TOWN OF NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH BOARD OF HEALTH
REGULATIONS AFFECTING THE SALE OF RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL
PROPERTIES SERVED BY SEPTIC SYSTEMS AND CESSPOOLS
SECTION 1: AUTHORITY
These regulations are issued by the Board of Health pursuant to its authority under Chapter 111, Section 31, of the Massachusetts General Laws as reasonable and necessary for the protection of public health, safety, welfare and the environment.
SECTION 2: PURPOSE
The purpose of these regulations is to protect all existing and potential ground and surface water supplies in the Town of North Attleborough, as well as their recharge areas, from contamination due to septic system or cesspool failure.
SECTION 3: DEFINITIONS
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation, implementation and enforcement of these regulations.
3.1 “Person” shall mean any individual, association, group, business, proprietor, partnership, corporation, firm, trust or unit of government.
3.2 “Owner” shall mean any person named in a deed on file with the Bristol County Registry of Deeds as the legal and rightful owner of a residential or commercial property subject to these regulations.
3.3 “Residential or commercial property” shall mean any combination of land and buildings used for human habitation or the operation of a business engaged in the sale of goods and/or services.
3.4 “Common sewer line” shall mean any underground pipe or network of pipes used to convey sewage to a wastewater treatment facility.
3.5 “Septic system” shall mean any subsurface sewage disposal system which includes both a holding tank and a leaching facility.
3.6 “Cesspool” shall mean any subsurface sewage disposal system consisting of a pool or pit into which sewage is discharged and from which it seaps.
3.7 “System Inspector” shall mean any Registered Sanitarian; Certified Health Officer; Massachusetts-Registered Professional Civil, Environmental or Sanitary Engineer; or a Department of Environmental Protection-approved System Inspector as defined in 310 CMR 15.340 (1,b).
SECTION 4: CONNECTIONS TO COMMON SEWER LINES
No owner of a residential or commercial property in the Town of North Attleborough may transfer ownership to another person if a septic system or cesspool is in use on the property and the property is located on or adjacent to a public way that is served by a common sewer line. The owner must abandon and replace the subsurface sewage disposal system with a connection to the common sewer line before the transfer in ownership, provided the sewer connection is acceptable to and approved by the Board of Public Works. All excavation, construction and related work must be completed prior to the transfer in ownership. The owner must provide documentation of the sewer connection to both the prospective buyer and the Board of Health, unless all work was completed prior to the property being offered for sale.
SECTION 5: PRE-SALE MAINTENANCE OF SUBSURFACE SEWAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEMS
Prior to the transfer of any residential or commercial property in the Town of North Attleborough on which an existing septic system or cesspool must remain in use due to lack of access to a common sewer line, the owner must, in accordance with Title 5 of the Massachusetts Environmental Code (310 CMR 15.000), engage the services of a System Inspector to inspect the subsurface sewage disposal system and, if it is not operating properly, hire the necessary contractor(s) to maintain, repair or replace the system, as necessary. All related work must be completed prior to the transfer in ownership. The owner must provide documentation of all applicable work performed and any opinion(s) rendered to both the prospective buyer and the Board of Health, unless all of these actions occurred prior to the property being offered for sale.
SECTION 6: RESPONSIBILITY OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS AND MORTGAGE LENDERS
Any real estate agent, broker or other person representing the owner of a residential or commercial property in the Town of North Attleborough which is offered for sale shall provide that person with a copy or summary of these regulations. Any banker, mortgage lender or other person accepting a loan application from the prospective buyer of a residential or commercial property in the Town of North Attleborough shall provide that person with a copy or summary of these regulations.
SECTION 7: VARIANCES
The Board of Health may vary the application of any provision of these regulations, unless otherwise prohibited by state law or regulation, in any case when, in the opinion of the Board of Health, lot size restrictions or hydrogeological conditions make enforcement of the provision impractical or the owner has demonstrated a degree of environmental protection equivalent to that required under these regulations. The Board of Health also may vary the application of any provision of these regulations in any case when, in the opinion of the Board of Health, enforcement will do manifest injustice or when the owner, by reason of having previously qualified for a real estate tax abatement due to financial hardship, can demonstrate that enforcement of the provision will impose an unreasonable burden. Every request for a variance shall be made in writing on a form provided by the Board of Health, and shall be subject to a public hearing before the Board of Health. The owner must at his or her sole expense notify all abutters by certified mail at least ten days prior to the public hearing. Any variance granted by the Board of Health shall be in writing. Any denial of a variance by the Board of Health shall also be in writing and shall contain a brief statement of the reasons for the denial.
SECTION 8: OTHER APPLICABLE LAWS
These regulations shall not be interpreted or construed to supersede or nullify the requirements of Title 5 of the Massachusetts Environmental Code (310 CMR 15.000) or any other applicable local, state or federal environmental protection or public health codes, regulations or statutes.
SECTION 9: RIGHT OF ENTRY
The Board of Health or its agent(s) may enter upon privately-owned property, with reasonable notice and at reasonable hours, for the purpose of ensuring compliance with these regulations.
SECTION 10: ENFORCEMENT
Any person who violates any provision of these regulations shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred (100) dollars. If the violator holds any license(s) and/or permit(s) issued by the Board of Health, said license(s) and/or permit(s) may be suspended for up to twenty-four (24) hours for each violation. Each day or portion thereof during which violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. If more than one provision of these regulations is violated, each violation shall constitute a separate offense.
SECTION 11: SEVERABILITY
In the event that any provision of these regulations is declared invalid or unenforceable for any reason, all other provisions will be unaffected and shall remain in full force and effect. To that end, the provisions of these regulations are hereby declared severable.
SECTION 12: EFFECTIVE DATE AND AMENDMENTS
These regulations shall take effect ninety (90) days after a summary of their provision is published in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town of North Attleborough. Publication was made in the November 11, 1993, editions of The Free Press and The Sun Chronicle. As required by Chapter 111, Section 31, of the Massachusetts General Laws, an attested copy of these regulations has been filed with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. These regulations may be amended by a majority vote of the Board of Health. Amendments shall take effect thirty (30) days after their publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town of North Attleborough.
Issuance of these regulations was initially approved by the Board of Health on November 4, 1993, at a legally posted meeting. Amendments to these regulations were approved by the Board of Health on August 4, 1994, and April 20, 1995, at legally posted meetings and were subsequently published in The Free Press and The Sun Chronicle.
BOARD OF HEALTH
Susanne Jordan, Chairman
Thomas D. Higgins, Member
John McIntyre, Jr., Member
TOWN OF NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH BOARD OF HEALTH
Summary: Amendments to Regulations Affecting the Sale of
Residential and Commerical Properties Served by
Septic Systems and Cesspools
Under April 20, 1995, amendments to regulations originally enacted by the North Attleborough Board of Health on November 4, 1993, ownership of a residential or commercial property located within the town may not be transferred unless:
The property is connected to a common sewer line if one is available and use of an existing septic system or cesspool is discontinued; or
A subsurface sewage disposal system which must remain in use on the property due to lack of access to a common sewer line is inspected and maintained, repaired or replaced, if necessary, in accordance with Title 5 of the Massachusetts Environmental Code (310 CMR 15.000).
The regulations require real estate brokers to inform property sellers of these requirements. Mortgage lenders are likewise required to notify prospective property buyers. Anyone who violates any provision of the regulations is subject to enforcement action, including fines of up to $100 per day per violation.
Questions about these amendments should be directed to the Health Agent, 43 South Washington Street, North Attleborough, MA 02761, (508) 699-0103.