Town of Southwick, MA
Hampden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Town of Southwick effective 5-1-1987; amended in its entirety 3-30-1998. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Sewers — See Ch. 145.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 315.
Private wells — See Ch. 420.
410a Appendix A

§ 410-1 Purpose.

The purpose of these regulations is to provide for the protection of the environment and the protection of the public health, safety and general welfare by requiring the proper siting, construction, upgrade and maintenance of on-site sewage disposal systems in the Town of Southwick.

§ 410-2 Statutory authority; applicability.

A. 
Under the provisions of M.G.L. c. 3, § 31, the Southwick Board of Health has adopted the following regulations governing disposal systems effective May 1, 1987.
B. 
Except as provided below, the provisions of 310 CMR 15.00 of the State Environmental Code, Title 5: Standard Requirements for the Siting, Construction, Inspection, Upgrade and Expansion of On-Site Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems and for the Transport and Disposal of Septage, apply to the disposal of sanitary sewage in the Town of Southwick.
C. 
These regulations shall apply to all new construction and wherever possible to repairs of existing systems.

§ 410-3 Scheduling of soil suitability assessments.

A. 
Soil suitability assessments for new disposal system installations shall be conducted in the season designated by the Board of Health. The dates of the seasons shall be announced by the Board of Health and changed at its discretion if warranted.
B. 
Soil suitability assessments for repairs to existing septic systems may be conducted at any time of the year with the permission of the Board of Health.
C. 
Application for all soil suitability assessments (new installations and repairs) shall be made prior to the test on forms provided by the Board of Health. Each application for a new installation shall be accompanied by the minimum witness fee payable to the Town of Southwick.
D. 
The Board of Health shall schedule the soil suitability assessment. Applicants are responsible for securing the services of the engineer, registered sanitarian or certified soil evaluator approved by the Southwick Board of Health and an excavation contractor.

§ 410-4 Results of soil suitability assessments.

A. 
At the time of the assessment, the approved person performing the assessment shall record all the necessary measurements to mark the exact test site for future reference. For a new installation, the approved person performing an acceptable assessment must bury a four-inch PVC pipe four feet below existing grade and extending at least one foot above existing grade at the exact percolation test locations. The PVC pipe must be labeled with the percolation test date, location, etc.
B. 
In the case of new divisions of land, the applicant of the disposal system construction permit shall include a plan in which a professional land surveyor (PLS) has field located the soil suitability assessment sites.
C. 
Percolation test results obtained from May 1, 1987, to December 31, 1995.
(1) 
Percolation test results obtained within the period May 1, 1987, to December 31, 1995, shall be deemed valid for a period of five years from the date of the percolation test. Soil evaluations and an additional percolation test shall be required prior to submittal of an application for a disposal system construction permit.
(2) 
For a percolation test which is about to expire, a property owner has 30 days past the expiration date of the percolation test to perform an additional percolation test and two deep hole soil evaluations. The charge is the same as new construction, and testing may be performed any time of the year. Upon acceptable testing, the old percolation test and the new soil suitability assessment shall be valid for an additional five years.
(3) 
An expired percolation test shall require a complete soil suitability assessment. The new data shall be valid for five years from the date of the new site assessment. The charge is the same as new construction, and testing may be performed any time of the year
D. 
Soil suitability site assessment results obtained after December 31, 1995.
(1) 
Soil suitability site assessment results obtained January 1, 1996, and thereafter shall be deemed valid for a period of five years from the date of the site assessment.
(2) 
Validity of a soil suitability assessment after expiration shall be reviewed on an individual basis. Verification of the assessment results, the precise location of the assessment tests and any change in the topography or drainage at or near the assessment sites shall be provided to the Board of Health. The Board of Health at any time may require additional percolation tests or soil evaluation tests to be performed for confirmation of a previous test

§ 410-5 Disposal system construction design.

The disposal system shall be designed so that the minimum vertical separation distance required between the maximum groundwater elevation, as established by the certified soil evaluation, and the bottom of the soil absorption system shall be five feet.

§ 410-6 Disposal system construction permit.

A. 
Prior to the submittal of a disposal system construction permit application, the Board of Health shall receive a written statement from the Conservation Commission stating whether or not the lot upon which the system is to be installed is in compliance with the Wetlands Protection Act.
B. 
Each disposal system construction permit application for new installation must be accompanied by a minimum permit fee payable to the Town of Southwick.
C. 
The Board of Health requires four copies of the disposal construction permit application and disposal system design.
D. 
The Board of Health, at its option, may require the proposed plans for the disposal of sewage to be reviewed by an independent engineer/sanitarian of its choosing, within the fee incurred for such engineering services to be borne by the applicant for the disposal system construction permit. These fees are payable to the Town of Southwick.

§ 410-7 Emergency repairs.

A. 
As defined in Title 5: 15.353, an emergency repair is limited to the repair or replacement of one or more structural components of a system, such as a clogged building sewer or distribution line, damaged building sewer, septic tank or distribution box or broken tee which is determined to be the probable cause of the system failure.
B. 
Only disposal system installers licensed by the Town of Southwick shall conduct emergency repairs.
C. 
Emergency repairs shall not be backfilled or otherwise concealed from view until a final inspection has been conducted by the Board of Health or its agent and permission has been granted by the Board of Health or its agent to backfill the emergency repair.
D. 
All emergency repairs shall be followed, within 30 days of the repair, by an application for a disposal system construction permit. The application shall be accompanied by a plot plan showing, as a minimum, the location of the emergency repair, distances from the building, distances from other structural components of the septic system, elevations, finish grade and any other information pertinent to the emergency repair. The application of the disposal system construction permit and the plot plan shall be prepared by the disposal system installer or the installer's representative conducting the emergency repair.

§ 410-8 Enforceable schedule for completion of upgrades.

As defined in Title 5: 15.305(1b), a failed septic system may continue to be used for five years from the date of the notice of enforceable schedule for compliance with Title 5, Board of Health authorization and property owner acceptance or until the property has been connected or is required to be connected to a sewer, whichever occurs sooner, provided that a public health threat does not exist in the interim. A public health threat is defined by the Board of Health as:
A. 
Sewage backup into the dwelling;
B. 
Ponding of effluent to the ground surface;
C. 
A Board of Health accepted Title V inspection report indicating that all or a portion of the soil absorption system (SAS) is found to be in groundwater; or
D. 
Other conditions, as defined by the Board of Health or other applicable state statutes, that negatively impact the health and safety of the public.

§ 410-9 Disposal system construction.

A. 
The contractor shall provide the Board of Health with the measurements to the septic and leaching chamber access manholes, pump chamber, distribution box and any other pertinent structural components of the disposal system.
B. 
Contractors shall submit a copy of the sieve analysis performed on fill used in fill system installations. If a copy of the actual sieve analysis cannot be obtained, the receipt from the supplier of the fill stating that the fill conforms to 310 CMR 15.255, Construction in Fill, shall be submitted.
C. 
For lots without access to a public water supply, a building permit will not be issued until a water supply certificate for a private well and a disposal system construction permit have been issued by the Board of Health. Refer to Chapter 420, Wells, Private.
D. 
The Southwick Board of Health Disposal System Regulations and Title 5 requirements must be complied with fully before this office will issue a certificate of compliance.
E. 
Any other plumbing fixtures, e.g., garbage grinders, whirlpools, hot tubs, etc., installed after the issuance of the certificate of compliance, which may increase the total design flow and which were not specifically addressed in the approved septic system plans shall render the certificate of compliance null and void.

§ 410-10 Disposal system inspection and maintenance.

A. 
Disposal system pumpers shall submit system pumping records for septic tanks or cesspools pumped in the Town of Southwick on a quarterly basis.
B. 
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved system inspector shall notify the Board of Health at least 48 hours in advance of a pending disposal system inspection, including voluntary inspections. Notification shall include date, time and location of the disposal system inspection. The Board of Health shall have the option to witness any and all disposal system inspections.

§ 410-11 Variance.

A. 
The Board of Health may grant a variance to the application of these regulations when, in its opinion, the enforcement thereof would do manifest injustice and the applicant has demonstrated that the equivalent degree of protection will still be provided to the environment and public health without strict application to particular provisions of these regulations.
B. 
Every request for a variance shall be made in writing and shall state the specific variance sought and the reasons therefor. The writing shall contain all the information needed to assure the Board that, despite the issuance of a variance, the public health and environment will be protected.