[HISTORY: Adopted City of Norwalk Common Council: Art. I, 6-10-1980; Art. II, 5-10-1988. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 57, Health and Sanitation, adopted 5-14-1957, effective 5-25-1957.
There shall be a Department of Health, which shall exercise such powers and duties as are conferred by statute, Charter or ordinance.
There shall be a Director of Health appointed in accordance with the provisions of Section 19-75 of the General Statutes. Said Director shall be in charge of and be responsible for the operation of the Department in carrying out its functions and duties. He or she shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the Common Council, for a term of four years and may at the beginning of a term be made subject to a probationary period of service, after which he or she may be removed for cause. The Director first so appointed upon the adoption of this ordinance shall serve until July 1, 1983, and successive terms shall expire every four years thereafter.
The Director shall recommend such personnel as are required to carry out the duties and responsibilities assigned to the Department pursuant to this ordinance. The number, duties, responsibilities and salaries of such personnel shall be set forth in a set of written job specifications, prepared by said Director and approved by the Common Council, and shall further be subject to such other approval of the Board of Estimate as may be provided by law.
The Director of Health shall administer the health laws and sanitary codes of the city and state. He shall have authority over all health officials. He may require the enforcement of any law, regulation or ordinance relating to public health and secure information and data concerning the prevention and control of epidemics and conditions affecting or endangering the public health. He shall investigate or cause to be investigated complaints of the nuisances and conditions affecting the security of life and health in the city. He shall have all the power given Directors of Health under the General Statutes of the state.
On or before the first day of October in each year, the Director of Health shall report in writing to the Mayor and Common Council upon the health and sanitary conditions of the city. Such report shall contain a review of activities of the Department and shall contain recommendations for such Council action as he may find advantageous for the protection of public health.
There shall be a department of health of said city, to be known as the "Board of Health," consisting of six members, all of whom shall be electors of said city and two of whom shall be practicing physicians of said city, who shall be appointed as hereinafter provided. The Director of Health of said city shall be an ex officio member of said Board.
The Mayor of said city shall appoint the members of said Board, subject to confirmation by the Council, for terms of three years. Any vacancy which may occur in the membership of said Board may be filled for the unexpired portion of the term in the manner hereinbefore provided. The members of said Board shall serve without compensation. The members of the Board whose terms are unexpired as of the date hereof shall continue as members of the Board for the balance of their terms. The terms of members of the Board appointed after the date hereof shall be as follows:
Said Board of Health shall hold regular monthly meetings in the office of the Director of Health of said city, provided that said office and meetings shall be accessible to and usable by the handicapped. The Director of Health shall preside at all meetings of said Board. A majority of all members thereof shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day. Special meetings of said Board may be called by the Director of Health at any time upon six hours' notice in writing to the members of said Board and shall be called at any time upon the written request of a majority of the members of said Board.
Said Board of Health shall have all the powers necessary for the prevention of disease of any kind and for the promotion and preservation of the general health of the inhabitants of said city and for the suppression and prevention of nuisances insofar as said Board may deem the same detrimental to the general health; for the regulation and control of the collection, transfer and deposit of garbage, filth, rubbish, dead animals, decayed vegetable matter and the contents of privy vaults and cesspools; to prescribe the manner in which foodstuffs shall be protected from defilement by dogs or flies or exposure to dust and germs of disease; to prevent the sale of decayed animal or vegetable matter or immature flesh for food; and to provide for the removal of all filth and putrid substances or matter of any kind which it shall deem injurious to the health and cleanliness of said city, at the expense of the land or building upon which said substances or matter may be or upon or from which it may arise, and for that purpose, said Board or any member thereof may enter upon or into any lands or buildings in said city.
Before said Board of Health shall cause any such filth or putrid substance to be removed, as aforesaid, it shall give notice to the owner of said land or buildings to remove the same, and said Board may designate a time within which the same shall be removed, and, if not so removed, said Board may cause the same to be removed, and the Mayor of said city shall thereupon issue a warrant to the Tax Collector to collect the expenses arising therefrom from such owner or owners, and the Corporation Counsel of said city is hereby authorized to sue for the same in the name of the city before any court of competent jurisdiction.
It shall be the duty of said Board of Health to cause proper complaint to be made to the appropriate prosecuting officials for the violation of any ordinance of said city regulating the preservation of public health.
The Department of Health shall be authorized to collect fees for home care from persons for whom such fees will not impose a financial hardship. The determination of financial hardship for nursing services shall be made pursuant to such investigation, rules and regulations as the Board of Health shall prescribe.
The Director of Health shall, with the concurrence of the Board of Health and after a public hearing held jointly with the Board of Health, set fees as may be appropriate for services which are rendered by the Department of Health in accordance with the statutes, rules and regulations of the State of Connecticut and the ordinances of the City of Norwalk. Said public hearing shall be held upon no less than five nor more than 15 days' notice of the time and place of such hearing, and said notice shall be published in the form of a legal advertisement appearing in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the City of Norwalk. Within 30 days of receipt by the City Clerk of notice of the establishment of such fees, the Council may approve or disapprove them. If the Council takes no action within such 30 days, the fees shall be effective as set by the Director and agreed to by the Board. If the Council votes to disapprove, it may itself establish such fees or the Director and Board may submit additional proposals to the Council. All fees shall be deposited with the general fund of the City of Norwalk.
If the Council shall approve fees as set forth in this section, or shall not take action as therein set forth within 30 days, then the Council shall be deemed by such action to have repealed any other ordinance of the City of Norwalk specifying the amount of fees to be charged.
Subject to the requirements of federal or state laws, rules and regulations and the provisions of this ordinance, the Board of Health shall establish a schedule of fees for home nursing care. Such service shall be rendered on a basis of full-fee, part-pay or free service; provided, however, that the maximum fee shall not exceed the cost per visit.
All fees shall be paid over to the Comptroller for deposit in the general fund of the City of Norwalk.
Receipts shall be given to the patient for all fees received. A copy of each receipt shall be held in the Health Department for at least one year.
No permit for the construction of any dwelling, apartment, boardinghouse, hotel, factory or place of business shall hereafter be issued in the city unless the plan for the sewage disposal facilities is approved by the Director of Health, unless the building is connected to a city sewer.
All buildings used for human occupancy in the city and situated on property abutting on streets where city sewer lines are installed and which are accessible to the sewers shall be connected to the city sewer system, except by permission of the Director of Health.
Permits for private sewage disposal shall be issued by the Department of Health upon application of the owner or his agent, who shall furnish the following information:
A sketch with dimensions of lot, building and disposal system, showing presence of ledge, marsh, brooks, ditches or hillside in the area to be used for sewage disposal.
The number of bedrooms in any dwelling, type of building and present and proposed use and the number of men and women occupying any factory or commercial building.
The number, type and location of existing and proposed plumbing fixtures.
The type of soil and seepage time, as required by the Department of Health.
The elevation of grade above groundwater.
The permit shall be valid for one year from the date of issue, provided that:
Permits shall not be issued unless and until the condition of the soil in the area for sewage disposal meets the specifications of this Code and of the State Sanitary Code.
Disposal permits shall not be issued for new buildings unless the property is buildable under planning and zoning regulations.
Permits shall show the specifications of the sewage disposal system to be installed and shall constitute authority for construction only as specified.
Filled land for disposal areas shall be filled with earth to final grade for topsoil before permits are issued, except temporary permits for foundations only, and shall not be filled with debris such as stumps, tree trunks, brush and boulders.
The fee for each permit required by § 57-10 shall be paid to the Department of Health and turned over to the City Treasurer.
No permits required by § 57-10 shall be issued for a privy, except as a temporary expedient. Privies shall have flytight underground pits of adequate size for the storage of excreta and have self-closing covers.
No dwelling, apartment or boardinghouse, hotel, factory or place of business in the city shall hereafter be altered or enlarged in such a way as to increase the occupancy or the plumbing facilities unless the plans for the sewage disposal facilities are approved by the Director of Health or unless the building is connected to a city sewer.
No alteration, enlargement or replacement of any private sewage disposal system shall be made in the city unless the plan is approved by the Director of Health.
No private sewage disposal system shall be covered or used until a final inspection is made and approval is given by the Director of Health. Request for inspection must be made at least one working day before the date on which the inspection is requested to be made.
No building not on city sewer shall be occupied unless the sewage disposal system has had the final inspection and is approved by the Director of Health.
House sewers generally. House sewers shall not be less than four inches in diameter, and preferably five or six inches, to avoid stoppages. The grade shall be at least 1/4 inch per foot for four-inch sewers and shall not be less than 1/8 inch per foot for larger sizes. House sewers shall be laid with tight joints to a septic tank or to a city sewer in a straight line and on a uniform grade, except where accessible manholes are provided at changes of direction or grade.
Pipe for such house sewers shall be of cast iron, with leaded joints, to a point at least eight feet beyond the foundation wall of any cellar or basement. Portions of house sewers within 75 feet of a well shall be of cast iron, with leaded joints, but no portions of such sewer, however constructed, shall be within 25 feet of a well. No sewer shall be located within 25 feet of a cellar drain or groundwater drain, unless the pipe is of cast iron with lead joints.
The sewer pipe from a house to a main in the street shall of four-inch extra-heavy cast-iron pipe, five-inch asbestos cement or six-inch vitreous tile. The joints of cast iron shall be poured lead joints.
The specifications for asbestos-cement pipe shall be as follows:
For asbestos-cement pipe, all joints shall be made with an asbestos-cement coupling. The coupling shall contain a centering ring and two sealing rings. The couplings will be assembled on the pipe by means of a soap lubricant, as furnished by the manufacturer. Tie-in connections between asbestos-cement pipe and cast-iron pipe shall be made with hot poured lead. In making rigid connections to fittings or structures, asbestos-cement pipe lengths shall not exceed five feet.
All five-inch asbestos-cement pipe shall be made and tested in the United States. Each standard length of pipe shall be flexurally tested by the manufacturer before shipment, with a clear span of nine feet between supports with the total load divided equally and applied at the third points of the nine-foot span for nine-hundred-pound total applied.
All asbestos-cement pipe shall be high-pressure steam-cured. The maximum alkalinity of the pipe shall be 60 milligrams of K.O.H. per gram of sample of material, as tested in accordance with the Western Electric Method.
Water-supply pipes. Water-supply pipes may not be laid within 10 feet of any part of a sewage disposal system.
Water-supply pipes and house-sewer pipes may be laid in the same trench only if the sewer pipe is made of four-inch cast iron with poured lead joints and only if the water pipes shall be laid on a bench 12 inches above the top of the sewer pipe and at least 18 inches to the side of the sewer pipe.
Location of system. No septic tank, cesspool, tile field, seepage bed or privy vault shall, without the approval of the Health Officer, be constructed within 75 feet of a well or spring or within 50 feet of a human habitation other than the building served, nor shall the same be constructed within 50 feet of a tributary of a water-supply reservoir or any ground- or surface water drain tributary to such reservoir. No part of the system shall be located within 10 feet of a lot line or within 25 feet of any stream, pond, lake or tidal water without approval by the Health Officer. No system shall be laid out in areas where high groundwater, surface flooding or ledge rock will interfere with its effective operation. The bottom of any leaching area or cesspool shall be at least 18 inches above maximum groundwater level.
Cesspools shall not be constructed for the disposal of sewage unless preceded by septic tank treatment or unless used for sink drainage or laundry water only. In the latter case, grease traps of adequate size shall be installed.
Septic tanks shall be provided where no public sewers are available. No tank shall be located within 10 feet of a house. These tanks may be of concrete, tile or masonry units and shall be approximately twice as long as they are wide. They shall be constructed with watertight walls and bottoms, with inlets baffled or submerged for a depth of at least 12 inches below the surface of liquid in the tank and outlets baffled for at least 18 inches below the surface, but not more than 1/2 of the depth of the tank. They shall be made with removable covers so as to provide access to the tank for purposes of cleaning. No septic tank shall have a liquid capacity of less than 500 gallons, nor be less than 36 inches in depth from the outlet invert to the bottom. Tanks may be divided into compartments if desired, but 2/3 of the required capacity must be in the first compartment. Not more than two tanks may be installed in series where additional capacity is needed.
In all of the following specifications, one family is considered as five persons. Where it is known that a larger number of persons is to be provided for in one family, proportionate increases in the sizes of the system shall be made for houses of more than two bedrooms. The system shall be based on an estimate of two persons per bedroom. Similar considerations apply to houses for more than one family.
The minimum size of septic tanks shall be as follows:
Disposal of septic tank effluent may be by means of leaching cesspools or leaching trenches installed with tile. The minimum required sizes of such systems for various types of soil are listed below:
None of these systems shall be laid out in groundwater.
Class A soil is considered as rapid-seepage soil (course sand or gravel).
Class B soil is considered as medium-seepage soil (fine sand or light sandy loam).
Class C soil is considered as slow-seepage soil (clay with some sand or gravel, not for very tight clay soils). In case of doubt as to proper classification of soil, final decision shall be based on the results of soil tests, as described later.
Cesspools shall be at least 15 feet apart. They shall not be built below groundwater.
Tile shall be either unglazed drain tile, at least four inches in diameter, laid with open joints, of four-inch perforated pipe, in trenches about 24 inches wide. Tile shall be laid in the upper one-third (1/3) of a layer of screened gravel or crushed stone about 18 inches deep and shall be covered with a protective layer of thirty-pound asphalt paper or of salt hay.
Tile lines shall ordinarily be laid on a grade not exceeding two to four inches per 100 feet. Spacing between trenches for tile lines shall be at least three times the width of the trench. Better distribution is secured in tile fields by using siphondosing apparatus to apply the septic tank effluent.
The minimum number of square feet of absorptive area for leaching trenches filled with gravel or broken stone shall be as follows, the absorptive area being calculated as the bottom area of the trench:
Where a doubt exists as to the classification of soil at any location, soil tests shall be made as follows:
For cesspools, a pit about one foot square shall be dug; preferably this should extend to the depth of the proposed cesspool. For tile fields, the pit may be about one foot square and dug to a depth of the proposed trenches, usually at 18 inches to 30 inches. Before observations are made, the pit shall be thoroughly wet down by filling it to a depth of at least 12 inches or more. The pit shall then be refilled with water to a depth of 12 inches or more at the rate of drop of water measured for a period of 30 to 60 minutes under normal conditions. The minimum uniform rate of drop should be used in calculating seepage areas. When tests are made, consideration should be given to the finished grade of building sites so that results will correspond to the absorptive value of the soil in which leaching systems will be constructed. In investigating soil conditions for a large area, test pits may have to be dug at a rate of one per acre or even one per lot. Also, in investigating soil conditions for a large area, more than one deep test pit is frequently desirable in that this may disclose available good seepage soil below normal depths. Where the observed drop is at a rate faster then one inch in three minutes, coarse sand or gravel, the soil shall be considered as Class A; where the rate is slower than one inch in three minutes and faster than one inch in 10 minutes, fine sand or light sandy loam, the soil shall be considered as Class B; where the rate is slower than one inch in 10 minutes and faster than one inch in 30 minutes, clay with some sand, gravel or silt, not for very tight soils, the soil shall be considered Class C; where the rate is slower than one inch in 30 minutes, the soil shall be considered as Class D, and special consideration is needed to avoid nuisance conditions. In some Class D soils, it may be impossible or impracticable to construct a subsurface method for the disposal of sewage.
Special plans for disposal of sewage and treated effluent shall be submitted where practically impervious, Class D or wet soil exist, and these plans must be approved by the Director of Health.
Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed as permission to create or maintain any sewage nuisance or to authorize any violation of the Sanitary Code of the State of Connecticut.
No disposal system shall hereafter be constructed or rebuilt for any commercial buildings or residences without compliance with the foregoing regulations; except that, upon a showing of undue hardship or practical difficulty in compliance in full with the foregoing regulations, the Director of Health shall have authority to grant a variance of any portion of such regulations and grant a permit when, in his discretion, such variance will not affect the proper working of the sewage disposal system.
The penalty for violation of any part of this ordinance shall be a fine of $100 or less. Every violation and nonconformance of this ordinance shall be construed as a separate and distinct violation thereof.