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Township of Unity, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 6-12-1975 by Ord. No. 61275]
The purpose of this article is to make certain that each proposed on-lot sewage disposal system is in an area where soil is suitable and that the design meets standards established by the Department of Environmental Resources.
No person, corporation, partnership or any other entity may install a sewage disposal system without first obtaining a permit indicating that the site and the plans and specifications of the proposed sewage system meet the provisions and standards of Act 208.[1] If a conventional on-lot disposal system is proposed and the soil is unsuitable for a conventional system, an alternate system may be proposed by the builder or owner.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 750.1 et seq.
Enforcement of this article shall be by the Sewage Enforcement Officer, appointed and approved by the Supervisors of Unity Township.
Application for a permit shall be made at the Township Municipal Building on forms supplied and approved by the Department of Environmental Resources and the Township.
[Amended 3-27-1980 by Ord. No. 32780; 1-22-1988 by Ord. No. O-2-88; 10-12-2000 by Ord. No. O-6-00]
All applications for on-lot sewage disposal systems shall be accompanied by a fee payable to the Township of Unity in an amount as shall be set forth in a resolution duly adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Unity Township.
The applicant shall work in connection with the Sewage Officer and shall be responsible, at its own expense, for the following:
A. 
Soil test excavation.
B. 
Percolation test holes dug.
C. 
Presoak test holes.
D. 
Provide water for percolation testing.
E. 
Notify the Enforcement Officer for final inspection.
F. 
Such other requirements of the Sewage Enforcement Officer.
The Sewage Enforcement Officer shall be appointed by the Township Supervisors and shall be paid at a rate agreeable to the Supervisors and the Enforcement Officer.
The Sewage Enforcement Officer shall pass all necessary tests prescribed by the Department of Environmental Resources prior to being appointed and shall be responsible for the following:
A. 
Available five days a week, at regular hours.
B. 
Keep files and records pertinent to the administration of his duties, Act 208[1] and this article, said files to include but not be limited to the following:
(1) 
The current form of the rules, regulations and standards of the Department of Environmental Resources adopted pursuant to the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act.
(2) 
Copies of this article.
(3) 
Copies of all correspondence from the Department of Environmental Resources.
(4) 
Correspondence to and from clients and/or applicants relative to sewage disposal permits, violations, etc.
(5) 
Records, including copies of all applications made, whether the permit is issued or denied.
(6) 
Detailed records of expenses incurred in the administration of this article.
(7) 
Technical manual for sewage enforcement officers.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 750.1 et seq.
[Amended 11-21-1985 by Ord. No. 46-85]
A. 
The Sewage Enforcement Officer shall be responsible for processing all applications, issuing or denying permits and enforcing the provisions of this article and shall make a written report to the Supervisors every three calendar months.
B. 
All parcels of ground not served by public sewers are required to have a sewage disposal permit issued by the Township Sewage Enforcement Officer prior to the issuance of a building permit or approval of a subdivision. If the lot to be subdivided is smaller than the requirements for a residential lot as determined in the subdivision regulations,[1] no sewage permit will be required to obtain subdivision approval if it determined that no structure can be built on the lot. This shall be then noted on the subdivision plan to be recorded.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 104, Subdivision and Land Development.
If any provision of this article conflicts with any other ordinance regarding sewage enacted prior to this article, this article shall be subordinate to said ordinance.
[Amended 4-25-1988 by Ord. No. O-3-88; 11-28-2000 by Ord. No. O-10-00]
A. 
Any person violating any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof by the District Justice in a summary criminal proceeding, be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, together with costs of prosecution and reasonable attorneys' fees or, in default thereof, by imprisonment for not more than 30 days. Following written notice by the Unity Township Supervisors or their duly appointed agent that a violation exists, each full week that a person shall continue such violation shall constitute a separate enforceable offense.
B. 
Not withstanding the foregoing penalty, Unity Township may, if it deems it appropriate, proceed in an action in equity to cause an injunction to issue, either preliminarily or otherwise, or to have a court of competent jurisdiction issue a restraining order against any person or other entity from a violation or violations of the within chapter.
[Adopted 1-9-1975 by Ord. No. 1975; amended in its entirety 5-27-1997 by Ord. No. O-3-97]
[Amended 10-10-2002 by Ord. No. O-9-02]
The purpose of this article is to establish procedures for the use and maintenance of holding tanks and temporary toilets designed to receive and retain sewage, whether from residential or commercial uses, and it is hereby declared that the enactment of this article is necessary for the protection, benefit, and preservation of the health, safety, and welfare of the inhabitants of this municipality.
[Amended 10-10-2002 by Ord. No. O-9-02]
Unless the context specifically and clearly indicates otherwise, the meaning of the terms used in this article shall be as follows:
A. 
A watertight receptacle which receives and retains sewage and is designed and constructed to facilitate ultimate disposal of the sewage at another site, including but not limited to the following:
(1) 
A toilet using chemicals that discharge to a holding tank.
(2) 
A holding tank where sewage is conveyed to it by a water-carrying system.
(3) 
A holding tank designed to receive sewage where water under pressure is not available.
B. 
A temporary toilet as defined herein is not a holding tank.
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 and from which structure sewage shall or may be discharged.
ORDINANCE OFFICER
The duly appointed officer of the Township to enforce its ordinances.
OWNER
Any person vested with ownership, legal or equitable, sole or partial, of any property located in the Township.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, company, association, corporation or other group or entity.
SEWAGE
Any substance which contains any of the waste products or excrement or other discharge from the bodies of human beings and any noxious or deleterious substance being harmful or inimical to the public health or to animal or aquatic life or the use of water for domestic water supply or for recreation.
SEWAGE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The person appointed by the Township Supervisors to perform inspections and issue permits in connection with individual systems.
TEMPORARY TOILET
A Port-a-John, Port-o-Let, or other similar self-contained toilet which receives and retains sewage for ultimate disposal at another site and specifically intended for temporary use at a site and not permanently affixed in any way to the real estate.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Unity.
This article shall be in conformity with the provisions herein, all other ordinances of the Township and all applicable laws and applicable rules and regulations of administrative agencies of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including the Department of Environmental Protection.
The Township Supervisors shall have the right and power to fix, alter, charge and collect rates, assessments and other charges in the area served by its facilities at reasonable and uniform rates as authorized by applicable law.
The utilization of a holding tank as the permanent receptacle for sewage within the Township is strictly forbidden; however, if a person desires to utilize a holding tank on a temporary basis, not to exceed 18 months, and where public sewers shall be constructed to the owner's property within the eighteen-month period, then the person shall apply for a permit for a holding tank from the Ordinance Officer of the Township. At the time of the application, a cash bond in the amount of $1,000 shall be filed with the Ordinance Officer, which bond will be forfeited to the Township if any violation of this article occurs after issuance of the permit. In addition to the forfeiture of the bond, the applicant shall be subject to corrective measures of this article. In addition, at the time of the application for the permit, the applicant shall covenant that a permanent sewage facility will be constructed within a period of 18 months from the date of the issuance of the permit, with failure to construct such a facility allowing the Township to maintain the proper action at law or equity to force the applicant to install the permanent facility or remove the holding tank.
[Amended 10-10-2002 by Ord. No. O-9-02]
A. 
The following duties of owners of improved properties shall pertain to holding tanks:
(1) 
The owner of an improved property that utilized a holding tank shall maintain the holding tank in conformance with this article or any ordinance of this Township, the provisions of any applicable law and any administrative agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including the Department of Environmental Protection.
(2) 
At the sole cost and expense of the owner, the owner shall prepare plans for approval by the Sewage Enforcement Officer, the Township and the Department of Environmental Protection.
(3) 
The holding tank shall be constructed according to the approved plans at the sole cost and expense of the owner.
(4) 
Prior to construction of any of the approved facilities, the owner shall give to the Township and the Sewage Enforcement Officer reasonable notice sufficient to enable the inspection thereof prior to the facilities being covered.
(5) 
The holding tank shall be used for sewage and shall not be used for drainage of surface water, subterranean water, stormwater, roof drains or any industrial sewage use.
(6) 
Prior to construction of the facilities contemplated herein, the owner shall provide a maintenance bond in the amount of $10,000, securing performance of the covenants and conditions of the approval of the Township. A certificate of deposit, insurance bond or letter of credit shall be an acceptable bond which shall be made payable to the Township of Unity.
(7) 
The holding tank shall be exclusively on the premises of the owner and shall not apply to any adjacent property of the owner or any other personal entity without the expressed written consent of the Township.
(8) 
The owner, upon receiving a permit for a holding tank, shall grant to the Township and its authorized representatives the right to enter upon the owner's property for purposes of inspection at the time of construction and at any time during which the permit is effective.
(9) 
The owner shall, after public sewage is made available to the property, immediately connect to the public system, and the holding tank shall be destroyed as provided by the Unity Township Municipal Authority.
(10) 
The owner shall enter into an agreement with the Township of Unity regarding the issuance of a permit which shall contain all terms and conditions regarding the issuance of the permit.
(11) 
The minimum capacity of a holding tank shall be 1,000 gallons or a volume equal to the quantity of waste generated in three days, whichever is larger.
(12) 
The holding tank shall be equipped with a warning device to indicate when the tank is filled to within 75% of its capacity. Such warning device shall create an audible and visual signal at a location frequented by the homeowner or responsible individual.
(13) 
The collection and transportation of all sewage from any improved property shall be done only by an approved hauler, and the disposal thereof shall be only at a site approved by the Department of Environmental Protection and otherwise in accordance with the regulations of the Department of Environmental Protection as same may be amended from time to time.
(14) 
The tank shall be emptied and cleaned on a regular basis. The owner shall supply pumping receipts to the Township each time the tank is emptied. Failure to supply the receipts shall be considered a violation of this article and permit a forfeiture of the bond, and other penalties provided in the ordinance.
(15) 
The tank shall be inspected at least quarter-annually by the Sewage Enforcement Officer, with the owner responsible for inspection fee. Upon completion of each inspection, the Sewage Enforcement Officer shall complete a written inspection report, a copy of which shall be retained at the offices of the Township of Unity.
[Amended 11-22-2005 by Ord. No. O-5-05]
B. 
A temporary toilet may be used in the Township of Unity upon the following conditions:
(1) 
The use will be temporary and will be located on construction sites for the duration of the construction project or at limited-period public or private events for the duration of the limited period of the event.
(2) 
The temporary toilet will be serviced as required to assure that the tanks are not overflowing and that the facility remains in a clean and safe condition. The tank will be emptied and cleaned on a regular basis, but in any event no more than three days shall elapse between the time when the tank will be emptied and cleaned.
(3) 
The temporary toilet will not be located in any required side yard setback or rear yard setback established under Chapter 118.
(4) 
The owner of the temporary toilet shall register its use with the Code Enforcement Office by identifying the owner of the property, the proposed location of the temporary toilet on the property, the identity of the owner and street address of the owner of the temporary toilet and the means by which sewage will be disposed of. In addition to the foregoing, where the location is a construction site, the anticipated period of construction shall be identified and, where the location is an event, the duration of the event shall be identified. An event shall be no longer than 14 consecutive days in duration unless the Code Enforcement Officer determines that a longer period, not longer than two months, is appropriate.
(5) 
The temporary toilet will not emit odors observable on adjacent properties.
(6) 
Upon request, the owner of the temporary toilet or the owner of the property shall furnish the Code Enforcement Office with pumping receipts and other data relating to the disposal of the sewage.
(7) 
The disposal of the sewage from the temporary toilet may be done only by an approved hauler, and the disposal thereof shall be only at a site approved by the Department of Environmental Protection and otherwise in accordance with the regulations of the Department of Environmental Protection as same may be amended from time to time.
[Amended 11-28-2000 by Ord. No. O-10-00; 11-22-2005 by Ord. No. O-5-05]
Any person violating any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof by the District Justice in a summary criminal proceeding, be punishable by a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1,000, together with costs of prosecution and reasonable attorneys' fees or, in default thereof; by imprisonment for not more than 30 days.
In addition to any other remedies provided in this article, any violation of § 96-40 above shall constitute a nuisance and shall be abated by the municipality of the Authority by seeking either appropriate equitable or legal relief from a court of competent jurisdiction.