[HISTORY: Adopted as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Public Sewer Connections
Article II Southwick Illicit Connection Bylaw
[Adopted by the Board of Health 5-12-2003]
The Town of Southwick Board of Health, acting under the provisions of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 111 et seq.; Massachusetts General Law Chapter 83, Section 11; Massachusetts General Law Chapter 21A, Section 13; and Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40 et seq., deems the following regulation, supplemental to 310 Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) 15.000, appropriate for protecting the public health, safety, and welfare of its inhabitants.
The regulation is to become effective May 12, 2003 and to so remain until amended or modified by the Town of Southwick Board of Health.
In the event a conflict should become evident between the regulation enacted by the Town of Southwick Board of Health and the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as may be amended, the more strict interpretation shall prevail.
For the purpose of promoting the health, safety, convenience, morals, and welfare of its inhabitants, the Town of Southwick Board of Health, under the authority granted by the Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40 et seq., does hereby enact this regulation to be hereafter known and designated as the "Board of Health Public Sewer Connection Regulation of the Town of Southwick" (Sewer Connection Regulation). Further purpose of the Sewer Connection Regulation is to benefit the environment for the inhabitants of the Town of Southwick by requiring the owner(s) of any building structure (either on a public or private way) in which there exists an abutting public sewer, to connect the building structure with said sewer.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any authorized representative of the Town of Southwick Board of Health, including but not limited to, the Board of Health Inspector or any police officer of the Town of Southwick.
- The Town of Southwick Board of Health.
- FORCE MAIN
- A sewer line under pressure which begins at the pump station and terminates at a point where gravity flow begins.
- NONCRIMINAL METHOD OF DISPOSITION
- The procedure by which the Board or its agent issues a written citation notice to any violator of the Sewer Connection Regulation in accordance with the Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40, Section 21D.
- PRIVATE SEPTIC WASTE WATER DISPOSAL SYSTEM
- Any on-site, subsurface disposal system constructed and maintained in accordance with all the requirements of the Town of Southwick Board of Health Regulations, Building Code, Zoning Ordinances, Sewer Use Regulations, and any other regulation or law of the Town of Southwick, and/or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- PUBLIC SEWER
- A sewer in which all owners of abutting properties (either on a public or private way) have equal rights and is controlled by public authority.
- The Town of Southwick, Massachusetts.
- A departure from the provisions of the Sewer Connection Regulation.
After a public sewer in a public street or easement becomes operational, the Board of Health may, where applicable in accordance with the approved sewer system service area, notify abutting property owners (either on a public or private way) that they must connect with said sewer within 12 months of said notification.
All new dwellings (either on a public or private way) that abut an operational public sewer shall be connected to said sewer prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy. However, if the only sewer connection available to a residential property is a force main, then connection is not mandated by the provisions contained herein.
Failure to obtain a sewer connection permit to make such connection shall be prima facie evidence that no connection has been made. In the event that the Town of Southwick contracts with a particular vendor to provide sewer connection related services, the requirement of the sewer connection permit is hereby waived by the Town of Southwick.
All connections shall be in accordance with the Town of Southwick Sewer Use Regulations.
Content. A petition for a variance from the terms of the Sewer Connection Regulation shall:
Be in writing and filed with the Town of Southwick Board of Health at 454 College Highway, Southwick, Massachusetts 01077;
Specifically state the nature of the hardship caused by the Sewer Connection Regulation;
State all relevant facts and circumstances particular to the owner(s) and the property and person(s) affected by the Sewer Connection Regulation; and
Provide evidence that the variance with respect to each property for which the petition is filed, complies with the provisions enumerated in 310 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 15.000 with regard to the level of environmental protection stated therein.
Treatment. A petition for variance from the terms of the Sewer Connection Regulation shall be administered by the Board. A variance may be granted only if the Board finds, after consideration of all relevant facts and circumstances, enforcement of the Sewer Connection Regulation would:
Hearing and disposition. Within 14 days of receiving a petition for variance, the Board shall schedule a hearing to be held not less than seven days nor more that 21 days from the date of receipt of the petition. At the conclusion of said hearing, the requesting party will receive written notification of the Board's decision. If the petition for variance is denied:
The Board shall issue a written decision within 21 days of the hearing, stating the reasons for said denial; and
The owner(s) shall be given a period of 90 days to comply with the Sewer Connection Regulation subsequent to a decision denying a variance rendered by the Board. This provision will only be effective so long as the Board's decision has been rendered after the twelve-month connection period provided for in § 415-4A.
Any person(s) violating any provision of the Sewer Connection Regulation or, any person(s) failing to comply with the Sewer Connection Regulation after a petition for variance has been denied, shall be penalized in the following manner pursuant to the provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40, Section 21D:
Authority of person enforcing Sewer Connection Regulation. Any agent as specified hereinabove shall be empowered to enforce a violation of the Sewer Connection Regulation and for purposes of this section shall be referred to as "enforcing person."
The enforcing person, after becoming cognizant of a violation of the Sewer Connection Regulation, may give to the offender a written notice (the notice) to appear before the Clerk of the Westfield District Court, at any time during office hours, not later than 21 days after the date of such notice.
Form of notice.
The notice shall be in triplicate;
The notice shall be given to the offender, not later than 21 days after the date of such notice;
The notice shall be written and specify the following:
Manner of service of notice of violation.
The enforcing person shall, if possible, deliver to the offender a copy of said notice at the time and place of the violation.
If not possible to deliver a copy of said notice to the offender as specified in Subsection B(3)(a), a copy shall be mailed or delivered by the enforcing person, or by his commanding officer, or the head of his department, or by any person authorized by such commanding officer, department or head to the offender's last known address, within 15 days after said violation.
Such notice as so mailed shall be deemed a sufficient notice, and a certificate of the person so mailing such notice that it has been mailed in accordance with this section shall be prima facia evidence thereof.
Recordation of notice of violations and offenders.
The enforcing person shall give the Board those copies of each notice of such violation he has taken cognizance of which have not already been delivered or mailed by him as aforementioned in Subsection B(3).
The Board shall retain and safely preserve one copy and shall, at a time not later than the next court day after such delivery or mailing, deliver the other copy to the Clerk of Westfield District Court.
The Clerk of the Westfield District Court shall maintain a separate docket of such notices to appear.
Requirement of offender/violator who has received notice.
Any person notified to appear before the Clerk of the Westfield District Court may so appear and confess the offense charged, either personally or through a duly authorized agent; or
Any person notified to appear before the Clerk of the Westfield District Court may, mail to the Town Clerk of the Town of Southwick together with the notice, the specific sum of money as specified on said notice as penalty for violating the Sewer Connection Regulation subject to the following requirements: If such payment is mailed, it shall be in the form of a bank check, money order, or certified funds.
Upon receipt of such notice and payment, the Town Clerk shall forthwith notify the Clerk of the Westfield District Court of such payment and the receipt by the Clerk of the Westfield District Court of such notification shall operate as a final disposition of the case. An appearance under this section shall not be deemed a criminal proceeding.
Contest of violation.
If any person so notified to appear, desires to contest the violation alleged in the notice to appear and also to avail himself/herself to the procedure established pursuant to this section, he/she may, within 21 days after the date of the notice, request a hearing in writing.
Said hearing shall be held before a District Court Judge, Clerk, or Assistant Clerk, as the Court shall direct, and if the Judge, Clerk, or Assistant Clerk shall, after hearing, find that the violation occurred and that it was committed by the person so notified to appear, the person so notified shall be permitted to dispose of the case by paying the specific sum of money fixed as penalty as stated in the notice, or such lesser amount as the Judge, Clerk, or Assistant Clerk shall order, which payment shall operate as final disposition of the case.
If the Judge, Clerk, or Assistant Clerk shall, after hearing, find that the violation alleged did not occur or was not committed by the person notified to appear, that finding shall be entered in the docket, which shall operate as a final disposition of the case.
Failure to pay fine/default of offender. If any person so notified to appear before the Clerk of the Westfield District Court, fails to pay the fine provided herein within the time specified, or having appeared, does not confess the offense before the Clerk or pay the sum of money fixed as penalty after hearing and finding as provided in Subsection B(6), then the Clerk shall notify the enforcing person, who issued the original notice, who shall determine whether to apply for the issuance of a complaint for violation of the Sewer Connection Regulation.
Amount of fine. Any person(s) found to be in violation of the Sewer Connection Regulation by the agent for the Board shall be liable to a fine in the amount of not more than $100 for each violation or offense, pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 83, Section 11. Said violation or offense shall be administered in the above-referenced manner.
The Board also reserves the right to file a criminal complaint.
The validity or deletion of any section, provision, clause, sentence, or paragraph of the Sewer Connection Regulation shall not affect the other provisions herein which may be given effect without the invalid or deleted provision, clause, sentence, or paragraph and, to this end, the provisions herein are hereby declared severable.
This regulation shall take effect on May 12, 2003.
[Adopted STM 3-15-2008 by Art. 6]
The purpose of this by-law is to regulate illicit connections and discharges to the storm drainage system, which is necessary for the protection of the Town of Southwick's water bodies, wetlands, and groundwater, and to safeguard the public health, safety, welfare and the environment.
The objectives of this by-law are:
To prevent pollutants from entering the separate storm sewer system in the Town of Southwick;
To prohibit illicit connections and unauthorized discharges to the stormwater system;
To require the removal of all such illicit connections;
To comply with state and federal statutes and regulations relating to stormwater discharges;
To establish the legal authority to ensure compliance with the provisions of this by-law through inspection, monitoring, and enforcement.
For the purposes of this by-law, the following shall mean:
- ACTIVE GROUNDWATER DEWATERING (AGD) DEVICE
- Any active device used to transport groundwater, i.e. a sump pump.
- AUTHORIZED ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
- The Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative, its employees or agents designated to enforce this by-law.
- BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICE (BMP)
- An activity, procedure, restraint, or structural improvement that helps to reduce the quantity or improve the quality of stormwater runoff.
- CLEAN WATER ACT
- The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.) as hereafter amended.
- DISCHARGE OF POLLUTANTS
- The addition from any source of any pollutant or combination of pollutants into the municipal storm drainage system or into the waters of the United States or Commonwealth from any source.
- Exempt from new legislation, restrictions, or requirements.
- All water beneath the surface of the ground.
- ILLEGAL DISCHARGE
- Any direct or indirect non-stormwater discharge to the municipal storm drainage system, except as specifically exempted in Section 7 or permitted pursuant to Section 8 of this by-law. The term does not include a discharge in compliance with an NPDES Storm Water Discharge Permit or resulting from fire fighting activities exempted pursuant to Section 7, subsection 4, of this by-law.
- ILLICIT CONNECTION
- Any surface or subsurface drain or conveyance, which allows an illegal discharge into the municipal storm drainage system. Illicit connections include conveyances which allow a non-stormwater discharge to the municipal storm drainage system including sewage, process wastewater or wash water and any connections from indoor drainages sinks, or toilets, regardless of whether said connection was previously allowed, permitted, or approved before the effective date of this by-law.
- IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
- Any material or structure on or above the ground that prevents water from infiltrating the underlying soil.
- MUNICIPAL SEPARATE STORM SEWER SYSTEM (MS4) OR MUNICIPAL STORM DRAINAGE SYSTEM
- The system of conveyances designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater, including any road with a drainage system, street, gutter, curb, inlet, piped storm drain, pumping facility, retention or detention basin, natural or man-made or altered drainage channel, reservoir, and other drainage structure that together comprise the storm drainage system owned or operated by the Town of Southwick.
- NATIONAL POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM (NPDES) STORM WATER DISCHARGE PERMIT
- A permit issued by United States Environmental Protection Agency or jointly with the State that authorizes the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States.
- NON-STORMWATER DISCHARGE
- Any discharge to the municipal storm drain system not composed entirely of stormwater.
- Any individual, partnership, association, firm, company, trust, corporation, and, any agency, authority, department or political subdivision of the Commonwealth or the federal government, to the extent permitted by-law, and any officer, employee, or agent of such person.
- Any element or property of sewage, agricultural, industrial or commercial waste, runoff, leachate, heated effluent, or other matter whether originating at a point or nonpoint source, that is or may be introduced into any sewage treatment works or waters of the Commonwealth. Pollutants shall include:
- A. paints, varnishes, and solvents;
- B. oil and other automotive fluids;
- C. liquid and solid wastes and yard wastes;
- D. refuse, rubbish, garbage, litter, or other discarded or abandoned objects, ordnances, accumulations and floatables;
- E. pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers;
- F. hazardous materials and wastes; sewage, fecal coliform and pathogens;
- G. dissolved and particulate metals;
- H. animal wastes;
- I. rock; sand; salt, soils;
- J. construction wastes and residues;
- K. and noxious or offensive matter of any kind.
- PROCESS WASTEWATER
- means any water which, during manufacturing or processing, comes into direct contact with or results from the production or use of any material, intermediate product, finished product, or waste product.
- The process by which groundwater is replenished by precipitation through the percolation of runoff and surface water through the soil.
- Runoff from precipitation or snow melt.
- TOXIC OR HAZARDOUS MATERIAL OR WASTE
- Any material, which because of its quantity, concentration, chemical, corrosive, flammable, reactive, toxic, infectious or radioactive characteristics, either separately or in combination with any substance or substances, constitutes a present or potential threat to human health, safety, welfare, or to the environment. Toxic or hazardous materials include any synthetic organic chemical, petroleum product, heavy metal, radioactive or infectious waste, acid and alkali, and any substance defined as Toxic or Hazardous under M.G.L. Ch.21C and Ch.21E, and the regulations at 310 CMR 30.000 and 310 CMR 40.0000.
- A natural or man-made channel through which water flows or a stream of water, including a river, brook or underground stream.
- WATERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH
- all waters within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth, including, without limitation, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, springs, impoundments, estuaries, wetlands, costal waters, and groundwater.
- any sanitary waste, sludge, or septic tank or cesspool overflow, and water that during manufacturing, cleaning or processing, comes into direct contact with or results from the production or use of any raw material, intermediate product, finished product, byproduct or waste product.
This by-law shall apply to all flows entering the storm drainage system in the Town of Southwick.
The Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative shall administer, implement and enforce this by-law. Any powers granted to or duties imposed upon the Director of the Department of Public Works may be delegated in writing by the Director of the Department of Public Works to employees or agents of the Department of Public Works.
The Director of the Department of Public Works may promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this by-law. Failure by the Director of the Department of Public Works to promulgate such rules and regulations shall not have the effect of suspending or invalidating this by-law.
Illegal Discharges. No person shall dump, discharge, cause or allow to be discharged any pollutant or non-stormwater discharge into any storm drainage system, watercourse, or into the waters of the Commonwealth. Emergency pumping performed by the Fire Department must utilize appropriate best management practices (BMPs) and follow hazardous materials disposal guidelines to prevent contamination of the municipal storm drainage system with hazardous materials. If hazardous materials are observed within the flooded area from the activities noted above, or are suspected to be contained therein, a qualified hazmat technician and applicable state and local agencies must be consulted. These agencies will be responsible for implementing the BMPs to the contamination of nearby water ways and the municipal storm drainage system.
Illicit Connections. No person shall construct, use, allow, maintain or continue any illicit connection to the municipal storm drainage system, regardless of whether the connection was permissible under applicable law, regulation or custom at the time of connection with no grandfathering permitted.
Obstruction of Municipal Storm Drainage System. No person shall obstruct or interfere with the normal flow of stormwater into or out of the storm drainage system without prior approval from the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative.
Exemptions. This section shall not apply to any of the following non-stormwater discharges or flows provided that the source is not a significant contributor of a pollutant to the storm drainage system.
Flows from potable water sources;
Natural flows from riparian habitats and wetlands;
Diverted stream flows;
Uncontaminated groundwater infiltration as defined in 40 CFR 35.2005(20), or uncontaminated pumped groundwater;
Water from exterior foundation drains, footing drains (not including active groundwater dewatering systems);
Discharges from landscape irrigation or lawn watering;
Water from individual residential car washing;
Discharges from de-chlorinated swimming pool water (less than one part per million chlorine) provided it is allowed to stand for one week prior to draining and the pool is drained in such a way as not to cause a nuisance;
Discharges during street sweeping and other storm drainage system maintenance;
Discharges or flows resulting from fire fighting activities;
Dye testing, provided notification is given to the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative prior to the time of the test;
Non-stormwater discharges permitted under an NPDES permit, waiver, or waste discharge order administered under the authority of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, provided that the discharge is in full compliance with the requirements of the permit, waiver, or order and applicable laws and regulations;
Discharges for which advanced written approval is received from the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative if necessary to protect public health, safety, welfare or the environment.
The Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative may suspend storm drainage system access to any person or property without prior written notice when such suspension is necessary to stop an actual or threatened illegal discharge that presents or may present imminent risk of harm to the public health, safety, welfare or the environment. In the event any person fails to comply with an emergency suspension order, the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative may take all reasonable steps to prevent or minimize harm to the public health, safety, welfare or the environment.
Notwithstanding any other requirements of local, state or federal law, as soon as any person responsible for a facility or operation, or responsible for emergency response for a facility or operation has information of any known or suspected release of materials at that facility operation which is resulting or may result in illegal discharge of pollutants that person shall take all necessary steps to ensure containment, and cleanup of the release. In the event of a release of oil or hazardous materials, the person shall immediately notify the municipal fire and police departments, the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (if release is reportable as defined by 310 CMR 40.00). In the event of a release of non-hazardous material, said person shall notify the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative no later than the next business day. Written confirmation of all telephone, facsimile or in person notifications shall be provided to the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative within three business days thereafter. If the discharge of prohibited materials is from a commercial or industrial facility, the facility owner or operator of the facility shall retain on-site a written record of the discharge and the actions taken to prevent its recurrence. Such records shall be retained for at least three years.
The Director of the Department of Public Works or an authorized agent of the Department of Public Works shall enforce this by-law, and the regulations promulgated thereunder, as well as the terms and conditions of all permits, notices, and orders, and may pursue all civil and criminal remedies for such violations.
The Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative may issue a written order to enforce the provisions of this by-law or the regulations thereunder, which include, but are not limited to:
Elimination of elicit connections or discharges to the storm drainage system;
Termination of access to the storm drainage system;
Performance of monitoring, analyses, and reporting;
Cessation of unlawful discharges, practices, or operations;
Remediation of contamination in connection therewith.
If the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative determines that abatement or remediation of contamination is required, the order shall set forth a deadline for completion of the abatement or remediation. Said order shall further advise that, should the violator or property owner fail to abate or perform remediation within the specified deadline, the Town of Southwick may, at its option, undertake such work and expenses thereof shall be charged to the violator or property owner.
Within thirty (30) days after completing all measures necessary to abate the violation or to perform remediation, the violator and the property owner will be notified of the costs incurred by the Town of Southwick, including administrative costs. The violator or property owner may file a written protest objecting to the amount or basis of costs with the Board of Selectmen within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notification of the costs incurred. If the amount due is not received by the expiration of the time in which to file a protest or within thirty (30) days following a decision of the Board of Selectmen or designated representative affirming or reducing the costs, or from a final decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, the costs shall become a special assessment against the property owner and shall constitute a lien on the owner's property for the amount of said costs. Interest shall begin to accrue on any unpaid costs at the statutory rate provided in M.G.L. Ch. 59 § 57 after the thirty-first day at which the costs first become due.
Equitable Remedy. If anyone violates the provisions of this by-law, regulations, permit, notice, or order issued thereunder, the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative may seek injunctive relief in a court of competent jurisdiction to restrain the person from activities which would create further violations or compelling the person to abate or remediate the violation.
Non-Criminal Disposition. As an alternative to criminal prosecution or civil action, the Town of Southwick may elect to utilize the non-criminal disposition procedure set forth in M.G.L. Chapter 40, § 21D or in the Town of Southwick Code § 1-5. The Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative shall be the enforcing person. The penalty for the 1st violation shall be $50. The penalty for the 2nd violation shall be $100. The penalty for the 3rd and subsequent violations shall be $300.00. Each day or part thereof that such violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense.
Right-of-Entry. To the extent permitted by state law, or if authorized by the owner or other party in control of the property, the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative, its agents, officers, and employees may enter upon privately owned property for the purpose of performing their duties under this by-law and regulations and may make or cause to be made such examinations, surveys or sampling as the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative deems reasonably necessary
The decisions or orders of the Director of the Department of Public Works or designated representative shall be final unless a Notice of Protest has been filed with the Board of Selectmen and the decision of the majority of the Board of Selectmen shall be final unless an appeal is filed with a Court of Competent Jurisdiction within thirty (30) days of the filing of the Written Decision of the Board of Selectmen with the Town Clerk. Further appeals shall be to a Court of Competent Jurisdiction.
Notices of Protest pursuant to this section must be in writing and shall follow the following procedure:
The aggrieved party wishing to protest a decision of either the Director of the Department of Public Works or its authorized Agent as to the amount or basis of the cost necessary to abate a violation of this By-Law, shall file a written protest with the Town Clerk and the Board of Selectmen within thirty (30) days of receipt of notification of the costs incurred from either the Director or an authorized agent of the Southwick Department of Public Works. Such Notice of Protest must be received by the Board of Selectmen's office and Town Clerk on or before said thirty (30) day period.
Such Notice of Protest shall include a copy of the Notification the aggrieved party received from either the Director of authorized agent of the Department of Public Works and the grounds upon which such notice of protest is based.
The Board of Selectmen will schedule a meeting with the aggrieved party at a regularly scheduled Board of Selectmen's meeting to be held within sixty (60) days of the receipt of such Notice of Protest. The Board of Selectmen shall notify in writing both the aggrieved party and the Director or authorized agent of the Department of Public Works of the time, place and date of the meeting.
At the meeting, the aggrieved party shall have the right to produce evidence in support of such party's protest and have witnesses testify under oath in support of such protest. The Director of the Department of Public Works or its authorized agent shall also have the right to produce evidence and witnesses under oath in support of the original decision of the Department of Public Works.
Upon closure of the meeting with the Board of Selectmen over the Notice of Protest, the Board of Selectmen, by a majority of the Selectmen present at such meeting, shall render a written decision on the Notice of Protest within thirty (30) days of the date of the meeting setting forth their decision and reasons supporting said decision, and file a copy of said decision with the Town Clerk and send a copy of said decision by first class mail to the aggrieved party within said thirty (30) days period.
Remedies Not Exclusive. The remedies listed in this by-law are not exclusive of any other remedies available under any applicable federal, state or local law.
If any provision, paragraph, sentence, or clause, of this by-law shall be held invalid for any reason, all other provisions shall continue in full force and effect.
Property owners shall have 120 days from the effective date of the by-law to comply with its provisions provided good cause is shown for the failure to comply with the by-law during that period unless local, state, or federal agencies deem that immediate actions are warranted.