Murrysville puts septic tank ordinance on hold for review
A proposed update to Murrysville's septic tank ordinance could reduce “burdensome” mandates for residents with on-lot sewage disposal systems, the municipality's chief administrator told council this week.
After listening to five residents' concerns about the ordinance on Wednesday, council decided to hold off on publicly advertising the ordinance. Council will post it online for residents to review and will discuss the document again in November.
“(The ordinance) puts the burden of the maintenance of the systems on the landowner, where they properly should be,” Chief Administrator Jim Morrison said.
The new rules would require property owners to inspect their systems within a year of the ordinance's approval, then annually thereafter, he said. If the tank is one-third full, it must be pumped.
That's a change from current rules, which mandate that on-lot systems be pumped at least once every three to five years.
Under the proposed plan, homeowners are required to keep a record of their septic tank management. Council President Joan Kearns compared it to “a maintenance schedule, like you would do for your car.”
The updated plan removes the requirement for the landowner to submit proof of maintenance receipts to the municipality.
“They're not required to turn in anything unless there's a failing system,” Morrison said.
After the tanks are pumped, sludge can be trucked to any disposal facility approved by the state Department of Environmental Protection.
However, Jim Brucker, manager of the Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority, said he doesn't want the waste brought to his facility because it's not cost-effective.
“I can't start up this equipment to treat one small load,” Brucker said.
Residents' concerns centered on what exactly the annual inspection entails.
Resident Bob Whitesides said he used to build and install septic systems.
“To require someone to come in and excavate a tank — and I know you say it doesn't say that — (but) that's what it implies,” Whitesides said. “Some of these systems have been in for decades.”
Resident Bob Artman said the new ordinance seems “more streamlined.”
“The goal of this whole effort was to get government out of your way,” Morrison said.
The Pennsylvania Code dictates that any municipality allowing septic tanks must have a management program for them. The Department of Environmental Protection reviewed the updated ordinance and found no problems, Morrison said.
Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mt. Pleasant seeks on-street bike trail through downtown
- Northampton man has four major drug arrests in Western Pa. since 2009
- New Ohiopyle park manager ready for big challenge that comes with job
- ‘Extreme extrovert’ takes over at WCCC
- Hempfield approves prison site subdivision
- Trooper: Suspect confessed to fatal Hempfield shooting
- Sale date for Monsour Medical Center in Jeannette finalized by court
- Western Pa. volunteers battle wildfires in West