Town of Marshfield, MA
Plymouth County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Town of Marshfield effective 4-21-2006; amended 6-15-2009, effective 7-15-2009. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Sewers — See Ch. 223.
A. 
In accordance with the provisions of Article 1, Regulation 2, of the State Sanitary Code and under the authority of MGL c. 111, § 131, and any other powers thereto enabling, the Board of Health of Marshfield hereby adopts the following regulations relative to the disposal of sanitary sewage in unsewered areas as supplements to Title 5 of the State Environmental Code to be effective as of April 21, 2006.
B. 
All section numbers are derived from the sections of Title 5 to which they apply.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: These numbers are now indicated in parentheses.
A. 
(1.1) The following abbreviations are used herein:
(1) 
SEC: Refers to the State Environmental Code.
B. 
(1.2) The following definitions are in place of those shown in SEC Title 5, Regulation 1:
ABOVEGROUND SEPTIC SYSTEM
A system where any part of the leaching facility (including pits, fields, chambers, pipes, stone or peastone) is installed above the natural grade of the land on the lot. Access manholes by themselves do not cause a septic system to be considered an aboveground septic system.
APPLICANT
The person named on the disposal works construction permit application as the owner of the property which is the site of the proposed septic system.
BOARD
Board of Health in the Town of Marshfield, Massachusetts, or its agent.
DEWATERED PERCOLATION TEST
A percolation test done in accordance with the procedures outlined in Title 5, Section 15.03(5), except that some or all of the four feet of naturally occurring pervious soil is saturated by groundwater and some temporary dewatering of the soil is necessary so the water can drain away from the soil and a standard percolation test can be performed.
GROUNDWATER MONITORING WELL
Piping placed in the ground for the purpose of obtaining groundwater elevations or samples for testing.
MAXIMUM GROUNDWATER ELEVATION
The height of the groundwater table when it is at its maximum level or elevation. (See SEC Title 5, Regulation 3.3, of these local rules.)[1]
POTABLE WATER SUPPLY
A water supply of sufficient quantity and pressure to meet the needs of the occupants of the dwelling, lot or building, connected with a public water system or with any other source that the Board of Health or agent has determined, by requiring the water to be tested, does not endanger the health of any potential user and is fit for human consumption. A source shall be deemed potable which meets, at a minimum, all the current primary drinking water standards. Other tests may be required, by the Board or agent, if it is deemed necessary.
(1) 
Any privately owned well supplying water for human consumption to any individual dwelling or building.
(2) 
Any well, pit, pipe, excavation, shaft, spring casing, hole or other source of water to be used as a potable private drinking water supply.
SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
Any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, repair or improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure before the start of construction of the improvement. This term includes structures which have incurred substantial damage, regardless of the actual repair work performed. "Substantial improvement" does not, however, include either:
(1) 
Any project for improvement of a structure to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary, or safety codes which have been identified by the local code enforcement official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or
(2) 
Any alteration of a historic structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a historic structure.
Note 1: The following items can be excluded from the cost of improvement or repair: plans, specifications, survey, permits, and other items which are separate from or incidental to the repair of the damaged or improved building, i.e., debris removal/cartage.
Note 2: The latest Assessors' structure value may be used, provided that the Assessors certify that said value is based on 100% valuation, less depreciation.
WATER TABLE MAP
A map showing piezometric elevations of the water table compiled from known water table elevations in wells, borings, ponds, streams and wetlands. It shows general groundwater flow direction from high to low elevations.
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 645-4A.
A. 
(2.4) Application for disposal works construction permit (supplements SEC Title 5, Regulation 2.4).
(1) 
An application for a construction permit shall be submitted on a form supplied by the Board of Health and shall be obtained at the office of the Board of Health.
(2) 
Application requirements for all new construction, repairs to all systems and in all cases where fill is to be used:
(a) 
A plan of the lot must be submitted by a registered professional engineer or registered sanitarian, signed, dated and stamped with the seal of the person responsible for the design. The plan must be drawn to scale not less than one inch equals 40 feet and contain the following information:
[1] 
Lot dimensions.
[2] 
Location of street, house, garage, outbuildings, and driveway.
[3] 
Location of sewage system and expansion area.
[4] 
Dimensions of sewage system.
[5] 
Location of water lines and gas lines.
[6] 
Locations of observations pits and percolation tests.
[7] 
Sources of water supply within 300 feet of the sewage system. In all cases where there are existing dwellings or structures on abutting properties, applicants for a disposal works construction permit shall make inquiry of those abutters to the property or properties to ascertain the presence or absence of a private well on such properties. The applicant shall supply this documentation to the Board and the Department of Public Works when applying for a disposal works construction permit.
[8] 
Pertinent elevations, including elevation of road, cellar floor, top of foundations, garage floor, and elevation schedule for sewage disposal system, including invert elevations at house foundation, entrance to septic tank, entrance to distribution box, beginning of each leaching line, end of each leaching line, and bottom of leaching pit, trench or bed. Accompanying this schedule, the proposed final ground elevation at each of the called-for points along the disposal system shall be shown.
[9] 
Sufficient additional elevations must be shown, including final grades at each or the four corners of the building, to indicate clearly how the surface drainage on the property is to be handled. Plan must be designed to drain the property satisfactorily to prevent adverse drainage to adjoining property.
[10] 
All present elevations must be shown at true spot elevations. All proposed changes in elevation must be shown in the form of two-foot contour lines, clearly showing the proposed change in topography.
[11] 
A benchmark must be established and maintained until after the final inspection by the design engineer. Its location must be shown in the plan.
[12] 
Watercourses, streams, brooks, ponds, lakes and the twelve-foot tide line within 200 feet. Requirement by Engineering Department: the benchmark shall be on mean sea level or an elevation obtained from the Engineering Department.
[13] 
A detail and sketch of any proposed retaining wall. All proposed retaining walls four feet in height or greater must be designed and certified by a structural engineer.
[14] 
A statement as to whether the lot is located in the Marshfield Water Resource Protection District or any Interim Wellhead Protection District for a Zone II.
[15] 
Any other pertinent information which the Board of Health may require.
(b) 
Application shall be made before percolation tests, groundwater determination, and other on-site inspections are witnessed or performed by the Board of Health. All data from observation pits, percolation tests, and groundwater determinations shall be entered directly on the application form at the time such tests and observations are witnessed by the Board of Health. The representative of the Board of Health shall date and sign the results of the tests which he witnesses.
(3) 
Any permit granted will not be valid if conditions set forth in the application have changed prior to or during actual construction of the sewage disposal system.
(4) 
No permit will be issued until an adequate supply of water is assured. If a municipal well is the source, all applicants for a disposal works construction permit may be required to submit a written statement to the Board of Health, from the Department of Public Works, as to the availability of an adequate supply of water in sufficient quantity to provide adequate pressure to the occupants of the proposed building or dwelling. The applicant may also be required to provide a statement from the Fire Department that adequate fire flow will be provided to the dwelling or building. If a private well is the source, the well must be dug and the water tested before a permit will be issued.
(5) 
Sewage system must be installed under the direct supervision of the designing engineer. At the time of final inspection he must submit a letter stating that this system has been installed according to his plan and provide measurements of tie-ins or an "as-built" plan of the system.
(a) 
The "as built" must include final contours for any plans in which the original contours over and around the septic system leaching area and/or any components of the system have been changed, or were designed to be changed. The "as built" must include distances from the septic system and/or any component of the system to the property line, in all cases where the distance from the septic system or component is less than 25 feet from the property line. "As builts" must be submitted to the Board of Health office no later than 30 days after the design engineer completes the final inspection of the septic system.
(b) 
Special conditions for variances. All Title 5 variances, local upgrades, or local variances that are granted by the Board of Health with conditions that limit or prohibit increases in design flow or otherwise limit or prohibit alterations or repairs to the structure shall be subject to the following requirement prior to issuance of a certificate of compliance: The variance or upgrade form, with special conditions specified, must be recorded at the Registry of Deeds. Proof of recording must be presented to the Board of Health.
B. 
(2.4h) Disposal systems with design flow in excess of 5,000 gallons per day.
(1) 
Purpose. To protect the groundwater used for drinking water purposes from contamination which may result from concentrated sewage disposal.
(2) 
Applicability. All proposed subsurface disposal systems with design sewage flows of 5,000 gallons per day or greater per lot.
(3) 
Procedure. The applicant(s) must demonstrate, by written report, to the satisfaction of the Board of Health that current drinking water standards will be met at the downgradient property limit and that current surface water quality standards will not be violated at downgradient lakes, ponds and streams due to the effluent from the system.
(a) 
The written report shall be based upon the following scope of work:
[1] 
Geologic borings.
[2] 
Water table map (one-foot interval contours) showing groundwater flow direction.
[3] 
Projections of downgradient concentrations of nitrate-nitrogen (or other chemicals as requested by the Board of Health). Projections of downgradient water quality will be determined utilizing two-dimensional solute transport models and input variables approved by the Board of Health. Currently approved models include: USGS Konikow and Bredegoeft (1978) and Random Walk, Prickett and Lonquist (1981). Other models may be approved by the Board upon request.
(b) 
Currently approved input variables include:
[1] 
Transmissivity to be determined by on-site pump test (minimum of four hours).
[2] 
Aquifer thickness to be determined by on-site boring locations of confining layers and estimated plume thickness.
[3] 
Dispersivity: determined by site-specific testing.
[4] 
Hydraulic gradient as determined by site-specific water table map.
[5] 
No retardation factor.
[6] 
Sewage flows as determined by Title 5 design flows.
(c) 
Applicants who receive permits under this section shall install a minimum of three downgradient and one upgradient groundwater monitoring wells. Groundwater flow direction will be determined from the USGS (1987) water table map and from site-specific observation wells where necessary. Wells will be constructed of two-inch threader flush joint PVC pipes with locking caps. Groundwater samples will be obtained on an annual basis utilizing a bailer following standard well evaluation procedures (three well volumes will be removed prior to sampling).
(d) 
Evacuation is most easily accomplished using a gasoline pump centrifugal. Water samples will be tested by a state-certified laboratory on an annual basis for nitrate-nitrogen, ammonia-nitrogen, Kjedahl nitrogen, total phosphorus, chloride, specific conductance and volatile organic compounds (see separate current listing). Results are to be reported to the Marshfield Board of Health and shall meet Massachusetts Class I groundwater standards and appropriate advisory levels for organic chemicals at the downgradient property boundary. Baseline samples of all applicable testing parameters will be required. In the event that water quality standards are violated, the following action will be undertaken by the septic system owner:
[1] 
Report test results to the Marshfield Board of Health within 48 hours by certified mail.
[2] 
Resample and retest monitoring wells for the parameters which were above the water quality standards within five days.
[3] 
Notify the downgradient property owners who have a private drinking water well within 48 hours of the second testing round, if the results are above the current advisory levels, by certified mail.
[4] 
Decrease wastewater flows or increase the level of treatment within 45 days. Notify the Board of Health of these remedial measures.
[5] 
Initiate any remedial actions deemed necessary by the Board of Health.
[6] 
All costs of complying with this section will be borne by the applicant.
C. 
(2.4i) Perimeter, curtain, subsurface or french drains.
(1) 
The effectiveness of a perimeter drain system must be demonstrated prior to the issuance of the disposal works construction permit. The effect of attempting to lower the ground or perched water table shall be monitored by installation of at least one upgradient and one downgradient groundwater monitoring well. The effectiveness of the underdrains shall be demonstrated by taking ground monitoring well readings one time during the month of March and one time during the month of April, for a period of two high-water seasons. All groundwater monitoring well readings must be observed by the Board's agent in order to be considered valid groundwater readings. A separate fee will be charged for each site visit (see separate current fee schedule for site work by agent beyond inspection of septic system charged per inspection).
(2) 
A perimeter, french, subsurface or curtain drain shall not serve more than one lot and shall not be allowed on more than three sides of a lot. They shall not cause accumulated water to drain onto any abutting properties or public or private road. All work shall be performed at the applicant's own expense and at their own risk. This monitoring does not guarantee issuance of the disposal works construction permit, either at the time of monitoring or at completion, since the Board does not give conditional pre-approval in matters relative to sewage disposal.
(3) 
In order to propose a perimeter, french, curtain, or subsurface drain system the groundwater table in question must be perched in a relatively impermeable soil layer, have no vertical upward flux component and be moving in a well-defined direction. If the drain meets these criteria then the drain must be placed upgradient of the proposed sewage system location, be of sufficient length and geometry to intercept all groundwater affecting the location, be keyed into the impeding layer upon which the groundwater is perched, and have a positive discharge to the surface or to soil from the location in question.
D. 
(2.5.3) General policy. Any reconstruction, alteration or repair of a building to an extent of 50% or more of the assessed value of the building shall be treated by this Board as new construction, to which all Title 5 and Marshfield Board of Health rules and regulations for the disposal of sanitary sewage apply.
E. 
(2.7.1) Repealed January 24, 1991.
F. 
(2.9) Fees (supplements SEC Title 5, Regulation 2.9). See separate current fee schedule.
G. 
(2.23) All sewage disposal systems must be located in their entirety on one lot or parcel of land, it being the same lot or parcel on which the facility producing the sewage is located.
A. 
(3.3) Subsoil and groundwater determination (adds to SEC Title 5, Regulation 3.3). The Board of Health shall require that one or more observation pits be dug to a depth of four feet below the bottom of the proposed leaching facility to determine the maximum groundwater elevation and the elevation of any impervious material. The Board may also require additional test holes in the area reserved for expansion of the disposal field.
B. 
(3.4E) Leaching requirements. For new construction, if any percolation test in the primary or reserve area is equal to or exceeds 20 minutes per inch, a minimum of four percolation tests and four observation holes shall be performed.
C. 
(3.5L) Percolation tests.
(1) 
In the event the Board's agent encounters soil conditions other than coarse sand, additional percolation tests may be requested by the Board or its agent to determine the consistency and naturally pervious soil beneath the entire proposed leaching and reserve areas.
(2) 
The Board reserves the right to request additional percolation tests at any time prior to the issuance of the disposal works construction permit. The reasons for additional testing shall be provided to the applicant in writing upon request.
D. 
(3.5M) Dewatered percolation test.
(1) 
The practice of conducting dewatered percolation tests will only be allowed by a majority vote of the Board.
(2) 
The Board may require consultant review, in accordance with Section 15.28 of these regulations,[1] to assess the engineering aspects of the dewatered percolation test, to include but not be limited to the following: site-specific soil conditions, groundwater information, the destination of any discharged groundwater and safety factors.
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 645-6G.
E. 
(3.5N) Percolation tests. The validity of a percolation test will not be limited to any specific number of years by the Board of Health. Percolation test will not be required to be repeated to determine its validity unless any of the following is applicable:
(1) 
The soil has been altered in any way.
(2) 
Title 5 or the Marshfield rules and regulations are amended to change any aspect pertaining to percolation tests.
F. 
(3.7.1) Distances.
(1) 
No disposal facilities shall be closer than the distances stated to the components listed in the following table. The distance shall be increased where required by conditions peculiar to a location.
Component
Septic Tank
Reserve Area
Leaching Facility
Building Sewer
Privy
Drinking water well or suction line
50
200
(3)
200
Water supply line (pressure)
(b)
(b)
(b)
(b)
Property line
10
10
50
Dwelling
10
20
50
Surface water supplies of tributaries to reservoirs including open and subsurface drains
200
200
200
200
Watercourse (see Title 5 definition)
75*
100
100
75*
100
Leaching catch basin or dry well
25
*
100 feet from sewage disposal systems of a multiple dwelling.
**
Downhill slope. The applicant must be able to meet the slope requirements on the lot for which the permit is applied for, not including any adjacent property unless a valid slope easement is obtained. This must be reviewed by the Town's legal counsel prior to issuance of the disposal works construction permit.
(3)
Ten feet if constructed of durable corrosion-resistant material with watertight joints laid in Class B bedding, or 50 feet if any other type of pipe is used.
(b)
Disposal facilities must be installed at least 10 feet from and 18 inches below water supply lines. Whenever sewer lines must cross water supply lines, both pipes shall be constructed of mechanical joint cast-iron pipe and shall be pressure tested to assure watertightness.
G. 
[3.7(6)] The lowest point of the leaching facility of any sewage disposal system located in a flood hazard zone (as defined on the Federal Flood Insurance Rate Maps) shall not be located below the flood elevation of the applicable zone.
A. 
(4.2.1) All piping for the entire septic system shall be of Schedule 40 grade or greater.
B. 
(4.5) Grade (replaces second sentence of SEC Title 5, Regulation 4.5). A grade of 1/4 inch per foot is required.
A. 
[15.02(19)] Maintenance.
(1) 
Septic tank, leaching field and cesspool cleaners shall be prohibited from being used by the homeowner or the sanitary pumper unless the product is contained on the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's list of allowed additives titled "Septic System Additives Allowed for Use Under Title 5." Any pumper found using the above chemicals to treat any portion of a septic system shall be subject to license revocation or suspension by the Board of Health.
(2) 
The Board of Health recommends pumping the septic tank every two to three years.
B. 
[15.05(10)] Septic tanks. A septic tank shall be located no further than 75 feet from the building it is intended to serve. The length of pipe between the septic tank and the leaching facility shall not exceed 75 feet unless all the following criteria are met:
(1) 
Class "C" bedding.
(2) 
SDR 35 PVC piping.
(3) 
Installation shall be under the direct supervision and inspection of the engineering firm and the Board's agent.
(4) 
An inspection fee will be assessed to the applicant (see current fee schedule for site work by agent beyond inspection of septic system charged per inspection).
C. 
[15.05(11)] Septic tank filters and vents. All septic tanks shall be equipped with a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved effluent filter, such as the Zabel, Polylok or other equivalent equal. All septic systems equipped with vents shall utilize a vent filter to mask odors, if any occupied building is located within 100 feet of the septic system.
D. 
[15.05(12)] Tight tanks. All tight tanks approved by the Board of Health and DEP shall be subject to a twenty-four-hour test for determining that the tank is watertight. An agent of the Board shall make inspections as required to ensure that the tank is watertight.
E. 
(15.6.1) Expansion area (adds to SEC Title 5, Regulation 15.6). An additional area shall be reserved for future expansion or replacement of the disposal fields. The Board of Health shall require observation pits and percolation tests to be taken in this expansion area.
F. 
(15.27) Severability.
(1) 
If any provision of this regulation is declared unlawful by a valid judgment of decree or any court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not affect any of the remaining provisions of this regulation.
(2) 
This regulation shall take effect upon publication in a newspaper in the Town and shall be filed with DEP in Lakeville and Boston.
G. 
(15.28) Consultant review. If the Board in the exercise of its discretion reasonably deems it necessary to hire an independent expert consultant for any issue relative to the installation of any portion of the subsurface sewage disposal system, to include but not be limited to plan review, performance of the percolation tests (dewatered or standard), interpretation of soil logs, engineering information and groundwater data, the entire fee for the consultant will be paid by the applicant. The applicant will pay the Board of Health, which in turn will pay the consultant. Such fee shall not be more than the prevailing rate for such review in the Boston metropolitan area.
The following requirements apply to all variances from these rules and regulations:
A. 
Must be requested in writing.
B. 
Must be granted, in writing, by a majority vote of the Board.
C. 
A copy must be maintained in the permanent files, at the Board of Health office, and available to the public during normal business hours.
D. 
A separate fee shall be charged per application (see current fee schedule).
E. 
If a variance is requested from any portion of these regulations the applicant must demonstrate to the Board by clear and convincing evidence, supplied by an expert consultant, that there will be no adverse effect on the environment or the public health and safety if the variance is given. The consultant shall be mutually agreed upon by the Board and the applicant. All consulting costs shall be borne by the applicant.
F. 
A variance filing fee will be charged (see current fee schedule).
G. 
Any variance so granted may be revoked, modified or suspended only in accordance with SEC Title 5, Regulation 21.
A. 
The Board of Health reserves the right to request a soil evaluation as part of any Title 5 inspection to assist in determining the seasonal high groundwater determination.
B. 
Upgrading of substandard on-site sewage disposal systems.
(1) 
Septic systems consisting of one cesspool shall be upgraded to conform to 310 CMR 15.00, the State Environmental Code, Title 5, Minimum Requirements for the Subsurface Disposal of Sanitary Sewage, and the Town of Marshfield requirements.
(2) 
Cesspools with an overflow system or leaching pit(s) may continue but will require further evaluation by the Board of Health as specified by the following procedure: A cesspool with a leaching pit/system will require that a soil evaluation be conducted by a licensed soil evaluator to determine the seasonal high water determination. Systems with any part of the soil absorption area below the seasonal high groundwater shall constitute a failure. This regulation shall apply to any septic system inspection conducted in accordance with 310 CMR 15.301 of the State Environmental Code, Title 5. This regulation shall also be strictly enforced during the building permit application process.