Town of Sunderland, MA
Franklin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Town of Sunderland as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Plumbing — See Ch. 140.
Sewers — See Ch. 144.
Building standards — See Ch. 152.
Wells — See Ch. 177.
[Adopted 3-24-1987]
[Amended 8-10-1995]
In accordance with 310 CMR 11.02 and 310 CMR 15.003, the Sunderland Board of Health adopts the following regulations governing individual subsurface sewage disposal systems in order to promote and protect the health and well-being of the residents of Sunderland.
[Amended 8-10-1995]
A. 
All individual sewage disposal systems must conform to the minimum setback distances for soil absorption systems, including reserve area, measured in feet and set forth below. Where more than one (1) setback applies, all setback requirements shall be satisfied.
[Amended 6-7-1999]
(1) 
Property line: twenty-five (25) feet.
(2) 
Surface waters: one hundred (100) feet.
(3) 
Private water supply well or suction line: one hundred (100) feet.
B. 
All other minimum setbacks required in 310 CMR 15.211 not specified as above shall apply to individual subsurface sewage disposal systems.
A. 
Percolation tests may be conducted year round.
[Amended 3-8-1989; 12-4-1995]
B. 
Percolation tests may not be conducted in any location where the frostline has extended below a level of fifteen (15) inches.
C. 
Two (2) deep hole tests are required to provide the Board of Health with an accurate profile of the existing soil and groundwater conditions.
D. 
The minimum percolation rate shall be twenty (20) minutes per inch.
E. 
A percolation test shall be deemed to have failed if:
(1) 
Ledge rock or other impervious material is found at a depth closer to the surface than will permit at least six (6) feet of naturally occurring soil.
(2) 
Water or the evidence of the continued presence of water is found at a level or depth closer to the surface than will permit at least six (6) feet of naturally occurring soil which is suitable for disposal of the liquid effluent of the system.
F. 
Any location which has failed a percolation test may not be retested for a period of one (1) year. The area within a radius of twenty-five (25) feet from the test site shall be included in the area which may not be retested.
G. 
Percolation tests are valid for two (2) years as of June 1, 1991.
[Added 4-3-1991]
A. 
Each disposal system must be designed by a registered sanitarian or engineer and shall show location in relation to the proposed building. This disposal site may not be relocated on the property without the prior approval of the Board of Health; in some instances, an additional percolation test may be required.
B. 
The applicant shall complete an application for a disposal system construction permit on a form provided by the Board of Health Office, and shall submit four copies of the plans to the Board of Health Office, along with an application fee as set by the Board of Health from time to time.
[Added 6-7-1999]
C. 
The Board of Health agent/engineer then reviews the plans. If the plans comply with the necessary regulations and are in accordance with good engineering practices, a permit is issued. One (1) copy of the approved permit and three (3) copies of the plan, stamped "APPROVED" will be returned to the applicant. The applicant then may apply for a building permit from the Inspector of Buildings where applicable.
[Added 6-7-1999]
D. 
If the plan is not complete or does not comply with state or Board of Health regulations in all respects, it will be returned to the applicant, who must have his designer correct the plan as required. An additional fee, as set by the Board of Health from time to time, shall be required for each time the plan is returned for revisions, except for the first one. It is strongly recommended that this be accomplished when the foundation forms are in place in order to minimize the expense and inconvenience of the correcting an improper installation. It is the responsibility of the applicant, the designer, and the installer to examine the plan to assure themselves that the house is in the right place and the system can be constructed as shown on the approved plan. In such case the structure is not as shown on the approved design plan, a new revised plan shall be required. An application fee, as set by the Board of Health from time to time, shall be required.
[Added 6-7-1999]
Any duplex housing structure shall have a minimum one-thousand-five-hundred-gallon-capacity septic tank and a minimum one-thousand-five-hundred-square-foot leaching area. With approval, leaching tanks may be used.
A. 
These regulations apply to development, construction or conversion intended to establish a condominium association.
B. 
Any septic system expected to receive fifteen thousand (15,000) gallons per day must be reviewed and approved by the Department of Environmental Quality Engineering (DEQE).
C. 
Prior to the issuance of any disposal works construction permit, a copy of the proposed master deed must be submitted to the Board of Health for approval. Copies of the master deed shall be submitted to the Building Inspector and Board of Health along with a written request for review. The Board shall have twenty-one (21) days to accept or reject the proposed master deed and shall notify the applicant in writing. Failure of the Board to act upon the request for review shall be deemed approval for the purposes of issuing disposal works construction permits.
D. 
No certificate of occupancy shall be issued for any portion of a condominium until the master deed, as approved by the Board of Health and/or DEQE, has been duly recorded at the Registry of Deeds for Franklin County and a final copy has been filed with the Board.
E. 
The master deed for an condominium utilizing a subsurface disposal system to be owned jointly shall include the provision that such system shall be cleaned and emptied at least once every three (3) years.
F. 
Any restriction or constraint placed upon the use or operation of a septic system for a condominium, either by the system designer or by the Board of Health, shall be written into the master deed. An example of such a restriction would be an indication by the designer that the disposal system is not intended to accommodate garbage grinders.
[Amended 6-7-1999; 12-14-2015]
A. 
Prior to installation of any system, the application for disposal works construction and the disposal works construction permit must be complete with all fees paid.
B. 
Construction shall be done only by an installer with a current permit from the Board of Health and must be in compliance with Title 5 of the State Environmental Code and this regulation. Any construction being done by an installer without a valid permit will be stopped until such permit is obtained.
C. 
Effective leaching area.
(1) 
All soil absorption systems in Sunderland shall be sized using the long-term acceptance rates as specified in 310 CMR 15.242, LTAR - Effluent Loading Rates, except when the system is preceded by a secondary treatment unit with General Use Certification that allows for a fifty-percent-reduction in effective leaching area, in which case DEP certified loading rates may apply, but no additional reduction in leaching area is allowed based on the certification "effective leaching areas" of the soil absorption system in itself.
(2) 
The use of "effective leaching areas" or equivalent language as listed in any innovative/alternative system that results in a smaller total leaching area than would be calculated using 310 CMR 15.242 is prohibited, except when the soil absorption system is preceded by a secondary treatment unit with General Use Certification that allows for a fifty-percent-reduction in effective leaching area.
(3) 
Innovative/alternative systems that are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection may be used, provided that the total leaching area is calculated based on the physical dimensions of the product and that the area meets the required area as calculated in 310 CMR 15.242.
D. 
Property line setbacks. All septic tanks, soil absorption systems (primary and reserve), pump chambers, distribution boxes and piping shall be located at least 25 feet from an abutting lot line or public roadway layout line.
[Amended 12-14-2015]
All Title 5 system inspections under 310 CMR 15.301 shall be witnessed by a member of the Sunderland Board of Health or its agent. If inspection shows distribution box outlets not to be level, corrective action shall be taken immediately by installation of "speed levelers" or other measures as approved by the Board of Health witness.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 172-9, Violations and penalties, was repealed in 12-14-2015.
[Amended 12-14-2015]
Any disposal works construction permit approved or issued by the Board of Health prior to the effective date of this regulation shall not be affected by this regulation for a period of three (3) years from the date of issuance. After three (3) years it shall become fully subject to this regulation.
[Added 8-10-1995; amended 12-14-2015]
A. 
The Board of Health may vary the application of any provisions of this chapter with respect to any particular case when, in its opinion:
(1) 
The enforcement thereof would do manifest injustice; and
(2) 
In the case of repairs, the applicant requesting the variance has established that the proposed design provides maximum feasible compliance with the Board's regulations. The provisions of 310 CMR 15.404 and 405 will be used as guidance in the Board's decision.
(3) 
In the case of new construction, the applicant requesting the variance has established that a level of environmental protection that is at least equivalent to that provided under the provision of the local regulation can be achieved without strict application of the provision of the local regulation from which a variance is sought. With regard to variances for new construction, enforcement of the provision from which a variance is sought must be shown to deprive the applicant of substantially all beneficial use of the subject property in order to be manifestly unjust.
B. 
All requests for variances shall be in writing and state the specific local regulation from which a variance is sought, the reason for the variance, a statement of how the criteria in § 172-10 above are met, and engineering plans for the proposed disposal system. Four (4) complete sets of the request, exhibits, and plan shall be submitted. Requested variances from this code and from Title 5 shall be listed on the engineering plans for the system. No request shall be considered complete until the applicant has submitted and the Board has accepted a disposal system construction permit application, with appropriate fees.
C. 
Public hearing. No later than the next regularly scheduled meeting following receipt of the complete request for variance, the Board of Health will determine a location, date, and time for a public hearing on the matter and will then notify the applicant. The Board will hold a public hearing to consider the request within 30 days after the meeting at which the request was accepted and the hearing scheduled. After hearing testimony at the public hearing, the Board may continue the hearing to a specified date and time in order to obtain additional information to inform its decision.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 172-10.2, Abandonment of on-site septic systems, added 6-7-1999, was repealed 12-14-2015.
[Adopted 12-5-1990]
[Amended 12-14-2015]
A. 
Authority. These regulations are enacted by the Board of Health under the authority which includes but is not limited to one or more of the following: MGL c. 111, §§ 31, 122, 187 and 188; 310 CMR 11.02 and 310 CMR 15.000 (Title 5).
B. 
These Regulations of the Sunderland Board of Health are enacted for the purpose of protection of the citizens of the Town of Sunderland and also the protection of the environment. As a minimum code, Title 5 is incomplete and ambiguous in certain specifications and silent on other topics. Accordingly, local Board of Health regulations are necessary to assure more complete protection from sewage overflow to the ground surface, which is a source of filth and disease, and also to assure more complete protection from potential pollution of groundwater, wells, surface waters, wetland complexes, and certain geologic and water-bearing deposits. Local regulations are also necessary for purposes of efficient administration and management, as well as for additional guidance in the process of construction and repair of septic systems. These regulations do not conflict with Title 5, but rather complement them, and provide additional guidance and protection.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 172-12, Definitions, former § 172-13, Existing systems, former § 172-14, Exemptions, former § 172-15, Enforcement, and former § 172-16, Instructions for inspections, were repealed 12-14-2015.
[Added 12-14-2015]
If any section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of these regulations shall be deemed invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the remaining provisions of these regulations, which shall remain in full force and effect and, to this end, the provisions of these regulations are hereby declared severable.
[Added 12-14-2015]
These amended regulations were adopted by vote of the Board of Health of the Town of Sunderland at a public meeting held on December 14, 2015, the effective date of these amended regulations is January 1, 2016. A public hearing on the amended regulations was held on December 14, 2015. Notice of public hearing was made November 27, 2015 in the Greenfield Recorder.