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Pennsylvania Code



Subchapter D. OFFICIAL PLAN REQUIREMENTS FOR
ALTERNATIVE EVALUATIONS


Sec.


71.61.    General.
71.62.    Individual and community onlot sewage systems.
71.63.    Retaining tanks.
71.64.    Small flow treatment facilities.
71.65.    Individual and community sewerage systems.

Cross References

   This subchapter cited in 25 Pa. Code §  71.3 (relating to purposes); 25 Pa. Code §  71.11 (relating to general requirement); 25 Pa. Code §  71.13 (relating to Department responsibility to require official plan revisions); and 25 Pa. Code §  71.21 (relating to content of official plans).

§ 71.61. General.

 (a)  Official plans and revisions to official plans shall evaluate alternatives available to provide for adequate sewage facilities as required in § §  71.21 and 71.52(a)(3) (relating to contents of official plans; and content requirements—new land development revisions). The Department may require evaluation of additional technically available alternatives.

 (b)  Each alternative for the provision of adequate sewage facilities shall be evaluated for compliance with the technical and administrative planning requirements of the act and regulations promulgated thereunder.

 (c)  The official plan or revision shall select one alternative which is supported by documentation as described in §  71.21(a)(4)—(6) which assures the long term sanitary collection, treatment and disposal of sewage.

 (d)  Approval of official plans and revisions shall be based on:

   (1)  The technical feasibility of the selected alternative in relation to applicable regulations and standards.

   (2)  The feasibility for implementation of the selected alternative in relation to applicable administrative and institutional requirements.

Source

   The provisions of this §  71.61 adopted August 13, 1971, effective August 14, 1971, 1 Pa.B. 1649; amended April 28, 1972, effective May 15, 1972, 2 Pa.B. 753; amended September 28, 1973, effective October 15, 1973, 3 Pa.B. 2176; amended August 30, 1974, effective September 16, 1974, 4 Pa.B. 1805; reserved January 9, 1987, effective January 10, 1987, 17 Pa.B. 172; amended June 9, 1989, effective June 10, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 2429. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (125969).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  73.11 (relating to general).

§ 71.62. Individual and community onlot sewage systems.

 (a)  Official plans and official plan revisions proposing individual and community onlot sewage systems shall evaluate general site suitability to establish their use as a feasible alternative, as specified in subsection (b).

 (b)  When an official plan or revision proposes the renovation of sewage effluent by means of a subsurface absorption area or a spray irrigation system, the following shall be provided:

   (1)  Anticipated raw waste characteristics of the sewage. Where industrial wastes as defined in the Clean Streams Law are expected to be present in the raw sewage, §  72.25(g)(2) (relating to issuance of permits) applies.

   (2)  Documentation that the soils and geology of the proposed site are generally suitable for the installation of the systems including:

     (i)   Soils mapping as per the United States Soil Conservation Service mapping or the equivalent.

     (ii)   Contour lines as per the United States Geologic Survey Topographic mapping or site determined contour lines.

     (iii)   Soil profiles as described in Chapter 73 (relating to standards for onlot sewage treatment facilities) shall be performed to insure that an adequate area with suitable soils is available in the area of the proposed system. These profiles shall be approximately equally distributed among the various soils mapped in the area. For the purpose of this section, each change of slope or change in erosion characteristic specified as part of the soil classification system of the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service will be equivalent to a change in soil type.

     (iv)   A sufficient number of percolation tests to confirm that the general percolation rate for each soil type in the area where systems are to be installed is within acceptable limits as described in Chapter 73. For the purpose of this section, each change of slope or change in erosion characteristic specified as part of the soil classification system of the United States Soil Conservation Service will be equivalent to a change in soil type.

 (c)  This chapter does not preclude the use of individual and community onlot sewage systems using subsurface soil absorption areas on lots less than 1 acre in size or the use of large volume onlot sewage systems. Because of the potential for the creation of a public health hazard or pollution of the waters of this Commonwealth from high density use, improper system siting or inadequate maintenance of individual and community onlot systems, particular attention shall be given in official plans and revisions to the technical and institutional feasibility of using the systems.

   (1)  Additional permeability testing is required when an official plan or revision proposes the use of a large volume onlot sewage system or a community onlot system with a sewage flow in excess of 10,000 gpd, and may be required for other onlot system proposals where the total absorption area is greater than 5,000 square feet or where soil profiles or geology reveal slowly permeable conditions below the depth at which the percolation test was performed. Sufficient testing shall be conducted to:

     (i)   Determine the permeability of an identified restrictive soil, geologic or hydraulic layer.

     (ii)   Determine the vertical rate and the horizontal rate of flow in or above the restrictive layers in inches per hour.

     (iii)   Determine the application rate required as derived from the information contained in subparagraphs (i) and (ii). When this application rate is more stringent than that derived from percolation testing, as contained in Chapter 73, the more stringent rate shall be used to size the system.

     (iv)   Determine the impact of the system on groundwater mounding.

   (2)  A preliminary hydrogeologic evaluation is required when the use of subsurface soil absorption areas is proposed and one of the following exists:

     (i)   A large volume onlot sewage system will be used.

     (ii)   A subdivision of more than 50 equivalent dwelling units with a density of more than one equivalent dwelling unit per acre is proposed.

     (iii)   The Department has documented that the quality of water supplies within 1/4 mile of the proposed site exceed five parts per million (ppm) nitrate-nitrogen.

     (iv)   The Department has determined that known geological conditions for the proposed site may contribute to the potential for groundwater pollution from the systems.

   (3)  A preliminary hydrogeologic evaluation shall include as a minimum, in map and narrative report form:

     (i)   The topographic location of the proposed systems in relation to groundwater or surface water flow, or both.

     (ii)   Estimated wastewater dispersion plume using an average daily flow of 262.5 gallons per equivalent dwelling unit per day or other flow supported by documentation.

     (iii)   Identification and location of existing and potential groundwater uses in the estimated area of impacted groundwater.

   (4)  Detailed hydrogeologic studies may be required by the Department when the preliminary hydrogeologic evaluation identifies a potential for a conflict between the proposal and existing or potential future uses of groundwater in the area. Detailed hydrogeologic studies shall identify constituents of the sewage which may pollute groundwater and shall evaluate methods for preventing the pollution of the waters of this Commonwealth. A detailed hydrogeologic study shall be submitted using the Department’s sewage facilities planning module.

 (d)  Municipalities shall evaluate and implement options for establishing an institutional framework to assure the proper operation and maintenance of these systems under the act and this part.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  71.62 amended under section 9 of the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (35 P. S. §  750.9); The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. § §  691.1—691.1001); and section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §  510-20).

Source

   The provisions of this §  71.62 adopted August 13, 1971, effective August 14, 1971, 1 Pa.B. 1649; amended April 28, 1972, effective May 15, 1972, 2 Pa.B. 753; amended September 28, 1973, effective October 15, 1973, 3 Pa.B. 2176; amended August 30, 1974, effective September 16, 1974, 4 Pa.B. 1805; amended February 28, 1975, effective March 17, 1975, 5 Pa.B. 374; reserved January 9, 1987, effective January 10, 1987, 17 Pa.B. 172; amended June 9, 1989, effective June 10, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 2429; amended November 7, 1997, effective November 8, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 5877. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (228202) to (228203) and (206589) to (206590).

Notes of Decisions

   Dispersion Plume Information

   The Environmental Hearing Board correctly held that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) did not violate its regulations by failing to require a dispersion plume for the individual property owner’s subdivision, where the DEP did not interpret its regulation to require maps for every system, and it accepted dispersion plume information in narrative form for systems which generate less than 400 gpd sewage. Oley Township v. Department of Environmental Protection, 710 A.2d 1228 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1998).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  71.55 (relating to exceptions to the requirement to revise the official plan for new land development).

§ 71.63. Retaining tanks.

 (a)  Retaining tanks are designed and constructed to facilitate ultimate disposal of the sewage at another site. This requires the control of retaining tanks through specific restrictions on their use.

 (b)  General requirements for retaining tank use are as follows:

   (1)  The official plan or revision shall meet the requirements of Subchapters B and C (relating to official plan requirements; and new land development plan revisions).

   (2)  Proposed disposal sites, the method of disposal and the retaining tank cleaner for retaining tank waste shall be approved by the Department in a manner consistent with the Solid Waste Management Act (35 P. S. § §  6018.101—6018.1003) prior to approval of the official plan or revision allowing the use of retaining tanks.

   (3)  A municipality, sewer authority or sewage management agency may delegate or contract for the collection and disposal of the contents of the retaining tanks except that the ultimate responsibility for the proper collection and disposal of the contents shall remain with the municipality, authority or agency.

   (4)  Whenever the local agency issues permits for retaining tanks, the municipality or local agency may impose other conditions it deems necessary for operation and maintenance of the tanks to prevent a nuisance or a public health hazard.

 (c)  Holding tanks require regular service and maintenance to prevent their malfunction and overflow and shall be used in lieu of other methods of sewage disposal only when the following additional conditions are met:

   (1)  The applicable official plan or revision thereto indicates the use of holding tanks for that lot and provides for replacement by adequate sewerage services in accordance with a schedule approved by the Department.

   (2)  The applicable official plan or revision includes municipal financial assurances of the replacement project’s implementation, such as public financing, bonding or other security of sufficient present value to assure completion or other assurances either singularly or in combination that the Department deems necessary.

   (3)  The municipality, sewer authority or other Department approved entity with jurisdiction or responsibility over the site has by suitable ordinance, regulation or restriction assumed full responsibility for maintaining existing and new holding tanks. The ordinances, regulations or restrictions shall, as a minimum, include:

     (i)   Identification of the administrative entity to receive, review and retain pumping receipts from permitted holding tanks.

     (ii)   An annual inspection of holding tanks within the municipality with completion and retention of a written inspection report.

     (iii)   Procedures and penalties for correction of malfunctions or public health hazards from holding tanks.

 (d)  The restrictions in subsection (c)(1)—(3) do not apply to holding tanks when the local agency, municipality or the Department determines that the use is necessary to abate a nuisance or public health hazard.

 (e)  The restrictions in subsection (c)(1) and (2) do not apply to holding tanks when the use is for institutions, recreational vehicle dump stations or commercial establishments with a sewage flow of less than 800 gpd.

 (f)  A privy or chemical toilet is designed to receive sewage where there is no water under pressure and no piped wastewater. Privies shall be used in lieu of other methods of sewage disposal only when the following conditions are met:

   (1)  The applicable official plan or the revision thereto indicates the use of privies for that lot and documents that soil and site suitability testing of that lot under § §  73.11—73.16 has been conducted, and the site meets the requirements for the ultimate sewage disposal by one of the systems described under § §  73.51—73.55 and 73.167 (relating to construction of absorption areas; and spray fields) to assure that adequate sewage facilities will be available to that lot in the future.

   (2)  The municipality, sewer authority or other Department approved entity with jurisdiction or responsibility over the site has by suitable ordinance, regulation or restriction assumed responsibility for assuring the removal of a privy and the installation of an approved onlot sewage disposal system when water under pressure or piped water is available to the lot or when the property owner installs water under pressure or piped water or plumbing to move wastewater from the structure to the privy vault or to an unpermitted disposal system on that lot.

 (g)  The restrictions in subsection (f) do not apply:

   (1)  To a privy or chemical toilet when proposed for use on a lot of record in existence prior to May 15, 1972, which is 1 acre or larger and is not served now and will not be served in the future by water under pressure, piped water or plumbing to move wastewater from the structure to the privy vault or to an unpermitted disposal system on that lot.

   (2)  To temporary use of portable retention tanks or portable chemical toilets when their use is proposed at construction sites or at the site of public gathering and entertainments.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  71.63 amended under section 9 of the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (35 P. S. §  750.9); The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. § §  691.1—691.1001); and section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §  510-20).

Source

   The provisions of this §  71.63 adopted August 30, 1974, effective September 16, 1974, 4 Pa.B. 1805; amended February 28, 1975, effective March 17, 1975, 5 Pa.B. 374; reserved January 9, 1987, effective January 10, 1987, 17 Pa.B. 172; amended June 9, 1989, effective June 10, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 2429; amended November 7, 1997, effective November 8, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 5877. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (206590) to (206591).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  73.11 (relating to general).

§ 71.64. Small flow treatment facilities.

 (a)  Small flow treatment facilities require adequate operation and maintenance to prevent the creation of environmental problems or public health hazards associated with improperly treated sewage. This requires the control of small flow treatment facilities through specific restrictions on their use.

 (b)  Small flow treatment facilities are restricted to use as a replacement or repair system which the Department determines is necessary to abate an existing nuisance or public health hazard or as a system to serve residential dwellings or commercial facilities which generate domestic wastewater not containing industrial waste.

 (c)  When an official plan or update revision proposes the use of small flow treatment facilities, the official plan or revision shall, as a minimum, contain the following, in addition to the requirements of Subchapters B and C (relating to official plan requirements; and new land development plan revisions):

   (1)  Documentation that soils are not suitable for the installation of individual or community onlot sewage disposal systems, excluding individual residential spray irrigation systems proposed for use in areas outside the watershed of waters classified as high quality or exceptional value under § §  93.6 and 93.9 (relating to general water quality criteria; and designated water uses and water quality criteria).

   (2)  A preliminary hydrogeologic evaluation when the small flow treatment facility will use land disposal or a dry stream channel discharge for final disposal. This evaluation shall include:

     (i)   The most recent 71/2' United States Geologic Survey Topographic map with the discharge accurately plotted.

     (ii)   The discharge rate and quality, including seasonal variations.

     (iii)   An identification on the topographic map of existing groundwater uses for 200 feet in width on each side of the channel downstream from the discharge from the system until perennial stream conditions are reached.

   (3)  Documentation, using the information developed in paragraph (2), which confirms that existing or proposed drinking water uses will be protected and that effluent will not create a public health hazard or a nuisance.

   (4)  Documentation that the proposed use of these small flow treatment facilities does not conflict with comprehensive sewage planning for the area.

   (5)  An evaluation that establishes specific responsibilities for operation and maintenance of the proposed system which shall include documentation that one or a combination of the following operation and maintenance requirements have been established or approved in writing by the municipality:

     (i)   A maintenance agreement between the property owner and an individual, firm or corporation experienced in the operation and maintenance of sewage treatment systems.

     (ii)   A maintenance agreement between the property owner and municipality or its designated local agency which establishes the property owner’s responsibility for operating and maintaining the system and the responsibility of the municipality or local agency for oversight of the system.

     (iii)   A municipal ordinance which requires that the small flow treatment facilities be operated and maintained through a maintenance agreement between the property owner and an individual, firm or corporation experienced in the operation and maintenance of sewage treatment systems.

     (iv)   Municipal ownership of the system.

     (v)   Inclusion of the system under a sewage management agency developed in accordance with §  71.73 (relating to sewage management programs for sewage facilities permitted by local agencies) operated by the municipality.

     (vi)   A properly chartered association, trust or other private entity which is structured to manage the system.

     (vii)   Establishment of bonding, escrow or other security prior to planning approval. The bonding, escrow or other security shall be forfeited to the municipality upon notice of continuing noncompliance of the system with the operation, maintenance and monitoring standards contained in the permit or noncompliance with the municipal assurances for management of the operation and maintenance requirements established through this section. The municipality shall use the forfeited security to cover the costs of repair or future operation and maintenance of the system over its design life. The bonding, escrow or other security shall be for an amount up to a maximum of 50% for each of the first 2 years of operation. After 2 years of operation, the bond agreement must provide for a refund of a portion of the original bond so that only 10% of the cost of the equipment and installation is retained by the bond-holder. The remaining bond totaling 10% of the cost of the equipment and installation shall be maintained for the life of the system.

   (6)  An evaluation of the density of development and the number and density of other similar systems in the watershed. As a result of that evaluation, the Department may impose additional conditions or limit the construction or operation of small flow treatment facilities.

   (7)  An evaluation of the alternatives available to provide sewage facilities which documents that the use of small flow treatment facilities is a technically, environmentally and administratively acceptable alternative.

 (d)  Small flow treatment facilities and their appurtenances shall meet applicable design, installation, operation and other standards established for small flow treatment facilities by the Department under sections 202 and 207 of The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. § §  691.202 and 691.207) and shall obtain a Clean Streams Law permit and if there is a discharge to surface water, a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, prior to construction and operation.

 (e)  Plans and specifications shall be prepared by a licensed professional engineer in compliance with Chapter 91 (relating to general provisions).

 (f)  The Department may require independent oversight of the system installation.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  71.64 amended under section 9 of the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (35 P. S. §  750.9); The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. § §  691.1—691.1001); and section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §  510-20).

Source

   The provisions of this §  71.64 adopted June 9, 1989, effective June 10, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 2429; amended November 7, 1997, effective November 8, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 5877. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (206592) and (228205).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  71.65 (relating to individual and community sewage systems); and 25 Pa. Code §  71.72 (relating to sewage management programs for Department permitted sewage facilities and community onlot sewage systems).

§ 71.65. Individual and community sewerage systems.

 (a)  When an official plan or revision proposes the use of publicly or privately owned individual or community sewerage system, the official plan or revision shall contain the following, in addition to the requirements of Subchapters B and C (relating to the official plan requirements; and new land development plan revisions):

   (1)  An evaluation of alternatives available to provide sewage facilities and proof that the proposed sewage facilities are the best short- and long-term, environmentally acceptable alternative.

   (2)  An evaluation that establishes specific responsibilities for operation and maintenance of the proposed system under Subchapter E (relating to sewage management programs).

 (b)  When the proposed discharge from the individual or community sewerage system is to a dry stream channel or land disposal site, the information as required in §  71.64(c)(2) and (3) (relating to small flow treatment facilities) and appropriate Department guidance manuals shall be included with the official plan or revision.

 (c)  Individual and community sewerage systems and their appurtenances shall meet applicable design and other standards established by the Department under sections 202 and 207 of The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. § §  691.202 and 691.207) and shall obtain a Clean Streams Law permit and if there is a discharge to surface water, a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, prior to construction and operation.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  71.65 amended under section 9 of the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (35 P. S. §  750.9); The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. § §  691.1—691.1001); and section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §  510-20).

Source

   The provisions of this §  71.65 adopted June 9, 1989, effective June 10, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 2429; amended November 7, 1997, effective November 8, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 5877. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (228206).



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