[Adopted 1-13-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-1]
The legislative authority for this article is the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act, Act of January 24, 1966, P.L. (1965) 1535, No. 537 (35 P.S. § 750.1 et seq.).
The purpose of this article is to protect the public health by preventing the discharge of untreated or inadequately treated sewage into the soil or waters of the commonwealth from on-lot individual or community sewage systems by regulating the design, construction, alteration, repair, rehabilitation and replacement of such systems through a permitting, maintenance, inspection and enforcement process. This article is intended to implement the provisions and requirements of the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act and the regulations promulgated by the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to that Act.
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 750.1 et seq.
General terms. In the interpretation of this article, the singular shall include the plural and the masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter.
Specific terms. For the purposes of this article and unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings.
- The Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act.
- AUTHORIZED AGENT
- A licensed sewage enforcement officer, professional engineer or sanitarian, plumbing inspector, soils scientist, or any other qualified or licensed person who is delegated to function within specified limits as the agent of the Board of Supervisors of East Manchester Township to carry out the provisions of this article and other ordinances of the Township.
- The Board of Supervisors of the Township of East Manchester, York County, Pennsylvania.
- The Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any successor agency.
- IMPROVED PROPERTY
- Any property within the Township upon which there is erected a structure intended for continuous or periodic habitation, occupancy or use by human beings or animals and from which structure sewage shall or may be discharged.
- LAND DEVELOPMENT
- A land development as defined in either the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act of July 31, 1968, P.L. 805, No. 247, as amended, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq, or Chapter 208, Subdivision and Land Development, of the Code of the Township of East Manchester.
- The condition which occurs when an on-lot sewage disposal system causes pollution to the groundwater or surface water, contamination of private or public drinking water supplies, nuisance problems or hazard to public health. Indications of malfunctioning systems include, but are not limited to, foul odors, lush grass growing over the system, backup of wastewater in the attached buildings, soggy ground over the system, surfacing sewage effluent flowing over the ground and occurring at any time of the year.
- MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
- The program established by this article which shall encompass all areas of the Township serviced by on-lot sewage facilities or any alternative system which discharges into the soils of the Township.
- Any person holding legal or equitable title to lands within the Township.
- PLANNING MODULE FOR LAND DEVELOPMENT
- A revision to, or exception to the revision of, the Township Official Plan submitted in connection with the request for approval of a subdivision or land development in accordance with DEP regulations.
- Any person, company, partnership or corporation which engages in cleaning community or individual sewage systems and transporting the septage removed from such systems.
- Work done to modify, alter, repair, enlarge or replace an existing on-lot sewage disposal system.
- REPLACEMENT AREA
- An area designated as the future location of an individual on-lot sewage system that shall be installed should the initial individual on-lot systems installed or to be installed fail or otherwise become inoperable and which shall meet all the regulations of the DEP and all applicable Township ordinances for an individual on-lot sewage system, and shall be protected from encroachment by an easement noted on the final plan as recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds of York County.
- SEO; SEWAGE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Township's certified Sewage Enforcement Officer or alternate Sewage Enforcement Officer, as designated by the Board to act on its behalf under this article.
- The residual scum and sludge pumped from an on-lot sewage disposal system.
- SINGLE AND SEPARATE OWNERSHIP
- The ownership of a lot by one or more persons which ownership is separate and distinct from that of any abutting or adjoining lot.
- East Manchester Township, York County, Pennsylvania.
The provisions of this article shall apply to all persons owning real property serviced by an individual on-lot sewage disposal system or community sewage system, and to all persons constructing, installing, altering, repairing, rehabilitating or replacing such systems. This article shall be implemented by the Township or its authorized agent creating a list by property owners of all lots in the Township on which an on-lot sewage disposal system or community sewage system exists. The SEO will then divide that list into four essentially equal parts, which, for purposes of this article shall be referred to as Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. The SEO shall implement the requirements of this article, including the inspection requirements in § 179-29, according to the schedules set forth in this article. Once placed on the appropriate Part, each lot shall remain in that Part, regardless of change of ownership, unless moved by the SEO or the Township.
Any on-lot systems that are constructed or rehabilitated after the effective date of this article shall be placed on the Part list which falls four years after the construction, installation, or rehabilitation, regardless of what Part list that property would otherwise fall in. Additionally, the Township or SEO reserve the right to initially or at any time apply a maintenance schedule irrespective of the Part list for any property to the extent it deems necessary, provided that no property shall be required to undergo routine inspection or maintenance more frequently than every four years. But see § 179-33.
No person shall install, construct or request bid proposals for construction, rehabilitate an individual sewage system or community sewage system, construct or request bid proposals for construction or install or occupy any building or structure for which an individual sewage system or community sewage system is to be installed without first obtaining a permit indicating that the site and the plans and specifications of such systems are in compliance with the provisions of the Act, the regulations adopted pursuant to the Act and the provisions of this article.
No building or zoning permit shall be issued by the Township or its permitting officer for a new building which will contain sewage generating facilities until a valid sewage permit has been obtained from the Township's SEO.
No building or zoning permit shall be issued and no work shall begin on any alteration or conversion of any existing structure, if said alteration or conversion will result in the increase or potential increase in sewage flows from the structure, until the Township permitting officer and the structure's owner receive from the Township's SEO either a permit for alteration or replacement of the existing sewage disposal system or written notification that such a permit will not be required. In accordance with Chapter 73 regulations, the certified SEO shall determine whether the proposed alteration or conversion of the structure will result in increased sewage flows.
Editor's Note: See 25 Pa. Code § 73.1 et seq.
Sewage permits may be issued only by a certified SEO employed by the Township for that express purpose. The DEP shall be notified by the Township as to the identity of its currently employed certified SEO.
No sewage permit may be issued unless proof is provided that the owner of record has owned the lot since November 9, 1981, or that planning in accordance with the Act for that lot has been provided by the Township.
No final approval of a subdivision or land development plan shall be granted until planning in accordance with the Act is approved by the Township.
A permit exemption declaration must be filed with the Township's SEO a minimum of 48 hours prior to any soil fracturing or use of the terralift procedure to an on-lot disposal system.
Access to each treatment tank or compartment of the tank shall be provided by a manhole of at least 20 inches square or in diameter, with a removable cover. The top of the tank containing the manhole or the top of the manhole extension shall not be more than 12 inches below grade level. If access is extended to grade, the access cover shall be airtight. Grade level access covers shall be secured by bolts or locking mechanism, or have sufficient weight to prevent access by children.
The ground shall slope away from any access extended to grade level.
Inspection port. A maximum four-inch diameter inspection port with sealed cover shall be installed to grade level above the inlet tee.
After the effective date of this article, a replacement area for an individual on-lot sewage system shall be required for all lots to be created which are not serviced, or to be serviced, by a community sewerage system and did not previously have a permit issued for installation of an on-lot sewage system. Lots existing prior to the effective date of this article shall be exempt from the requirements of this section.
The replacement area provided shall comply with the regulations issued by the Department as incorporated into this article concerning individual on-lot sewage systems, including isolation distances, and with the provisions of this article and any other applicable Township ordinances.
Allowance of open land for the replacement area without testing performed or observed by the SEO shall not constitute compliance with the requirements of this section.
Identification of replacement areas.
The location of the initial individual on-lot sewage system and the replacement area as confirmed by the SEO shall be identified on the plot plans and diagrams submitted as part of the permit application.
If the application has been submitted as a part of an application for subdivision or land development approval or as part of a request that the municipality approve a planning module or amend its Official Plan, or a request for an exemption to the revision of the Official Plan, the location of each initial on-lot sewage system and each replacement area shall be noted upon the plans. A permanent easement shall be added to the plans stating that no improvements shall be constructed upon the replacement area, and the deed to be recorded for each lot created as part of the subdivision or land development shall contain language reflecting this limitation.
Any revisions to a permit or plan affecting a replacement area which has been approved pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be reviewed for approval by the Board or its authorized representative.
The easement for the replacement area noted upon the plan and recorded with the County Recorder of Deeds shall state that no permanent or temporary improvements of any character, other than shallow-rooted plant matter, shall be installed or constructed on the replacement area.
This provision shall be enforced by the Township unless the person who desires to construct such improvements shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the SEO that an alternate replacement area, which complies with all other applicable municipal ordinances, exists upon the lot. If such an alternate replacement area shall be identified, the alternate replacement area may be considered to be the replacement area by this article and shall be designated as the replacement area. The newly designed replacement area shall thereafter be considered the replacement areas for the purpose of this article.
Any on-lot sewage disposal system may be inspected by the Township's authorized agent at any reasonable time after the effective date of this article, providing one or more of the following applies:
The inspection may include a physical tour of the property, the taking of samples from surface water, wells, or other groundwater sources, the sampling of the contents of the sewage disposal system itself and/or the introduction of traceable substances into the interior plumbing of the structure served (providing a responsible resident or owner, over the age of 18, is present) to ascertain the path and ultimate destination of the wastewater generated in the structure.
The Township's authorized agent shall have the right to enter upon land for the purpose of inspections described above. Any person who shall deny or in any way impede Township's inspections shall be subject to the penalties prescribed in § 179-38 of this article.
Initial inspections by the Township pursuant to this article shall be conducted as follows (subject to alteration and variation pursuant to § 179-25):
Any property scheduled for inspection in a given year which shall remain uninspected at the end of the calendar shall be inspected as soon as practicable during the following year.
A schedule of routine inspections shall be established by the Township, following the list created and maintained pursuant to § 179-25, to assure the proper function of the systems in the Township.
A copy of the inspection report shall be furnished to the owner which shall include the following information: date of inspection; name and address of the system owner; and the status of the septic system, either functioning or malfunctioning.
No person shall operate and maintain an on-lot sewage disposal system in such a manner that it malfunctions. 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 waters of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania unless a permit to discharge has been obtained from DEP and verified by the Township.
Only normal domestic wastes shall be discharged into any on-lot sewage system. The following shall not be discharged into the system:
Automobile oil and other nondomestic oil.
Toxic or hazardous substances or chemicals, including but not limited to: pesticides; disinfectants; acids; paints; paint thinners; herbicides; gasoline and other solvents.
Clean surface water or groundwater, including water from roof or cellar drains, springs, basement sump pumps and French drains.
Any person owning a building served by an on-lot sewage disposal system shall have the septic tank pumped by a licensed pumper/hauler after the effective date of this article based upon the following schedule, unless altered by the Township or the SEO pursuant to § 179-25:
Notwithstanding the provisions of this Subsection A of this section, if any person owning such building shall produce satisfactory documentary evidence to the Township that the septic tank has been pumped with a two-year period prior to the effective date of this article, such pumping shall not be required until on or before the fourth anniversary of such prior pumping.
After the initial pumping of the septic tank as required by Subsection A of this section, the removal of septage or other solids from septic tanks shall be performed once every four years, or whenever an inspection program reveals that the treatment tank or tanks are filled with solids in excess of 1/3 the liquid depth of the tank or filled with scum in excess of 1/3 the liquid depth.
The Township may allow septic tanks to be pumped out at less frequent intervals when the owner can demonstrate to the Township that the system can operate properly without the need of pumping for a period longer than four years, but in no case shall such period extend beyond six years. Such a request may be made at any time, and must be in writing, with all supporting documents attached. The Board, in making its determination, shall take into account the information submitted by the applicant, the sewage permit issued by the Township SEO upon installation or rehabilitation of the system, and supporting documentation, reports of inspection and maintenance of the system, and other relevant information, and may conduct an on-site inspection. The applicant shall bear the cost of any inspection, surface or subsurface, and soil or wastes sampling conducted for the purpose of evaluating the request. The applicant shall receive a decision within 90 days of request.
The required pumping frequency may increase at the discretion of the Township if the septic tank is undersized, if solids buildup in the tank is above average, if the hydraulic load on the system increases significantly above average, if a garbage grinder is used in the building, if the system malfunctions or for other good cause shown (as determined by the SEO and approved by the Board).
Any person owning a building served by an on-lot disposal system containing an aerobic treatment tank shall follow the operation and maintenance recommendations of the equipment manufacturer. In no case may the service or pumping interval for aerobic treatment tanks exceed that required for septic tanks.
The Township may require additional maintenance activity as needed, including but not necessarily limited to: cleaning and unclogging of piping; servicing and repair of mechanical equipment; leveling of distribution boxes, tanks and lines; removal of obstructing roots or trees; and the diversion of surface water away from the disposal area. Repair permits issued by the certified SEO must be secured for these services.
Each time a septic tank or other subsurface waste disposal system tank is pumped out as required by § 179-31 of this article, the owner shall submit to the Township a signed copy of proof of compliance with required sewage pump-out form. The form shall be supplied by the Township.
In addition to the proof of compliance form, the owner shall also submit a copy of the York County Solid Waste and Refuse Authority sludge/septage manifest supplied by the pumper/hauler.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, or the provisions relating to routine inspection and maintenance, any on-lot sewage disposal system or component thereof found to be malfunctioning shall be rehabilitated pursuant to direction of the Township or the SEO to correct the conditions causing the malfunction. Rehabilitation shall be performed in accordance with "Chapter 73, Standards for Onlot Sewage Treatment Facilities" of Title 25, Rules and Regulations, Department of Environmental Protection. The Township SEO shall inspect the rehabilitated on-lot sewage disposal system and certify its compliance with local and state standards.
The Township, upon written notice from the SEO that an imminent health hazard exists due to failure to construct, rehabilitate, or maintain an on-lot sewage disposal system as provided under the terms of this article, shall have the authority to perform or contract to have performed the work required by the SEO. The owner shall be charged for the work performed and, if necessary, a lien shall be entered therefor in accordance with law.
All septage originating within the Township shall be disposed of at the Northeastern York County Sewer Authority wastewater treatment facility and/or any other permitted disposal site.
The Township shall fully utilize those powers it possesses through enabling statutes and ordinances to effect the purposes of this article.
The Township shall employ qualified individuals to carry out the provisions of this article in accordance with the regulations contained in Chapter 72 of the Pennsylvania Code, Section 42. Those employees shall include a certified SEO, a secretary, an administrator or other persons as required. The Township may also contract with private qualified persons or firms as necessary to carry out the provisions of this article.
Editor's Note: See 25 Pa. Code § 72.42.
All permits, records, files and other written material relating to the installation, operation and maintenance and malfunction of on-lot sewage disposal systems shall become the property of the Township. Existing and future records shall be available for public inspection during normal business hours at the official Township office. All records pertaining to sewage, permits, building permits, occupancy permits and all other aspects of the Township's on-lot sewage management program shall be made available, upon request, for inspection by a representative of the Department.
The Board shall establish all administrative procedures necessary to properly carry out the provisions of this article.
Appeals from decisions of the Township authorized agents under this article shall be made to the Board, in writing, within 30 days from the date of notification of the decision in question. All appeals shall be heard in accordance with Chapter 72, Sections 26, 27 and 28 of Title 25 of the Pennsylvania Code.
The appellant shall be entitled to a hearing before the Board at its next regularly scheduled Board meeting. If the appeal is received within 14 days of the next regularly scheduled meeting, the appeal shall be heard at the next subsequent regularly scheduled meeting. The Township shall thereafter affirm, modify or reverse the aforesaid decision. The hearing may be postponed for good cause shown by the appellant or the Township.
A decision shall be rendered, in writing, within 45 days of the date of the hearing. If a decision is not rendered within 45 days, the relief sought by the appellant shall be deemed denied.
Any person violating the provisions of this article shall be subject to a fine of not less than $500 and costs, and not more than $1,000 and costs, including attorneys' fees. Proceedings for the violation of this article and for the collection of fines and penalties imposed thereby may be commenced by warrant, or by summons, at the discretion of the Magisterial District Judge before whom the proceedings is begun. Upon judgment against any person by summary conviction, or by proceedings by summons on default of the payment of the fine or penalty imposed and the costs, the defendant may be sentenced and committed to the York County Jail for a period not exceeding 90 days. Each day of noncompliance shall be considered a separate offense.
The provisions of the Act and any regulations adopted by the DEP pursuant to the Act shall supersede the provisions of this article to the extent that the provisions of this article are less restrictive. In all other cases, the provisions of this article shall prevail.