City of Monessen, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 10-30-1968 by Ord. No. 18-1968]

§ 317-5 Connection required.

Every owner of property in the City of Monessen whose property abuts upon any public sanitary or combined sewer presently in existence or to be constructed in the future shall connect, at its own cost, the house, building or other structures located on said property with the aforementioned public sanitary or combined sewers for the purpose of disposing of all acceptable sanitary sewage emanating from said property.

§ 317-5.1 Responsibility for maintenance.

[Added 11-17-2010 by Ord. No. 14-2010]
Every owner of real property in the City whose property or any, and all, house, building or other structure located thereon is, or in the future shall become connected to the sanitary sewer system, as that term is defined in Ordinance No. 10 of 2009 (§ 317-9A of the City Code), shall be responsible to maintain, to pay for, or to reimburse the City for the cost and expense of the maintenance, repair, upgrade or replacement of the lateral sewer line from the house, building or other structures located on the property to the curb, when, in the opinion of the City or other governmental agency having jurisdiction over the use, control and maintenance of the sanitary sewer system, such lateral sewer line is in need of maintenance, repair or replacement. The need for maintenance, repair or replacement of all or part of the lateral sewer line shall include those circumstances in which maintenance, repair or replacement of the main line occurs, requiring reconnection of a lateral line to the main line.

§ 317-6 Prohibited connections.

It shall be unlawful for any owner, lessee or occupier of any property in the City of Monessen abutting upon any public sanitary or combined sewer to employ any means, either by septic tank, cesspool, privy vault, mine hole or otherwise, for the disposal of acceptable sanitary sewage other than into and through said public sanitary or combined sewers.

§ 317-7 Notification to disconnect.

Where any house, building or structure in the City abutting upon any public sanitary sewer is now or hereafter may be using any method for the disposal of acceptable sanitary sewage other than through said public sanitary or combined sewers, it shall be the duty of the City Clerk or the authorized representative of Mon Valley Sewage Authority (herein called the "Authority") to notify the owner, lessee or occupier of such structure in writing, either by personal service, certified mail or registered mail, to disconnect the same and make proper connection for the discharge and disposal of all acceptable sanitary sewage through the public sanitary or combined sewers, as herein provided, within 45 days after receipt of such notice.

§ 317-8 Receptacles prohibited from connection.

No privy vault, cesspool, septic tank, mine hole or similar receptacle for human excrement shall at the present time or at any time hereafter be connected with the aforesaid public sanitary or combined sewers.

§ 317-9 Roof drain connection prohibited; illegal surface stormwater connections prohibited.

[Amended 12-16-2009 by Ord. No. 10-2009]
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation connected to any public sanitary sewers to connect any roof drain thereto or permit any roof drain to remain connected thereto or to permit, allow or cause to enter into said public sanitary sewers any stormwater, foundation drain water, spring water, surface water or any sewage or industrial waste from any property other than that for which a permit is issued.
A. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BLOCKED DRAIN
A drain which, when dye tested, does not discharge to the sanitary sewer and which also cannot be observed to discharge to the surface or subsurface draining system
DYE TEST
A plumbing test conducted according to professional plumbing standards in which dye is introduced into the stormwater collection system of real property to determine if surface stormwater is entering the sanitary sewer system.
EVIDENCE OF COMPLIANCE
An official written statement issued by the City that it has on file a written certification from a registered plumber that there are no illegal surface stormwater connections into the sanitary source system such as roof drains, down spouts, foundation drains, yard drains or driveway drains, and no blocked drains.
ILLEGAL SURFACE STORMWATER CONNECTIONS
The connection of roof drains, foundation drains, yard drains, driveway drains or other connections conveying surface stormwater into the sanitary sewer system.
PERSON
Any natural person, association, partnership, corporation, syndicate, institution, agency, authority, or other entity recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.
SANITARY SEWER SYSTEM
A system of pipes which carries sewage and is maintained and operated by the City of Monessen (City) and/or the Mon Valley Sewage Authority.
IMPROVED PROPERTY
Real property on which any building, driveway or parking pad, or other surface or subsurface improvement has been constructed, installed or erected.
SALE or CONVEYANCE
The sale, transfer or conveyance of any interest in real property; provided, however, that refinancing of real property, without a conveyance, is not a sale or conveyance under this section.
B. 
Sale or conveyance without evidence of compliance is prohibited. After the effective date of this section, it shall be unlawful for any person to sell or convey, or to purchase or accept the conveyance of, any improved property within the City without the seller first delivering to the purchaser evidence of compliance or interim evidence of compliance issued by the City.
(1) 
Procedure for evidence of compliance. Any person (hereinafter "applicant') selling or conveying any improved property located within the City shall make application for evidence of compliance on the form furnished by the City. The applicant shall then have a plumber who is registered perform a dye test on the improved property to be sold or conveyed. The plumber shall complete the appropriate portions of the form certifying that the improved property has been dye tested and certifying the results of such dye test. If there are no illegal surface stormwater connections or blocked drains, the municipality shall issue evidence of compliance. If the dye test reveals the existence of an illegal surface stormwater connection and/or blocked drain, no evidence of compliance will be issued until the illegal connections are removed and/or the blocked drain cleared. Correction of any deficiencies and certification of such correction shall be completed by a registered plumber and the certification conveyed to the City.
(2) 
Valid evidence of compliance shall expire three years following the date of issuance of the evidence of the compliance. If any additions to the improved property are made within the three-year period, certification that the addition has no illegal surface stormwater connections and no blocked drains shall be provided by a registered plumber to the City.
C. 
Interim evidence of compliance of.
(1) 
Interim evidence of compliance may be issued at the City's sole discretion upon application to the City when either:
(a) 
The applicant demonstrates that dye testing cannot be performed because of weather conditions; or
(b) 
When an illegal surface stormwater connection and/or blocked draining is discovered and the necessary remedial activities to correct such connection are so complex and time consuming that they create a practical hardship for the applicant.
(2) 
Requirements for applicant to obtain Interim evidence of compliance.
(a) 
The applicant shall provide the City with a security in the form of a certified check in the amount of $200 to guarantee that a dye test will be performed. The applicant or a purchaser of the improved property will cause the dye test to be performed within 14 days following written notification from the City. The notification will be given at such time as the City determines, in its sole discretion, that weather conditions make the dye test possible.
(b) 
The applicant shall provide the City with a signed written agreement with the purchaser in a form provided by the City in which the purchaser agrees to conduct the dye test to correct, at the purchaser's sole expense, any violations discovered as a result of the dye test. Nothing in this section shall prohibit any purchaser from requiring the applicant to reimburse the purchaser for any costs incurred.
(c) 
Interim evidence of compliance may be issued only when the applicant provides the City with an executed contract between the applicant or the purchaser and a registered plumber requiring the plumber to conduct the dye test and/or complete the necessary remedial work and granting the City the legal power to enforce the contract, and a license granted by the applicant and purchaser for the City to enter upon the improved property to complete the work in case of default by the parties, and a certified check in the amount of said contract, posted as security with the City. Any required remedial work must be completed and certified by a registered plumber.
(d) 
Interim evidence of compliance shall expire six months from the date of issuance. The applicant and the purchaser shall be advised of the expiration of the interim evidence of compliance, the security shall be forfeited, and the municipality may use this security to have the necessary testing and/or remedial work completed and pursue any other remedies or penalties pursuant to this article. The City Clerk, in his/her sole discretion, may extend the Interim evidence of compliance for one additional six-month period.
D. 
All costs incurred by the City for correction of any illegal surface stormwater connection and/or blocked drain shall be a municipal lien on the improved property, and collectible pursuant to applicable law, and no agreement between the applicant and the purchaser shall affect the City's enforcement powers or excuse excused the applicant or purchaser of all the improved property from performance of its obligations.
E. 
Promulgation of forms. The City shall establish the form of applications, applicant/purchaser of agreements and plumber certifications for the operation and enforcement of this section.
F. 
Fees. The following application fees are hereby established:
(1) 
Evidence of compliance: $30.
(2) 
Interim evidence of compliance: $30.
(3) 
The City shall be empowered to re-valuate the required fee amount from time to time to make necessary alterations to it. Such alterations shall not be considered an amendment to this article and may be adopted at any public meeting by resolution.
G. 
Penalties.
(1) 
Any person violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not to exceed the sum of $300 for each offense, recoverable with costs. Each day a violation is continued shall constitute a separate offense.
(2) 
In addition to the penalties and other remedies provided herein, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any of the provisions of this article will be deemed a public nuisance and may be abated by the municipality with the cost of such abatement charged to the person or entity owning the property upon which such condition may exist. Such costs will be collected for the use of the City as provided by law, including without limitation by a municipal claim or lien.
(3) 
In addition to the enforcement provisions set forth herein, the City may institute an appropriate action or proceeding at law or in equity against the person responsible for violation of any of the provisions of this article and request either or both of the following remedies:
(a) 
To cease, correct or remove the violation.
(b) 
To enforce the penalty provisions of this article or to seek other remedies as are just and reasonable.
H. 
Effective date. This section shall take effect on December 16, 2009.

§ 317-10 Requirements prior to connection.

No person, firm or corporation shall make or cause to be made any connection with any of the aforementioned public sanitary or combined sewers until he has fulfilled all of the following conditions:
A. 
He shall make application to the Authority, the City's agent, upon a permit form to be formulated and supplied by the Authority for permission to connect to the aforementioned public sanitary or combined sewers. Among other things, the applicant must state the character and use of each structure located upon his property.
B. 
He shall pay the required Authority tap connection and inspection fee to the Authority at the time of making application for permission to make a connection.
C. 
No work shall commence before the payment of the aforesaid tap connection and inspection fee and issuance of the aforementioned connection permit.
D. 
He shall give the designated Inspector of the Authority at least 24 hours' notice of the time when such connection shall be made in order that said Inspector can be present to inspect and approve the work of connection. The Inspector shall signify his approval of the connection by endorsing his name and the date of approval on the aforementioned connection permit in the possession of the permittees.
E. 
At the time of inspection of the connection, the owner or owners of properties shall permit the Inspector full and complete access to all sanitary and drainage arrangements and facilities in each building and in and about all parts of the property. No building sewer line shall be covered over or in any manner concealed until after it is inspected and approved by said Inspector.

§ 317-11 Specifications.

The construction of all building sewer lines or house service sewers shall be done in accordance with the specifications, plans and procedures established by the Authority in its Sewage Disposal System Rules and Regulations, as the same may be from time to time published and amended, copies of which, upon adoption by the Authority, shall be maintained on file with the City Clerk.

§ 317-12 Failure to comply.

If the owner or owners of any occupied houses, buildings or structures in the City shall neglect or refuse to comply with the provisions of this article or the written notice as prescribed in § 317-7 hereof, the City or the Authority may perform or cause to be performed such work and labor and furnish or cause to be furnished such material as may be necessary to comply with the provisions of this article at the cost and expense of such owner or owners, together with 10% additional thereof and all charges and expenses incidental thereto, which sum shall be collected from said owner or owners for the use of the City or the Authority as debts are by law collectible, or the City or the Authority may, by its proper officer, file a municipal claim or lien therefor against said premises as provided by law.

§ 317-13 Definitions.

[Amended 4-19-2006 by Ord. No. 5-2006]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BIOCHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND
The quantity of oxygen utilized in the biochemical oxidation of the organic matter in sewage or industrial waste under standard laboratory procedure in five days at 20° C., expressed in parts per million by weight, which shall be determined by one of the acceptable methods described in the latest edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Sewage published by the American Public Health Association.
COMBINED SEWER
A sewer designed to receive both sewage and stormwater runoff which has been approved for such purpose.
GARBAGE
Solid wastes from the preparation, cooking and dispensing of food and from the handling, storage and sale of produce.
INDUSTRIAL WASTES
Any liquid, gaseous or waterborne wastes from industrial processes or commercial establishments, as distinct from sanitary sewage.
pH
The logarithm to the base 10 of the reciprocal of the hydrogen ion concentration expressed in moles per liter determined by one of the acceptable methods described in the latest edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Sewage published by the American Public Health Association.
PROPERLY SHREDDED GARBAGE
The wastes from the preparation, cooking and dispensing of food and from the handling, storage and sale of produce that have been shredded to such degree that all particles will be carried freely under the flow conditions normally prevailing in public sewers, with no particle greater than 1/2 inch in any dimension.
PUBLIC SANITARY SEWAGE SYSTEM
All sanitary or combined sewers, all pumping stations, all force mains, all sewage treatment works, and all other facilities for the collection, transportation and treatment of sanitary sewage and industrial wastes, together with their appurtenances, and any additions, extensions or improvements thereto. Public sanitary sewage system shall also include sewers which serve one or more persons and discharge into the public sanitary sewerage system. Public sanitary sewage system does not include separate storm sewers or culverts which have been constructed for the sole purpose of carrying storm and surface runoff.
SANITARY SEWAGE
The normal water-carried household and toilet wastes from residences, business buildings, institutions and industrial and commercial establishments, exclusive of stormwater runoff, surface water or groundwater.
SANITARY SEWER
A sewer which carries sewage and to which storm surface waters and groundwaters are not intentionally admitted.
SEWAGE
A combination of water-carried wastes from residences, business buildings, institutions, and industrial and commercial establishments, together with such groundwater, surface water, or stormwater as may be present.
SEWER
A pipe or conduit for carrying sewage.
STORM SEWER
A sewer which is intended to carry stormwater runoff, surface waters, groundwater drainage, etc., but which is not intended to carry any sanitary sewage or polluted industrial waste.
STORMWATER RUNOFF
That portion of the rainfall which reaches a channel, trench, sewer or sink.
SUSPENDED SOLIDS
Solids that either float on the surface or are in suspension in water, sewage, industrial waste, or other liquids, and which are removable by laboratory filtration. The quantity of suspended solids shall be determined by one of the acceptable methods described in the latest edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Sewage published by the American Public Health Association.
UNPOLLUTED WATER OR WASTE
Any water or waste containing none of the following: free or emulsified grease or oil; acid or alkali; phenols or other substances imparting taste and odor to receiving waters; toxic or poisonous substances in suspension, colloidal state or solution; obnoxious or odorous gases. Unpolluted water or waste shall contain not more than 10,000 parts per million by weight of dissolved solids, of which not more than 2,500 parts per million shall be as chloride and not more than 10 parts per million each of suspended solids and biochemical oxygen demand. The color shall not exceed 50 parts per million. Analyses for these substances shall be determined in accordance with the latest edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Sewage published by the American Public Health Association.

§ 317-14 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 12-18-2002 by Ord. No. 8-2002]
In addition to any penalty hereinabove prescribed, any person, firm or corporation failing to make a proper connection within the time specified after receipt of proper notice as provided in § 317-7 hereof shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding before any District Justice having jurisdiction of such offense, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 or to undergo imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both.