Sewer Use Regulations

Article IV.  Use of Public Sewer

Section 1.  No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged any stormwater, surface water, ground water, roof runoff water, subsurface drainage water, uncontaminated cooling water or unpolluted industrial waters to any sanitary sewer.

Section 2.  Stormwater and all other unpolluted drainage waters shall be discharged to such systems as are specifically designated as storm sewers or to a natural outlet as approved by the Town Conservation Commission, Town Surveyor of Highways (or equivalent), and/or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts DEP or EPA.  Any such discharge may be subject also to an NPDES permit.  It shall be the responsibility of the originator of the discharge to obtain all required permits.

Section 3.  Cleaning, maintaining, and repairing of building sewers, from the building to the property line at the street, shall be done at the expense of the owner, provided there is a manhole or cleanout at the property line.  If there is no manhole or cleanout at the property line, the owner shall be responsible for the building sewer from the building to the public sewer.

Section 4No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged any of the following described waters or wastes to any public sewer or wastewater works.

A.  Any liquids, solids or gases which, by reason of their nature or quantity, are or may be sufficient, either alone or by interaction with other substances, to cause fire or an explosion or be injurious, in any way to the sewage works, or to the operation of the sewage works, or to the safety and welfare of the workers and the public at large shall be prohibited from discharge to the wastewater works.  Prohibited materials include, but are not limited to, gasoline, kerosene, naphtha, benzene, toluene, xylene, ethers, alcohols, carbides, hydrides, and sulfides, and any other substance which the Director, the Town of Chatham (for Harwich wastewater collected and treated in Chatham), the State, or EPA has determined to be a fire hazard to the sewer works.

B.  Any waters or wastes containing toxic or poisonous solids, liquids or gases in sufficient quantity, either singly or by interaction with other wastes, to injure or interfere with any sewage collection or treatment process, constitute a hazard to humans or animals and/or create a public hazard in the receiving waters of the sewage treatment facility.

C.  Any water or wastes having a pH less than 5.5 or greater than 9.5 or having any other corrosive property capable of causing damage or hazard to structure, equipment, and/or personnel of the sewage works.

D.  Solid or viscous substances in quantities or of such size capable of causing obstruction to the flow in sewers, or other interference with the proper operation of the sewage works, such as, but not limited to: fish scales, fish gurry, ashes, cinders, sand, mud, straw, shavings, metal, glass, rags, diapers, feathers, plastics, wood, unground garbage, whole blood, paunch manure, hair and fleshings, entrails, and paper dishes, towels, cups, milk containers, and etc.

E.  Due to the special nature and environmental needs of the Town and the surface and groundwaters of the Town, no person shall discharge or cause to be discharged wastewater containing nitrogen and/or phosphorus compounds in a concentration greater than 50mg/L.  Any non-domestic discharges having concentration greater than 50mg/L shall require a special permit from the Director.  Said permit may include sampling, flow measurement, pretreatment, and/or special fees as a condition of permit issuance.  Any non-domestic discharge having a BOD or TSS concentration greater than 300 mg/L shall require a special permit from the Director.  Said permit may include sampling, flow measurement, pretreatment, and/or special fees as a condition of permit issuance.

F.  Any wastewater which will cause interference or pass through.

Section 5.  No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged the following described substances, materials, water, or waste if it appears likely in the opinion of the Director that such waste can harm the wastewater treatment process, or equipment, have an adverse effect on the receiving stream or can otherwise endanger life, limb, public or private property or cause a nuisance.

Informing the opinion as to the acceptability of these substances, the Director will give consideration to such factors as: the quantities of subject substance in relation to flows and velocities in the sewers; material use in the construction of the wastewater collection and treatment facilities; nature of the wastewater treatment process; capacity of the wastewater collection and treatment facilities; and other factors which in  the Directors judgment are pertinent.

The limitations on wastewater strength or mass discharge contained herein may be supplemented with more stringent limitations when, in the opinion of the Director they are warranted:
  1. The limitations in this set of regulations are not sufficient to protect the POTW and the sewage works;
  2. The limitations herein are not sufficient to enable the POTW to comply with applicable water quality standards, the effluent limitations specified in the POTW’s groundwater discharge permit, or effluent reuse;
  3. The POTW sludge or other residuals will be rendered unacceptable for disposal or reuse at the Town of Chatham treatment facility desires as the result of discharge of wastewaters at the above prescribed limitations;
  4. Municipal employees or the public will be endangered or otherwise affected by nuisance conditions;
  5. Air or ground water impacts will be caused.

The restricted substances are as follows:

A.  Any solid, liquid, vapor, or gas having temperature higher than 65 degrees C (150 degrees F): however, such materials shall not cause the POTW influent temperature to be greater than 40 degrees C (104 degrees F).  The Director reserves the right to prohibit or limit the discharge of wastes whose maximum temperatures are lower than 65 degrees C.

B.  Any water or waste containing fats, wax, grease or oils, whether emulsified or not, in excess of one hundred (100) mg/l or containing substances which may solidify or become viscous at temperatures between thirty-two (32) and one hundred and four (104) degrees F (0 and 40 degrees C).     

C.  Any garbage that has not been properly shredded to a maximum of one half of an inch (1/2”), 1.27 centimeters, in any dimension.  The installation and operation of any garbage grinder equipped with a motor of three-fourths (3/4) horsepower (0.76 hp metric) or greater shall be subject to the review and approval of the Director.

D.  Any waters or wastes containing strong acid iron pickling wastes, or concentrated plating solutions whether neutralized or not.

E.  Any waters or wastes containing iron chromium, copper, zinc, and similar objectionable or toxic substances; or wastes exerting an excessive chlorine requirement, to such degree that any such material received in the composite sewage at the sewage works exceeds any limits established by EPA or DEP for such material.

F.  Any waters or wastes containing phenols or other taste or odor producing substances in concentration exceeding limits, established by the Director, as necessary, after treatment of the composite sewage to meet the requirements of the State, Federal, or other public agencies having jurisdiction over sewage treatment facilities’ discharge to receiving waters.

G.  Any radioactive wastes or isotopes of such half-life or in concentration as may exceed limits, established by the Director and not in compliance with applicable State or Federal regulations.

H.  Any water or wastes having a pH in excess of 9.5.

I.  Materials which exert or cause:

  1. Unusual concentrations of inert suspended solids, such as, but not limited to: fullers earth, lime slurries, and lime residues or of dissolved solids, such as, but not limited to: sodium chloride and sodium sulphate.
  2. Excessive discoloration (such as, but not limited to: dye wastes and vegetable-tanning solutions).
  3. Unusual BOD, chemical oxygen demand, or chlorine requirements in such quantities as to constitute a significant load on the sewage works.
  4. Unusual volume of flow or concentration of wastes constituting “slugs” as defined herein under Article 1, Definitions.

J.  Waters or wastes containing substances which are not amenable to treatment or reduction by the sewage treatment processes employed, or are amenable to treatment only to such degree that the sewage treatment facilities’ effluent cannot meet the requirements of other agencies having jurisdiction over discharge to the receiving waters.

K.  Concentration and/or mass-based limits-No person shall discharge, directly or indirectly, into the sewer works, wastewater containing any of the following substances in concentrations exceeding those specified below on either a daily basis or an instantaneous basis, except by permit.  Limits are applicable at the point of exit from a property to the public sewer.

Arsenic as As 0.05
Barium as Ba 5
Boron as B 5
Cyanides as Cn (amenable) 0.1
Fluoride as F 20
Chromium (total) 1
Chromium (Cr+6) 0.1
Magnesium as Mg 100
Manganese as Mn 5
Copper as Cu 1
Zinc as Zn 1
Cadmium 0.07
Lead 0.1
Tin 2
Silver 0.1
Mercury 0.01
Nickel 1

                          Note: All metals are to be measured as total metals.                                                                            

Section 6.  If any waters or wastes are discharged, or are proposed to be discharged to the public sewers, which contain the substances or possess the characteristics enumerated in Section 5 of this Article, and which in the judgment of the Director may have a deleterious effect upon the sewage works, processes, equipment, or receiving waters or which otherwise create a hazard to life or constitute a public nuisance, the Director may:

A.  Reject the wastes.

B.  Require pretreatment to an acceptable condition before discharge to the public sewers.

C.  Require control over the quantities and rates of discharge and/or

D.  Require payment to cover the added cost of handling and treating the wastes not covered by existing taxes or sewer charges.

If the Director permits the pretreatment or equalization of waste flows, the design and installation of the pretreatment facility and equipment shall be subject to the review and approval of the Director and subject to the requirements of all applicable codes, ordinances, and laws.

Section 7.  Grease, oil, and sand interceptors shall be provided when, in the opinion of the Director they are necessary for the proper handling of liquid wastes containing grease in excessive amounts, or any flammable wastes, sand, or other harmful ingredients; Except such interceptors shall not be required for private living quarters or dwelling units.  All interceptors shall be of the type and capacity approved by the Director, and shall be located as to be readily and easily accessible for cleaning and inspectionMDC Grease Interceptors shall be installed in the building sewer serving restaurants or hotels, boarding houses that prepare and serve food or business of a similar nature.  Maintenance, operation, and repair of all installed interceptors shall be at the expense of the owner and subject to inspection by the Director or an authorized representative.

  1. Grease traps shall be inspected monthly, for the months in use, by a duly appointed representative of the Town and shall be cleaned by a licensed septage hauler whenever the level of grease is 25% of the effective depth of the trap or at least every three months whichever is sooner. Facility owners/operators shall be responsible for notifying the Wastewater Department of extended periods of time (one [1] month or more) when the grease trap is not in use (i.e. the facility will be closed) to avoid being inspected and billed for those months.

  2. Following pumping of a grease trap the grease trap shall be filled with treated water from the WPCF to a point above the discharge pipe.

Section 8.  The owner of any property serviced by a building sewer carrying industrial wastes shall install a suitable control manhole together with such necessary meters and other appurtenances, as determined by the Director, in the building sewer to facilitate observation, sampling, and measurement of wastes.  Such manhole shall be accessible and safely located, and shall be constructed in accordance with plans approved by the Director.  The manhole shall be installed by the owner at the owner’s expense and shall be maintained by owner so as to be safe and accessible at all times.

Section 9.  All measurements, tests, and analyses of the characteristics of waters and wastes to which reference is made in this ordinance shall be determined in accordance with the latest edition of “Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater”, published by the American Public Health Association and 40CFR, Part 136, and shall be determined from suitable samples taken at the control manholes provided.  In the event that no special manhole has been provided, the control manhole shall be determined by the Director.  (Normally the control manhole will be the nearest downstream manhole in the public sewer to the point at which the building sewer is connected).  Sampling shall be carried out by customarily accepted methods to reflect the effect of constituents upon the sewer works and to determine the existence of hazards to life, limb, and property.  (The particular analyses involved will determine whether a twenty-four (24) hour composite of all outfalls of a premise is appropriate or whether a grab sample for samples should be taken.  Normally, but not always, BOD and suspended solids analyses are obtained from 24-hour composites of all outfalls, whereas pH’s are determined from periodic grab samples or continuous monitors).

Section 10.  No statement contained in this Article shall be construed as preventing any special agreement or arrangement between the Town and any industrial concern whereby any waste of unusual strength or character may be accepted by the Town for treatment, subject to payment therefore, provided that such agreements do not contravene any requirements of existing federal, state, or local laws and are compatible with any user charge and industrial cost recovery system in effect.