[Adopted 3-10-2008 by Ord. No. 1200]
The United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection have directed municipalities to take such steps as are necessary to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows or face civil penalties and other sanctions.
The Council of the Borough of Homestead has determined that the sanitary sewer facilities of the Borough may be receiving stormwater, surface water and other nonsanitary discharges that exceed the hydraulic capacity of the Borough's sanitary sewer system and cause or contribute to sanitary sewer overflows.
The Council of the Borough of Homestead has determined that inflows of stormwater, surface water, and other nonsanitary discharges into the sanitary sewer system result in wasteful expenditures for wastewater treatment.
The Council of the Borough of Homestead has determined that it is in the best interest of the residents of the Borough to eliminate inflows of stormwater, surface water, and other nonsanitary discharges into the Borough sanitary sewer system.
The Council of the Borough of Homestead has determined that the procedures, fees, and penalties provided by this article are necessary to achieve the purposes of this article.
This article may be known and cited as the "Dye Testing Ordinance."
The following terms used in this article shall have the following meanings:
- The Borough of Homestead, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
- BOROUGH LIEN LETTER
- A written letter from the Borough certifying that the property is free from municipal liens and unpaid municipal taxes.
- CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE
- An official writing issued by the Borough that dye testing has determined that there are no illegal connections in violation of this article.
- DYE TEST
- Any dye test performed by a registered plumber whereby dye is introduced into the water collection system of a property to determine whether basement seepage, groundwater, downspout drainage, roof drainage, driveway drainage, or other surface water drainage is entering the sanitary sewer system.
- ILLEGAL CONNECTIONS
- Any connection or conveyance that allows the discharge of inflammable or volatile liquids, basement seepage, groundwater, downspout drainage, roof drainage, driveway drainage, or other surface water drainage into the sanitary sewer system.
- ORDINANCE COMPLIANCE OFFICERS
- Those persons designated by the Borough to administer and enforce all laws and ordinances of the Borough.
- Any person, partnership, association, syndicate, firm, corporation, institution, agency, authority, or entity recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties. The singular shall include the plural.
- Real property located within the Borough upon which a building or improvements exist.
Illegal connections are prohibited.
Persons owning property are required to maintain all private sanitary sewer laterals and sanitary sewer service connections in good repair.
It is unlawful for any person to sell property without first delivering to the purchaser a certificate of compliance or temporary certificate of compliance. For purposes of this article, a sale of property shall include any conveyance or transfer whereby title is transferred from one person to another, but shall not include a) a refinancing where the holder of title remains unchanged, or b) a transfer of title by operation of law following the death of the owner.
At least 21 days prior to the sale of property, the seller (hereinafter, "applicant") shall apply to the Borough for a certificate of compliance and pay the Borough a fee of $50.
The applicant must have the dye testing performed by a registered plumber, who shall certify the dye testing results to the Borough. If the dye testing identifies illegal connections, then the Borough shall notify the applicant pursuant to § 212-44 of this article. If the dye testing identifies no illegal connections, then the Borough shall issue a certificate of compliance to the applicant.
If a certificate of compliance for the property has been issued within the 10 years preceding the date of the application, the Ordinance Compliance Officer may waive the dye testing requirement if the Ordinance Compliance Officer inspects the property and finds no evidence of illegal connections. In this event, the Ordinance Compliance Officer may issue a certificate of compliance upon payment of a fee to the Borough of $20.
When an illegal connection is discovered and activities necessary to correct the condition would require such a length of time as to create a practical hardship for the applicant, the applicant may apply to the Ordinance Compliance Officer for a temporary certificate of compliance, which may only be issued when the applicant provides the Borough with all of the following:
Written explanation of the practical hardship;
Cash security in the amount of $1,000;
An executed agreement by the purchaser/transferee accepting responsibility for all costs in excess of the cash security; and
An easement or other license executed by the purchaser/transferee allowing the Borough to enter upon the property and complete the work in case of default by applicant.
The Ordinance Compliance Officer shall determine in good faith based upon all the circumstances when such temporary certificate shall expire and shall advise the applicant and the purchaser of the expiration date. If the temporary certificate of compliance should expire without all work having been completed, the cash security shall be forfeited to the Borough, and the Borough may apply the cash security to complete the necessary work. If the remedial work is completed prior to the expiration date, the Borough shall return the cash security to the applicant or to his/her designee.
A request for lien letter must be accompanied by a valid certificate of compliance and the lien letter fee, all of which shall be delivered to the Borough at least seven business days prior to the day the lien letter is to be provided. Upon the request of a property owner or his/her agent, and subject to time availability as determined by the Borough in good faith based upon all the circumstances, the Borough may issue an expedited Borough lien letter on two business days' notice upon the payment of an expediting fee of $15 in addition to the lien letter fee.
The fees set forth in this article may be changed from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council.
Nothing in this article shall limit in any fashion whatsoever the Borough's right to enforce its ordinances or the laws of the Commonwealth. Nothing in this article shall be a defense to any citation issued by any municipal corporation or the Commonwealth pursuant to any law or ordinance.
It is unlawful for any person to refuse access to property for purposes of dye testing, to issue or obtain false dye testing results, or to procure a certificate of compliance under false pretenses. Any person violating these or any other provisions of this article shall, upon conviction, be subject to a penalty of not more than $500 for each violation or, in the alternative, a penalty of not more than the maximum provided other Borough or Pennsylvania laws that may apply. Once a person is notified of a violation of this article, each day that such violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate violation. In addition to and not in lieu of the foregoing, the Borough may seek equitable and legal relief to compel compliance with this article.