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OLD SAYBROOK CODE
Chapter 173: SEWAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEMS
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Old Saybrook as
indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Rental housing - See Ch. 166.
Water Pollution Control Authority - See Ch. 64.
Conversion of seasonal dwellings - See Ch. 170.
Subdivision regulations - See Ch. 302.
Maintenance of On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems
(§ 173-1 - § 173-17)
[Adopted 9-14-1999 by Ord. No. 75]
§ 173-1 Purpose.
The purpose of this article for management of on-site sewage
disposal systems is to promote the health and welfare for the
residents of the Town of Old Saybrook by requiring pump-out,
inspection and maintenance of said on-site sewage disposal systems
at least once every five years. To this end the Town of Old Saybrook
Water Pollution Control Authority has developed this article with
the intent to eliminate the need for sewers in the Town, wherever
A. Enforcing the State and Town Health Codes.
B. Alerting property owners of existing or potential
problems with their systems, while any damage to such
systems and cost of repairs or upgrade are minimized.
C. Developing town-wide on-site inspection data which may be
used by the Water Pollution Control Authority in a
wastewater management plan for the entire Town.
D. Educating property owners about proper care and
maintenance procedures to follow for on-site sewage
E. Requiring repairs to any existing problems discovered.
F. Aggressively enforcing provisions of Section 19-13-B100a
and any subsequent revisions of the Public Health Code.
G. Promoting the use of alternate technology systems
approved by the State of Connecticut Department of Public
Health (DPH) where available and appropriate under the
Health Code. Note: This article shall apply to all on-
site sewage disposal systems within the Town of Old
Saybrook except those systems operating under a permit
issued by the State of Connecticut Department of
§ 173-2 Adoption of Public Health Code.
Sections 19-13-B103a through 19-13-B103f and Section 19-13-B100a of
the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, and all amendments
including technical standards thereto hereinafter adopted, are
hereby incorporated by reference in this article and made part
hereof. Said sections are hereinafter referred to as the Public
Health Code. However, no on-site sewage disposal system in existence
prior to January 4, 1981, shall be required to conform to the design
and construction provisions of the Public Health Code unless said
system malfunctions, is modified, or is expanded upon. In the event
of malfunction, all portions of the system which require repair
shall be repaired in accordance with all requirements of the Public
Health Code subject to variances which may be granted pursuant to
the provisions of Section 19-13-B103d of said Code.
§ 173-3 Malfunction.
An on-site sewage disposal system shall be deemed to be a
malfunctioning system if sewage is allowed to discharge or flow from
it into any storm drain, stream, water body, gutter, street, roadway
or public place, or if sewage discharges from said system to the
surface or subsurface of any property so as to create a nuisance or
condition detrimental to health as determined by the Director of
Health. Substantial backflow from the leaching area into the tank
during a tank pump-out shall also be considered an indication of a
§ 173-4 Inspection.
The Director of Health shall have the right of entry to any land in
the Town of Old Saybrook for the purpose of conducting inspections
of on-site sewage disposal systems and performing such tasks as the
Director of Health determines are advisable for the purpose of
disclosing whether or not said system is malfunctioning. If access
to the interior of a structure is required, the Director of Health
shall send a written notice to the property owner of said intention
to evaluate the on-site sewage disposal system. Except in emergency
situations, said notice shall be sent by certified mail at least
five days prior to the scheduled date of inspection. If access to
the property or structure is denied, the Director of Health shall
notify the owner in writing that the permit to discharge for that
property will be revoked. The Director of Health shall determine the
severity of the complaint and can revoke the permit to discharge
immediately if he or she deems this appropriate.
§ 173-5 Approval. [Amended 3-13-2002]
No residential building, residential institution, or nonresidential
building shall be constructed in the town, and no existing on-site
sewage disposal system for any such existing building shall be
reconstructed, repaired, expanded upon or otherwise modified unless
and until the owner of such building has applied for and received
approval of a permit to construct the sewage system for such
building from the Director of Health. All facilities meeting the
requirement of this article for a permit to construct shall be filed
with the Director of Health and shall be accompanied by a sufficient
plan, as may be required by the Director of Health, of the proposed
sewage system and such fees as may be set in accordance with
§ 173-14 of this article. Exception: For properties on which
the estimated daily waste water flow is in excess of 5,000 gallons
per day, approval for the proposed sewage disposal system shall be
secured from the State of Connecticut Department of Environmental
§ 173-6 New construction.
All on-site sewage disposal systems, with a design capacity under
5,000 gallons per day, constructed after the effective date of this
article shall be designed and constructed in accordance with all
requirements of the Public Health Code, subject to exceptions which
may be granted in accordance with the provisions of Section 19-13-
B103d of said code. No installation shall begin until a permit to
construct has been approved by the Director of Health.
§ 173-7 Discharge permits.
It shall be unlawful for any owner or occupant of any building
served by an on-site sewage disposal system to discharge sewage into
a sewage disposal system unless a discharge permit authorizing said
discharge has been obtained from the Director of Health.
Initially, a discharge permit shall be issued following an on-site
inspection of the on- site sewage disposal system by the Director of
Health, which an inspection does not disclose any malfunction of the
system. Said permit shall be valid for a period of five years from
the date of issue unless sooner revoked due to a malfunction
disclosed by an inspection by the Director of Health. When the
malfunctioning system has been repaired and inspected by the
Director of Health, a valid discharge permit shall be reissued.
The discharge permit for any system observed to be malfunctioning as
defined in § 173-3 shall be subject to revocation by the
Health. Notice of revocation of the discharge permit shall be
forwarded to the Building Official. Notice shall also be issued by
the Director of Health to the owner of the property via certified
§ 173-8 Renewal of discharge permits.
A. No discharge permit shall be renewed unless the following
conditions have been satisfied:
(1) The owners or occupants of the building shall have
the system inspected and pumped out by a septic
tank cleaner properly licensed by the State of
Connecticut to perform such service. The owner,
occupant, or contracted septic cleaner shall be
responsible to obtain a pump-out permit and liquid
waste disposal ticket from the Director of Health
prior to the inspection and pumping of the tank.
The term "septic tank cleaner" as used in this
article, shall mean any septic tank cleaner or
installer licensed by the State of Connecticut.
(2) The owner, occupant or contracted septic tank
cleaner is required to inform the Director of
Health at least 24 hours prior to the pump-out
except in case of emergency.
(3) The inspection and cleaning must be performed not
later than 30 days after the expiration date of the
existing discharge permit.
(4) The Director of Health shall have the right to
observe the inspection and cleaning at his or her
discretion, and to perform such tests as the
Director of Health deems appropriate to determine
whether or not said system is malfunctioning.
(5) The inspection and cleaning of the on-site sewage
disposal system must disclose no malfunction. Any
malfunction noted must be repaired within 60 days
or the Director of Health may issue a temporary
permit for discharge for a period not to exceed six
B. The Director of Health shall have the authority to waive
the inspection and cleaning of the septic tank if he or
she determines that inspection and cleaning are not
necessary because of limited use or because of a recent
cleaning or inspection of the system.
C. The owners or occupants of any building shall be entitled
to have the discharge permit renewed at any time prior to
the expiration of the existing discharge permit, provided
that the septic tank is cleaned and a field inspection of
the septic system is performed by the Director of Health
at the time of said cleaning, and the field test
performed disclosed no malfunction.
§ 173-9 Maintenance.
A. All septic tanks, cesspools, pools and similar
receptacles serving sewage disposal systems located
within the Town of Old Saybrook shall be pumped out and
inspected not less than once in every five-year period.
The Director of Health shall have the right to observe
said pump-out and inspection. A liquid waste disposal
ticket shall be filled out by the septic tank cleaner to
indicate the origin of the load, the date of pumping,
the place of disposal and such data regarding the system
cleaned as the Director of Health or the Water Pollution
Control Authority may require. The Director of Health
shall maintain a record of each pump-out and inspection,
and a copy of each liquid waste disposal ticket.
B. The Director of Health is empowered hereby to require
more frequent inspections and/or pump- outs for those
systems which he or she has reason to believe are
failing or are in danger of failure or which he or she
believes warrants more frequent maintenance. Properties
which may require more frequent maintenance include, but
are not limited to, food-service establishments,
marinas, institutional establishments, day-care
facilities, etc. Considerations for this determination
include any or all of the following: water usage, grease
generation by the facility, high groundwater conditions,
complaints regarding poor system performance, or other
appropriate items. The determination of more frequent
pump-outs can also apply to single-family residences, if
the Director of Health has concerns with the system
servicing such a property.
C. Any subsidy paid by the Town of Old Saybrook for the
disposal of septage or grease from any on-site system
pumped out within the Town shall be limited to the
subsidy required for the disposal of the contents of the
septic tank or grease trap servicing that property once
per calendar year. Any fees required for the disposal of
septage or grease shall be borne totally by the owner of
the property for any additional pump-outs required
during a one-year period following the initial pump-out.
D. Nothing in this article shall be construed to absolve
any property owner or operator from complying with the
conditions of any permit to discharge issued by either
the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health or
the Department of Environmental Protection for on-site
§ 173-10 Implementation.
A. The Old Saybrook Water Pollution Control Authority in
conjunction with the Old Saybrook Environmental Health
Department shall develop a map of the Town so as to
facilitate an orderly procedure for collecting data
regarding the inspection and cleaning of septic systems
on a regular basis and to allow for the issuance of
discharge permits and pump-out permits.
B. Each area of the Town will be scheduled to have
maintenance performed as determined by the Water
Pollution Control Authority and the Director of Health.
The intent is to phase in over several years a town-wide
program for managing all maintenance of on-site sewage
disposal systems and of system pump- outs.
C. The owner or occupants will be mailed a notice of the
scheduled maintenance period established for his or her
area of town. The owner, occupant, or contracted septic
tank cleaner shall obtain a pump-out permit and liquid
waste disposal ticket which is to be filled out by the
septic tank cleaner and returned to the Old Saybrook
Environmental Health Department for use by the Water
Pollution Control Authority after the disposal of
D. The owner or occupants may choose any septic tank
cleaner to pump-out and inspect the system, provided
that the selected septic tank cleaner holds a current
valid license issued by the State of Connecticut DPH.
E. Any septic tank cleaner planning to pump out any system
in the Town of Old Saybrook is requested to call or fax
the Water Pollution Control Authority office prior to
the pump-out and advise the office of which properties
are to be pumped out or inspected.
§ 173-11 Enforcement.
A. Enforcement of this article and of the Public Health
Code shall be the responsibility of the Director of
Health of the Town of Old Saybrook and his/her duly
authorized agents. Said agents shall include, but shall
not be limited to, the Sanitarian of the Town of Old
Saybrook and such qualified Field Inspectors as are
employed by the Town of Old Saybrook for purposes of
enforcing the provisions of this article. The term
"Director of Health," whenever used in this article,
shall mean the Director of Health or his/her duly
B. If an on-site system is determined by the Director of
Health to be malfunctioning, or if scheduled maintenance
of the system provided for in § 173-9 of this
article is not performed, the following actions shall be
taken by the Director of Health:
(1) The discharge permit shall be revoked and the
owner of the premises served by said on-site
system shall be given notice of said revocation
and of the violation occurring and shall be
ordered to immediately abate the condition(s)
cited in the notice.
(2) The Director of Health shall cause the notice of
violation and a copy of the abatement order to be
recorded on the Old Saybrook Health Department
records. Notification shall be forwarded to the
Building Official of the Town. When the abatement
order has been fully complied with a new discharge
permit shall be issued.
(3) The Director of Health shall have the right to
seek judicial relief to enforce his or her orders
for the abatement of any violations of the
provisions of the Public Health Code or of this
§ 173-12 Right of appeal.
Any property owner who has been issued a notice of violation and
abatement order by the Director of Health shall have the right to
appeal said notice of violation and abatement order to the
Commissioner of Health Services of the State of Connecticut pursuant
to the provisions of C.G.S. § 19a-229.
§ 173-13 Fines and penalties.
Fines and penalties shall be imposed in accordance with C.G.S.
§ 173-14 Fees.
The Water Pollution Control Authority is hereby authorized to
establish fees which shall be in writing and shall be effective upon
majority vote of the Water Pollution Control Authority following a
public hearing, of which legal notice has been published in a
newspaper having a general circulation in the Town of Old Saybrook
not less than five days prior to such hearing, and upon subsequent
publication of notice of such adoption in a newspaper having general
circulation in the Town of Old Saybrook.
§ 173-15 Temporary discharge permits.
The Director of Health is hereby authorized to issue a temporary
discharge permit allowing the discharge of sewage into a subsurface
sewage disposal system which is in violation of the provisions of
this article. Said temporary discharge permit shall not be issued
unless the Director of Health makes a finding that the use of said
malfunctioning system will not be detrimental to the health and
welfare of the residents of the Town of Old Saybrook. Said temporary
discharge permit shall be issued upon such conditions and
stipulations as the Director of Health determine are necessary to
insure that the operation of said sewage system will not be
detrimental to the public health or welfare. Said permit shall be
immediately revoked upon noncompliance with said conditions and
stipulations. Said permit shall remain in effect only for such
period of time as the Director of Health deems necessary to effect
the required repairs to said sewage system to bring it into
compliance with the provisions of this article. In no event shall a
temporary discharge permit be issued for a period in excess of six
months. Renewal of said permit shall be discretionary with the
Director of Health.
§ 173-16 Education.
The WPCA shall continue and further accomplish its public
information program which shall include, but not be limited to, a
simple explanation of the use, operation and maintenance of an on-
site sewage disposal system, the advantages of water-saving devices,
and requirements of the Public Health Code and Town ordinances.
§ 173-17 Adoption of regulations.
The Water Pollution Control Authority is authorized to adopt rules
and regulations and any amendments thereto, to put this article into
effect. Such rules and regulations and any amendments thereto shall
be in writing and shall be effective upon majority vote of the Water
Pollution Control Authority following a public hearing held by the
Water Pollution Control Authority, of which legal notice thereof has
been published in a newspaper having general circulation in the Town
of Old Saybrook not less than five days prior to such hearing, and
upon subsequent publication of notice of such adoption in a
newspaper having general circulation in the Town of Old Saybrook.