Chapter 37, Sewage Disposal Systems

[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Harveys Lake as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]

GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction -- See Ch. 7
Compensation of Sewage Enforcement Officer -- See Ch. 35.
Sewers -- See Ch. 38.
Wastewater collection and treatment -- See Ch. 48.

ARTICLE I, Construction of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems [Adopted 1-22-1968 by Ord. No. 14]

§ 37-1. Permit required.
No individual or private sewage disposal system shall be constructed, altered or extended within the limits of the Borough unless a permit therefor is first obtained from the Borough.

§ 37-2. Disposal system permit prerequisite to obtaining building permit.
No building permit for the construction of a new building which will require such a system shall be issued prior to the issuance of the disposal system permit.

§ 37-3. Definitions.
For the purpose of this article, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them, as follows:
PERSON -- Any person or persons, partnership, association, company, firm or corporation.
SEWAGE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER -- The designated representative of the Borough charged with the administration and enforcement of this article. [Amended 2-24-1977 by Ord. No. 3-77]

§ 37-4. Application; preliminary data.
A. Application for such permit shall be made, on a form to be supplied by the Borough, by the person performing or responsible for the actual installation of such system. Each application shall be accompanied by a fee of $60, which shall be nonreturnable unless the disposal system permit is denied by the Sewage Enforcement Officer, in which case, $30 may be returned to the applicant. [Amended 2-24-1977 by Ord. No. 3-77]
B. The applicant shall complete Part I, General Information, and shall include the following data by means of a sketch drawn to scale on Part IV, Plot Plan, of such application.

(1) All wells, watercourses and water lines within 100 feet of the nearest edge of such proposed system.
(2) The location of all existing or proposed structures or driveways on the lot, with appropriate setback lines.
(3) The proposed or existing area and the location of each component of the system.
(4) Streets abutting the property.
(5) Property lines, ground slope and North reference.
C. Should the space on the permit be insufficient, such plot plan may be attached in duplicate to the application.
D. Applicants submitting applications with Parts I or IV incomplete or inaccurate shall be given written notice thereof within seven days.

§ 37-5. Site inspection; suitability data. [Amended 2-24-1977 by Ord. No. 3-77]
The Sewage Enforcement Officer shall, upon receipt of the application, make an inspection of the property, and if deemed necessary, the applicant shall secure such soil data and percolation tests to permit the Sewage Enforcement Officer to complete Part II, Site Suitability Data, of the application.

§ 37-6. Preliminary design data; design drawings. [Amended 2-24-1977 by Ord. No. 3-77]
The applicant and/or the Sewage Enforcement Officer shall then complete Part III, Primary and Secondary Treatment, and if deemed necessary by the Sewage Enforcement Officer, a design sanitarian shall be consulted or requested to design the system. Copies of such design drawings shall be attached to the permit.

§ 37-7. Issuance or denial of permit; revocation; hearing.
A. Upon completion of the application and necessary design drawings, a permit shall be issued or denied within seven days. If the permit is denied, the written denial shall set forth a full explanation using one or more of the following categories:

(1) Improper design.
(2) Soil or geological conditions.
(3) Accessible public sewer.
(4) Inadequate system.
(5) Insufficient information.
B. A permit may be revoked for any of the following reasons:
(1) Incorrect or false information on the permit.
(2) Discrepancies in conducting soil tests.
(3) Whenever conditions are such that pollution of ground- or surface waters would result.
(4) Whenever unreported conditions appear that would conflict with this article or the State Department of Health regulations.
C. The reason for such denial or revocation of a permit shall be made in writing and sent to the applicant or permittee within seven days. Upon solution of such problems, the applicant may submit a new application for a permit, which shall be processed as the Sewage Enforcement Officer deems necessary. [Amended 2-24-1977 by Ord. No. 3-77]
D. Upon denial or revocation of a permit, the applicant or permittee shall be entitled to a hearing before the Council or other designated representative within 15 days of receipt of request therefor. A copy of the decision with reason for the same shall be given to the aggrieved party within seven days after such hearing.

§ 37-8. Final inspection; approval or disapproval; covering of system.
A. No component of the system shall be covered prior to final inspection by the Sewage Enforcement Officer. Appointment for such inspection shall be made by the permittee at least 48 hours in advance, except Sundays and holidays, and a representative of the permittee shall be present at the appointed time. [Amended 2-24-1977 by Ord. No. 3-77]
B. Approval or disapproval shall be marked on the permit by the Sewage Enforcement Officer within 48 hours after the final inspection, excluding Sundays and holidays, and in the absence of such, the permittee may assume approval and proceed to cover the installation at any time thereafter. [Amended 2-24-1977 by Ord. No. 3-77]
C. If disapproved, the reasons therefor shall be given in writing to the permittee, and upon completion of the necessary corrections, a final inspection shall again be necessary.

§ 37-9. Right of entry. [Amended 9-9-1968; 2-24-1977 by Ord. No. 3-77]
To ensure full compliance, the Sewage Enforcement Officer shall have free access to the property at all reasonable hours for the purpose of making necessary inspections. The Sewage Enforcement Officer shall have the right, when access to the property is refused by the owner or the tenant, to enter said premises and inspect any structural improvement thereon to determine whether the owner or tenant is in violation of any section of the Individual Sewage Systems Ordinance.

§ 37-10. Standards for materials, design and installation.
A. All materials, system design and installation procedures shall be in accordance with the standards adopted and from time to time amended by the State Department of Health. Copies of these standards are available for inspection in the Borough offices. No person shall install any system or part thereof which does not comply with such standards, unless prior approval in writing is obtained from the State Department of Health.
B. In addition to such standards, the following shall also be complied with:

(1) No roof or basement drains shall be discharged in such a manner as to drain into the disposal system area.
(2) Where conditions exist such that the effluent from the leaching bed may seep through the foundation walls or into the basement drains, the Sewage Enforcement Officer may increase the distance requirement between the bed and such structure. [Amended 2-24-1977 by Ord. No. 3-77]

§ 37-11. Violation constitutes nuisance; abatement; noncompliance procedures.
The Council hereby declares that any violation of or noncompliance with this article constitutes a nuisance. The Mayor is hereby authorized to serve notice to the violator to abate same or otherwise effect compliance within seven days after issuance of such notice. In the event of noncompliance within the time stated, the Borough may enter the premises and remove the same or otherwise effect compliance. The cost thereof, together with any additional payment authorized by law, may be collected by the Borough from such person in the manner provided by law.

§ 37-12. Violations and penalties; separate violations.
A. Any person who shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof for each violation, be subject to a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $100, plus costs of prosecution. In default of the payment of such fine plus costs, such person shall be sentenced to the county jail for a period not exceeding 30 days.
B. Each day that such violation exists shall be considered to be a separate and distinct violation.

ARTICLE II, Holding Tanks [Adopted 10-2-1975 by Ord. No. 2-75]

§ 37-13. Purpose.
The purpose of this article is to establish procedures for the use and maintenance of holding tanks 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.

§ 37-14. Definitions.
Unless the context specifically and clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings of terms used in this article shall be as follows:
COUNCIL -- The Councilmen of Harveys Lake Borough, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
HOLDING TANK -- A watertight receptacle which receives and retains sewage and is designed and constructed to facilitate the ultimate disposal of the sewage at another site. Holding tanks include but are not limited to the following:
A. CHEMICAL TOILET -- A toilet using chemicals that discharge to a holding tank.
B. RETENTION TANK -- A holding tank where sewage is conveyed to it by a water-carrying system.
C. VAULT PIT PRIVY -- A holding tank designed to receive sewage where water under pressure is not available.
IMPROVED PROPERTY -- Any property within the Borough 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.
MUNICIPALITY -- The Borough of Harveys Lake, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
OWNER -- Any person vested with ownership, legal or equitable, sole or partial, of any property located in the Borough.
PERSON -- Any individual, partnership, company, association, corporation or other group or entity.
SEWAGE -- Any substance that contains any of the waste products or excrement or other discharge from the bodies of human beings or animals and any noxious or deleterious substance being harmful or inimical to the public health or to animal or aquatic life or to the use of water for domestic water supply or for recreation.

§ 37-15. Grant of municipal authority.
The Council is hereby authorized and empowered to undertake within the Borough the control and methods of holding tank sewage disposal and the collection and transportation thereof.

§ 37-16. Adoption of rules and regulations.
The Council is hereby authorized and empowered to adopt such rules and regulations concerning sewage which it may deem necessary from time to time to effect the purposes herein.

§ 37-17. Rules and regulations to conform to law.
All such rules and regulations adopted by the Council shall be in conformity with the provisions herein, all other ordinances of the Borough and all applicable laws and applicable rules and regulations of administrative agencies of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

§ 37-18. Rates and charges.
The Council 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.

§ 37-19. Collection and disposal of sewage from tanks.
The collection and transportation of all sewage from any improved property utilizing a holding tank shall be done solely by or under the direction and control of the Council, and the disposal thereof shall be made only at such site or sites as may be approved by the Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

§ 37-20. Duties of property owner.
The owner of an improved property that utilizes a holding tank shall:
A. Maintain the holding tank in conformance with this article or any ordinance of this Borough, the provisions of any applicable law and the rules and regulations of the Council and any administrative agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
B. Permit only the Council or an authorized contractor to collect, transport and dispose of the contents therein.

§ 37-21. Violations and penalties.
Any person who violates any provisions of § 37-20 shall, upon conviction thereof by summary proceedings, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $300, and costs, and in default of said fine and costs to undergo imprisonment in the county prison for a period not in excess of 30 days.

§ 37-22. Abatement of nuisances.
In addition to any other remedies provided in this article, any violation of § 37-20 above shall constitute a nuisance and shall be abated by the municipality or the Council by either seeking appropriate equitable or legal relief from a court of competent jurisdiction.

ARTICLE III, Privies, Outhouses and Job-Johnnies [Adopted 7-19-1988 by Ord. No. 4-1988]

§ 37-23. Permit required. [Amended 1-19-1999 by Ord. No. 1-1999]
No individual shall use an outdoor privy, outhouse or job-johnny within the Borough of Harveys Lake unless a permit which sets forth the limited duration and reason necessitating the use is first obtained from the Borough Zoning Officer. In no event shall any permit be issued by the Borough for a period to exceed three days except for construction purposes only on the premises on which the unit shall be situated.

§ 37-24. Application for permit.
A. An application for such a permit shall be made on a form to be supplied by the Borough at the Borough Secretary's office.
B. The applicant shall provide a sketch drawn to scale which shall set forth but not be limited to the following information:

(1) All wells, watercourses and waterlines within 100 feet of the nearest edge of such proposed outdoor privy, outhouse or job-johnny.
(2) The location of all existing or proposed structures or driveways on the lot, with appropriate setback lines.
(3) Streets abutting the property.
(4) Property lines and ground slope.
C. Upon receipt of the application, the Zoning Officer shall make an inspection of the site.

§ 37-25. Issuance or denial of permit; hearing.
A. A permit shall be issued or denied within seven business days after the application is completed. If the permit is denied, a written denial shall set forth a full explanation. The reasons for such denial of a permit shall be made in writing and mailed to the applicant by United States first-class mail within seven days of the date of denial.
B. Upon denial of a permit, the applicant shall be entitled to a hearing before the Council or other designated representative within 15 business days of receipt of the request therefor. A copy of the decision with reason for the same shall be given to the applicant within seven business days after the hearing.

§ 37-26. Revocation of permit.
A permit may be revoked for reasons which include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. Incorrect or false information on the permit.
B. Discrepancies in soil tests.
C. When conditions are present that could result in the pollution of ground- or surface waters.
D. When a condition is present that would endanger the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Borough of Harveys Lake.

§ 37-27. Violations and penalties.
A. Any person who violates any provision of this article, upon conviction thereof by a summary proceeding, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $300, plus costs of prosecution. In default of the payment of such fine plus cost, such person shall be sentenced to the county jail for a period not exceeding 30 days.
B. Each day that such violation exists shall be considered to be a separate and distinct violation.