[Adopted 5-1-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-2; amended in its entirety 10-2-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-4]
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 691.1 et seq.
Municipalities have an obligation to provide for adequate sewage treatment facilities and protection of the public health by preventing the discharge of untreated or inadequately treated sewage as mandated by municipal codes, the Clean Streams Law, as amended (35 P.S. § 691.1), and the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act, as amended (35 P.S. § 750.1 et seq.).
The approved Act 537 Official Wastewater Facilities Plan of Jacobus Borough evaluated the need to provide adequate sewage facilities and has found the formation of an on-lot management program for the properties not served by public sanitary sewer in the Borough to be an effective method of preventing and abating water pollution and hazards to the public health.
Purpose. The purpose of this article is as follows:
To bring and keep the Borough within the requirements of the Clean Streams Law, as amended (Act of 1937, P.L. 1987, No. 394), and the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (Act of 1966, P.L. 1535, No. 537, as amended, known as "Act 537").
To provide for inspection, pumping, maintenance, and rehabilitation of private and public on-lot sewage disposal systems.
To establish penalties and appeal procedures necessary for the proper administration of such a management program.
Applicability. From the effective date of this article, its provisions shall apply in all portions of Jacobus Borough. The provisions of this article shall apply to all persons and all other entities owning any property serviced by an on-lot disposal system within the Borough.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ACT 537
- The Act of January 24, 1996, P.L. 1535, as amended, 35 P.S. § 750.1 et seq., known as the "Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act."
- AUTHORIZED AGENT
- A certified sewage enforcement officer, code enforcement officer, professional engineer, plumbing inspector, municipal secretary, or any other qualified or licensed person who is delegated by the Borough to carry out the provisions of this article within the specified limits.
- Jacobus Borough, York County, Pennsylvania.
- BOROUGH COUNCIL
- The Borough Council, York County, Pennsylvania.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER (CEO)
- An authorized agent of the Borough to administer and enforce ordinances in the Borough.
- COMMUNITY SEWAGE SYSTEM
- Any system, whether publicly or privately owned, for the collection of sewage from two or more lots, and the treatment and/or disposal of the sewage on one or more lots or at any other site.
- The Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (DEP), or its successor agency.
- INDIVIDUAL SEWAGE SYSTEM
- A system of piping, tanks, or other facilities serving a single lot and collecting and disposing of sewage in whole or in part into the soil or into any waters of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- The condition occurring when an on-lot system causes pollution to ground or surface waters, contamination of private or public drinking water supplies, nuisance problems or is a hazard to public health. Any septic tank observed to be leaking or any instance where sewage is backing up into a building connected to the system is considered a malfunction. Systems shall be considered to be malfunctioning if any of the conditions noted above occur for any length of time during any period of the year.
- OFFICIAL ACT 537 SEWAGE FACILITIES PLAN
- A comprehensive plan for the provision of adequate sewage disposal systems, adopted by the Borough and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, as described in and required by the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act. Hereinafter called the "plan," it shall mean the Jacobus Borough Act 537 Plan, as amended.
- ON-LOT DISPOSAL SYSTEM
- Any system for disposal of sewage involving pretreatment and subsequent disposal of the clarified sewage into the soil for final treatment and disposal, including both individual sewage systems and community sewage systems.
- ON-LOT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
- A comprehensive set of legal and administrative requirements encompassing the requirements of this article and other administrative requirements adopted by the Borough to effectively enforce and administer this article.
- PUMPING CERTIFICATION
- A properly executed York County solid waste and refuse authority sludge/septage manifest.
- QUALIFIED PUMPER/HAULER
- A person or organization licensed by the York County Solid Waste Authority to conduct septage pumping and hauling within York County.
- Work done to modify, alter, repair, enlarge, or replace an existing on-lot disposal system.
- Any substance pumped out of a septic tank.
- SEPTIC SYSTEM REPORT
- A Borough form to be completed by the qualified pumper/hauler and forwarded to the Borough after each inspection and/or pumping.
- Any substance that contains any of the waste products or excrement or other discharge from the bodies of human beings or animals and any noxious or deleterious substances being harmful or inimical to the public health, or to animal or aquatic life, or to the use of water for domestic water supply or for recreation or which constitutes pollution under the Act of June 22, 1937 (P.L. 1987, No. 94), known as "the Clean Streams Law," as amended.
- SEWAGE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER (SEO)
- An agent of the Borough, certified by DEP, to issue and review permit applications and conduct such investigations and inspections as are necessary to implement Act 537 and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.
Periodic maintenance of on-lot disposal system is required. The Borough shall notify all owners of property served by an on-lot disposal system that the system must be pumped by the end of the calendar year in which the notice is received. The Borough shall follow a schedule whereby all of the owners of properties within the Borough serviced by an on-lot disposal system are notified of the pumping requirements, such that all owners are notified every four years. The property owner must have the on-lot disposal system pumped within the time specified in the letter. Removal of septage or other solids from on-lot disposal systems shall be performed once every four years hereafter.
Pumping of an on-lot disposal system shall be conducted by a qualified pumper/hauler for the purpose of determining a system's functional status. The property owner is responsible to contact and make arrangements directly with the pumper/hauler to conduct the pumping of his/her system, and for payment to the pumper/hauler of all expenses related to the pumping of the on-lot disposal system.
The qualified pumper/hauler shall prepare a written report titled "York County Sludge/Septage Manifest and Report." The report shall be completed in full by the pumper/hauler, including Letters D and E, and two original copies shall be furnished to the property owner, one for the property owner and one for Jacobus Borough. The property owner shall submit Jacobus Borough's copy to the Borough within 30 days of the pump-out. The original report shall be mailed or hand-delivered by the property owner to the Jacobus Borough Municipal Office, 126 North Cherry Lane, Jacobus, PA 17407-1000.
Tanks shall be deemed to be pumped when all organic solids are removed and the total average liquid depth remaining in the tank is less than one inch.
The Borough SEO or authorized agent may require additional maintenance activity as needed, including but not limited to cleaning and unclogging of piping; service and repair of mechanical equipment; leveling of distribution boxes, ranks, and lines; removal of obstructing roots or trees; and/or the diversion of surface water away from the absorption area.
The required frequency of pumping may be increased at the discretion of the Borough SEO or authorized agent if:
A system is found to be malfunctioning;
A system is found to be undersized;
The treatment tanks are filled with solids in excess of 1/3 of the liquid depth of the tank or with scum in excess of 1/3 of the liquid depth of the tank;
The hydraulic load on the system increases significantly above average;
A garbage grinder is used in the building; or
Other good cause can be shown.
Any person owning a building served by an on-lot disposal system containing an aerobic treatment tank shall follow the operation and maintenance recommendations of the equipment manufacturer. In no case may the service or pumping interval for aerobic treatment tanks exceed that required for septic tanks.
Any person owning a structure served by a cesspool shall have that system pumped according to the schedule prescribed for septic tanks.
Each time a septic tank or other subsurface waste disposal system tank is pumped, the contracted pumper shall provide to the owner of the system a fully completed and signed septic system report.
The owner of the property upon which an on-lot system is constructed shall maintain the area around such system so as to provide convenient access for inspection, maintenance, and pumping, and divert surface water and downspouts away from the absorption area and on-lot system components.
Tanks shall only be pumped from/through the manhole/access port, i.e., the largest tank opening. Tanks shall not be pumped from/through the observation port.
The owner of a property upon which an on-lot system is constructed shall, at all times, operate and maintain the on-lot system in such condition as will permit it to function in the manner in which it was designed and to prevent the unlawful discharge of sewage.
Inspection of the sewage collection system shall be conducted when an on-lot disposal system is pumped. All inspections shall be performed by an authorized agent of the Borough subsequent to the pumping evolution.
An authorized agent of the Borough may inspect any on-lot sewage disposal system at any time given reasonable notice.
An authorized agent of the Borough shall have the right to enter upon land for the purpose of inspections as described above.
Inspections by an authorized agent of the Borough may include a physical tour of the property, the taking of samples from surface water, wells or other groundwater sources, the sampling of contents of the sewage disposal system itself and/or the introduction of a traceable substance into the interior plumbing of the structure served to ascertain the path and ultimate destination of wastewater generated in the structure.
Inspection fees must be submitted to the Jacobus Borough Municipal Office, 126 N. Cherry Lane, Jacobus, PA 17407-1000, and inspections must be scheduled, in accordance to instructions in the maintenance notification letter received by the property owner from Jacobus Borough.
Should inspection of the sewage collection system by the Borough's authorized agent reveal that the system is malfunctioning, the Borough's authorized agent shall take action to require the correction of the malfunction.
Only sewage and normal domestic wastes shall be discharged into any on-lot sewage system. The following shall not be discharged into the system:
Automobile oil and other petroleum products.
Fats and grease.
Toxic or hazardous substances or chemicals, including, but not limited to, pesticides, herbicides, acids, paints (including latex or water-based paints), paint thinners, gasoline, and other solvents.
Clean surface- or groundwater, including spring water, water from roof or cellar drains, water from basement sump pumps, and water from french drains.
All water used within a residence, including kitchen and laundry wastes and water softener backwash, and all sewage shall be discharged into an on-lot disposal system treatment tank.
Any on-lot sewage disposal system or component thereof found to be malfunctioning shall be repaired, modified or replaced pursuant to direction of the Borough or its authorized agent and to correct the conditions causing the malfunction. Rehabilitation shall be performed in accordance with Chapter 73, Standards for Sewage Disposal Facilities of Title 25, Rules and Regulations, Department of Environmental Protection, as amended or replaced. The Borough SEO shall inspect the rehabilitated on-lot sewage disposal system and certify its compliance with local and state standards.
Editor's Note: See 25 Pa. Code Ch. 73, Standards for Onlot Sewage Treatment Facilities.
A permit exemption declaration must be filed with the Borough's SEO a minimum of 48 hours prior to any soil fracturing or use of the terralift procedure to an on-lot disposal system.
When an imminent health hazard exists due to failure of a property owner to maintain, repair, or replace an on-lot sewage disposal system as provided under the terms of this article, the Borough shall have the authority, but not the obligation, to perform, or contract to have performed, the work required to abate the health hazard, pollution, or nuisance. The owner shall be charged for the work performed plus an administrative fee of 10%, and, if said amount remains unpaid for a period of 30 days following the invoice for such amounts, a lien may be entered therefor in accordance with law. The Borough reserves the right to pursue all other lawful remedies.
The Borough shall fully utilize those powers it possesses through enabling statutes and ordinances to effect the purposes of this article.
The Borough shall employ qualified individuals to carry out the provisions of the article. Those employees may include a sewage enforcement officer, a codes enforcement officer, a secretary, an administrator, or other persons as required. The Borough may also contract with other private qualified persons or firms as necessary to carry out the provisions of this article.
All permits, records, reports, files and other written material relating to the installation, operation, maintenance, and malfunction of on-lot sewage disposal systems in the Borough shall become the property of the Borough. All records pertaining to sewage permits and all other aspects of the Borough's sewage management program shall be made available according to procedures set forth in the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law, as amended and supplemented from time to time. A fee for copying may be charged.
Editor's Note: See 65 P.S. § 67.101 et seq.
The Borough may establish all administrative procedures necessary to properly carry out the provisions of this article.
The Borough may establish a fee schedule and subsequently collect fees to cover the cost of administering the on-lot maintenance program. The Borough can set fees by properly enacting a resolution from time to time.
Appeals from decisions made under this article shall be made to the Borough Council in writing within 30 days from the date of the decision in question.
The appellant shall be entitled to a hearing before the Borough Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting if the appeal is received at least 14 days prior to that meeting. If the appeal is received within 14 days of the next regularly scheduled meeting, the appeal shall be heard at the subsequent meeting. The Borough shall thereafter affirm, modify, or reverse the aforesaid decision. The hearing may be postponed for a good cause shown by the appellant or the Borough. Evidence may be introduced at the hearing, provided that it is submitted with the written notice of appeal.
A decision shall be rendered in writing within 60 days of the date of the hearing. If a decision is not rendered within 60 days, the relief sought by the appellant shall be deemed granted.
Any person who shall violate or fail to comply with any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof by a summary proceeding action brought before a District Justice in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000, plus all court costs, or imprisonment, all pursuant to the purpose and mandate of Act No. 172 of 1996, as amended. Each day's continuance of a violation of this article shall constitute a separate offense.
The discharge by the Borough of its obligations as set forth in this article shall create no liability upon the Borough, its officials, employees or agents.
All reports, inspections, appraisals, certification or records required or produced by the Borough, its officials, employees or agents, as required by this article, shall be for the use and benefit of the Borough only and shall not be accepted, utilized or relied upon by any other person or party by way of certification or otherwise.