Township of Woolwich, NJ
Gloucester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Woolwich as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 58.
Housing standards — See Ch. 115.
Solid waste — See Ch. 155.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 157.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 163.
[Adopted 4-2-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-08]
In areas where public sanitary sewers are not physically available and operational, but are intended to be the means of wastewater management according to the adopted Water Quality Management Plan (WMP) applicable to an area, interim use of individual subsurface sewage disposal systems (ISSDSs) by existing and proposed development is allowed. However, at such time as the sanitary sewers are made available and operational, connection of buildings or structures served by an ISSDS to the sewers is required in accordance with this article.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ADOPTED SEWER SERVICE AREA
The area designated in the applicable adopted Water Quality Management Plan (WMP), as updated by modifications adopted in accordance with the Water Quality Management Planning Rules at N.J.A.C. 7:15, within which wastewater that is generated is to be conveyed to the wastewater treatment facility associated with the sewer service area.
INDIVIDUAL SUBSURFACE SEWAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEM or ISSDS
A system for the disposal of less than or equal to 2,000 gallons per day of sanitary sewage into the ground. Typically such systems are designed and constructed to treat sanitary sewage in a manner that will retain most of the settleable solids in a septic tank and discharge the liquid effluent to a disposal field, but similar designs are also included (for example, those that include seepage tanks or pits for effluent disposal and cesspools that may have been constructed prior to current codes).
SANITARY SEWAGE
Any wastes, including wastes from humans, households, commercial establishments and industries, that are discharged to or otherwise enter a domestic treatment works.
Except as otherwise provided in this article, an owner of a building or structure equipped with an ISSDS located on a property abutting any street or sewerage easement in which a gravity sanitary sewer line is operation and available shall promptly connect thereto in a manner complying with the applicable state regulations and Township ordinances, and cause all sewage on such premises to be discharged into said sanitary sewer, provided that the building or structure is located within the adopted sewer service area of the wastewater treatment facility to which the sanitary sewer line is connected and use of the ISSDS is discontinued.
This article shall not apply to buildings or structures for which a sanitary sewer line is considered not to be available in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:9A-1.6(e), as amended or supplemented, or is not operational in accordance with a valid treatment works approval. Sanitary sewers which are considered not available or not operational for the purposes of this article include:
A. 
Those connections to the sanitary sewer line that cannot be accomplished without requiring the installation of a pumping station; blasting of bedrock; the acquisition of an easement or right-of-way to cross an adjoining property; or the crossing of a watercourse, railway, major highway or other significant obstacle;
B. 
Where the sanitary sewer line is located 100 feet or more from the building or structure to be served;
C. 
Where the sanitary sewer has received a Stage II "construction only" treatment works approval in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:14A-22.9 and has not yet received a Stage III treatment works approval, which is an approval to operate the treatment works in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:14A-22.10, until such time as the Stage III treatment works approval is approved; or
D. 
Where the sanitary sewer line or receiving sewage treatment plant is subject to a sewer connection ban in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:14A-22.17, until such time as the sewer connection ban is lifted.
Such connection shall be accomplished on or before the expiration of 90 days following the date the sanitary sewer line becomes available and operational or the effective date of this article, whichever should occur later.
Upon connecting to the sanitary sewer, the ISSDS shall be pumped and all its contents removed by a licensed septic cleaner. The lid of the septic tank and/or cesspool shall then be broken or removed and the tank and/or cesspool backfilled with clean fill.
In the event of noncompliance with the terms of this article, the Township Health Official or Zoning Officer is authorized to order such connection by written notice signed by the Zoning Officer or Health Official and served either upon the owner(s) personally or by mail. If, following service of such an order in the manner described above, the owner(s) should fail to connect within 30 days of receipt of the aforesaid order, the owner(s) shall be subject to a fine of up to $300 per day.
[Adopted 4-2-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-09]
The purpose of this article is to help protect public health and safety, water quality and the general welfare by requiring the proper operation and maintenance of individual subsurface sewage disposal systems (ISSDSs) in Woolwich Township. Further, it is intended to comply with N.J.A.C. 7:15-5.25(e).
ISSDSs that are not properly maintained can contaminate both groundwater and surface water, creating health risks to humans and impairing natural ecosystems. Regularly pumping out the accumulated solids and liquids from an ISSDS before they interfere with proper function is the single most-effective means to maintain an ISSDS in good working order and to extend its effective life. Therefore, regular pumpouts are a key means to protect the surrounding environment as well as public health and welfare from the effects of a failed system.
This article is applicable to all ISSDSs, both existing and newly installed, within the Township of Woolwich.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACTING AUTHORITY
The office, agency, or other entity responsible for the implementation of this article, namely the Township Health Official or Zoning Officer.
INDIVIDUAL SUBSURFACE SEWAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEM or ISSDS
A system for the disposal of less than or equal to 2,000 gallons per day of sanitary sewage into the ground. Such systems are generally designed and constructed to treat sanitary sewage in a manner that will retain most of the settleable solids in a tank and discharge the liquid effluent to a disposal field. Existing systems with other designs (some no longer permitted to be used), such as cesspools or those that dispose of effluent through seepage pits, are also included. This term refers to both systems that serve an individual residence as well as on-site subsurface sewage disposal systems serving a property other than a single-family home (such as commercial buildings, food establishments, commercial/residential mixed uses, and systems serving multiple units) with an engineering flow of less than or equal to 2,000 gallons per day, including but not limited to those systems identified in N.J.A.C. 7:9A-1.8(a)2.
LICENSED HEALTH OFFICER
An individual granted a license by the Public Health Licensing and Examination Board of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.
LICENSED ISSDS INSTALLER
An industry professional that meets a set of established criteria and is deemed qualified to construct, install or alter individual subsurface sewage disposal systems by the acting authority or its designee.
LICENSED PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER
An engineer licensed by the New Jersey State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors to practice the profession of engineering.
MAINTENANCE
Pumping out by a qualified service provider, as determined by the acting authority, the accumulated solids and liquids retained in an ISSDS, as well as servicing as necessary to restore an ISSDS to good working order.
NJDEP-REGISTERED ISSDS SERVICE PROVIDER
An industry professional that has completed the on-site wastewater treatment system professionals voluntary registration form and filed it with the Department's Bureau of Nonpoint Pollution Control.
OWNER
Any person or other entity that has legal title to property.
PROPERTY
Either of the following that is served by an ISSDS:
A. 
A single lot as defined by municipal lot and block; or
B. 
The combined area contained within the legal boundaries of two or more contiguous lots where, for any part of each of those lots, there is a shared pecuniary, possessory or other substantial common interest by one or more persons (such as common ownership and/or operation or a common plan of development or sale).
REGISTERED ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SPECIALIST
An individual granted a license by the Public Health Licensing and Examination Board of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.
SANITARY SEWAGE
Any wastes, including wastes from humans, households, commercial establishments, and/or equivalent water-carried wastes of human origin from industries, that are discharged to an ISSDS.
The Woolwich Township Board of Health, or its designee, shall maintain a database identifying each ISSDS in active use within Woolwich Township. The database shall include for each ISSDS the parcel block and lot and address of the property where the ISSDS is located, the name and address of the property owner, a description of system size, type and location on the property, and the pumpout status according to the required pumpout schedule set forth in § 148-13. Owners of properties served by ISSDSs are required to cooperate in the initial development and continuing update of the database, which may be developed in phases, as set forth below and in § 148-13. Property owners with an ISSDS are required to submit a registration form with the required information to the Township and to obtain a permit, with an associated fee of $3, for the ISSDS. The purpose is to complete the initial database prior to the deadline for submitting the six-year WMP update required at N.J.A.C. 7:15-5.23(a). A phased system may consist of initially populating the database with those systems already known pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:9a-3.5, which requires a permit to construct, install, or alter an individual or nonindividual subsurface sewage disposal system. For the remaining existing systems, there shall be a presumption that a property is served by an ISSDS unless demonstration is made by the property owner that a sewer hookup exists.
A. 
The owner of a property served by an ISSDS must cause the ISSDS to be pumped out by an ISSDS service provider in accordance with the applicable schedule. Documentation of compliance shall be submitted within 60 days to Health Official or designee in the form of a receipt from the ISSDS service provider for the service indicating the property location, service type(s) provided and date of service.
(1) 
Except as provided in Subsection A(2), each ISSDS shall be pumped out every three years following the initial scheduled pumpout, as set forth in Subsection C, unless an alternative schedule is identified by the acting authority, as set forth in Subsection B.
(2) 
In lieu of a pumpout, the property owner may submit a septic system inspection report to the Health Official or designee, on a form provided by the acting authority, indicating that the system is not in need of pumping and is in good working order. In this case, the pumpout schedule will be shifted forward by one year. Said form shall be prepared, completed and certified by one of the following:
(a) 
Licensed ISSDS installer;
(b) 
NJDEP - registered ISSDS service provider;
(c) 
Licensed professional engineer;
(d) 
Licensed health officer or registered environmental health specialist; or
(e) 
Other person acceptable to the acting authority.
B. 
Modifications to term of scheduled maintenance. The acting authority may, on its own motion, upon notice and opportunity to the property owner for a hearing, or upon application for a modified schedule by a property owner, alter the time period for scheduled maintenance. The acting authority may consider the factors, including but not limited to those listed below, in determining that a different pumping schedule applies:
(1) 
Size of the ISSDS relative to the wastewater generated by the structure(s) served (i.e., small number of users relative to system design may warrant a longer period, while a large number of users relative to system design may warrant a shorter period).
(2) 
ISSDSs that are cesspools.
(3) 
Unusual type and/or intensity of sewage generation, such as dining establishments, pet grooming, hair salons, etc.
C. 
Notification of requirement for scheduled maintenance.
(1) 
An initial notice of requirement for initial pumpout and the pumpout schedule applicable thereafter shall be mailed by the acting authority to owners of properties served by ISSDSs. Except as provided in Subsection C(2), the initial scheduled pumpout is required to be conducted within 90 days of the date set forth in the initial notification.
(2) 
Property owners shall be exempt from the initial pumpout requirement, provided documentation is submitted to the Health Official or designee that confirms a pumpout was completed no more than 18 months prior to receiving the initial notification. In this case, the initial required maintenance will commence three years from the date of the documented pumpout.
(3) 
Sixty days prior to the next scheduled maintenance, the acting authority shall send a "notice for service due" letter to the affected property owners.
Adherence to the provisions of this article is necessary to help protect public health and safety, water quality and the general welfare. Failure to adhere to the provisions set forth in this article shall constitute a violation of this article for which a fine shall be levied, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:69A-29, in an amount between $25 and $750, based upon severity of violation.