N.J. Admin. Code § 7:9A-3.4 - Non-compliant systems

(a) There are two types of non-compliant systems:
1. Systems that do not perform as approved, or that malfunction, as identified in (b) below; and
2. Systems that are not constructed, operated or maintained in accordance with the requirements of this chapter or as specified in an approval issued by either the Department or the administrative authority.
(b) Indications that an individual subsurface sewage disposal system is malfunctioning include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Contamination of nearby wells or surface water bodies by sewage or effluent as indicated by the presence of fecal bacteria where the ratio of fecal coliform to fecal streptococci is four or greater;
2. Ponding or breakout of sewage or effluent onto the surface of the ground;
3. Seepage of sanitary sewage or effluent into portions of buildings below ground;
4. Back-up of sanitary sewage into the building served which is not caused by a physical blockage of the internal plumbing;
5. Any leakage from or into septic tanks, connecting pipes, distribution boxes and other components that are not designed to discharge sanitary sewage or effluent; or
6. Any discharge of sanitary sewage without a zone of treatment.
(c) The owner or owner's agent shall immediately notify the administrative authority upon detection of a potential non-compliant system, as described in (a) above.
(d) Whenever the administrative authority has knowledge through report or direct observation of the existence of a potential non-compliant system, it shall investigate and take all steps necessary to determine whether the system is non-compliant. Only the administrative authority or the Department shall determine that a system is non-compliant.
(e) When a system has been determined to be non-compliant, the owner shall take immediate steps to correct the non-compliance. When it becomes necessary to repair or replace one or more of the system components or to make alterations to the system, all the following requirements shall be met:
1. The owner shall obtain prior approval from the administrative authority or its authorized agent for any repairs or alterations made.
2. Alterations made to correct a malfunctioning system shall meet the requirements of 7:9A-3.3(e)2. In cases where the alteration does not involve the practice of engineering as defined by 45:8-28(b), the administrative authority or its authorized agent may approve plans and specifications prepared by a septic system installer rather than a licensed professional engineer.
3. When the malfunction involves continuous discharge of sewage or septic tank effluent onto the surface of the ground or into a watercourse, the use of the system shall cease until repairs or alterations have been completed in a manner which is satisfactory to the administrative authority. In such cases, the administrative authority may permit continued occupation of the building served provided that further surface discharge of sewage or septic tank effluent is prevented by the installation of a holding tank or use of an existing septic system component as a holding tank. The latter may be accomplished by pumping-out the septic tank, dosing tank, seepage pit or other system component at an adequate frequency to prevent overflow.
(f) Upon receipt of notification of the existence of a potentially non-compliant system identified during an inspection done in accordance with 7:9A-12.6, the administrative authority shall respond to the notification and shall provide its findings to the system owner within 10 business days after the notification. If immediate action is necessary to abate a potential public health or environmental impact, the administrative authority shall respond to the non-compliant system according to its standard operating procedures.
(g) Any food service establishment which generates grease and experiences a malfunction must, at a minimum, upgrade the grease removal components to the requirements of 7:9A-8.1.
(h) The administrative authority may, under certain circumstances, approve as a last resort, the permanent use of a holding tank in accordance with the requirements in (i) below to correct the problem of a malfunctioning system which cannot be repaired or altered in a satisfactory manner. Such approval may be granted by the administrative authority only if prior written approval has been granted by the Department and one of the following criteria is met:
1. The malfunctioning system serves a single family dwelling or other facility falling within the limitations set forth in 7:9A-1.8 and the system was constructed prior to the effective date of this chapter; or
2. The malfunctioning system serves a facility which exceeds the limitations set forth in 7:9A-1.8 but was constructed prior to March 6, 1981, the effective date of the NJPDES rules (N.J.A.C. 7:14A).
(i) The Department and the administrative authority may approve the permanent use of a holding tank to correct the problem of a malfunctioning system only when all of the following facts have been established to the satisfaction of the administrative authority and the Department:
1. The present malfunctioning system poses a threat or a potential threat to ground or surface water quality or public health or safety or the environment;
2. Due to site conditions, lot configuration, financial circumstances or other constraints, repair, or alteration of the system in a manner that will eliminate the cause of the malfunction is not feasible;
3. Public sewers are not available as established at 7:9A-1.6(e);
4. Reduction of disposal field hydraulic loading by means of water-saving plumbing fixtures will not correct the malfunction; and
5. Assurances are given that the holding tank will be emptied and the contents disposed of in a manner which complies with all applicable local, State and Federal ordinances, statutes and regulations. As a means of confirmation, the owner of the system shall install a water meter and shall submit to the administrative authority on a quarterly basis, evidence of dates and quantities of sewage removed, name of person(s) or firm(s) contracted to remove the sewage, the name of the facility(s) to which the sewage is taken, as well as any other evidence or information which is requested by the administrative authority.


N.J. Admin. Code § 7:9A-3.4
Amended by R.1993 d.294, effective 6/21/1993.
See: 24 N.J.R. 1987(a), 25 N.J.R. 2704(b).
Amended by R.2012 d.066, effective 4/2/2012.
See: 43 N.J.R. 478(a), 44 N.J.R. 1047(a).
Section was "Malfunctioning systems". Rewrote the section.

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