Department or its authorized agent.
A. 
The Board of Health prohibits the use of septic system chemical additives/cleaners to an on-site subsurface septic system. These products can work their way into the groundwater aquifer and cause contamination. A list of prohibited chemicals is as follows:
(1) 
Methylene chloride.
(2) 
l, l, l trichloroethane.
(3) 
Trichloroethene.
(4) 
Tetrachloroethene.
(5) 
Carbon tetrachloride.
(6) 
Ethylene glycol monophenlether.
(7) 
Acids (ex., H2S04, A12(S04)3).
(8) 
Orthochlorobenzene.
(9) 
Orthochlorotoluene.
(10) 
Dichloromethane.
(11) 
Petroleum distillates.
(12) 
Naphthalene.
(13) 
Benzenes.
(14) 
Bases (ex., KOH, CuS04).
B. 
Further, any establishment which sells septic system additives/cleaners must post a notice in the direct vicinity of these products so as to be noticeable to anyone purchasing them. A sample of a notice may be obtained at the Board of Health office.
[Added 4-11-1994]
A. 
No subsurface sewage disposal leaching facility shall be closer than 100 feet to surface water supplies, reservoirs, tributaries to reservoirs, open drains, subsurface drains, retention basins and watercourses as defined in 310 CMR 15.00, the State Environmental Code, Title 5: Minimum Requirements for the Subsurface Disposal of Sanitary Sewage.
B. 
Wetlands may not be filled to accommodate the setbacks required above. Setbacks are to be measured from the original wetland line and from any proposed replicated wetland area. For retention basins with less than twenty-four-inch separation between the bottom of the retention basin and maximum groundwater elevation, setbacks are to be measured form the elevation of the outlet invert.
[Added 10-31-1994]
The attendance of the Health Agent to witness any percolation test and/or observation requires a fee of $75. Any callback on this location will require an additional fee of $75 per day.