Walker Township Prepares for ACT 537 Plan

By Lisa Price

During a meeting Saturday, Walker Township Supervisors discussed possible revisions to the township's Holding Tank ordinance, which was adopted in 2005, and future adoption of an On-Lot Sewage Management Program. Both measures are part of the township's ACT 537 Plan.

On January 24, 1966, the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (Act 537) was enacted to correct existing sewage disposal problems and prevent future problems. Local municipalities are largely responsible for administering the Act 537 sewage facilities program.

To assist local municipalities in fulfilling this responsibility, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) provides technical assistance, financial assistance, and oversight.

During the meeting Saturday, the supervisors discussed whether or not the current holding tank ordinance is sufficient and would not require adoption of a revised ordinance. The township's solicitor, Michael Greek, will review the current ordinance.

Supervisors and Walker's Sewage Committee are working to clarify the intent of some of the language contained in the draft of the On-Lot Sewage Management Program ordinance. According to the requirements outlined in the draft version, each person owning a building served by an on-lot sewage disposal system shall have the system pumped within two years of the effective date of the ordinance by a DEP licensed hauler. Also, new systems must be inspected by a sewage enforcement officer and routine inspections completed every 5 years after the initial inspection.

The supervisors noted that a Public Hearing to discuss ACT 537 plans will be held jointly with West Penn Township, on June 24, 7 p.m., at the West Penn Township municipal building.