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SMP Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet

On March 21, 2005 Franconia’s Board of Supervisors approved Ordinance No. 328. The ordinance governs the municipal management of on-lot subsurface sewage disposal facilities, which regulates inspection, maintenance, and rehabilitation of these facilities within the township’s limits. A copy of the ordinance is available at the township.

Ordinance No. 328 provides for a Sewage Management Program (SMP) that will affect all property owners in Franconia Township currently served by on-lot subsurface sewage disposal systems. The SMP is designed to protect public health from diseases, prevent future sewage treatment problems and protect the quality of surface water and groundwater.

The following items are the significant points of the SMP:

Permit Requirements

All new development that will be served by an on-lot systems or any existing on-lot system that are altered, must obtain a permit from the Montgomery County Health Department (MCHD).

Inspections

  1. A Township authorized agent shall conduct an initial inspection within the next three years. The purpose of the inspection is determining the type and functional status of each on-lot sewage disposal system. Franconia residents will be contacted to schedule these inspections.
  2. The initial inspection may include a physical tour of the property, visual examination of tanks and system components, dye testing, soil analysis, sampling of any surface water, wells, other ground water sources, or the contents of the sewage disposal system.
  3. This initial inspection shall be scheduled between April and October 2017. 
  4. A Township authorized agent shall have the right to enter properties for the purposes of inspections.
  5. Routine inspections may also be performed to assure that the on-lot sewage systems are properly functioning.

Operation

  1. Only normal domestic wastes shall be discharged into any on-lot sewage disposal system.

Maintenance

  1. All septic tanks, dosing tanks, cesspools, or dry wells shall be pumped by a qualified pumper/hauler within six months of the effective date of the ordinance.
  2. All sewage pumper/hauler are required to be certified by the PADEP and be registered with the Township. (See approved pumper/hauler list)
  3. All tanks shall be pumped at least once every three (3) years or whenever an inspection reveals that the bottom of the scum layer is 6 inches above the bottom of outlet tee or the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the outlet tee.
  4. Receipts from the pumper/hauler shall be submitted to the Township within the prescribed 7 days of pumping/hauling operations.
  5. The required pumping frequency may be increased at the discretion of a Township authorized agent or MCHD.
  6. Alternative or non conventional systems will require special maintenance as per PADEP requirements and system manufacturers recommendations.
  7. Additional maintenance activity may be required as determined by the Township’s authorized agent or MCHD.

System Rehabilitation

  1. A written notice of violations shall be issued to any property owner found to be served by a malfunctioning on-lot sewage disposal system.
  2. The property owner shall make application to the MCHD sewage enforcement officer for a permit to repair or replace the malfunctioning system within seven (7) days of the written notice
  3. The MCHD Sewage Enforcement Officer and the Township’s authorized agent shall both have the authority to require the repair of any malfunction.
  4. The property owner is responsible to perform whatever action is necessary to lessen or mitigate the malfunction to the extent necessary.

Liens

  1. The Township may perform corrective work that poses an imminent health hazard at the owners expense.

Disposal of Septage

  1. All septage shall be disposed of in accordance with the requirements of the Solid Waste Management Act.
  2. All pumper/haulers of septage shall be PADEP certified and registered with the Township.

Administration

  1. Provides procedures for the administration of the sewage management program.

Appeals

  1. The property owner has the right to appeal and is entitled to a hearing on decisions of the Township or its authorized agent.

Penalties

  1. Provides for penalties and remedies for the violation of the ordinance including fines up to $300 per day or imprisonment.

For more information or questions please contact:

Franconia Township
671 Allentown Road
Telford , Pennsylvania 18969 
215-723-1137

Jennifer Mercurio
Montgomery County Health Department
Pottstown Office
364 King Street
Pottstown, Pa. 19464
610-970-5040