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Town of Salem, NH
Rockingham County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Salem as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Sewer use — See Ch. 398.
Water — See Ch. 477.
[Adopted by the Board of Selectmen 8-8-1966; last amended 1-12-2009 (Ch. 253 of the 1995 Code)]
Under the authority of RSA 147:1, the following regulations for governing the installation, alteration, inspection and maintenance of sewage disposal systems and wells for the health and safety of the people of Salem are hereby adopted.
The purpose of this article is to:
A. 
Provide regulations for adequate and safe subsurface sewage disposal installations, hereafter referred to as the "system(s)," which are to be located and constructed so as to avoid contaminating any existing or future water source or water supply;
B. 
Provide regulations for adequate and safe construction of wells, which are to be located and constructed so as to avoid contamination; and
C. 
Provide for the efficient, effective administration of those regulations.
The rules and regulations established by the State of New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Subsurface Systems Bureau and Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau, form a part of this article to the extent that said state regulations are accepted to and added to by the provisions of this entire article.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). Throughout this chapter, references to the "Subsurface Bureau" were amended to "Subsurface Systems Bureau" and references to the "Water Resource Management Bureau" were amended to "Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau" at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABSORPTION BED
A rectangular area created by placing all the main system elements in one place.
ABSORPTION FIELD
A series of leaching trenches.
AGENT(S)
The individual(s) authorized by the Board of Selectmen to perform all administrative and inspection responsibilities of this article.
DESIGNER
New Hampshire licensed designer of subsurface disposal systems.
DRINKING WATER AND GROUNDWATER BUREAU
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services division which monitors and regulates wells.
INSTALLER
New Hampshire licensed installer of subsurface disposal systems.
OWNER
The person in whose name the ownership of the property is legally recorded. The authority to perform any of the duties as herein described may not be transferred to any other person, with the exception of a New Hampshire licensed designer and New Hampshire licensed installer of subsurface sewage system(s).
SUBSURFACE SYSTEMS BUREAU
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services division which monitors and regulates subsurface disposal systems.
TOWN
The Board of Selectmen acting as the Board of Health of the Town of Salem or its designated agent(s). Appeals from administrative decisions shall be made directly to the Board of Selectmen.
WELL
Municipal or private subsurface water supply.
The designer shall be responsible for the accuracy of all technical data and compliance with all design criteria.
A. 
The system shall be designed, constructed and satisfy all requirements set forth in pertinent State of New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Subsurface Systems Bureau regulations as they exist, may be established or may be amended. These regulations currently include but may not in the future be limited and referred to as Chapter Env-Wq 1000, Subdivision and Individual Sewage Disposal System Design Rules.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
The system shall be designed, constructed and satisfy all additional requirements set forth in this article that are more stringent than state regulations.
A. 
Filter fabric. An effective barrier of a minimum of five ounces per square yard of nonwoven, polyester filter fabric shall be placed over the top of the system to prevent infiltration of the backfill.
B. 
Dry wells. Dry wells shall be prohibited for use in new or replacement systems for the disposal of domestic or commercial sanitary waste. Laundry washing machines shall be construed as discharging sanitary waste.
C. 
Septic system tank replacement.
(1) 
The tank of an existing septic system may be replaced, when necessary, when done in compliance with this article and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Chapter Env-Wq 1000, Subdivision and Individual Sewage Disposal System Design Rules.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(2) 
The property owner or licensed New Hampshire installer and/or designer shall submit a sketch of the property, including the house, septic system tank replacement site and known property lines, prior to the issuing of a local permit.
D. 
All septic system tanks installed or replaced shall have an outlet filter.
E. 
Holding tanks.
(1) 
Holding tanks shall be prohibited in all cases of new building construction and expanded use, including the conversion of a property from seasonal to year-round use.
(2) 
Holding tanks may be permitted as a replacement system in case of failure of an original system, but only when no other conventional system can be properly constructed.
(3) 
The minimum size of a holding tank shall be 2,500 gallons.
(4) 
A suitable audio/visual alarm system shall be installed. The alarm shall warn the residents when the liquid level in the holding tank reaches 80% of the tank's capacity. The alarm control panel shall be located within the living quarters of the home which it serves. The panel shall be unobstructed and remain within full view at all times.
(5) 
All joints and concrete surfaces shall be properly sealed to maintain a one-hundred-percent leakproof condition.
(6) 
When installed, but prior to backfilling, the holding tank shall be filled with water 24 hours prior to inspection by the Town Engineer or his delegated representative. The alarm system shall be inspected at this time.
F. 
Hydric B soils. Chapter 490, Zoning, § 490-706, Wetlands conservation, requires all septic systems to be 75 feet from all wetlands regardless of soil types. No approval for septic system design shall be granted if it is less than 75 feet from Hydric B soils unless a variance has been granted by the Board of Adjustment.
G. 
Percolation tests and test pits.
(1) 
Percolation tests and test pits must be witnessed by an agent of the Town of Salem.
(2) 
A minimum notice of 48 hours shall be given prior to the start of work and request for inspection.
H. 
Pipe specifications.
(1) 
Pipe used for lines between the septic tank and the absorption field shall be Standard Dimension Ratio (SDR) 35 or equivalent as approved by the Health Division. Pipes used under driveways or other areas subject to heavy loads shall be installed to withstand the imposed loads and shall be cast iron.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(2) 
Pipe used in the absorption field shall be perforated SDR 35 or equivalent. All joints shall be tight and all ends connected.
I. 
Public surface water supply.
(1) 
The distance from a septic tank to a public surface water supply shall be 75 feet.
(2) 
The distance from an absorption field or bed to a public water supply shall be 100 feet.
J. 
Seasonal conversions. All seasonal conversions to year-round use will be required to have a septic system design approved by the Town of Salem and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Subsurface Systems Bureau, prior to allowing a certificate of occupancy on conversions; there will be no exceptions.
K. 
Portable toilets.
(1) 
The placement of a portable toilet on a property, for a period longer than 30 days, shall require a Health Division registration that shall be valid for temporary use only. The portable toilet shall not be used as a replacement for a failed septic system. A sketch of the house, placement site, duration of length of time to be used and name and phone number of the supplier shall be required.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(2) 
The portable toilet shall be placed at least 50 feet from any body of water. If this setback distance cannot be met, a waiver may be requested from the Health Officer or her/his designee.
L. 
Site assessments.
(1) 
A septic system site assessment shall be required prior to the sale of all properties within 200 feet of the following bodies of water in Salem:
(a) 
Canobie Lake.
(b) 
Millville Lake.
(c) 
Arlington Pond.
(d) 
Shadow Lake.
(e) 
World's End Pond.
(f) 
Captain's Pond.
(g) 
Hedgehog Pond.
(h) 
Taylor Reservoir.
(i) 
Bodwell Pond.
(2) 
The septic system site assessment shall meet the requirements of RSA 485-A:39 and Part Env-Wq 1025.[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
A. 
All wells to be used as a water source shall be designed, constructed, and satisfy all requirements set forth in pertinent State of New Hampshire, Department of Environmental Services, Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau regulations as they exist, may be established or may be amended in the future.
B. 
These New Hampshire Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau regulations include but are not limited to:
(1) 
New Hampshire Water Well Board Chapters We 100 to We 900.
(2) 
Well Siting, Chapter Env-Dw 300.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(3) 
Design Standards for Small Community Water Systems, Part Env-Dw 405.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(4) 
Any other applicable state and/or local requirements.
A. 
Community wells.[1]
(1) 
The system shall be designed by a professional engineer and reviewed by the Salem Health Division.
(2) 
The system shall be designed to meet Town of Salem standards for water systems.
(3) 
All work shall be inspected by the Health Division prior to backfilling.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
A. 
No well or sewage disposal system shall be installed, altered, or maintained in the Town of Salem unless it is in conformity with these regulations as well as the pertinent regulations of the State of New Hampshire, as may exist, be established or amended.
B. 
A permit for the installation and/or alteration of wells and sewage disposal systems must be obtained from the Health Division prior to the commencement of any work on a system.
C. 
Septic systems.
(1) 
The applicable fee as established by the Board of Health made payable to the Town of Salem shall accompany every application for a permit for the installation and/or alteration of a sewage disposal system. The applicant must also submit five sets of plans for the requested system permit (four for NHDES Subsurface Systems Bureau and one for the Town of Salem). Plans must be submitted for the Town of Salem's review prior to submission to NHDES Subsurface Systems Bureau.
(2) 
All local waivers, if necessary, must be obtained prior to submitting the plans to NHDES Subsurface Systems Bureau for approval.
(3) 
The Town will require inspections during the course of work at the following intervals:
(a) 
Test pit observation.
(b) 
Bed bottom and prior to placing sand.
(c) 
Final inspection.
(4) 
Minimum notice of 48 hours shall be given prior to the start of work and to request inspections of any above-listed stages.
D. 
Wells.
(1) 
A permit must be obtained before any drinking well is installed and must be accompanied by a scaled diagram of the location. Diagram must show existing or proposed subsurface disposal system on that and adjacent lots. The applicable fee as established by the Board of Health shall accompany the application.
(2) 
In all new construction prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy and in all well replacements, a State of New Hampshire certified testing lab shall do a well water analysis of the following parameters:
(a) 
Bacteria.
(b) 
Chloride.
(c) 
Sodium.
(d) 
Iron.
(e) 
Manganese.
(f) 
pH.
(g) 
Hardness.
(h) 
Fluoride.
(i) 
Nitrate/nitrite.
(j) 
Lead.
(k) 
Arsenic.
(l) 
Volatile organic compound screen (VOC). If the VOC screen is positive, further testing shall be done to determine the type of contaminant and concentration.
(3) 
All test results shall be submitted to the Health Division and shall meet EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) Standards prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
A. 
The New Hampshire licensed designer of subsurface disposal systems shall be responsible for:
(1) 
The collection of all necessary technical data relative to any proposed system or alteration.
(2) 
The design and layout of said systems.
(3) 
The submitting of all prints and applications as required by the state and local authorities.
(4) 
Obtaining copies of applicable regulations from the New Hampshire Subsurface Systems Bureau and Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau and remaining apprised of regulation changes.
B. 
The property owner shall:
(1) 
Provide to the installer all approved plans and specifications necessary for the compliance with state and local requirements.
(2) 
Not allow the disposal of system leach fields by stockpiling above ground or by the subsurface disposal below the high-water table.
C. 
The New Hampshire licensed installer of subsurface disposal systems shall:
(1) 
Secure an installation permit;
(2) 
Construct the system or alter any existing system in accordance with all regulations and laws; and
(3) 
Notify the inspector for all inspections before backfilling.
D. 
The agent(s) shall:
(1) 
Maintain files of all approvals issued by the NHDES Subsurface Systems Bureau and Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau.
(2) 
Issue permits in accordance with the regulations.
(3) 
Perform any inspections as may be deemed necessary in accordance with the same.
(4) 
Return, within 10 working days, a copy of the application receipt.
(5) 
Perform any other duties relative to individual waste disposal systems as specified by the Board of Health.
(6) 
Provide copies of this article to residents upon request.
(7) 
Provide a reference copy of state regulations in the Health Division. Copies of state regulations will not be available locally for individual use; they must be obtained from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
All designers and installers must maintain current State of New Hampshire licensure.
A penalty not to exceed the amount permitted by statute shall be imposed on the applicant for failure to comply with these regulations. Each day of continuing failure to comply, after written notice of the violation(s), shall constitute a new offense. Repeated violations of regulations may be cause for the agent(s) to refuse to issue further permits for a period of one year.
Request for waivers from the provisions of this article must be sought and approved by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Selectmen acting in its capacity as the Board of Health. In no case shall a waiver be granted that would create a health hazard.
[Adopted by the Board of Selectmen 10-15-1995 (Ch. 212 of the 1995 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This article is enacted under the authority of RSA 147:1, I. The purpose of this article is to protect the safety, health and welfare of the general public and the aquifer, watershed and wellhead areas in the Town of Salem.
For the purpose of this article, the following words and phrases when used herein shall be construed as follows:
BIOSOLIDS
Any solid, semisolid or liquid residue removed during the treatment of municipal wastewater. May be referred to as "sewage sludge" or "sludge."
CLASS A
Exceptional quality biosolids as defined in 40 CFR 503 (Code of Federal Regulations). Biosolids that meet stringent heavy metal and pathogen reduction guidelines.
CLASS B
Biosolids as defined in 40 CFR 503. Includes all biosolids that do not meet Class A requirements.
LAND APPLICATION
The spraying or spreading of all classes of sewage sludge onto the land surface, the injection of all classes of sewage sludge below the land surface, or the incorporation of all classes of sewage sludge into the soil.
SEPTAGE
The liquid or solid material removed from a septic tank, cesspool, portable toilet, Type III marine sanitation device, or similar system. "Septage" does not include sewage sludge from public wastewater treatment facilities, industrial wastes or grease removed from a restaurant grease trap. "Septage" includes domestic septage, as well as septage from industrial and commercial sources.
SEWAGE SLUDGE
Any solid, semisolid or liquid residue removed during the treatment of municipal wastewater. May be referred to as "biosolids" or "sewage biosolids." "Sewage sludge" includes but is not limited to domestic septage, scum or solids removed from wastewater treatment processes.
SLUDGE
The solid or semisolid material produced by water and wastewater treatment processes. May be referred to as "sewage sludge" or "biosolids."
The storage, stockpiling and land application of Class B industrial and domestic biosolids, septage, sewage sludge and sludge shall be prohibited in the Town of Salem.
A. 
Bagged or bulked exceptional quality Class A biosolids as defined in 40 CFR 503 may be applied in permitted zones.
B. 
The application of Class A biosolids shall be according to all federal, state, and local health and zoning regulations.
C. 
Documentation of the Class A biosolids classification shall be available for inspection.
A. 
Any person(s) who violates or fail to comply with this article shall be liable to fines and penalties provided in RSA 147:1 et seq. as they exist and may be amended in the future.
B. 
The Town may pursue the injunctive relief as provided in RSA 147:1 et seq. together with reimbursement of costs and legal fees as provided by law.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).