[Ord. 2007-06, 11/7/2007, § I]
Introduction. In accordance with municipal codes, the Clean Streams Law, Act of June 27, 1937, P.L. 1987, No. 394 a amended, 35 P.S. §§ 691.1 to 691.1001, and the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act, Act of January 24, 1966, P.L. 1535, as amended, 35 P.S. § 750.1 et seq., known as Act 537, it is the power and duty of Shrewsbury Township to provide for adequate sewage treatment facilities and for the protection of the public health, safety and general welfare by preventing the discharge of untreated or inadequately treated sewage.
It is the intention of the Board to insure that on-lot sewage disposal systems (OLDS) are properly maintained. Failure to maintain on-lot sewage disposal systems (OLDS) results in malfunctions which result in health risks, the pollution of water and other natural resources of the Township. On-lot sewage disposal systems (OLDS) should be pumped out on a regular basis in order to assure an adequately functioning OLDS over the life of the system.
It is recognized that a number of property owners fail to maintain or pump their septic tanks on a regular basis. This failure could lead to the malfunction or failure of the OLDS. Therefore, the Township by this Part 1C will require periodic maintenance and prescribe penalties for failure to comply with this Part 1C.
Applicability. From the effective date of this Part 1C, its provisions shall apply in all portions of Shrewsbury Township. The provisions of this Section shall apply to all persons and all other entities owning or occupying any property serviced by an on-lot disposal system.
[Ord. 2007-06, 11/7/2007, § II]
Word Usage. In the interpretation of this Part, the singular shall include the plural, and the masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter.
Definitions. All words and phrases not otherwise defined herein shall have the meaning provided in § 2 of the Act, 35 P.S. § 750.2, § 71.1 of the Department's regulations, 25 Pa.Code § 71.1, or § 73.1 of the Department's regulations, 25 Pa. Code § 73.1, or the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
- The Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act, Act of January 24, 1966, P.L. (1965) 1535, No. 537 as amended, 35 P.S. § 750.1 et seq.
- CLEAN STREAMS LAW
- Act of June 22, 1937, P.L. 1987, No. 394, as amended, 35 P.S. § 691.1 et seq.
- The Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any successor agency.
- INDIVIDUAL ON-LOT SEWAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEM (OLDS)
- Any system of piping, tanks, or other facilities serving on a single lot and collecting and disposing of sewage in whole or in part into the soil and which is located upon the lot which it serves. The term also includes an OLDS which meets the definition of nonstandard system.
- A parcel of land used or intended to be used as a building site or a separate parcel to be created as a result of approval of a subdivision or land development application or a condominium unit.
- The condition which occurs when an OLDS discharges sewage onto the surface ground, into groundwaters of the Commonwealth, into surface waters of the Commonwealth, backs up into the building connected to the OLDS or otherwise causes a hazard to public health or pollution of ground or surface water or contamination of public or private drinking water wells An OLDS system shall be considered to be malfunctioning if any of the conditions set forth in this definition occur, regardless of the length of time.
- An individual on-lot sewage disposal system.
- Any person having any legal or equitable interest in land located within the Township, either in whole or part, whether by deed, sales agreement, decree, inheritance or operation of law. Whenever the term "owner" is used in connection with any clause providing for the imposition of a fine or penalty or the ordering of the action to comply with the terms of this Section, the term "owner" shall also include any adult tenant or adult occupant of the land.
- A permit issued by the Sewage Enforcement Officer after the performance of tests to determine the suitability of a proposed OLDS or the repair, replacement or enlargement of an existing OLDS.
- Any individual, association, partnership, public or private corporation whether for profit or not-for-profit, trust, estate, or other legally recognized entity. Whenever the term "person" is used in connection with any clause providing for the imposition of a fine or penalty or the ordering of the action to comply with the terms of this Section, the term "person" shall include the members of an association, partnership or firm and the officers of any public or private corporation, whether for profit or not-for-profit.
- PUMPER/HAULER BUSINESS
- Any person, as defined in this Part, licensed by the Department and/or other governmental agency to engage in cleaning any or all components of a community or individual on-lot system, holding tanks, privies, aerobic tanks, cesspools, or any other sewage disposal facility within the Township and evacuate and transport the septage cleaned therefrom, whether for a fee or free of charge.
- PUMPERS REPORT/RECEIPT
- A form, provided by the Township, which shall be used by all pumper/hauler truck operators to report every pumping of an on-lot system in the Township. (See, 25 Pa.Code, Chapters 71, 72 and 73)
- RETAINING TANK
- A watertight holding receptacle which receives and retains sewage and is designed and constructed to facilitate ultimate disposal of the sewage at another site.
- The residual scum, sludge and other materials pumped from septic or aerobic treatment tanks and the systems they serve.
- 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 animals or aquatic life or to the use of water for domestic water supply or for recreation or which constitutes pollution under the Clean Streams Law.
- SEWAGE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER (SEO)
- The Sewage Enforcement Officer appointed by the Township.
[Ord. 2007-06, 11/7/2007, § III]
All persons who own a lot upon which an OLDS is installed, and all persons who occupy a lot on which an OLDS is installed, shall properly use and maintain such OLDS. Proper maintenance of an OLDS shall include, at a minimum:
Follow any and all operation and maintenance recommendations of the manufacturer of the OLDS. If the OLDS is a nonstandard system, the operation and maintenance recommendations of the manufacturer of the system shall be adhered to or followed. Such maintenance shall include the denitrification unit or other nonstandard equipment which is part of the OLDS.
The owner of a property upon which an OLDS 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.
The owner of a property upon which an OLDS is constructed shall maintain the areas 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 system components and protect the absorption area(s) from physical damage.
Every aerobic or septic treatment tank which discharges effluent to a soil absorption area shall be pumped out according to the schedule established in this Part 1C. If a component's manufacturer requires a more frequent pumping interval than contained in this Part 1C, that interval shall be deemed the minimum interval for pumping.
When an OLDS treatment tank is pumped out, all dosing tanks, lift tanks and other tanks associated with the system shall also be pumped out.
Retaining or holding tanks shall be pumped out at such intervals as will prevent overflow, leakage, backup, other malfunction, or a public health hazard or nuisance, but no less frequently than 12 times per year or at sufficient intervals to ensure the tank does not reach 75% capacity. Proof of pump out of holding tanks shall be supplied to the Township.
Any person owning a building served by an aerobic treatment tank or an on-lot system, which includes any electrically, mechanically, hydraulically or pneumatically operated or controlled device, shall follow the maintenance recommendations of the equipment's manufacturer.
All water used within a residence, including kitchen and laundry wastes and water softener backwash, and all sewage shall be discharged into a treatment tank.
[Ord. 2007-06, 11/7/2007, § IV]
All pumper/hauler businesses shall at least seven days before offering pumping services to property owners pursuant to compliance with the terms of this Part:
Register with the Township and agree to comply with all reporting requirements established herein.
Identify all employees/owners and vehicles that will provide these services in the Township.
Operate in a manner consistent with the provisions of the Pennsylvania Solid Waste Management Act, Act 97 of 1980, 35 P.S §§ 6018.101-6018.1003.
Provide a current fee schedule for all services required under this Part.
Provide documentation that all septage pumped from properties in this Township will be delivered to a DEP approved site or facility.
Provide evidence of workman's compensation and liability insurance coverages.
[Ord. 2007-06, 11/7/2007, § V]
Upon completion of each required pumping, the pumper/hauler business shall:
Complete a pumper report.
Deliver the original pumper report to the owner.
Deliver a copy of the pumper report to the Township not later than the tenth business day of the month following the month of inspection and/or pumping.
The report shall be on three-part forms provided by the Township.
When a system's tank is pumped, the pumper reports shall include the following minimum information:
Date of pumping of tank; tank capacity and nature of pumped material.
Name and address of system owner.
Property address where tank is located, if different from owner's.
Name of current occupant and number of system users.
Presence and condition of baffles in all tanks and all compartments.
Permit number and date existing system was installed, if known.
Last date of pump-out, if known.
List of other maintenance performed.
Indications of system malfunction observed, if any.
Amount (gallons) of septage, sludge, or other material removed.
Statement of general system condition.
List of recommendations for system rehabilitation, if needed.
DEP permit number and destination of the disposal of septage.
List of water conservation devices in use.
Pumper truck operator's and pumper business owner's signature.
Initial and periodic tank pumping shall be performed to the following minimum standards unless other standards are specified by an equipment manufacturer.
At all times, the pumper truck operator's personal safety, as well as protection of the environment and the owner's property, shall receive the highest priority.
Tanks should be pumped from/through the manhole/access port or standpipe, i.e., the largest tank opening which is available.
It is recommended that permanent above grade child proof manhole access ways be established for the purpose of thorough cleaning of septic tankage.
Where necessary to break up solids, back-washing with clean water or material of a similar nature already on board the pumper truck may be employed. Mechanical means (scraping, raking, etc.) are not necessary, but may be employed provided that appropriate safeguards are taken to prevent injury.
When backwashing, care shall be taken not to fill/refill the tank to a level greater than 12 inches below the elevation of the outlet pipe.
No liquids or solids are to be discharged into/through the outlet pipe.
Tanks shall be deemed to be clean when all organic solids are removed and the total average liquid depth remaining in the tank is less than six inches.
Every pump-out shall include a visual inspection of the interior of the tank provided adequate access to the tank exists. The inspection shall include a determination regarding the presence of baffles and their condition, as well as the physical condition of the treatment tank. Presence and condition of observation port(s) shall also be reported.
Dry wells or cesspools are acceptable provided that they were installed prior to 1972 and are still fully functional with no evidence of hydraulic overloading or malfunction. These below ground chambers shall be fully accessible with child proof access and shall be fully pumped of all sewage effluent and solids.
At all times, and in all phases of operations, pumper businesses and equipment operators shall comply with all laws and regulations regarding the activities associated with on-lot wastewater system maintenance and disposal of materials removed therefrom.
The Township requires documentation of pump-out and tank and site conditions. The pumper shall not be prevented by the owner from complying with municipal requirements. A copy of the report sent to the Township shall also be provided to the owner.
[Ord. 2007-06, 11/7/2007, § VI]
Notification will be provided to each property owner from the Township by March 1 of each year for those systems requiring inspection and pumping for the current year.
After the initial inspection and pumping, all tanks in all systems shall be pumped out at a minimum regular interval of once every four years from the year of either the initial pumping or subsequent pumping. Tanks that have been subjected to more frequent pumping, by nature of their size, loading rate or other system characteristics, should continue to receive that frequency of pumping. This Part is not an instruction to reduce the frequency of pumping and should not be construed as such. This Part establishes the minimum pump out requirement for all treatment tanks that do not exhibit characteristics that indicate more frequent pumping is required.
In addition to the requirements for periodic tank pumping, an inspection of the OLDS shall be conducted and a report to the Township on forms provided by the Township shall be made in regards to the presence of any or all of the following:
Defective tank components (lids, baffles, dividers, etc.).
Before pumping, water level above outlet pipe elevation.
Following or during pumping, backflow from the absorption area.
Inflow from building(s) served to verify connection to the building(s).
Surface discharge, ponding or other signs of malfunction in the vicinity of the absorption area.
A waiver to property owners may be granted by the Township provided that within the last two years a Township property transfer sewage inspection and system pumping was performed to the satisfaction of the Sewage Enforcement Officer. Additionally, a waiver to homeowners may be granted by the Township for systems newly installed, inspected and approved by the Sewage Enforcement Officer within the last two years. The property owner must complete and submit this information in writing by June 1 of the year of scheduled inspection and pumping. If an already existing system has been pumped within two years a waiver may also be granted by the Township to the property owner.
The Township through its SEO may require additional maintenance activities including, but not limited to, cleaning or unclogging of piping, servicing or repair of mechanical equipment, leveling of distribution boxes, tanks and lines, removal of obstructing roots or trees, and diversion of surface water away from soil absorption areas.
The owner shall provide adequate access to OLDS components to facilitate inspection and pump outs if such access exists. This may include installing risen extending to grade level on the inspection ports and/or manhole portion of tanks and other components.
[Ord. 2007-06, 11/7/2007, § VII]
In addition to all other duties of the Sewage Enforcement Officer set forth elsewhere, the Sewage Enforcement Officer, at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors, shall have the power and duties to enforce the provisions of this Part 1C and to investigate any reports of malfunctioning OLDS or evidence that an OLDS may be malfunctioning. In performing these duties the Sewage Enforcement Officer shall have the following powers:
To conduct routine inspections of properties upon which OLDS are installed as part of an administrative program to insure compliance with this Article. Any inspections shall be performed in accordance with all applicable statutes and constitutional provisions.
To make reports as requested by the Board regarding maintenance of OLDS in the Township and to suggest actions which may be taken by the Board to insure proper maintenance.
To consult with the Township Engineer and the Township Solicitor, as authorized by the Board, to assist in the enforcement of this Section.
[Ord. 2007-06, 11/7/2007, § VIII]
Appeals from decisions made under this Section shall be made to the Board of Supervisors in writing within 30 days from the date of the decision in question.
The appellant shall be entitled to a hearing before the Board 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 seven days of the next regularly scheduled meeting, the appeal shall be heard at the subsequent hearing. The Township shall thereafter affirm, modify, or reverse the aforesaid decision. The hearing may be postponed for good cause shown by the appellant or the Township. Evidence may be introduced at the hearing, provided that it is submitted with the written notice of appeal.
A decision shall be rendered 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.
[Ord. 2007-06, 11/7/2007, § IX]
Any person who shall violate or fail to comply with any provision of this Section shall, upon conviction thereof by a summary proceeding action brought before a magisterial district judge, 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 $150 nor more than $1,000, plus all court costs, all pursuant to the purpose and mandate of Act No. 172 of 1996. Each day's continuance of a violation of this Section shall constitute a separate offense.
In the event an owner detects conditions that indicate or could reasonably be interpreted to indicate a malfunction, the owner shall contact the SEO. Owners who disclose to the SEO the presence of a malfunction upon their lands shall not be penalized for the disclosure. However, if an owner who has disclosed the presence of a malfunction fails to make voluntary repairs, the Township may seek injunctive or other relief to compel the repair of the malfunction or cause the repair to be effectuated.
The discharge by the Township of its obligations as set forth in this Section shall create no liability upon the Township, its officials, employees, or agents.
[Ord. 2007-06, 11/7/2007, § X]
All reports, inspections, appraisals, certification of records required or produced by the Township, its officials, employees, or agents, as required by this Section, shall be for the use and benefit of the Township only and shall not be accepted, utilized or relied upon by any other person or party by way of certification or otherwise.