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Town of Catskill, NY
Greene County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Catskill 6-6-1967. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Mobile homes — See Ch. 121.
Sewers — See Ch. 132.
Solid waste — See Ch. 135.
No septic tank, tile field, seepage pit, chemical toilet, privy, pipe or other means for the disposal or discharge of sewage or sink wastes shall be installed anywhere in the Town of Catskill except as herein provided.
No installation of a septic tank, tile field, seepage pit, chemical toilet, privy, pipe or other means for the disposal or discharge of sewage or sink wastes shall be begun, nor shall the construction, location or alteration of any structure intended for human occupancy be commenced, until an application duly filled out on forms supplied by the Town Clerk, and a plot plan showing the intended location of the disposal systems proposed to be used in connection with such structure, shall have been filed in the Town Clerk's office and approved in the manner hereinafter prescribed. In the case of subdivisions, temporary residences or other premises requiring New York State Health Department approval, such approval must be on file with the Town Clerk before an application can be accepted.
A. 
The Town Board of Health shall appoint a competent Sewerage Inspector who shall be responsible to the Town Board of Health for the performance of duties hereinafter mentioned and whose appointment shall be held at the pleasure of the Town Board of Health.
B. 
It shall be the duty of the Sewerage Inspector:
(1) 
To receive applications filed with the Town Clerk.
(2) 
To promptly investigate, when requested by the applicant before installation, any proposed disposal devices indicated in said application.
(3) 
When the proposed installation meets the requirements of this chapter, to approve for issuance a permit to proceed with such installation.
(4) 
To see that the provisions of this chapter are observed and to inspect the installation after it is completed but before the system is covered.
(5) 
To approve for issuance a certificate of compliance permitting the use of such installations that conform to the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
One copy of the application shall be returned to the Town Clerk after approval or disapproval of the completed project by the Sewerage Inspector. When the project is approved, a certificate of compliance shall be issued by the Town Clerk. Should a project be disapproved, the reason(s) for declining a certificate of compliance shall be noted on two copies of the application, one of which shall be given to the applicant.
If the Sewerage Inspector declines to approve any proposed installation, the applicant may appeal to the Town Board of Health, whose approval or rejection shall be final.
No septic tank, tile field, seepage pit, chemical toilet, privy or other device for the storage or disposal of human excreta shall be installed unless every part of such installation shall be more than 15 feet from the boundary line of the property on which it is located and more than 50 feet from any lake, reservoir, stream or watercourse not protected by rules enacted by the State Commissioner of Health; nor shall the leaching parts of such installation be located on the direct line of drainage to, nor less than 100 feet in a horizontal direction from, any source of domestic water supply. Systems which are located on watersheds of public water supplies must comply with the rules and regulations enacted by the State Department of Health for the protection of such supplies.
No person, firm or corporation, either as owner, lessee or tenant of any property, dwelling, building or place, shall construct or maintain any privy, cesspool, sewage disposal system, pipe or drain so as to expose or discharge the contents or other liquid or matter therefrom to the atmosphere or on the surface of the ground nor so as to endanger any source of drinking water; nor shall any such person, firm or corporation discharge into any watercourse, storm sewer, drain or body of water any sewage or sewage effluent from any cesspool, sewage disposal system, pipe or drain, or any excreta from a privy vault or other receptacle for the storage of excreta, unless a permit for such discharge shall have been issued therefor by the State Commissioner of Health, and such discharge shall be made in accordance with the requirements thereof. Scavengers who clean septic tanks and cesspools must have a permit from the Town Clerk, and the place of disposal used by them must be approved by the Sewerage Inspector.
A. 
Settling or septic tanks for single- or two-family dwellings shall have capacities below the flow line of not less than one day's flow of sewage based on the rate of 150 gallons per bedroom for dwellings, farmhouses and summer cottages, and 75 gallons per person for large dwellings, boardinghouses and hotels. The minimum size of approved septic tanks is to be 750 gallons' working capacity. Septic tanks must be at least 10 feet outside the foundations of buildings. Drains from buildings to septic tanks must be watertight and equipped with a house trap and fresh air vent. They must have a diameter of not less than four inches. No roof leaders or floor or cellar drains are to drain into septic tanks.
B. 
Septic tank effluents shall be disposed of by discharging to subsurface tile systems, leaching cesspools or by such other means as may be approved in writing by the Sewerage Inspector.
A. 
A subsurface tile system is hereby defined as a field of perforated pipe or open joint farm tile laid with proper slope and alignment below the ground surface in such a fashion as to permit an even flow from the septic tank into all parts of the tile field. Main distributors should have diameters of not less than four inches and be laid with tight joints on uniform slopes not greater than 1%, or approximately 1/8 of an inch per foot. Lateral distributors comprising the tile field should be laid in trenches 24 inches wide when the soil test indicates a rate of one inch in seven minutes or less, and in widths up to 36 inches when the rate is slower. Trench depth should be between 18 inches and 30 inches; depths of less than 24 inches are preferred. Individual laterals shall not be longer than 60 feet. The minimum distance between walls of adjacent trenches should be five feet, although greater separations are desirable. Laterals of the tile field should be kept 20 feet from cellar walls.
B. 
Laterals should have diameters of not less than four inches and be laid on uniform slopes not greater than 1/6 inch per foot. Farm tile should be laid with open joints 1/4 inch wide, protected by strips of tar paper laid over the top and 2/3 around the circumference of pipe. The entire pipe should be surrounded by gravel or broken stone 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches in size, from a level of 6 inches below the bottom of the tile to a level two inches above the top of the tile.
C. 
Perforated pipe with split couplings or vitrified clay pipe with open joints may be substituted for farm tile laterals, but when perforated pipes are used, care must be taken to place the holes so the liquid will escape at an equal rate along the entire lateral. The top layer of stone should be covered with hay, straw or untreated building paper before placing the earth backfill. The placing of laterals over water service lines is prohibited. Certain drains of suitable depth and location shall be provided to intercept surface and ground water where necessary. Laterals must not be nearer than 25 feet to any lake, stream or other watercourse or body of water and must not be laid in swampy soil or in soil that cannot take care of drainage. The length of four-inch tile required should be determined by results of soil percolation tests and in accordance with the table given below, except that the minimum amount of tile which will be approved will be 100 feet.
D. 
Percolation tests.
(1) 
Acceptable results.
Result of Percolation Test
Time for Water to Fall One Inch
Time
(minutes)
2 B.R. Trench
3 B.R. Trench
Additional B.R. Trench
5
100 ft. 24 in.
100 ft. 23 in.
32 ft. 24 in.
10
100 ft 36 in.
100 ft. 36 in.
30 ft. 36 in.
30
100 ft. 36 in.
150 ft. 36 in.
50 ft. 36 in.
(2) 
More than 60 minutes' soil is unsuitable.
(3) 
To make a percolation test, dig a pit or sink a test hole to 1/2 the depth at which it is proposed to lay the tile drain. Fill with water to ensure thorough moistening of the soil and allow the water to seep away. Then, while the bottom of the hole is still moist, fill to a depth of six inches and observe the time for the water level to fall one inch.
A. 
Seepage pits or cesspools may be permitted where the topsoil is underlain with sand or gravel. They should be preceded by a septic tank. Such pits should be made of durable material and construction and of such proportions that the side area is approximately three times the bottom area. The bottom of a seepage pit shall be at least two feet above the groundwater table. The seepage area of a pit or cesspool shall be calculated as the area of the walls below the flow line plus the area of the bottom The effective seepage area of the walls in square feet is three times the diameter of the pit multiplied by its depth below the flow line. The seepage area required for such installations shall be determined by the results of percolation tests in accordance with the table given below, but no permit will be issued for a seepage pit or cesspool unless the character of the soil in which it is to be located is such that groundwater flow appears to be away from any adjoining property within 50 feet and at least 50 feet from any lake, stream or other watercourse or body of water. Such installation shall not be located closer than 100 feet to any source of water supply. No permit shall be issued for a seepage pit or cesspool where, in the judgment of the Sewerage Inspector, such installation would be dangerous to the adjoining property. A minimum of 80 square feet of seepage area must be provided for any such system.
B. 
Percolation tests.
(1) 
Acceptable results.
Results of Percolation Test
Time for Water to Fall One Inch
Time in minutes
1 B.R.(sq. ft.)
2 B.R. (sq. ft.)
3 B.R. (sq. ft.)
5
80
100
150
10
80
140
210
30
135
270
405
60
300
600
900
(2) 
More than 60 minutes' soil is unsuitable.
(3) 
To make a percolation test, dig a pit or sink a test hole to 1/2 the depth of the proposed seepage pit. The bottom of the test hole should be one foot square. Fill the test hole with water to thoroughly moisten the soil and allow to drain. While the bottom of the test hole is still moist, fill with water to a depth of six inches and observe the time required for the water level to lower one inch.
C. 
If more than one seepage pit or cesspool is required in order to obtain adequate seepage area, a distribution box must be used to equalize the flow to them. The minimum distances between centers of pits must be a least three times the diameter of the larger pit.
Outdoor pit privies are permissible only in porous, sandy soils where the groundwater level is at least two feet below the bottom of the pit. They shall be flytight, properly ventilated and otherwise constructed so as to facilitate maintenance in a sanitary condition.
When the nearby groundwater must be protected, or seepage systems cannot be utilized, a watertight vault privy, a removable receptacle privy or a chemical toilet can be used if approved by the Sewerage Inspector and if adequate facilities are available for proper sanitary maintenance and disposal of wastes.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to permit the installation or maintenance of disposal facilities which are or may become a nuisance. The town health officer may at any time, by personal inspection, determine that existing sewage disposal facilities on a property are inadequate or do not function properly or that an adequate supply of water for use in connection therewith is not available. In such cases, he shall notify the owner of the premises, in writing, of such fact, and a copy of such notice shall be sent to the Town Clerk. Upon receipt of such notice, it shall be the duty of the owner, within 10 days, to make application to the Town Clerk for a permit to reconstruct or alter such disposal system and to complete such reconstruction or alteration within 30 days after receipt of said notice. Unless such reconstruction or alteration as is required shall have been completed within the said 30 days, it shall be unlawful and improper to use said premises for human occupancy until such reconstruction or alteration is completed and approved in the manner provided for new installations.
Any violation of this chapter, either by the occupancy of a septic tank, tile field, seepage pit, chemical toilet, privy or discharge pipe without compliance with the terms and provisions aforesaid or any violation of any of the terms or provisions of this chapter, is hereby declared to be an infraction and shall render the owner of the land whereon the same was installed, or the tenant or the person so installing same, or any other person guilty of a violation thereof, to a fine not to exceed the sum of $50.