Borough of Quarryville, PA
Lancaster County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Quarryville 11-7-2011 by Ord. No. 393. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Quarryville Borough Geothermal Energy Systems Ordinance."
In this chapter, words and phrases shall have the meanings set forth below unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning.
Quarryville Borough, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection or any agency successor thereto.
A type of geothermal heating and/or cooling system that utilizes a pressurized heat exchanger consisting of pipe, a circulating pump, and a water-source heat pump in which the heat transfer fluid is not exposed to the atmosphere. The heat transfer fluid is potable water and may have approved antifreeze added. There are two kinds of closed-loop systems:
A bore hole that extends beneath the surface. Pipes are installed with U-bends at the bottom of the bore hole. The pipes are connected to the heat exchanger and heat transfer fluid is circulated through the pipes.
A mechanism for heat exchange which consists of the following basic elements: underground loops of piping; heat transfer fluid; a heat pump; an air distribution system. An opening is made in the Earth. A series of pipes are installed into the opening and connected to a heat exchange system in the building. The pipes form a closed loop and are filled with a heat transfer fluid. The fluid is circulated through the piping from the opening into the heat exchanger and back. The system functions in the same manner as the open loop system, except there is no pumping of groundwater.
A type of geothermal heating or cooling system that utilizes a water-supply well and a water pump to deliver groundwater to a water-source heat pump. The discharge water from the water-source heat pump may be returned to the subsurface through a recharge well or infiltration bed or may be discharged into a pond, lake or stream. A spring may also be the source of the groundwater supply.
The Quarryville Borough Uniform Construction Code.[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 150, Construction Codes, Uniform.
Only closed-loop geothermal energy systems are permitted within the Borough. Open-loop geothermal energy systems are prohibited within the Borough.
General requirements.
Only closed-loop geothermal energy systems utilizing only nontoxic, biodegradable circulating fluids, such as food-grade propylene glycol, are permitted.
Geothermal energy systems shall not encroach on existing public, drainage, utility roadway, trail or other recorded easements.
Development standards.
A horizontal closed-loop system shall be installed a maximum of 20 feet below the average finished grade of the area in which located.
All vertical closed-loop geothermal energy systems shall have proper grout sealing with the following properties:
High thermal conductivity to allow heat transfer;
Low viscosity to allow the grout to wrap around the pipe;
Low shrinkage volume to ensure that the grout will not pull away from the pipe; and
Low permeability to prevent the migration of antifreeze solution in the event of a line breakage.
Geothermal energy systems shall be located a minimum of 10 feet from all property lines, except as otherwise specified.
Geothermal energy systems shall be located a minimum of 100 feet from existing potable water wells.
Geothermal energy systems shall be located a minimum of 50 feet from treatment tanks, dosing tanks, lift pump tanks, filter tanks and chlorine contact/storage tanks of an on-lot sewage disposal system. Geothermal energy systems shall be located a minimum of 100 feet from the absorption area of an on-lot sewage disposal system. Geothermal energy systems shall be located a minimum of 100 feet from the perimeter of any spray field of an on-lot sewage disposal system.
Aboveground equipment associated with geothermal pumps shall not be installed in the front yard of any lot or the yard of a corner lot adjacent to a public right-of-way and shall meet all minimum accessory structure setbacks required for the zoning district.
All horizontal closed-loop geothermal energy systems shall be properly backfilled, including the removal of sharp-edged rocks before backfilling in order to prevent such rocks from coming into contact with the system pipe.
Required permits.
Any person seeking to install a geothermal energy system shall apply for and obtain a permit from the Borough prior to commencing installation. Such person shall file an application with the Borough providing all information necessary to demonstrate compliance with this chapter and shall pay the fee established by Borough Council. The design and installation of geothermal energy systems shall conform to applicable industry standards and the UCC. At the time of application for a permit, the applicant shall submit manufacturer certificates of design and circulating fluid compliance obtained by the geothermal energy system manufacturer from a reputable certifying organization.
No construction, drilling, boring, reconstruction, major repair other change of, or for any non-DEP permitted/regulated well/water supply for the production of water for domestic, commercial, industrial or agricultural purposes, for which potable water usage is intended or may be used, shall commence unless the property owner or his/her duly authorized agent shall apply for and receive a "well permit" for any such construction activity from the Borough. Proper proof of contractor's insurance of liability shall be on file with the Borough for all well work.
Required inspections. Any person installing a geothermal energy system shall obtain all inspections required by the UCC. The Construction Code Official shall have the authority to inspect for compliance with all requirements of this chapter as well as compliance with all requirements of the UCC.
Decommissioning. If a geothermal energy system remains nonfunctional or inoperative for a continuous period of one year, the system shall be deemed to be abandoned and shall constitute a public nuisance. The owner shall remove the abandoned system at their expense after a demolition permit has been obtained in accordance with the following:
The heat pump and any external mechanical equipment shall be removed; and
Pipes or coils below the land surface shall be filled with grout to displace the heat transfer fluid. The heat transfer fluid shall be captured and disposed of in accordance with applicable regulations. The top of the pipe, coil or boring shall be uncovered and grouted.
For each violation of the provisions of this chapter, any person who commits, takes part in, or assists in any such violation shall be liable upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $600 for each offense, together with the costs of prosecution. Each day or portion thereof in which a violation exists shall be considered a separate violation of this chapter, and each section of this chapter which is violated shall be considered a separate violation. In default of payment of such fine, such person shall be liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 30 days.
In the event any provision, section, sentence, clause or part of this chapter shall be held to be invalid, illegal or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity, illegality or unconstitutionality shall not affect or impair the remaining provisions, sections, sentences, clauses or parts of this chapter, it being the intent of Borough Council that the remainder of the chapter shall be and shall remain in full force and effect.