Town of Blackstone, MA
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Town of Blackstone as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
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[Adopted 2-12-1987]
As Title 5 is written, it generally will be an adequate guideline to protect the public health and the environment concerning the subsurface disposal of sanitary sewage. However, recent construction and development in the Town of Blackstone has made it necessary to implement some changes to ensure that the property of individuals as well as the collective community is protected against unnecessary health hazards.
The laws and design standards of Title 5, as well as these supplemental regulations, shall be strictly enforced.
The following shall be considered a supplement to the regulations set forth in Massachusetts Regulation 310 CMR 15.00, the State Environmental Code Title 5, Minimum requirements for the subsurface disposal of sanitary sewer, hereinafter referred to as "Title 5."
Insomuch as Title 5 shall govern the design and installation of sanitary sewage disposal systems, these supplemental regulations are enacted to provide more stringent requirements for the Town of Blackstone.
In an effort to ensure public health and environmental safety, the Town of Blackstone has implemented the necessary changes to Title 5 that shall be considered an integral part of the existing regulations governing the subsurface disposal of sanitary sewerage.
Other changes have already been made to the Town's Zoning Regulations.[1] They include increasing the minimum lot size requirement to 28,000 square feet and increasing the minimum frontage to 140 feet, thereby ensuring adequate area for a disposal system and reserve system area if necessary. Referring again to Title 5, the following revisions shall be incorporated and made standard requirements for the Town of Blackstone.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 123, Zoning.
Maximum groundwater elevation, as defined in Title 5, shall be determined by deep observation wells from February 15 to May 15 each year. These dates are to be considered the standard guidelines but can also be revised yearly by the Town of Blackstone's Board of Health. The revised dates would be set in the event of either a wetter than normal or drier than normal season, as determined by the Board of Health. It shall be the responsibility of the individual(s) who(m) is applying for a permit to install or alter a disposal system to remain current with the dates that are applicable. If a normal season is prevalent, the aforementioned dates shall be used to evaluate the water table elevation.
[Amended 12-7-1988]
Purpose and Authority
In order to assure a period of time to resolve questions of adequacy of provisions for healthful disposal of sewage and protection of groundwater resources, the following limitations are adopted under the authority of Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 310-15.02, Section 17.
The following limitation shall become effective upon approval of the Board of Health and publication of this regulation.
Construction in fill
When an individual sewage disposal system is to be constructed wholly or partially in fill, the fill shall be allowed to settle for a minimum of 12 months prior to construction of septic system or the fill area will be compacted mechanically (see Section 3).
If a system is to be built above existing grade for any reason, precautions shall be taken to ensure that surface runoff is not directed toward an abutting property. Absolutely no increase in runoff will be allowed to neighboring lands.
The new grading requirements will be an eighteen-inch-minimum cover above all distribution pipe for a distance of 25 feet in all directions. From the top of the fill, the maximum slope allowed will be one foot vertical to 12 feet horizontal. This slope shall be maintained to meet the existing grade.
The following describes the construction procedures and type of materials to be used during fill or backfill of filled sewage disposal fields:
The fill material shall be clean, coarse, washed sand or other clean granular material essentially free from clay, fines (no more than 10% passing the No. 200 sieve), dust, organic matter, large stones, masonry, stumps, frozen clumps of earth, wood, tree branches and waste construction material; the used material shall have a percolation rate of less than two minutes per inch before and after placement.
Filling Procedures
The fill material shall be placed in layers not over eight inches deep. Each layer of fill is to be wetted, tamped and thoroughly compacted to 95% of the maximum dry density.
Equipment shall be of vehicle with a track-type system only, of at least 10 inches in width and with a weight of at least six tons.
Coordinate schedule with Board of Health agent to allow testing agency representative to be on site during filling and backfilling operations.
The contractor shall bear cost of all retesting when initial test results indicate noncompliance with specifications.
Percolation testing shall be required upon completion of the system and comply with 310 CMR Title 5, Section 15.03: Percolation Test Procedures.
Plans and Fees
When multiple raised-system lots are to be developed, an overall site plan shall be required.
All proposed septic systems shall be reviewed by the Conservation Commission for wetlands determination.
The Board of Health shall have all multiple adjacent raised-system lots reviewed by the Blackstone Planning Board for proper drainage and runoff requirements.
These septic fields shall be inspected by the Board of Health or its agent. The Board of Health shall determine the dry season before any construction of septic systems take place.
System profile on the raised-septic-system plans shall show cross sections of original grade and finish grade.
All fees for public hearing shall be paid by the contractor/owner, including but not limited to engineering fees, advertising, constable-sheriffs, administrative costs and reasonable attorney fees, if required.
Anyone in violation of these rules and regulations will be subject to a fine under MGL c. 111, § 31.
Deep Observation Holes. The purpose of the deep observation holes is to determine the character of the soil in the leaching area and specifically to determine the groundwater elevation and the presence of bedrock or impervious material.
On any lot, in the area to be used for leaching, there will be at least two deep observation holes plus any additional number which, in the opinion of the Approving Authority, will be necessary to determine the consistency (or lack thereof) of the character of the soil. The observation holes shall be examined to a depth of at least seven feet below the bottom of the proposed leaching facility, but in no case shallower than 10 feet, unless this depth is unattainable because of bedrock, etc. The groundwater elevation should be determined when the groundwater is at its maximum elevation, as outlined in Section 15.01.
*(This order shall overrule Title 5, which allows the depth of four feet.)
LEACHING SYSTEMS: 15.11, 15.12, 15.13, 15.14, 15.15
The following leaching methods, 15.11, Leaching Pits; 15.12, Leaching Galleries; 15.13, Leaching Chambers; 15.14, Leaching Trenches, and 15.15, Leaching Fields, shall comply strictly with Title 5, including the following revised requirements:
Groundwater: No disposal system shall be constructed in areas where the maximum groundwater elevation is less than five feet. It shall be mandatory that all leaching systems shall be installed five feet above the maximum groundwater elevation. (This order shall overrule Title 5, which allows a groundwater depth of four feet below a disposal system.)
[Amended 3-7-1990]
It shall be a mandatory requirement that all components of a subsurface disposal system be readily accessible from the finished grade.
The access shall be through a minimum manhole of 24 inches (inside measurement) with a readily removable cover made of a durable material.
This requirement shall apply to all septic tanks, leaching chambers, leaching galleries and distribution boxes. (The access to a distribution box only may be decreased to a minimum of 18 inches.)