Town of Old Saybrook Wastewater Upgrade Program Standards ("Standards")
Effective Date: September 2, 2009
For the purposes of the Old Saybrook Decentralized Wastewater Management District
(and specifically not under the State of Connecticut Public Health Code or Connecticut
Department of Environmental Protection regulations), the following shall have the definitions
as provided herein. Any capitalized term not herein defined shall have the meaning as
provided in the WWMD) Ordinance.
Alternative Sewage Treatment System: A sewage treatment system serving one or more
buildings that utilizes a method of treatment other than a Subsurface Sewage Disposal System
and that involves a discharge to the ground waters of the state.
AT [advanced treatment] System: A type of Alternative Sewage Treatment System that
provides reduction of effluent nitrogen concentration by a) a minimum of fifty percent (50%),
exclusive of the leaching system component, or b) by a minimum of sixty percent (60%) if
measured within twenty four (24) inches of the bottom of the leaching system. An AT System
may include both a biological or mechanical treatment system component and a leaching
system component. Only those biological or mechanical treatment systems approved by the
WPCA and the DEP for use in AT Systems in the WWMD shall be considered to meet the
reqirements of these Standards. Such biological or mechanical treatment system approvals
shall be based upon, among other things, the manufacturer's certification and/or acceptable (to
the WPCA and DEP) test results showing a minimum of fifty percent (50%) or sixty percent
(60%), as applicable reduction in total effluent nitrogen concentration.
AT Lot - (i) any Non-Water Proximity Lot that requires the installation of an AT System,
as provided in Section 8C(3) of the WWMD Ordinance, and (ii) any Water Proximity Lot.
AT System Operator - A person who is qualified to provide operations and maintenance
services for the specific AT Systems selected for use in the WWMD. An AT System Operator
is required to meet training and experience requirements set forth by the WPCA and the DEP
AT System Installer - A person who is qualified to install the AT Systems selected for use in the WWMD. AT System Installers are required to meet training and experience requirements
set forth by the WPCA and the DEP Delegation.
Bedroom: An area within a residential building which is or has the potential to be utilized as a sleeping area on a consistent basis. In order to be deemed a bedroom the area must meet all of the following standards:
1. Be a habitable or planned habitable space per Building Code requirements. Planned
habitable spaces would include those areas which contain the appropriate "roughed-
in" mechanicals, such as heating ducts, hot water lines or plumbing waste lines,
etc., but are not currently "finished" to meet Building Code requirements for
Cesspool: A buried structure which receives sewage from a House Sewer/Building Sewer for
the purpose of collecting solids and discharging liquid to the surrounding soil.
2. Provide privacy to the occupants. Large (minimum 5 feet width) openings or
archways can be utilized to eliminate room privacy.
3. Full bathroom facilities (containing a bathtub and/or shower) are conveniently
located to the bedroom served. Convenience in this case means on the same floor
as the bedroom or directly accessed from a stairway.
4. Entry is from a common area, not through a room already deemed a bedroom.
Change in Use: Any structural, mechanical or physical change to a building which allows the
occupancy to increase; or any change in the activities within a building to expand or alter such
building or the use thereof such that, when the building is fully utilized, the design flow or
required effective leaching area of the Subsurface Sewage Disposal System will increase. A
Change in Use also includes any internal change to a building which, while not increasing the
square footage of habitable space, changes the configuration in such a way that there is an
increase in design flow of the Subsurface Sewage Disposal System.
Developed Lot: A Lot on which structure(s) and a Sewerage System existed as of the date of
adoption of the WWMD.
DEP: State of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Protection, acting by its
Commissioner or duly authorized representative.
Director of Health: The Director of Health for the Town of Old Saybrook.
DPH: State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health, acting by its Commissioner or duly
Effluent Filter: A device installed at the outlet baffle of a septic tank for the purpose of
preventing solids from entering the Leaching System and distribution piping. Effluent filters
must be approved by the Commissioner of DPH.
House Sewer/Building Sewer: A pipe conveying Wastewater directly from a structure.
Leaching System: A structure, excavation or other facility designed to allow effluent from a
septic tank or AT System to percolate into the underlying soil without overflow and to mix
with the groundwater.
Lot: A parcel of land within the WWMD that is occupied or capable of being occupied by one
or more principal buildings and the customarily incidental accessory buildings or uses, and
which meets the minimum area, width, and other applicable requirements of the Town zoning
regulations for the zone in which such parcel of land is located, or is a legal non-conforming
parcel, as defined in such zoning regulations and which conforms to the ordinances of the
Maximum Ground Water Level: The level to which ground water rises for a duration of one
month or longer during the wettest season of the year.
Non-Water Proximity Lot - Any Lot that is not a Water Proximity Lot.
Person: Any individual, group of individuals, corporation, limited-liability company,
association, partnership, or public or private entity, including a district, county, city, town, or
other government unit.
Property Owner: Any Person who alone, jointly or in common with others has legal title to
any real property located in the WWMD.
Public Health Code: The State of Connecticut Public Health Code, including "Technical
Standards for Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems" established by DPH pursuant to Section
19-13-B103d(b) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, as established pursuant to
C.G.S. § 19a-36, as may be amended.
Septic Tank: A watertight receptacle which receives the discharge of Wastewater and is
designed and constructed to permit the deposition of settled solids, the digestion of the matter
deposited, and the discharge of the liquid portion into a Leaching System or other method of
Sewerage System: Any device, equipment, appurtenance, facility and method for collecting,
transporting, receiving, treating, disposing of or discharging Wastewater, including; but not
limited to, Decentralized Systems within the WWMD.
Subsurface Sewage Disposal System: A system consisting of a House Sewer/Building Sewer,
a Septic Tank followed by a Leaching System, any necessary pumps and siphons, and any
ground water control system on which the operation of the Leaching System is dependent.
Town: The Town of Old Saybrook.
Vacant Lot: A Lot without Wastewater generating structures.
Wastewater: Domestic and commercial Wastewater consisting of water and human excretions
or other waterborne wastes incidental to the occupaucy of a residential building or a non-
residential building, as may be detrimental to the public health or the environment, but not
including manufacturing process water, cooling water, wastewater from Water softening
equipment, blow down from heating or cooling equipment, and water from cellar or floor
drains or surface water from roofs, paved surfaces or yard drains.
Wastewater Management District (WWMD): The decentralized wastewater management
district in the Town established in accordance with General Statutes § 7-247(b) of the General
WWMD Ordinance: The ordinance adopted by the Town establishing the WWMD in
accordance with § 7-247(b) of the General Statutes.
Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA): The Town of Old Saybrook Water Pollution
Control Authority acting by its duly appointed agents.
Water Proximity Lot - A Lot that is designated as a Water Proximity Lot on the map identified
in Section 5A of the WWMD Ordinance. Every Water Proximity Lot shall be deemed to be an
These Standards apply to the management of Wastewater in the WWMD as follows:
A. Developed Lots
Every Developed Lot shall comply with these Standards as specified below:
i. For any Developed Lot that cannot provide a minimum vertical
separating distance to groundwater of twenty-four (24) inches: (1) fill
systems to achieve the twenty-four (24) inch minimum vertical separating
distance to groundwater shall he provided, or (ii) other approved
technology or system shall be installed. With the exception of AT Lots,
and only with respect to minimum vertical separating distance to
groundwater, if an existing Subsurface Sewage Disposal System on a
Developed Lot has been constructed, repaired or upgraded to the
standards of the Public Health Code since and as in effect on January 1,
2000, then such system may remain so long as it otherwise complies with
the Public Health Code.
B. Vacant Lots
ii. If the Public Health Code is amended to increase the minimum vertical
separating distance above twenty-four (24) inches, these Standards shall
utilize such increased minimum vertical separating distance for any
Developed Lot not yet repaired to meet the Upgrade Program standards.
Any Developed Lot repaired to the twenty-four (24) inch mininmm
vertical separating distance prior to such a change in the Public Health
Code shall not be required to meet the increased minimum vertical
separating distance to groundwater until and unless a future Change in
Use or repair is made. Any new Leaching System on a Developed Lot
shall be installed in accordance with the requirements of the Public
Health Code, but in no case shall the minimum vertical separating
distance be less than twenty-four (24) inches.
iii. If an existing Sewerage System upgrade is required pursuant to the
WWMD Ordinance and these Standards such that the effective leaching
area must be increased by fifty percent (50%) or more, then the
minimum vertical separating distance to groundwater shall be twenty-
four (24) inches.
Proposed Construction on a Vacant Lot shall not occur unless the Property
Owner demonstrates that a proposed SSDS complies with the requirements of
the current Public Health Code including but not limited to providing a one
hundred percent (100%) reserve area for a Leaching System, these Standards,
and in addition, no proposed development of such Vacant Lot shall result in a
density of greater Than one Bedroom per 0.11 acres. Vacant Lots that are AT
Lots shall also comply with the standards applicable to such lots as provided
herein and in the WWMD Ordinance.
C. Changes in Use
No Change in Use shall occur unless the Property Owner demonstrates to the
satisfaction of the Director of Health a Subsurface Sewage Disposal System
could be installed that satisfies all requirements of the Public Health Code and
these Standards, except for the one hundred percent (100%) reserve area as
provided in the Public Health Code. In addition, any Change in Use on a Lot
shall not result in a density of greater than one Bedroom per 0.11 acres.
§3. Upgrade Program Standards
For all Wastewater treatment within the WWMD, the following performance
requirements, design parameters and standards shall apply:
i. Sewerage Systems that do not meet the minimum requirements of these
Standards shall be upgraded as provided herein and in accordance with
the WWMD Ordinance.
ii. Failure to meet these Standards for a Leaching System shall require the
installation of an approved AT System.
iii. Except as provided in Section 2A herein, existing Leaching Systems may
remain in use only if a minimum vertical separating distance of twenty-
four (24) inches exists between the bottom of the Leaching System and
tire Maximum Ground Water Level. If the twenty-four (24) inch
separating distance is not available, the existing Leaching System shall
be replaced with a new Leaching System compliant with these Standards.
iv. Any new Subsurface Sewage Disposal System component installed
consistent with these Standards shall be field located, including
elevations, and as-built plans prepared and filed with the Director of
All existing Cesspools shall be replaced by a Subsurface Sewage Disposal
System or AT System, as applicable, meeting the Public Health Code and these
C. Septic Tank
i. Any new Septie Tank installed or replaced after the effective date of the
WWMD Ordinance shall meet, at a minimum, the requirements of the
Public Health Code.
D. Leaching System
ii. Any Septic Tank existing as of the effective date of the WWMD
Ordinance and meeting the requirements of the Public Health Code
including two compartments, inlet and outlet baffles and minimum
capacity established under the Public Health Code, may remain in use,
provided Effluent Filters ate installed.
iii. Criteria and standards for Septic Tanks associated with AT Systems shall
be the same as for the then current Public Health Code.
i. The maximum height of a newly installed Leaching System component
shall be four feet (e.g. a 4' x 4' gallery).
E. Garbage Disposals
ii. Each Lot shall provide the maximum effective leaching area for a
Leaching System as requited by the Public Health Code. In no case
shall the effective teaching area be less than two-thirds (2/3) of that
specified in the Public Health Code (unless an AT System is provided
and with the exception as noted in Section 4.A.ii. below). Out-
buildings, above-ground swimming pools, decks, trees, and other
interference to a Subsurface Sewage Disposal System installation way be
considered removable in the discretion of the Director of Health.
iii. In cases where the effective leaching area is less than the Public Health
Code requirement, a water conservation plan shall be implemented by
the Property Owner, and a permit to discharge issued by the Director of
Health may implement a lower Wastewater flow.
iv. The maximum vertical depth to bedrock from the bottom of a newly
installed leaching component is limited to eight (8) feet below final grade
consistent with Public Health Code.
v. Minimum vertical depth to bedrock from the bottom of a Leaching
System component shall be four (4) feet.
i. Garbage disposal units are permitted in the WWMD only if the existing
Septic Tank is of adequate size to accommodate a garbage disposal, per
the Public Health Code.
§4. AT Systems
A. An AT System shall be required;
i. For each Water Proximity Lots.
B. The Leaching System component of an AT System shall be constructed to the
ii. For each Non-Water Proximity Lot unable to construct two-thirds (213)
or more of the effective leaching area required by the Public Health
i. pressure distribution,
C. Each AT System shall be located on the same Lot as the building served; provided
however, that an AT System, or a portion thereof, may be located on an adjacent Lot
(or other Lots or land as the WPCA may approve) so long as there is an easement for
such purpose recorded on the Old Saybrook Land Records, which easement (i) includes
rights of access for Maintenance (ii) provides that such easement rights may only be
revoked by the written agreement of the owners of such Lots and the WPCA, and (iii)
where applicable, compliance with § 7-246f of the General Statutes applicable to
Community Sewerage Systems, except that individual Property Owners need not be
members of a property owner's association as provided therein.
ii. seventy-two (72) square feet of leaching area per Bedroom,
iii. a minimum vertical separating distance of twenty-four (24) inches
between the bottom of the Leaching System and the Maximum Ground
Water Level, and
iv. Leaching Systems shall be either shallow pressure-dosed systems.
bottomless sand filters or other structure approved by the WPCA.
D. Each AT System shall be designed by a Connecticut licensed professional engineer and
approved by the WPCA.
§5. Amendments to Upgrade Program Standards.
The WPCA may propose amendments to these Standards. Such amendments shall be
proposed by the WPCA at any regularly scheduled or special meeting of the WPCA, provided
the proposal is duly noted in the notice and/or agenda posted for such meeting. The proposal,
with supporting documentation, shall be thereafter forwarded to the DEP, DPH, and Director
of Health for review and approval prior to implementing such amendments. The amendments
shall have an effective date and shall be placed on file with the Town Clerk and in the offices
of the WPCA, DPH, and the Director of Health, and shall supersede any previous version of
the Standards as of the effective date.