For over 40 years, Pennsylvania law (Act 537) requires every municipality to develop a plan for managing wastewater in its jurisdiction, to protect streams, aquifers and the quality of groundwater. The law also requires each municipality to revise its plan periodically to continually meet evolving environmental conditions and changing community needs.
This “Act 537” plan is especially important in Solebury Township because most residents get their drinking water directly from ground wells. The mission of the Township, expressed in the 2002 Comprehensive Plan and many subsequent planning documents, makes this issue a top priority. Every update to the Solebury Township 537 Plan is intended to exercise the best practices in wastewater management to protect and enhance the quality of our natural resources.
The key points of the new plan address how the Township can work with residents to increase the efficiency and longevity of their residential septic systems. Only a small portion of the Township, along Route 202, is connected to a public sewer system; most wastewater is processed in septic tanks on individual properties. The new Act 537 Plan embraces this reality and fully incorporates it in the Township's long-term wastewater management strategy.
As part of the new Act 537 Plan, the Township passed three ordinances in June of 2014 as follows:
- Ordinance 2014-007: Management of Onlot Sewage Disposal Facilities
- Ordinance 2014-008: Management of Holding Tanks
- Ordinance 2014-009: Permitting of All Onlot Sewage Disposal Systems Proposed to be Installed
These Ordinances will help protect both property owners and our public waterways long into the future. A primary initiative of these Ordinances is the implementation of a new Sewage Management Program in Solebury. The Sewage Management Program requires that all property owners with a septic system to have it pumped and visually inspected every three years beginning in 2014. Initially, upon notification from the Township, property owners will need to have their system pumped within 12 months, or provide documentation that the system was recently pumped. Letters will be mailed to all property owners with septic systems in July 2014, explaining the program. See Frequently Asked Questions for more information on the program. In addition, following the FAQ’s, you will find helpful brochures and links where you can find additional information on septic systems.