Background of the PCMA Sewage Management Program
The Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (Act 537) requires all municipalities to develop and maintain an up-to-date sewage facilities plan to protect public health from waterborne diseases, to prevent future sewage disposal problems, and to protect the quality of the state's surface and ground waters. The Sewage Management Program adopted by the PCMA requires that your tank be pumped and inspected at least once every three years. South Manheim and Wayne Townships have, by lawful ordinances, required and empowered the PCMA to administer and implement a Sewage Management Program in the part of those aforementioned townships known as the Lake Wynonah Development. The PCMA Sewage Management Program (consisting of Policies and Procedures for the Inspecting, Testing and Pumping of On-Lot Sewage and Holding Disposal Systems) was adopted at the PCMA's 11/21/95 regular meeting of the Board of Directors, and was incorporated into both Townships' Act 537 Plan in July 1996.


POLICIES AND PROCEDURES of the
Plum Creek MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY for the
INSPECTION, TESTING, and PUMPING of ON-LOT
SEWAGE HOLDING AND DISPOSAL SYSTEMS

( PCMA Sewage Mgmt. Program )

Toilet PictureIndex

1.0 Purpose
2.0 Policy/Discussion
3.0 References
4.0 Definitions
5.0 Sewage Holding Facilities
5.1 General Description
5.2 Access
5.3 Pumping
5.3.1 Frequency
5.3.2 Notification
5.3.3 Procedure
5.3.4 Records
5.3.5 Additional Actions Required
5.4 Testing of Holding Tanks
5.4.1 Frequency
5.4.2 Notification
5.4.3 General
5.4.4 Procedure
5.4.5 Records
5.4.6 Additional Actions Required
5.5 Charges
6.0 Sewage Disposal Systems
6.1 General Description
6.2 Access
6.3 Pumping
6.3.1 Frequency
6.3.2 Notification
6.3.3 Procedure
6.3.4 Records
6.4 Inspections
6.4.1 Frequency
6.4.2 Notification
6.4.3 Procedure
6.4.4 Records
6.4.5 Additional Actions Required
6.5 Charges
7.0 Non-Liability
8.0 Policies and Procedures Changes
9.0 Enforcement
10.0 Effective Date

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide the rules, regulations, and procedures to administer the pumping and inspection/testing of on-lot sewage facilities within the boundaries of that part of South Manheim and Wayne Townships known as the Lake Wynonah Development. This document along with Ordinance No. 56 of South Manheim Township and Ordinance No. 1995-3 of Wayne Township shall collectively be referred to as the Sewage Management Program.

2.0 Policy / Discussion
South Manheim and Wayne Townships have, by lawful ordinances, required and empowered the PCMA to administer and implement a sewage management program in the part of those aforementioned townships as the Lake Wynonah Development. The sewage management program is formulated to protect the public health by preventing the discharge of untreated or inadequately treated sewage in order to effectively prevent and abate water pollution and hazards caused by the improper treatment and disposal of sewage.

No matter what the cause, failure of sewage holding or disposal systems is a nuisance and a health hazard which should be prevented or corrected as soon as possible.


3.0 References
3.1 Clean Streams Law (35 P.S. Sections 691.1 to 691.1001).

3.2 Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (Act of January 24, 1966, P.L. 1535 as amended, 35 P.S. Section 750.1 et seq., known as Act 537).

3.3 Wayne Township Act 537 Plan.

3.4 South Manheim Township Act 537 Plan.

3.5 Wayne Township Ordinance Dated 8/12/71.

3.6 Wayne Township Meeting Minutes Dated April 20, 1994.

3.7 Wayne Township Ordinance No. 1995-3 Dated 11/15/95.

3.8 South Manheim Township Ordinance No. 8 Dated 8/21/71.

3.9 South Manhein Township Letter of Correspondence Dated 6/3/91.

3.10 South Manheim Township Meeting Minutes Dated March 7, 1994.

3.11 South Manheim Township Ordinance No. 56 Dated 11/20/95.

3.12 South Manheim Township Ordinance No. 54 Dated 11/21/94.


4.0 Definitions
4.1 DEP - The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

4.2 PCMA - The Plum Creek Municipal Authority

4.3 On- Lot Sewage Facility - A system of piping, tanks or other facilities serving a single lot and collecting and holding, or, collecting, treating and disposing of sewage in whole or in part into the soil of that lot.

4.4 SEO - The certified sewage enforcement officer employed by South Manheim Township or Wayne Township, as applicable.

4.5 Sewage - Any substance that contains any of the waste products or excrement or other discharges from the bodies of human beings or animals and any noxious or deleterious substances being harmful or inimical to the public health, or to animal or aquatic life, or under the use of water for domestic water supply or for recreation or which constitutes pollution under the Act known as the Clean Streams Law.

4.6 TWP or Twp - Either South Manheim Township or Wayne Township, as applicable.

4.7 Owner - The owner is the person or persons who, taken together, own the entire fee simple title to premises to which the PCMA is requested to provide a service.

4.8 Customer - A customer is the party requesting the PCMA to provide services to a property. This can be the owner, renter, or other such person or group of persons occupying said property.


5.0 Sewage Holding Systems
5.1 General Description
Sewage holding systems are comprised of a watertight, leakproof holding tank used to receive and hold untreated sewage from a building or structure. The sewage is not treated in any manner by the holding tank. It is merely held within the tank until it can be removed (pumped out) and transported to a sewage treatment facility.

Alarms are installed on holding tanks to warn the system owner of sewage levels within the tank to prevent tank overflow. Alarms should never be disabled, but should constantly be monitored to assure that they are operating correctly. Periodic inspections and tests should be performed on the holding tank to assure that it remains structurally sound, intact, and watertight. By no means may any untreated sewage be allowed to leak out of or overflow from a holding tank.


5.2 Access
The PCMA has the right of access, by lawful township ordinances, to any part of any property for the purposes of inspection, pumping, testing and performance of other functions relating to services rendered by the PCMA. The property owner shall keep clear access to that part of owner's property in order to provide reasonable entrance and egress of the PCMA to perform its duties.

The owner shall keep the draw-off pipe above grade in order to provide easy access. If removal of the manhole cover is required, it is the responsibility of the owner to have it uncovered and accessible.

Upon arrival of the PCMA at a residence for a holding tank pumping or test, accessibility will be evaluated prior to beginning work. Should any obstruction(s) exist which prohibit or unnecessarily inhibit PCMA work, the owner will be notified as to the existence and manner of said obstruction(s) along with a request to eliminate same. If it can be determined that the owner or occupant is present at the time of the visitation, and the obstruction(s) can be easily and quickly eliminated, the owner, or occupant, will be requested to immediately do so. Upon elimination of the obstruction(s), the PCMA will perform its work as necessary. If no person can be immediately located or the obstruction(s) cannot be easily eliminated, the PCMA will delay its work until such time that the obstruction(s) is eliminated.

When obstructions are encountered, they will be documented and the owner will be notified of their existence and the requirement to remove them as soon as possible. If they are not eliminated in a timely manner, further legal action will be initiated. It should be noted that any interference attempted by an owner, or any representative of any owner, in the efforts of the Twp or the PCMA to perform their duties, is a prosecutable offense under the laws and ordinances of the Twp and are subject to fines, confinement, or both.


5.3 Pumping
5.3.1 Frequency
The frequency of pumpings required for holding tanks is dependent upon two factors. The water usage and wastewater/sewage generation produced by the structure served by the associated tank, or the elapsed time since the tank's last pumping.

The PCMA will pump holding tanks upon receipt of a request to do so. The request may come from the owner or occupant of a structure served by a holding tank because the tank is becoming filled. An order may also come from either Twp or its designee as applicable. The Twp or its designee keeps records of water usage compared to tank pumpings and in cases where there are unexplained discrepancies, more frequent pumpings may be required. This is done as a safety precaution to prevent pollution from possible tank overflows. If a holding tank is required to be pumped due to unexplained discrepancies in water usage compared to tank pumpings, the PCMA will automatically perform the pumping with no notice to the owner or occupant.

5.3.2 Notification
The PCMA must be notified, in any manner, that a holding tank pumping is to be done. The PCMA will pump the holding tank within two scheduled work days of the notification unless circumstances do not permit (obstacles preventing entry by pump truck, inclement weather, etc.). If a specific day for the pumping is desired, that must be made known at the time the pumping is requested. If the pumping is requested to be made on a non-scheduled work day, this should also be clearly and specifically stated at the time of the pumping request. Requests for pumpings on non-scheduled work days may incur additional charges.
5.3.3 Procedure
The Pumping Statement Form will be used to fully document all aspects of the holding tank pumping work.

a. Upon receipt of a pumping request at the PCMA business office, a pumping will be scheduled with the PCMA pump truck operator or its designee.

b. The PCMA, or its designee, will pump the tanks as scheduled. The owner will not be contacted prior to the pumping unless a problem is identified.

c. When the PCMA pumper arrives at the pumping location, any damage or other inadequacies to the holding tank, to any of its components, or to anything in the surrounding areas should be noted on the pumping statement prior to beginning any work.

d. The pumper will hook up to the draw-off pipe and empty/pump the sewage from the holding tank into the pump truck tank until the sewage level is at the bottom of the draw-off pipe.

e. The pumper will then disconnect and return the holding tank to its as-found condition.

f. If any repairs or other action is determined or suspected to be needed, this should be noted on the pumping statement.

g. All aspects of the pumping work, comments, problems, etc. should be fully documented on the pumping statement as the pumping work progresses. Upon finishing the pumping work, the pumper will complete the pumping statement and turn it in to the PCMA business office.

h. The PCMA business office will bill the owner for the pumping. At no time may the pumper accept any payment for the pumping unless prior arrangements for COD pumpings have been made between the PCMA and the owner. Unless the pumping is a COD pumping, the pumper shall request the owner to send all payments to the PCMA business office.

i. Extreme care shall be used by the pumper at all times to prevent any spillage of sewage onto the ground or surroundings.

5.3.4 Records
A copy of the pumping statement will be sent to the owner with the pumping bill and the original will be retained at the PCMA business office in the permanent record file.
5.3.5 Additional Actions Required
Should any additional actions be required to correct any problems (as identified on the pumping statement) such as improving access, replacing a broken manhole cover, repairing a draw-off pipe, etc., the PCMA will contact the owner as to the nature and correction for those problems.
5.4 Testing of Holding Tanks
5.4.1 Frequency
Holding tank tests shall be tested for leaks a minimum of once every three years.
5.4.2 Notification
PCMA will notify the owner when tank test is due and will make every effort to coordinate the test with periodically required pumping in order to save the owner the cost of extra pumping fee.
5.4.3 General
PCMA will inspect holding tanks using standardized forms and procedures that are approved by PADEP and Township SEO's. The holding tank inspection procedure was designed to test the integrity of the holding tank under normal conditions using the 3/4 full level alarm simulating normal operating condition (See Cross Section of Sewage Holding Tank below). The test will simulate normal maximum water level using 3/4 full level as a benchmark and recording water levels for a minimum of four (4) hours and not to exceed six (6) hours period.

PCMA personnel will not enter the property owner's residence without the property owner or the property owner's designee present to check alarm status, record inside water meter reading (before and after test), and visually inspect that all water is off and remains off during test.

PCMA will test the holding tank's integrity using two methods:

1. Visual inspection of alarm panel to verify that alarm is in working order.

2. Measure water levels over a minimum of four hours to verify that the holding tank is not leaking.

Holding Tank Failure will be determined if any of the following conditions exist.
1. Failure of Alarm indicating that alarm is not working.

2. Increase in water meter reading indicating that water was used during the test.

3. Decrease in water level measurements indicating that the holding tank is leaking.

5.4.4 Procedure
1. Record the number of building occupants.

2. Inform occupants that water supply will be turned off for a minimum of four (4) hours and not to exceed six (6) hours during the holding tank test. Also inform them that they are not to allow any water down the drain or flush toilets during the test.

3. Inform the property owner or the property owner's designee that the test will commence only after verifying that the alarm panel is in working order.

4. PCMA will confirm holding tank alarm light is in working order by visually inspecting alarm panel. If alarm is not activated, PCMA will measure the current water level and then fill the tank using house water raising the level to activate the alarm. The tank volume will be verified by computing the tank volume based on water meter usage and rise in water level.

If the alarm light cannot be activated, the holding tank inspection will be logged and billed to the property owner as a tank failure.

5. After verification of the working condition of the alarm, the water meter reading (inside meter) and the water level will be recorded and monitored for a minimum of four hours and not to exceed six (6) hours. During this test, readings on both water meter and water level will be recorded at the start and the end of the testing period.

6. Upon completion of the test the property owner will be notified of the completion of the test and of the results of the tank inspection.

7. PCMA will pump the holding tank following test.

8. Any discrepancies or questions of the Holding Tank Inspection must be in writing to PCMA within 15 days following the tank inspection.

9. The PCMA business office will bill the owner for the testing. At no time will the tester accept any payment for the testing unless prior arrangements for COD have been made between PCMA and the owner.

10. The tester shall use every precaution to prevent any spillage of sewage during the testing procedure or pumping of the holding tank.

11. The property owner or its designee may request a retest following a holding tank test failure. The retest will be billed as a new test and an an additional tank test fee will be charged. The charge for retesting will only be waived if the initial holding tank test indicated a loss of volume and the retest meets all of the holding tank inspection requirements. The charge for retesting will not be waived if the holding tank failure resulted from failure of the alarm light to activate or if the retest was performed after any repairs were made.

5.4.5 Records

Upon completion of a holding tank test, the PCMA will transmit copies of the completed Holding Tank Test Certification Form to the tank owner. The original form will be retained at the PCMA business office in the permanent record file.
5.4.6 Additional Actions Required
Evaluation and correction of any problems (concerning any type or component of any holding tank sewage disposal system) that are identified by the PCMA (during an inspection or any other time) are the responsibility of the Twp SEO. The PCMA shall contact the applicable Twp SEO via a "PCMA Problem Identification Report" (PIR) and the Twp SEO will decide what repairs or other corrective actions are to be taken to remedy the problem(s). The Twp SEO will contact the owner regarding any such additional actions. Appeals from decisions of the Twp or SEO must be made to the Twp Board of Supervisors in writing within thirty days from the date of said decision in question. Following is the reporting and resolution procedure for PIRs.

Reporting & Resolution Procedure for PIRs.

1. The PCMA identifies a problem with a holding tank sewage disposal system.

2. The PCMA generates a "PCMA Problem Identification Report" (PIR).

3. The PIR, along with any supporting documentation and information, is forwarded to the applicable Twp SEO.

4. The Twp SEO evaluates the problem identified on the PIR.

5. The Twp SEO contacts the home owner(s) via the Twp SEO's Notification Form with instructions as to the repairs/corrections that are required and provides them with an application for Repair Permit (if needed). The Twp SEO sends a copy of the Notification Form to the PCMA.

6. The PCMA will track the PIR until the problem is acceptably resolved.

7. The PCMA will provide a monthly report to the applicable township regarding the status of any PIRs that are generated.

NOTE: Should the Twp SEO decide that corrective action is not required, the Twp SEO will note this on the PIR (including an explanation in the "action required" section) and return the PIR to the PCMA.

Below are listed some examples of problems for holding tank sewage disposal systems which require corrective actions. The tank:

    is leaking (has cracks, holes, water running through a seam) *
    has roots or debris present
    has a cracked or broken lid
    Inlet connection broken or not connected*
    has sewage leaking onto the ground*
* Corrections/repairs for these problems require a repair permit and ALL completed corrections/repairs require Twp SEO inspection and approval.
The PIR Numbering System (for tracking purposes):
month - day - year - lot number (month, day, year is the date the tank was pumped)
Example= 01 - 01 - 2004 - 1389 (i.e. PIR No. 01-01-2004-1389)
5.5 Charges
Costs of performing holding tank pumpings, tests, and subsequent pumpings following tests are the responsibility of the owner. The PCMA will set standard charges for these services by resolution at its regularly scheduled PCMA board meetings. These charges are necessary to cover costs such as labor, materials, report generation, bookkeeping, etc. that are incurred due to performing these services. The PCMA reserves the right to change or amend, by resolution, these charges whenever it decides it is necessary to do so.

NOTE: Following a tank test, a tank pumping is always required. This pumping is charged the pumping fee which is separate from the tank test fee. In an effort to save the owner this additional expense, the PCMA attempts to schedule any required testing when the tank is full from normal use (See Section 5.4.2). Also, any repeat tank tests are charged a repeat tank test fee which is in addition to the initial tank test fee.


6.0 Sewage Disposal Systems
6.1 General Description
Septic System

The most common on-lot sewage disposal system is the septic tank-soil absorption system. The septic tank removes settleable and floatable solids from the wastewater, and the soil absorption field filters and treats the clarified septic tank effluent. Removing the solids from the wastewater protects the soil absorption system from clogging and premature failure. In addition to removing solids, the septic tank also permits digestion of a portion of the solids and stores the undigested portion.

The septic tank removes solids by temporarily holding wastewater within the tank which allows time for the solids to settle to the bottom of the tank and the scum to rise to the top. A septic tank is equipped with baffles at both the inlet and outlet. The inlet baffle helps prevent short circuiting of sewage, and the outlet baffle helps prevent the floatable scum from moving out into the absorption field. In time, these baffles can deteriorate and drop off into the tank. If this happens, or they are in poor condition, they should be replaced with sanitary tees. Up to 50% of the solids retained in the tank decompose and the remainder accumulates in the tank bottom as sludge.

As the septic system is used, sludge continues to accumulate in the bottom of the tank. Properly sized and designed tanks have enough space for approximately three years safe accumulation of sludge. When the sludge level increases beyond the "safe" level, sewage has less time to settle properly before leaving the tank. As the sludge level increases above the safe level, more solids escape into the absorption area. If sludge accumulates too long, no settling occurs before the sewage escapes directly into the soil absorption area. To prevent this, the septic tank must be pumped, or emptied, periodically. The material pumped out is known as "septage."

Distribution Systems

There are two types of distribution systems.

The gravity distribution system utilizes a D-Box, or distribution box, to allow gravity to split the flow of septic tank effluent equally into each lateral pipe of the absorption system. These lateral pipes, or laterals, are perforated PVC piping which allows the effluent to trickle into the drain field (soil absorption area). The D-Box is designed to provide equal distribution of the effluent into each lateral to prevent any part of the drain field from becoming "overloaded." The D-Box should be pumped out, or cleared of solids, at the same regular intervals as the septic tank.


The pressurized distribution system pumps a calculated "dose," under pressure, into the soil absorption area. This provides an equal distribution into all parts of the soil absorption area. To accomplish this "dosing," a pump is housed in a "dosing tank" which receives effluent from the septic tank. Float switches in the dosing tank are used to activate and deactivate the pump depending on the level of effluent inside the dosing tank. When the pump is activated, the pump delivers the septic tank effluent to the soil absorption area. Dosing tanks are also equipped with high level alarms to provide warning to prevent them from overfilling. Dosing tanks should be cleaned of solids (pumped out) at the same frequency as the septic tank.

Cross Section of a Dosing Tank

Soil Absorption System

Septic tank effluent flows into the soil absorption system from the D-Box or dosing tank/pump through perforated PVC piping, referred to as laterals, that are placed in trenches, beds or elevated sand mounds. It is very important to realize that although the effluent from a septic tank or aerobic tank is partially treated, it still contains substances which can affect the groundwater, such as viruses, pathogens and nitrates. The soil is a critical component of an efficiently and correctly operating system. The soil provides renovation of the wastewater by stripping organic and pathogenic materials from the effluent. The effluent becomes treated water which passes to the ground water and becomes part of the water cycle.

Aerobic Treatment Tank

These tanks/systems are much less in use than the septic tank system. Aerobic treatment tanks vary in design and operation depending on the manufacturer. They all use organisms that only exist in the presence of oxygen for breaking down the sewage prior to discharge into a D-Box or dosing tank and subsequently the soil absorption system. Due to their varying design and operating characteristics, they will not be further detailed herein.

6.2 Access
The PCMA has the right of access, by lawful township ordinances, to any part of any property for the purposes of inspection, pumping, testing and performance of other functions relating to services rendered by the PCMA. The property owner shall keep clear access to that part of owner's property in order to provide reasonable entrance and egress of the PCMA to perform its duties.

The owner shall keep the manhole cover above grade in order to provide easy access to the septic tank. If the septic tank is located some distance below grade, it is the owners responsibility to either uncover the tank/lid prior to pumping and inspection, or install risers on the manhole in order to bring the manhole cover above grade. These same conditions apply to dosing tanks, D-Boxes, and lateral cleanouts. If the owner chooses to keep all components below grade, it is the owners responsibility to cover (bury) the components following completion of the pumpings and inspections.

Upon arrival of the PCMA at a residence for a septic tank pumping and inspection, accessibility will be evaluated prior to beginning work. Should any obstruction(s) exist which prohibit or unnecessarily inhibit PCMA work, the owner will be notified as to the existence and manner of said obstruction(s) along with a request to eliminate same. If it can be determined that the owner or occupant is present at the time of the visitation, and the obstruction(s) can be easily and quickly eliminated, the owner, or occupant, will be requested to immediately do so. Upon elimination of the obstruction(s), the PCMA will perform its work as necessary. If no person can be immediately located or the obstruction(s) cannot be easily eliminated, the PCMA will delay its work until such time that the obstruction(s) is eliminated.

When obstructions are encountered, they will be documented and the owner will be notified of their existence and the requirement to remove them as soon as possible. If they are not eliminated in a timely manner, further legal action will be initiated. It should be noted that any interference attempted by an owner, or any representative of any owner, in the efforts of the Twp or the PCMA to perform their duties, is a prosecutable offense under the laws and ordinances of the Twp and are subject to fines, confinement, or both.

6.3 Pumping
6.3.1 Frequency
All septic tanks (and dosing tanks and D-Boxes) shall be pumped upon request by the owner, however, they must be pumped at least once every three years. They will be scheduled/prioritized for their required three-year pumping (to the extent practicable) in chronological order starting with the oldest "in-service" or "last-pumped" date. If any tank had been pumped within the current three-year period, or any tank's in-service date was within the current three-year period, that tank's pumping will be delayed to conform to the "once-every-three-year" frequency.

All aerobic treatment tanks shall be pumped on the frequency as specified by their individual manufacturer's recommendations. However, in no case may the pumping intervals for aerobic tanks exceed those required for septic tanks. Owners with buildings serviced by on-lot sewage disposal systems which contain an aerobic treatment tank shall submit to the PCMA a copy of the manufacturer's operation and maintenance recommendations along with a copy of the service agreement for the system.

The required pumping frequency may be increased at the discretion of the PCMA, the Twp, or the SEO if the tank is undersized, if solids buildup in the tank is above average, if hydraulic load on the system increases significantly above average, if a garbage grinder is used in the building, if the system malfunctions, or for other good cause shown.

6.3.2 Notification
The PCMA must be notified, in any manner, that a septic tank pumping is to be done. The PCMA will pump the septic tank within two scheduled work days of the notification unless circumstances do not permit (obstacles preventing entry by pump truck, manhole covers not exposed, inclement weather, etc.). If a specific day for the pumping is desired, that must be made known at the time the pumping is requested. If the pumping is requested to be made on a non-scheduled work day, this should also be clearly and specifically stated at the time of the pumping request. Requests for pumpings on non-scheduled work days may incur additional charges.
6.3.3 Procedure
The Pumping Statement Form will be used to fully document all aspects of the septic tank pumping work.

a. Upon receipt of a pumping request at the PCMA business office, a pumping will be scheduled with the PCMA pump truck operator or its designee.

b. The PCMA, or its designee, will pump the tanks as scheduled. The owner will not be contacted prior to the pumping unless a problem is identified.

c. When the PCMA pumper arrives at the pumping location, any damage or other inadequacies to the septic tank, to any of its components, or to anything in the surrounding area, should be noted on the pumping statement prior to beginning any work.

d. If possible, determine presence of building occupants. If present, provide notification that the septic tank pumping and inspection is about to start. Ask them not to allow any water down any drains or flush any toilets during this period.

e. The pumper shall remove the large central manhole cover on the septic tank and pump out the tank's contents through the manhole. At no time shall a septic tank be pumped out through the inspection ports; this action can damage or destroy the baffles. Note: Prior to beginning pumping, there are some inspection actions required; see Section 6.4.

f. Extract/pump all or as much of the material from the septic tank as practicable. To do this, the scum layer must be broken up and the sludge layer stirred up into the liquid portion of the tank. This is done by alternately siphoning liquid from the tank and reinjecting it into the bottom of the tank.

g. Aerobic treatment tanks are to be pumped by the PCMA or its designee per the manufacturer's instructions.

h. When finished with the septic/aerobic tank pumping, the cover should be removed from the dosing tank or D-Box, whichever is present, and this likewise pumped out to the extent practicable.

i. Prior to replacing the lids for the tank(s) and D-Box, if applicable, a tank inspection shall be performed. (See Section 6.4) Following the inspection, the lids shall then be replaced and everything left in its as-found condition.

j. Determine presence of building occupants. If present, provide notification that the pumping and inspection is completed and that all facilities may again be used.

k. All aspects of the pumping work, comments, problems, etc. should be fully documented on the pumping statement as the pumping work progresses. Upon finishing the pumping work, the pumper will complete the pumping statement and turn it in to the PCMA business office.

l. The PCMA business office will bill the owner for the pumping. At no time may the pumper accept any payment for the pumping. If requested to do so by the owner, the pumper shall request the owner to send the payment to the PCMA business office.

m. Extreme care shall be used by the pumper at all times to prevent any spillage of sewage onto the ground or surroundings.

6.3.4 Records
A copy of the pumping statement will be sent to the owner with the pumping bill and the original will be retained at the PCMA business office in the permanent record file.
6.4 Inspections
6.4.1 Frequency
Every on-lot sewage disposal system shall be inspected at the time of each pumping. Also see Section 6.3.1.
6.4.2 Notification
No notification is required, either by owner or by PCMA.
6.4.3 Procedure
Each time a septic tank and dosing tank or D-Box is pumped, an inspection of said components shall be performed. The Septic Tank Inspection Certification Form shall be used to document all aspects of the inspection. The following steps shall be taken to fully perform and document the inspection.

a. Prior to pumping any tank or D-Box, inspect for any obvious forms of leakage. Existence of leakage is indicated by sewage level in the tanks.

1. Septic tank sewage level, unless very recently emptied, should be as high as the bottom of the outlet pipe.

2. Dosing tank sewage level, unless recently emptied, should be at least as high as the bottom (pump-off) float/switch.

3. D-Box effluent level, unless recently emptied, should be at least as high as the bottom of the outlet piping.

b. Following completion of all pumping activities, inspect all components for any physical damage or degradation. Special attention should be addressed to the septic tank baffles. If they are missing or are deteriorated, their condition should be reported so they are replaced as soon as possible.

c. Survey the soil absorption area as well as the surrounding area for signs of septic system malfunction. Some indicators are listed below.

  1. Sewer odors present without justification.
  2. Sponginess around the septic tank, D-Box, dosing tank, or absorption area.
  3. Surfacing raw sewage.
  4. Standing water over/on absorption area.
d. Note any pertinent comments on the form.

e. The PCMA business office will bill the owner for the inspection plus other charges as applicable for the lateral flushing, etc.. At no time may the inspector accept any payment for the inspection. If requested to do so by the owner, the inspector shall request the owner to send the payment to the PCMA business office.

f. Extreme care shall be used by the inspector at all times to prevent any spillage of sewage onto the ground or surroundings.

6.4.4 Records
Upon completion of a septic tank inspection, the PCMA will transmit copies of the completed Septic Tank Inspection Certificate Form to the tank owner. The original form will be retained at the PCMA business office in the permanent file.
6.4.5 Additional Actions Required
Evaluation and correction of any problems (concerning any type or component of any on-lot sewage disposal system) that are identified by the PCMA (during an inspection or at any other time) are the responsibility of the Twp SEO. The PCMA shall contact the applicable Twp SEO via an "PCMA Problem Identification Report" (PIR) and the Twp SEO will decide what repairs or other corrective actions are to be taken to remedy the problem(s). The Twp SEO will contact the owner regarding any such additional actions. Appeals from decisions of the Twp or SEO must be made to the Twp Board of Supervisors in writing within thirty days from the date of said decision in question. Following is the reporting and resolution procedure for PIRs.
Reporting & Resolution Procedure for PIRs.
1. The PCMA identifies a problem with an on-lot sewage disposal system.

2. The PCMA generates an "PCMA Problem Identification Report" (PIR).

3. The PIR, along with any supporting documentation and information, is forwarded to the applicable Twp SEO.

4. The Twp SEO evaluates the problem identified on the PIR.

5. The Twp SEO contacts the home owner(s) via the Twp SEO's Notification Form with instructions as to the repairs/corrections that are required and provides them with an application for a Repair Permit (if needed). The Twp SEO sends a copy of the Notification Form to the PCMA.

6. The Twp SEO issues a repair permit if needed and sends a copy of it to the PCMA.

7. Upon acceptable correction of the problem and inspection & approval by the Twp SEO, the Twp SEO will forward the completed original PIR, copies of the completed notification form and repair permit, and any other pertinent information to the PCMA.

8. The PCMA will track the PIR until the problem is acceptably resolved.

9. The PCMA will provide a monthly report to the applicable township regarding the status of any PIRs that are generated.

NOTE: Should the Twp SEO decide that corrective action is not required, the Twp SEO will note this on the PIR (including an explanation in the "action required" section) and return the PIR to the PCMA.
Below are listed some examples of problems for on-lot sewage disposal systems which require corrective actions.

septic/dosing tank or d-box:
is leaking (has cracks, holes, water running in through a seam)*
has roots or debris present
has a cracked or broken lid
inlet and/or outlet connection broken or not connected*
has inlet and/or outlet baffle(s) missing or severely damaged*
drain field/sand mound:
has sewage leaking onto ground*
has lateral cleanout/pipe(s) broken off
dosing pump:
does not run or on/off floats not secured/connected
is sitting on the floor of the tank
is hanging "in the air"
alarm is not working or alarm float not secured/connected
* Corrections/repairs for these problems require a repair permit and ALL completed corrections/repairs require Twp SEO inspection and approval.

The PIR Numbering System (for tracking purposes):

month - day - year - lot number (month, day, year is the date the tank was pumped)
Example = 01 - 01 - 2004 - 1389 i.e. PIR No. 01-01-2004-1389)

6.5 Charges
Costs of performing septic tank pumpings, inspections, and lateral back-flushing (when required) are the responsibility of the owner. The PCMA will set standard charges for these services by resolution at its regularly scheduled PCMA board meetings. These charges are necessary to cover costs such as labor, materials, report generation, bookkeeping, etc. incurred due to performing these services. The PCMA reserves the right to change or amend, by resolution, these charges whenever it decides it is necessary to do so.
7.0 Non-Liability
In requesting services to be performed by the PCMA, each customer or owner expressly stipulates and agrees that, in consideration of the PCMA furnishing said services, (1) the PCMA will not be liable to either the owner or the customer, and no claims will be made by either, against the PCMA, on account of damages from malfunctioning or unserviced facilities and/or (2) the PCMA will not be liable for any deficiency or failure in supplying service occasioned by cessation of services to make repairs, and/or (3) any temporary restrictions in the use of services during emergency periods, and/or (4) failure from any other causes.
8.0 Policies and Procedures Changes
The PCMA reserves the right, by resolution, to change or amend, from time to time, these Policies and Procedures, and each owner or customer, by execution of the request for services, agrees to be bound by any such changes, whether or not expressly notified thereof except to the extent otherwise provided by the Municipal Authorities Act of 1945 and any amendments or supplements thereto. No officer, employee, or member or members of the PCMA Board is permitted to vary these policies and procedures or to bind the PCMA by an agreement or representation except when authorized by duly adopted resolution of the PCMA.
9.0 Enforcement
A. If an owner refuses to have his holding tank or septic tank inspected and/or pumped in accordance with the provisions of these policies and procedures, the PCMA shall have the authority to terminate water service to the premises until the owner complies with the inspection and/or pumping requirements of these policies and procedures.

B. The PCMA and the applicable township and its authorized employees may enforce these policies and procedures as stipulated in the applicable Township Ordinances governing municipal management of on-lot subsurface sewage disposal facilities.

10.0 Effective Date
These Policies and Procedures shall become effective as of the adoption date of this document.

Example of a Pumping Slip/Form


Example of a Tank Test Form/Certificate


Example of a Septic Tank Inspection Certificate


NOTE: Updates to this policy may not immediately appear on the website.

Water Rates  |  Sewage Rates  |  Sewage Management Plan  |  Water Quality Reports  |  Water Conservation Policy
Home  |  Water Rules and Regulations  |  Announcements  |  Links and Related Info.  |  New Office Construction
Email  |  PCMA Meeting Dates  |  Meeting Minutes  |  History of the PCMA

2010 Plum Creek Municipal Authority