[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Chestnuthill 4-5-1988 by Ord. No. 1988-02. Amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section:
- ABSORPTION AREA
- A component of an individual or community sewage system where liquid from a treatment tank seeps into the soil. It consists of an aggregate-filled area containing piping for the distribution of liquid and the soil or sand/soil combination located beneath the aggregate.
- ALTERNATE SEWAGE SYSTEM
- A system employing the use of demonstrated technology in a manner not specifically recognized by this chapter.
- COMMUNITY SEWAGE SYSTEM
- Any system, whether publicly or privately owned, for the collection of sewage or industrial wastes of a liquid nature from two or more lots and/or from two or more units contained on one lot and the treatment and/or disposal of the sewage or industrial waste on one or more of the lots or at any other site.
- The Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- EXPERIMENTAL SEWAGE SYSTEM
- Any method of sewage disposal not described in this chapter which is proposed for the purpose of testing and observation.
- INDIVIDUAL SEWAGE SYSTEM
- A system of piping, tanks or other facilities serving a single lot and collecting and disposing of sewage, in whole or part, into the soil or into any waters of this commonwealth or by means of conveyance to another site for final disposal.
- INDUSTRIAL WASTE
- Any liquid, gaseous, radioactive, solid or other substance which is not sewage resulting from manufacturing or industry or other plant or works and mine drainage, silt, coal mine solids, rock, debris, dirt and clay from coal mines, coal collieries, breakers or other coal-processing operations. The term shall include all such substances whether or not generally characterized as waste.
- LIMITING ZONE
- Any horizon or condition in the soil profile or underlying strata which includes:
- A. A seasonal high water table, whether perched or regional, determined by direct observation of the water table or indicated by soil mottling;
- B. Rock with open joints, fractures or solution channels or masses or loose rock fragments, including gravel, with insufficient fine soil to fill the voids between the fragments; and
- C. A rock formation, other stratum or soil condition which is so slowly permeable that it effectively limits downward passage of effluent.
- LOCAL AGENCY
- A municipality.
- A part of a subdivision or a parcel of land used as a building site or intended to be used for building purposes, whether immediate or future, which would not be further subdivided. Whenever a lot is used for a multiple-family dwelling or for commercial or industrial purposes, the lot shall be deemed to have been subdivided into an equivalent number of single-family residential lots as determined by estimated sewage flows.
- Includes any individual, association, public or private corporation, for profit or not for profit, partnership, firm, trust, estate, department, board, bureau or agency of the commonwealth, political subdivision, municipality, district authority or any other legal entity whatsoever which is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties. Whenever used in any clause prescribing and imposing a penalty or imposing a fine or imprisonment, the term "person" shall include the members of an association, partnership or firm and the officers of any local agency or municipal, public or private corporation, for profit or not for profit.
- RETAINING TANK
- A watertight receptacle which receives and retains sewage and is designed and constructed to facilitate ultimate disposal of the sewage at another site. The term includes but is not limited to the following:
- RURAL RESIDENCE
- A structure occupied or intended to be occupied by not more than two families on a tract of land of 10 acres or more.
- 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 harmful or inimical to the public health or to animal or aquatic life or to the use of water for domestic water supply or for recreation or which constitutes pollution under the Act of June 22, 1937, known as the "Clean Streams Act," as amended.
- SEWAGE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The official of the Township who issues and reviews permit applications and conducts such investigations and inspections as are necessary to implement this chapter and the rules and regulations thereunder.
- SEWAGE PERMIT
- A written permit issued by the Sewage Enforcement Officer permitting the construction of an individual or community sewage system under this chapter.
- The division or redivision of a lot, tract or other parcel of land into two or more lots, tracts, parcels or other divisions of land, including changes in existing lot lines. The enumerating lots shall include as a lot that portion of the original tract or tracts remaining after other lots have been subdivided therefrom.
- TREATMENT TANK
- A watertight tank designed to retain sewage long enough for satisfactory bacterial decomposition of the solids to take place. The term includes the following:
- UNDISTURBED SOIL
- Soil or soil profile unaltered by addition-filling or other man-induced changes, other than agricultural activities, for a minimum of four years prior to testing.
- WATERS OF THIS COMMONWEALTH
- River, streams, creeks, rivulets, impoundments, ditches, watercourses, storm sewers, lakes, dammed water, ponds, springs and all other bodies or channels of conveyance of surface and underground water or any of their parts, whether natural or artificial, within or on the boundaries of this commonwealth.
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 691.1 et seq.
Every person planning or designing a facility or intending to utilize individual or community sewage systems is advised of the importance of good water conservation practices and the potential value of water conservation, recycle or reuse systems as a means of prolonging the life of the sewage system as well as ensuring the availability of adequate water supplies in the future.
When considering corrective measures for malfunctioning sewage disposal systems which have been constructed in accordance with this chapter, the efforts of the Sewage Enforcement Officer shall not be restricted by this chapter. This chapter and its rules and regulations for individual and community systems will be of first consideration. However, when existing malfunctions cannot be physically corrected under the policies set forth herein, it is the responsibility of the Sewage Enforcement Officer to provide the best technical guidance possible in an attempt to resolve existing pollution or environmental health problems. Efforts will not limit or preclude the use of experimental systems or alternate systems as defined herein.
From and after the effective date of this chapter, no person or persons shall commence the construction, alteration or extension of any kind or of any nature whatsoever of an individual or community sewage system without first making application for a sewage permit to the Sewage Enforcement Officer and receiving approval of the same. Sewage permits are required for rural residence structures requiring sewage systems.
Upon receipt of an application for an individual or community sewage system with subsurface discharge to serve an establishment generating more than 10,000 gallons per day flow, the Township shall forward a copy of the complete application to the Department and shall consider the Department's comments prior to taking final action on the application.
A Department sewage permit is required for the disposal of industrial waste and some classes of community sewage systems which are subject to approval of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
A building which cannot be connected with a public or community sanitary sewage disposal system at the time of construction shall be provided with an on-site sanitary sewage disposal system.
If the overall site terrain contains many wet areas, steep slopes and/or numerous rock outcroppings, the Township may, at their discretion, require a hydro-geological investigation of the site.
All liquid wastes, including kitchen and laundry wastes and water softener backwash, shall be discharged to a treatment tank. No sewage system shall discharge untreated or partially treated sewage to the surface of the ground or into the water of this commonwealth except as specifically approved by the Department under Sections 202 and 207 of the Clean Streams Law.
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. §§ 691.202 and 691.207.
Discharge from roof gutters, foundation drainage and surface runoff shall not be discharged to a treatment tank, nor shall such discharges be permitted to flow over the absorption area.
The design of holding tanks does not provide for final on-lot treatment but rather depends on regular service and maintenance for disposal of the sewage. Installation and use of holding tanks as a method of sewage disposal is prohibited in Chestnuthill Township.
In the event that a sewage permit is issued by the Sewage Enforcement Officer, it is specifically required that the disposal system constructed upon the premises noted on the permit shall not be closed and operation of said sewage system not permitted until said system has been inspected by the Sewage Enforcement Officer.
The application may cover the sewage disposal system upon receipt of written approval of the Sewage Enforcement Officer or, in the absence of written approval or disapproval, at the expiration of 72 hours, excepting Sundays and holidays. To prevent damage, all absorption areas must be covered by the permittee before the passing of five calendar days after final inspection and approval.
If, upon inspection, the Sewage Enforcement Officer determines that the installed system does not meet specifications, he shall so specify the deficiencies in said installed system, in writing, to the applicant. The applicant shall not put the system into operation until such deficiencies have been corrected and until such system has been reinspected and approved by the Sewage Enforcement Officer. There shall be an additional fee charged for each reinspection of an installed system where such reinspection is necessary for the reason set forth above.
No structure shall be occupied before the sewage system is finally inspected, approved and covered.
It shall be the duty of the owner or occupant of a premises to give the Sewage Enforcement Officer free access to the property at reasonable times for the purpose of making such inspections as are necessary to determine compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
All applications for permits shall be made to the Sewage Enforcement Officer, who shall issue a permit upon compliance by the applicant with provisions of this chapter and by regulation adopted hereunder.
Prior to application submittal, the applicant shall physically post the lot number and mark boundary corners and lines of the property for identification by the Sewage Enforcement Officer. Any application which has been submitted in writing without proper boundary identification shall be deemed incomplete.
Applications for permits shall be in writing, shall be made on a form supplied by the Township and shall be signed by the applicant.
Any person whose application for a permit under this chapter has been denied may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Township Supervisors within 30 days after a written request for such a hearing has been received by the Township.
All installations covered by an approved sewage permit shall be completed within two years after the issuing date of the sewage permit. A new application must be filed with the Township if the installations are not completed within the stated period. The latest Department and/or Township regulations in effect at the time of the new application and subsequent approval of the same application shall govern the installation of the sewage system. The standard fee schedule for new construction shall apply.
A Sewage Enforcement Officer shall be employed by Chestnuthill Township who is qualified and certified by examination of the Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and who has been issued such certification by the Certification Board. The Sewage Enforcement Officer shall have the power to:
Issue permits for individual and some community sewage systems, as per current Department regulations.
Issue permits only within the jurisdiction of Chestnuthill Township in which he is employed. He may issue permits within the jurisdiction of other local agencies upon written approval of such local agencies.
The duties of the Sewage Enforcement Officer shall be as follows:
He shall not install an individual or community sewage system in any area under his jurisdiction.
No fee for services or work performed shall be accepted by the Sewage Enforcement Officer other than the fee established by Chestnuthill Township.
No test shall be conducted or permit issued by the Sewage Enforcement Officer for an individual or community sewage system for any lot in which such officer has a financial interest or for any lot in which any person related to such officer by blood or marriage has a financial interest or for any lot in which an employee or business partner of such officer, other than Chestnuthill Township, has a financial interest, unless the Sewage Enforcement Officer has received prior written approval by the Department.
He shall either observe, conduct personally or otherwise confirm, in a manner approved by the Department, all tests used to determine the suitability of a site for the utilization of an individual or community sewage system before a permit for such system is issued. All percolation test results performed by authorized persons other than the Sewage Enforcement Officer must be reviewed and approved by the Sewage Enforcement Officer before a permit can be issued.
He shall give written notice to applicants or permittees of any approval, denial or revocation of a permit.
He shall provide the Department of Environmental Protection with the pink copy of Form ER-BCE-128, Application for Sewage Disposal System, upon approval or disapproval of each such application. He shall submit, following final inspection of each system, the completed green copy of said form, in accordance with current Department regulations.
The minimum specifications regarding soil percolation test procedures, septic tank capacities, absorption area restrictions and regulations, isolation distances, flow rates and all other data pertaining to a sewage disposal system are identical to those determined by the Department unless otherwise made more stringent by this chapter. These specifications and regulations are available from the Department. Upon request, this data may also be available to an interested person from the Township Sewage Enforcement Officer.
The minimum isolation distance to be maintained between the absorption area and a stream, lake or other surface water shall be 100 feet.
The minimum size of any sewage absorption area shall be 800 square feet or the minimum Department requirement plus 200 square feet. A large minimum area may be established by the Sewage Enforcement Officer if in his/her opinion specific site conditions warrant a larger absorption area.
Sewage flow rate for multiple-family apartments and dwellings shall be 400 gallons per day.
The Township Supervisors shall establish, by resolution, a Schedule of Fees to be paid by the applicant for services rendered with respect to processing applications, required inspections, review of plans, performance of percolation tests by persons previously approved by the Township Sewage Enforcement Officer and other services related to new sewage systems or alterations, extensions, modifications or changes to existing systems.
At the time application is filed for the required services, appropriate fees must be paid in full, in accordance with the official Schedule of Fees. The current Schedule of Fees shall be posted in the Township Municipal Building and shall be available to interested persons upon request.
The Sewage Enforcement Officer shall prepare and submit to the Township Supervisors a record of all fees paid by applicants for services rendered with respect to this chapter.
[Amended 7-23-1992 by Ord. No. 1992-08]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter or any provision of any regulation hereunder shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding brought before a District Justice under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense, and each section of this chapter that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense.
In any case where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with a provision of any federal, commonwealth, zoning, building, fire, safety or health ordinance, the provision which establishes the higher standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people shall prevail. In any case where provision of an ordinance or code of Chestnuthill Township existing on the effective date of this chapter establishes a lower standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people, the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to prevail, and such other ordinances or codes are hereby declared to be replaced to the extent that they may be found in conflict with this chapter.