Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(A) Enforcement authority. Except as provided for elsewhere in this chapter, the Health Department is authorized and charged with enforcing this chapter.
(B) Right of entry for permit inspections.
(1) Any application for a permit submitted under the provisions of this chapter by a property owner or his or her authorized agent shall constitute permission for representatives of the Health Department bearing proper credentials and identification to enter the property identified in the application to:
(a) Collect data and information necessary to process the application;
(b) Inspect any existing septic system; and
(c) Inspect the installation or repair of any septic system.
(2) In the event a person who has common ownership over a building, structure or land does not allow an inspection after a permit has been applied for, the following shall occur:
(a) The application submitted or permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall be immediately cancelled;
(b) All work being performed under a permit shall be immediately suspended; and
(c) The work may only commence upon the issuance of a new permit and a notification by the Health Department that the work can continue.
(C) Right of entry for inspecting conditions that may threaten public health.
(1) When the Health Department has reason to believe that a septic system has failed or septic effluent is otherwise being released to the environment, representatives of the Health Department, bearing proper credentials and identification, may enter upon and inspect any private property for such purposes as inspecting, observing, measuring, sampling, testing and examining records necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(2) In the event a person who has common ownership over a building, structure or land does not permit an inspection, the inspection may be rescheduled and the person shall be notified by certified mail. Failure of the person to thereafter permit an inspection will be sufficient grounds and probable cause for a court of competent jurisdiction to issue an administrative warrant for the purpose of inspecting, observing, measuring, sampling, testing or examining records necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(3) In the event a building, structure or land appears to be vacant or abandoned and/or the property owner cannot be readily contacted in order to obtain consent for an inspection, the Health Department may enter into or upon any open or unsecured portion of the premises for purposes of inspecting, observing, measuring, sampling, testing or examining records necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(D) Corrective action for failed septic systems. Whenever the Health Department determines there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision of this chapter or that a septic system has failed, the Health Department may issue a written order to abate the violation or repair or replace the failed system to the person or persons responsible for the violation and the property owner consistent with the following requirements.
(1) The abatement order shall be sent by certified mail to the last known address of the person responsible and the property owner.
(2) If the certified letter is returned, a copy of the letter shall be posted at the property where the violation occurred or where the failed system exists.
(3) The abatement order shall include a:
(a) Statement explaining the nature of the violation or condition;
(b) Description of the remedies required to abate the violation or condition;
(c) Reasonable time for correcting the violation or condition; and
(d) Description of the penalty that is imposed for the violation, if any.
(4) Any property owner notified of a corrective action requirement by the process identified above shall comply with the order or he or she shall be in violation of this chapter and subject to the penalties provided in § 51.99.
(E) Order or abatement for failure to properly install a septic system. Whenever the Health Department determines that a violation of this chapter has occurred during the installation of a septic system by a person possessing a license issued pursuant to § 51.15, the Health Department shall require corrective action consistent with the following.
(1) If the violation can be readily corrected without changing any permit requirements or altering the suitability of the site to support the septic system being installed or a future septic system that may become necessary, the following shall apply.
(a) The Health Department shall notify the contractor of the action required to correct the violation by leaving a tag at the site and by similarly verbally informing the licensee.
(b) The contractor shall perform the required action and contact the Health Department for a reinspection within 24 working hours.
(c) Failure to perform the action required shall be grounds for the issuance of an abatement order under this section.
(2) If the violation cannot be readily corrected without changing any permit requirements or altering the suitability of the site to support the septic system being installed or a future septic system that may become necessary, the following shall apply.
(a) The Health Department shall verbally order the immediate suspension of work and shall issue an order of abatement pursuant to this section.
(b) Upon the receipt of a verbal order to suspend work the licensee shall take the necessary measures and be responsible for protecting the site from any and all damage.
(c) The contractor shall comply with the order of abatement and pay any reasonable and appropriate penalty determined by the Health Department.
(d) If a contractor fails to comply with an order of abatement, the penalties shall increase and the Health Department may suspend or cancel the licensee of the offending party.
(F) Issuance of emergency orders.
(1) Whenever the Health Officer finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, the Health Officer may, without notice or hearing, issue an emergency abatement order to any person or licensee reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring that action be taken as the Health Officer deems reasonable and necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the order shall be effective immediately. An emergency abatement order may include but not be limited to:
(a) Immediately discontinuing the use of any septic system;
(b) Removing any septic effluent which has entered the environment; or
(c) Ordering any structure served by a failed septic system to be vacated.
(2) Any person receiving an emergency abatement order:
(a) Shall comply with and carry out the order;
(b) May seek a hearing under division (G) below while carrying out the order;
(c) Shall have the right to recover any of its response costs from the county to the extent that the order or any portion thereof is found to have been arbitrary or capricious or not otherwise in accordance with law; and
(d) If a person fails to perform the lawful measures ordered by the Health Department pursuant to this division (F), the Health Department:
1. May enter the property without prior notice to take or cause to be taken any emergency order; and
2. Shall be reimbursed by the person who failed to perform the emergency order for all costs incurred by the Health Department associated with taking the action ordered.
(G) Corrective action for failure to collect, maintain, or pay residential cluster system repair and/or replacement fund.
(1) Whenever the Health Department determines that the owner of a residential cluster system has failed to collect or maintain the replacement fund determined by the Health Department, the Health Department may:
(a) Order the owner to modify the method, rate, or amount of fund collected;
(b) Require other measures as may be deemed reasonable and necessary to protect public health and property; and
(c) Require the payment of penalties as prescribed in § 51.99.
(2) Whenever the Health Department determines that the owner of a property served by the residential cluster system has failed to make the required payments into the replacement fund, the Health Department may:
(a) Order the property owner to modify the method, rate, or amount of the payment;
(b) Require other measures as may be deemed reasonable and necessary to protect public health and property;
(c) Require the payment of penalties as prescribed in § 51.99; and
(d) Require the property be disconnected from the residential cluster system and order the residence to be vacated.
(H) Appealing an order of the Health Department.
(1) Any person affected by an abatement order or any decision issued by the Health Department may petition for and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Health Officer, provided that the person shall file a petition with the office of the Health Officer by mail postmarked or hand delivered, within 15 days after service of an order of abatement or issuance of the decision. The request for a hearing shall be written and shall set forth a brief statement of the grounds thereof.
(2) Upon receipt of the petition, the Health Officer shall arrange a time and place for the hearing and shall give the petitioner written notice thereof. The hearing shall be held as soon as practicable after the receipt of a petition but in no case shall the hearing be more than 30 days after receipt of the petition. At the hearing, the petitioner shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to show cause why the abatement order should not be complied with.
(3) The Health Officer shall sustain, modify or withdraw the notice to the petitioner as soon as practical and in no case later than 15 days following the hearing. The decision shall be final subject only to review by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(Ord. 58-07, passed 7-17-2007; Am. Ord. 61-11, passed 5-10-2011; Am. Ord. 26-13, passed 5-14- 2013)