Village of Athens, NY
Greene County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Athens as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 116.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 205.
Water — See Ch. 229.
[Adopted 1-30-1970 (Ch. 68, Art. I, of the 1976 Code)]

§ 197-1 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BOD (denoting "biochemical oxygen demand")
The quantity of oxygen utilized in the biochemical oxidation of organic matter under standard laboratory procedure in five days at 20º C., expressed in milligrams per liter.
That part of the lowest horizontal piping of a drainage system which receives the discharge from soil, waste and other drainage pipes inside the walls of the building and conveys it to the building sewer beginning five feet (1.5 meters) outside the inner face of the building wall.
The extension from the building drain to the public sewer or other places of disposal.
A sewer receiving both surface runoff and sewage.
Solid wastes from the domestic and commercial preparation, cooking and dispensing of food and from the handling, storage and sale of produce.
The liquid wastes from industrial manufacturing processes, trade or business as distinct from sanitary sewage.
Any outlet into a watercourse, pond, ditch, lake or other body of surface or ground water.
Any individual, firm, company, association, society, corporation or group.
The logarithm of the reciprocal of the weight of hydrogen ions in grams per liter of solution.
The wastes from the preparation, cooking and dispensing of food that have been shredded to such a degree that all particles will be carried freely under the flow conditions normally prevailing in public sewers, with no particle greater than 1/2 inch (1.27 centimeters) in any dimension.
A sewer in which all owners of abutting properties have equal rights and which is controlled by public authority.
A sewer which carries sewage and to which stormwater, surface water and groundwater are not intentionally admitted.
A combination of the water-carried wastes from residences, business buildings, institutions and industrial establishments, together with such groundwater, surface water and stormwater as may be present.
Any arrangement of devices and structures used for treating sewage.
All facilities for collecting, pumping, treating and disposing of sewage.
A pipe or conduit for carrying sewage.
Any discharge of water, sewage or industrial waste which in concentration of any given constituent or in quantity of flow exceeds for any period of duration longer than 15 minutes more than five times the average twenty-four-hour concentration or flows during normal operation.
STORM DRAIN (sometimes termed "storm sewer")
A sewer which carries storm and surface waters and drainage but excludes sewage and industrial wastes, other than unpolluted cooling water.
The Superintendent of Public Works or Sewers of the Village, or his authorized deputy, agent or representative.
Solids that either float on the surface of or are in suspension in water, sewage or other liquids and which are removable by laboratory filtering.
The incorporated municipal subdivision which shall be represented by the Village Board of Trustees.
A channel in which a flow of water occurs, either continuously or intermittently.
Word usage. "Shall" is mandatory; "may" is permissive.

§ 197-2 Deposit of certain wastes prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to place, deposit or permit to be deposited in any unsanitary manner on public or private property within the Village or in any area under the jurisdiction of the Village any human or animal excrement, garbage or other objectionable waste.

§ 197-3 Discharge to natural outlets restricted.

It shall be unlawful to discharge to any natural outlet within the Village or in any area under the jurisdiction of said Village any sewage or other polluted waters except where suitable treatment has been provided in accordance with subsequent provisions of this article.

§ 197-4 Use of privy vaults, septic tanks and cesspools.

Except as hereinafter provided, it shall be unlawful to construct or maintain any privy, privy vault, septic tank, cesspool or other facility intended or used for the disposal of sewage.

§ 197-5 Connection to public sewer required.

The owner of any house, building, or property used for human occupancy, employment, recreation or other purposes, situated within the Village and abutting on any street, alley or right-of-way in which there is now located or may in the future be located a public sanitary or combined sewer of the Village, is hereby required at his expense to install suitable toilet facilities therein and to connect such facilities directly with the proper public sewer in accordance with the provisions of this article within 90 days after date of official notice to do so, provided that said public sewer is within 120 feet of the property line. A suitable pump or ejector will be furnished by the property owner where necessary to overcome adverse conditions of grade, slope or topography.

§ 197-6 Private sewage disposal.

Private system permitted where public sewer unavailable. Where a public sanitary or combined sewer is not available under the provisions of § 197-5, the building sewer shall be connected to a private sewage disposal system complying with the provisions of this section.
Permit required; fee. Before commencement of construction of a private sewage disposal system, the owner shall first obtain a written permission signed by the Superintendent and approved by the Village Board of Trustees. A permit and inspection fee as set from time to time by the Board of Trustees shall be paid to the Village at the time the application is filed.[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
Inspection. A permit for a private sewage disposal system shall not become effective until the installation is completed to the satisfaction of the Superintendent. He shall be allowed to inspect the work at any stage of construction, and in any event the applicant for the permit shall notify the Superintendent when the work is ready for final inspection and before any underground portions are covered. The inspection shall be made within 72 hours of the receipt of notice by the Superintendent.
Compliance with state requirements. The type, capacity, location and layout of a private sewage disposal system shall comply with all recommendations of the Department of Health of the State of New York. No permit shall be issued for any private sewage disposal system employing subsurface soil absorption facilities where the area of the lot is less than 1,500 square feet. No septic tank or cesspool shall be permitted to discharge to any natural outlet.
Abandonment. At such time as a public sewer becomes available to a property served by a private sewage disposal system, as provided in § 197-5, a direct connection shall be made to the public sewer in compliance with this article, and any septic tanks, cesspools and similar private sewage disposal facilities shall be abandoned and filled with suitable material.
Operation and maintenance. The owner shall operate and maintain the private sewage disposal facilities in a sanitary manner at all times at no expense to the Village.
Additional requirements. No statement contained in this section shall be construed to interfere with any additional requirements that may be imposed by the Health Officer of the county or state.
Connection to public sewer when available. When a public sewer becomes available, the building sewer shall be connected to said sewer within 60 days and the private sewage disposal system shall be cleaned of sludge and filled with clean bank-run gravel or dirt.

§ 197-7 Building sewers and connections.

Permit required. No unauthorized person shall uncover, make any connections with or opening into, use, alter or disturb any public sewer or appurtenance thereof without first obtaining a written permit from the Superintendent.
Classes of permits; fees. There shall be two classes of building sewer permits: one for residential and commercial service and the other for service to establishments producing industrial wastes. In either case, the owner or his agent shall make application on a special form furnished by the Village. The permit application shall be supplemented by any plans, specifications or other information considered pertinent in the judgment of the Superintendent. A permit and inspection fee as set forth from time to time by the Board of Trustees for a residential or commercial building sewer permit and for an industrial building sewer permit shall be paid to the Village at the time the application is filed.[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
Costs; indemnification. All costs and expense incident to the installation and connection of the building sewer shall be borne by the owner. The owner shall indemnify the Village against any loss or damage that may directly or indirectly be occasioned by the installation of the building sewer.
Separate connection for each building. A separate and independent building sewer shall be provided for every building, except where one building stands at the rear of another on an interior lot and no private sewer is available or can be constructed to the rear building through an adjoining alley, court, yard or driveway, the building sewer from the front building may be extended to the rear building and the whole considered as one building sewer for connection purposes but as the true number of buildings for billing purposes.
Old building sewers. Old building sewers may be used in connection with new buildings only when they are found, on examination and test by the Superintendent, to meet all requirements of this article.
Compliance of installation with regulations. The size, slope, alignment, materials of construction of a building sewer and the methods to be used in excavating, placing of the pipe, jointing, testing and backfilling the trench shall all conform to the requirements of the Building and Plumbing Codes[2] or other applicable rules and regulations of the Village. In the absence of code provisions or in amplification thereof, the materials and procedures set forth in appropriate specifications of the ASTM and WPCF Manual of Practice No. 9 shall apply.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 116, Building Construction.
Elevation of building sewer. Whenever possible, the building sewer shall be brought to the building at an elevation below the basement floor. In all buildings in which any building drain is too low to permit gravity flow to the public sewer, sanitary sewage carried by such building drain shall be lifted by an approved means and discharged to the building sewer.
Prohibited connections. No person shall make connection of roof downspouts, exterior foundation drains, areaway drains or other sources of surface runoff or groundwater to a building sewer or building drain which in turn is connected directly or indirectly to a public sanitary sewer.
Compliance of connection with regulations. The connection of the building sewer into the public sewer shall conform to the requirements of the Building and Plumbing Codes or other applicable rules and regulations of the Village or the procedures set forth in appropriate specifications of the ASTM and the WPCF Manual of Practice No. 9. All such connections shall be made gastight and watertight. Any deviation from the prescribed procedures and materials must be approved by the Superintendent before installation.
Inspection of connection. The applicant for the building sewer permit shall notify the Superintendent when the building sewer is ready for inspection and connection to the public sewer. The connection shall be made under the supervision of the Superintendent or his representative.
Guarding and restoration of excavations. All excavations for building sewer installations shall be adequately guarded with barricades and lights so as to protect the public from hazard. Streets, sidewalks, parkways and other public property disturbed in the course of the work shall be restored in a manner satisfactory to the Village.

§ 197-8 Use of public sewers.

Certain waters prohibited. No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged any stormwater, surface water, groundwater, roof runoff, subsurface drainage, uncontaminated cooling water or unpolluted industrial process waters to any sanitary sewer.
Discharge of stormwater and industrial wastes. Stormwater and all other unpolluted drainage shall be discharged to such sewers as are specifically designated as combined sewers or storm sewers or to a natural outlet approved by the Superintendent. Industrial cooling water or unpolluted process waters may be discharged, on approval of the Superintendent, to a storm sewer, combined sewer or natural outlet.
Prohibited discharges. No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged any of the following-described waters or wastes to any public sewers:
Any gasoline, benzene, naphtha, fuel oil or other flammable or explosive liquid, solid or gas.
Any waters or wastes containing toxic or poisonous solids, liquids or gases in sufficient quantity, either singly or by interaction with other wastes, to injure or interfere with any sewage treatment process, constitute a hazard to humans or animals, create a public nuisance or create any hazard in the receiving waters of the sewage treatment plant, including but not limited to cyanides in excess of two mg/l as CN in the wastes as discharged to the public sewer.
Any water or wastes having a pH lower than 5.5 or having any other corrosive property capable of causing damage or hazard to structures, equipment and personnel of the sewage works.
Solid or viscous substances in quantities or of such size as to be capable of causing obstruction to the flow in sewers or other interference with the proper operation of the sewage works, such as but not limited to ashes, cinders, sand, mud, straw, shavings, metal, glass, rags, feathers, tar, plastics, wood, unground garbage, whole blood, paunch manure, hair and flashings, entrails and paper dishes, cups, milk containers, etc., either whole or ground by garbage grinders.
Certain discharges subject to determination of acceptability. No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged the following-described substances, materials, waters or wastes if it appears likely in the opinion of the Superintendent that such wastes can harm either the sewers, sewage treatment process or equipment, have an adverse effect on the receiving stream or can otherwise endanger life, limb, public property or constitute a nuisance. In forming his opinion as to the acceptability of these wastes, the Superintendent will give consideration to such factors as the quantities of subject wastes in relation to flows and velocities in the sewers, materials of construction of the sewers, nature of the sewage treatment process, capacity of the sewage treatment plant, degree of treatability of wastes in the sewage treatment plant and other pertinent factors. The substances prohibited are:
Any liquid or vapor having a temperature higher than 150º F. (65º C.).
Any water or waste containing fats, wax, grease or oils, whether emulsified or not, in excess of 100 mg/l, or containing substances which may solidify or become viscous at temperatures between 32º and 150º F. (0º and 65º C.).
Any garbage that has not been properly shredded. The installation and operation of any garbage grinder equipped with a motor of 3/4 horsepower (0.76 horsepower metric) or greater shall be subject to the review and approval of the Superintendent.
Any waters or wastes containing strong acid iron pickling wastes or concentrated plating solutions whether neutralized or not.
Any waters or wastes containing iron, chromium, copper, zinc and similar objectionable or toxic substances; or wastes exerting an excessive chlorine requirement to such degree that any such material received in the composite sewage at the sewage treatment works exceeds the limits established by the Superintendent for such materials.
Any waters or wastes containing phenols or other taste- or odor-producing substances in such concentrations as may exceed limits which may be established by the Superintendent as necessary, after treatment of the composite sewage, to meet the requirements of state, federal or other public agencies of jurisdiction for such discharge to the receiving waters.
Any radioactive wastes or isotopes of such half-life or concentration as may exceed limits established by the Superintendent in compliance with applicable state or federal regulations.
Any waters or wastes having a pH in excess of 9.5.
Materials which exert or cause:
Unusual concentrations of inert suspended solids (such as but not limited to fuller's earth, lime slurries and lime residues) or of dissolved solids (such as but not limited to sodium chloride and sodium sulfate).
Excessive discoloration (such as but not limited to dye wastes and vegetable tanning solutions).
Unusual BOD, chemical oxygen demand or chlorine requirements in such quantities as to constitute a significant load on the sewage treatment works.
Unusual volume of flow or concentration of wastes constituting slugs, as defined herein.
Water or wastes containing substances which are not amenable to treatment or reduction by the sewage treatment processes employed, or are amenable to treatment only to such degree that the sewage treatment plant effluent cannot meet the requirements of other agencies having jurisdiction over discharge to the receiving water.
Determination of acceptance or rejection.
If any water or wastes are discharged or are proposed to be discharged to the public sewers, which waters contain the substances or possess the characteristics enumerated in Subsection D and which in the judgment of the Superintendent may have a deleterious effect upon the sewage works, processes, equipment or receiving water, or which otherwise create a hazard to life or constitute a public nuisance, the Superintendent may:
Reject the wastes.
Require pretreatment to an acceptable condition for discharge to the public sewer.
Require control over the quantities and rates of discharge and/or wastes not covered by existing taxes or sewer charges under Subsection J of this section.
If the Superintendent permits the pretreatment or equalization of waste flows, the design and installation of the plants and equipment shall be subject to the review and approval of the Superintendent and subject to the requirements of all applicable codes and laws.[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
Grease, oil and sand interceptors. Grease, oil and sand interceptors shall be provided when, in the opinion of the Superintendent, they are necessary for the proper handling of liquid wastes containing grease in excessive amounts or any flammable wastes, sand or other harmful ingredients, except that such interceptors shall not be required for private living quarters or dwelling units. All interceptors shall be of a type and capacity approved by the Superintendent and shall be located so as to be readily and easily accessible for cleaning and inspection
Maintenance of pretreatment or equalization facilities. Where preliminary treatment or flow-equalizing facilities are provided for any waters or wastes, they shall be maintained continuously in satisfactory and effective operation by the owner at his expense.
Control manholes. When required by the Superintendent, the owner of any property serviced by a building sewer carrying industrial wastes shall install a suitable control manhole, together with such necessary meters and other appurtenances in the building sewer, to facilitate observation, sampling and measurement of the wastes. Such manhole, when required, shall be accessibly and safely located and shall be constructed in accordance with plans approved by the Superintendent. The manhole shall be installed by the owner at his expense and shall be maintained by him so as to be safe and accessible at all times.
Measurements, test and analyses. All measurements, tests and analyses of the characteristics of waters and wastes to which reference is made in this article shall be determined in accordance with the latest edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, published by the American Public Health Association, and shall be determined at the control manhole provided or upon suitable samples taken at said control manhole. In the event that no special manhole has been required, the control manhole shall be considered to be the nearest downstream manhole in the public sewer to the point at which the building sewer is connected. Sampling shall be carried out by customarily accepted methods to reflect the effect of constituents upon the sewage works and to determine the existence of hazards to life, limb and property. The particular analyses involved will determine whether a twenty-four-hour composite of all outfalls of a premises is appropriate or whether a grab sample or samples should be taken. Normally, but not always, BOD and suspended solids analyses are obtained from twenty-four-hour composites of all outfalls whereas pHs are determined from periodic grab samples.
Special agreement or arrangement. No statement contained in this section shall be construed as preventing any special agreement or arrangement between the Village and any industrial concern whereby an industrial waste of unusual strength or character may be accepted by the Village for treatment, subject to payment therefor by the industrial concern.

§ 197-9 Protection from damage.

No unauthorized person shall maliciously, willfully or negligently break, damage, destroy, uncover, deface or tamper with any structure, appurtenance or equipment which is a part of the sewage works. Any person violating this provision shall be subject to immediate arrest under charge of disorderly conduct.

§ 197-10 Enforcement; power and authority of inspectors.

Right of entry. The Superintendent and other duly authorized employees of the Village bearing proper credentials and identification shall be permitted to enter all properties for the purposes of inspection, observation, measurement, sampling and testing in accordance with the provisions of this article. The Superintendent or his representatives shall have authority to inquire into any processes, including metallurgical, chemical, oil, refining, ceramic, paper or other industries, beyond that point having a direct bearing on the kind and source of discharge to the sewers or waterways or facilities for waste treatment.
Liability for damages resulting from inspection. While performing the necessary work on private properties referred to in Subsection A above, the Superintendent or duly authorized employees of the Village shall observe all safety rules applicable to the premises established by the company, and the company shall be held harmless for injury or death to the Village employees, and the Village shall indemnify the company against loss or damage to its property by Village employees and against liability claims and demands for personal injury or property damage asserted against the company and growing out of the gauging and sampling operation, except as such may be caused by negligence or failure of the company to maintain safe conditions as required in § 197-8H.
Entry to easements. The Superintendent and other duly authorized employees of the Village bearing proper credentials and identification shall be permitted to enter all private properties through which the Village holds a duly negotiated easement for the purposes of but not limited to inspection, observation, measurement, sampling, repair and maintenance of any portion of the sewage works lying within said easement. All entry and subsequent work, if any, on said easement shall be done in full accordance with the terms of the duly negotiated easement pertaining to the private property involved.

§ 197-11 Notice of violation; abatement.

Any person found to be violating any provision of this article, except § 197-9, shall be served by the Village with written notice stating the nature of the violation and providing a reasonable time limit for the satisfactory correction thereof. The offender shall, within the period of time stated in such notice, permanently cease all violations.

§ 197-12 Liability for loss or damage to Village.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall become liable to the Village for any expense, loss or damage occasioned the Village by reason of such violation.

§ 197-13 Penalties for offenses. [1]

Any person who shall continue any violation beyond the time limit provided for in § 197-11 shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine not to exceed $250 or a term of imprisonment not to exceed 15 days, or both, for each violation. Each day in which any such violation shall continue shall be deemed a separate offense.
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
[Adopted 9-1-1971 (Ch. 68, Art. II, of the 1976 Code)]

§ 197-14 Schedule of cost units.

Every user of the sewer system of the Village of Athens, including that portion of said system which serves the Brick Row area, shall pay sewer rents in accordance with the following schedule of cost units:
Commercial laundry
Coxsackie - Athens Elementary School
Columbia - Greene Community College
Athens Recreation Association (swimming pool)
Rest homes
Coin-operated laundry
Family dwellings (homes and apartments)
Fraternal organization halls
Garages and service stations
Parish rectories
Parish halls
Small industries
Beauty parlors
College library
Funeral homes

§ 197-15 Basis of charge.

The basis of the charge for such rents is the consumption of water by each such category.

§ 197-16 Determination of cost unit.

The annual sewer rental per unit of cost will be determined by dividing the total number of units into the annual budget for maintenance and operation of the Athens Village sewerage system, with an appropriate allowance for nonpayment or late payment of sewer rentals.

§ 197-17 Payment due dates.

Sewer rents shall become due and payable on the 15th day of September and the 15th day of February of each fiscal year.

§ 197-18 Penalty for delinquent payment.

A penalty of 5% per annum shall be collected for delinquent payments.

§ 197-19 Rents constitute lien.

Sewer rents shall constitute a lien upon the real property served by the sewer system.