Green Environmental Engineering
    Maine Septic System Design and Environmental Services
19 Pine Needle Alley, Wayne, Maine 04284


Septic System Questions and Answers




One that abuts; specifically, the owner of contiguous property. For purposes of the Subsurface Waste Water Rules, abutter is further defined to include that property, which is separated by a right of way and/or within setback requirements between a subsurface waste water disposal field and a potable water supply; whichever was installed first. Top of Page

Adjacent wetlands See work adjacent to wetlands and waterbodies/courses. This is a term applied to soil disturbance activities when located such that sediment from the activity may carry into the wetland or water body; generally a distance of 100 feet. (See Section 1504.0).Top of Page

Aerobic A condition in which molecular oxygen is a part of the environment.Top of Page

Alteration Any change in the physical configuration of an existing system or any of its component parts. This includes the replacement, modification, installation, addition, or removal of system components, or increase in size, capacity, type, or number of one or more components. The term alter shall be construed accordingly.Top of Page

Alternative toilet A device, other than a water closet, designed to treat human waste only. Examples are privies and compost, chemical, recirculating, incinerating, and vacuum toilets. Portable toilets are not considered Alternative Toilets as they are only for temporary use (see definition of temporary portable toilet).Top of Page

Anaerobic A condition in which molecular oxygen is absent from the environment.Top of Page

Applicant The person who signs and submits an application for permit to construct, install, or alter a system.Top of Page

Application for disposal system permit Abbreviation for subsurface waste water disposal system permit application, also known as HHE-200 form, HHE-234, etc. Top of Page

Backfill Soil material that is suitable for use beneath and beside of the disposal field, including the fill extension. See Section 804.0.Top of Page

Bedrock A solid and continuous body of rock, with or without fracture, or a weathered or broken body of rock fragments overlying a solid body of rock.Top of Page

Bedroom Any room within a dwelling unit that serves primarily as sleeping quarters.Top of Page

Black waste water Waste water derived from plumbing fixtures or drains that receive excreta supplemented waste water.Top of Page

Building drain That part of the lowest horizontal piping of a drainage system that receives the discharge from soil, waste, and other drainage pipes inside the walls of a building and conveys it to the building sewer. Inside the building, it is considered to be the building drain until it undergoes a change of pitch more than that produced by a 45 degree wye. It extends to a point 8 feet outside the building wall.Top of Page

Building sewer That part of the plumbing system that extends from the end of the building drain and conveys its discharge to a public sewer, septic tank and disposal field, or other point of disposal.Top of Page

Bunkhouse A detached bedroom having no plumbing; accessory to a single family dwelling for the temporary accommodations of guests of the property owner while the owner is an occupant of the principal dwelling. Top of Page

Certificate of approval A certificate signed by the plumbing inspector stating that a system has been installed in compliance with the disposal system permit application and this code.Top of Page

Cesspool A lined or partially lined underground pit into which raw household wastewater is discharged and from which the liquid seeps into the surrounding soil. Cesspools were the original type of sewage system, and are often still in use in older homesTop of Page

Cesspool, large capacity A cesspool that receives solely domestic waste water and has the capacity to serve 20 or more persons per day or dispose of 2,000 gallons or more of waste water per day. This definition includes multiple-dwelling, community or regional cesspools but does not apply to single-family residential cesspools.Top of Page

Clay A particle size category consisting of mineral particles that are smaller than 0.002 millimeter in equivalent spherical diameter; also, a soil texture class having more than 40% clay, less than 45% sand, and less than 40% silt.Top of Page

CMR Abbreviation for Code of Maine Rules. For example, 10-144 CMR 241.9 identifies Section 9 of Chapter 241 of the Rules of the Bureau of Health within the Department of Human Services, Maine Subsurface Waste Water Disposal Rules.Top of Page

Coastal sand dune Sand deposit within a marine beach system above high tide including, but not limited to beach berm, frontal dune ridge, back dune area, and other sand areas deposited by wave or wind action.Top of Page

Code Code means the Maine Subsurface Waste Water Disposal Rules.Top of Page

Construct To build, install, fabricate, or put together on a site one or more components of a system.Top of Page

Contour An imaginary line of constant elevation on the ground surface. The corresponding line on a map is called a contour line.Top of Page

Curtain drain A trench to intercept laterally moving ground water and divert it away from a disposal field. Top of Page

DEP Maine Department of Environmental ProtectionTop of Page

Department The Maine Department of Human Services.Top of Page

Design flow The waste water flow that may reasonably be expected to be discharged from a residential, commercial, or institutional facility on any day of operation as determined in Chapter 5.Top of Page

Disposal field An individual subsurface waste water disposal system component, consisting of a closed excavation made within soil or fill material to contain disposal field stone in which distribution pipes or approved proprietary devices have been placed for the disposal of septic tank effluent.Top of Page

Disposal field infiltration area The total disposal field infiltration area available to accept the septic tank effluent. The infiltration area includes the bottom and side wall below the invert of the distribution piping.Top of Page

Disposal field infiltration area, effective The standard stone filled disposal field infiltration area or the equivalent various approved proprietary disposal devices.Top of Page

Disposal field stone Gravel or crushed stone, that is clean and free of dust, ashes or clay, and meeting the requirements prescribed in the Subsection 804.2.3.Top of Page

Disposal field, peat A disposal field utilizing peat that is designed and installed in accordance with Chapter 13.Top of Page

Disposal field, primitive See definition, Primitive disposal field.Top of Page

Disposal field, separated laundry See definition, Separated laundry disposal field.Top of Page

Disposal system See definition, Subsurface waste water disposal system.Top of Page

Disposal system permit Written authorization issued by the plumbing inspector to construct a specific system. This authorization is attached to the application for disposal system permit.Top of Page

Distribution box A device that receives septic tank effluent and distributes such effluent in equal portions to two or more disposal fields or distribution pipes within a disposal field.Top of Page

Distribution network Two or more interconnected distribution pipes.Top of Page

Distribution pipe A perforated pipe or one of several perforated pipes used to carry and distribute septic tank effluent throughout the disposal field.Top of Page

Diversion box A device that permits alternating use of two or more disposal fields or the diversion of septic tank effluent.Top of Page

Diversion ditch A ditch to intercept and divert surface water runoff around and away from a subsurface wastewater disposal system.Top of Page

Domestic waste water Any waste water produced by ordinary living uses, including liquid waste containing animal or vegetable matter in suspension or solution, or the water-carried waste from the discharge of water closets, laundry tubs, washing machines, sinks, dishwashers, or other source of water-carried wastes of human origin.Top of Page

Dosing tank A watertight receptacle located between the septic tank and disposal field and equipped with a pump or siphon, to store and deliver doses of septic tank effluent to the disposal field.Top of Page

Drainage area An area from which the surface runoff is carried away by a single watercourse.Top of Page

Drainage ditch A manmade ditch receiving and diverting surface runoff or subsurface water. This does not include diversion of a naturally occurring water body.Top of Page

Drainfield Same as Disposal FieldTop of Page

Drop box A waste water distribution device where the elevation of the incoming distribution line is higher than that of the outgoing distribution line.Top of Page

Drop manhole A manhole installed in a sewer where the elevation of the incoming sewer is considerably above that of the outgoing sewer.Top of Page

Dwelling unit Any structure or portion of a structure, permanent or temporary in nature, used or proposed to be used as a residence seasonally or throughout the year. Top of Page

Effluent line (gravity) The pipe(s) used to convey septic tank effluent from the tank to the disposal field(s), includes non-perforated pipes going from a distribution box or other flow splitting device to a disposal field or multiple disposal fields.Top of Page

Elevation reference point An easily-identifiable point or object of constant elevation for establishing the relative elevation of observation holes and elevation of the components of the system.Top of Page

Engineer See Professional Engineer.Top of Page

Engineered system See System, Engineered.Top of Page

Equivalent spherical diameter The equivalent spherical diameter of a particle is the diameter of a sphere that has a volume equal to the volume of the particle.Top of Page

Expansion The enlargement or change in use of a structure using an existing subsurface waste water disposal system that brings the total structure into a classification that requires larger subsurface waste water disposal system components. (See Chapter 17, Section 1702).Top of Page

Expansion, major Any expansion which results in a greater design flow and larger disposal system components than allowed for minor expansions, the introduction of pressurized water to a structure formerly served by hand pumped or hand carried water, the addition of a second dwelling unit to the property, any second or subsequent minor expansion of a structure since May 1, 1995, or an expansion for a nonresidential use or structure resulting in an increase of more than 25 percent of the existing design flow.Top of Page

Expansion, minor The initial expansion of a single family home after May 1, 1995 by the addition of no more than one bedroom or, if the home is served by pressurized water, the replacement of an alternative toilet by a conventional water closet. For other structures, the initial expansion since May 1, 1995 which results in an increase in design flow of no more than 25 percent.Top of Page

Experimental system See System, Experimental Top of Page

Fill material Any soil, rock, or other material placed within an excavation or over the surface of the ground. The term fill is not equivalent in meaning to the term back fill.Top of Page

Finish grade The surface of the ground after completion of final grading.Top of Page

Flood plain, coastal and estuary The land area within the V-Zone indicated by the Federal Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) or below the 10-year storm surge elevation, whichever is more restrictive. The 10-year storm surge elevation in Maine is approximately the 8-foot National Geodetic Vertical Datum.Top of Page

Flood plain, riverine The land area within the 10-year flood zone indicated by Soil Conservation Service Soil Maps or other sources acceptable to the Department in the absence of Soil Conservation Service Maps. Note: Some municipalities restrict new development in the 100-year flood plain. Top of Page

GPD Gallons Per Day.Top of Page

Gravel A rounded or semi-rounded rock fragment that is between 2 millimeters and 3 inches in diameter.Top of Page

Gray waste water That portion of the waste water generated within a residential, commercial, or institutional facility that does not include discharges from water closets and urinals.Top of Page

Grease interceptor A device in which the grease in waste water leaving a structure is intercepted, congealed by cooling, accumulated, and stored for pump-out and disposal.Top of Page

Grease trap A device designed to retain grease from a single plumbing fixture.Top of Page

Great pond Any inland body of water that, in a natural state, has a surface area in excess of ten acres and any inland body of water artificially formed or increased that has a surface area in excess of 30 acres.Top of Page

Grey Water Waste water produced by washing and bathing and which contains no urine or feces.Top of Page

Ground water Water below the land surface in a zone of soil saturation.Top of Page

Ground water aquifer A rock or gravel formation that contains significant recoverable quantities of water that is likely to provide drinking water supplies.Top of Page

Ground water table The upper surface of a zone of saturation. Top of Page

H-20 wheel load A wheel loading configuration as defined by the American Association of State Highway Officials for a standardized 10-ton-per-axle truck.Top of Page

Hazardous waste Any chemical substance or material, whether gas, solid, or liquid, that is designated as hazardous by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to the United States Resource Recovery and Conservation Act, Public Law 94-580.Top of Page

HHE-200 Subsurface Waste Water Disposal System Application. A three-page form used by Licensed Site Evaluators for designing septic systems.Top of Page

HHE-204 Replacement System Variance Request. This form is to be attached to an HHE-200 for all replacement systems requiring a variance.Top of Page

HHE-215 First Time System Variance Request. This form is to be attached to an HHE-200 for all first time systems requiring a variance.Top of Page

HHE-233 Holding Tank Application. The application/agreement form for holding tanks which is required for all holding tank requests.Top of Page

HHE-234 Notice of Intent to Install a Subsurface Wastewater Disposal System. This form is used to record a system design with the County Registry of Deeds.Top of Page

HHE-236 Application for Variance to the Minimum Lot Size Law Requirements. This form is to be filed with all pertinent data for requests for waivers to the Minimum Lot Size Law.Top of Page

HHE-238A Statement of Compliance. A form to be used by a homeowner or homeowner's agent to obtain a written statement from the disposal system installer regarding installation compliance.Top of Page

HHE-300 Holding Tank Deed Covenant. A form to be filed at the County Registry of Deeds when a residential structure is to be served by a holding tank.Top of Page

HHE-304 Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Variance Deed Covenant. A form which may be required for any property which obtains additional points for lot size prior to the final approval of a First Time System Variance. The form would require filing at the County Registry of Deeds.Top of Page

HHE-306 Well Setback Release Form. A form to be filed at the County Registry of Deeds indicating a reduced setback distance between a well and a disposal field.Top of Page

Holding tank A closed, watertight structure designed and used to receive and store waste water or septic tank effluent. A holding tank does not discharge waste water or septic tank effluent to surface or ground water or onto the surface of the ground. Holding tanks are designed and constructed to facilitate ultimate disposal of waste water at another site.Top of Page

Horizon, limiting Any soil horizon or combination of soil horizons, within the soil profile or any parent material below the soil profile, that limits the ability of the soil to provide treatment or disposal of septic tank effluent. Limiting horizons include bedrock, hydraulically restrictive soil horizons and parent material, excessively coarse soil horizons and parent material, and seasonal ground water table.Top of Page

Horizon, soil A layer within a soil profile differing from the soil above or below it in one or more soil morphological characteristics. The characteristics of the layer include the color, texture, rock-fragment content, structure, and consistence of each parent soil material.Top of Page

Horizontal reference point A stationary, easily identifiable point to which horizontal dimensions can be related.Top of Page

Hydrology The science dealing with the properties, distribution, and circulation of water. Top of Page

Install To assemble, put in place, or connect components of a system in a manner that permits their use by the occupants of the structure served.Top of Page

Invert The floor, bottom, or lowest portion of the internal cross section of a closed conduit, used with reference to pipes or fittings conveying waste water or septic tank effluent. Top of Page

Leachfield Same as Disposal FieldTop of Page

Limited operation hunting camp A structure or group of structures established to lodge sportspersons for the specific purpose of hunting or fishing. The camp's use is restricted to a period not to exceed four consecutive weeks.Top of Page

Lined disposal field A filtration layer of backfill placed directly beneath and adjacent to a disposal field.Top of Page

Local plumbing inspector Also L.P.I. An inspector appointed by the municipality and certified by the state with the responsibilities delineated by Title 30-A MRSA §4221 and Title 30-A MRSA §4451 and these rules. Top of Page

Maine Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules The latest version of the 144A CMR 241 state rules regulating the design and installation of inground septic systems in Maine . Also known as the Rules. Click here for the online version.Top of Page

Malfunctioning system A system that is not operating or is not functioning properly. Indications of a malfunctioning system include, but are not limited to, any of the following: ponding or outbreak of waste water or septic tank effluent onto the surface of the ground; seepage of waste water or septic tank effluent into parts of buildings below ground; back-up of waste water into the building served that is not caused by a physical blockage of the internal plumbing; or contamination of nearby water wells or waterbodies/courses.Top of Page

Mottles, drainage Soil color patterns caused by alternating saturated and unsaturated soil conditions. When saturation occurs while soil temperatures are above biological zero (41°F), iron and manganese will become reduced and exhibit subdued shades such as grays, greens, or blues. When unsaturated conditions occur, oxygen combines with iron and manganese to develop brighter soil colors such as yellow and reddish brown. Soils that experience seasonally fluctuating water tables usually exhibit alternating streaks, spots, or blotches of bright oxidized colors with reduced dull, or subdued, colors. The longer a soil is saturated and in an anaerobic condition, the greater is the percentage of color that will be subdued. Soils that are never or rarely exposed to free oxygen are considered totally reduced or gleyed.Top of Page

Mottling A color pattern observed in soil consisting of blotches or spots of contrasting color. The term mottle refers to an individual blotch or spot.Top of Page

Multi-family dwelling unit A structure or realty improvement intended for two or more dwelling units. Top of Page

No practical alternative Due to site conditions, lot configuration, or other constraints, the replacement, repair or alteration of an existing system, in full compliance with this code, is not achievable without the employment of extraordinary measures or cost.Top of Page

Normal high water line - coastal, estuary, and tidal The shoreline at the spring tide elevation, during the maximum spring tide level as identified in tide tables published by the National Ocean Service.Top of Page

Normal high water line - riverine, stream, lake, and pond That line on the shore or bank that is apparent from visible markings, changes in the character of soil, rock, or vegetation resulting from submersion or the prolonged erosion action of the water.Top of Page

Nuisance Any source of filth, odor, or probable cause of sickness. Top of Page

Other components Devices, other than pipe, that receive waste water including lift stations, distribution boxes, sealed vault privies, underdrain pre-filters, grease interceptors, and drop boxes.Top of Page

Person An individual or his heirs, executor, administrator, assign, or agents; a firm, corporation, association, organization, municipal or quasi-municipal corporation, or government agency. Singular includes plural and male includes female.Top of Page

Pit privy An alternative toilet placed over an excavation where human waste is deposited.Top of Page

Plumbing inspector See Local Plumbing Inspector.Top of Page

Potable water Water that does not contain objectionable pollution, contamination, minerals, or ineffective agents, is satisfactory for human consumption, and is used for human consumption.Top of Page

Pre-existing natural ground surface The former level of the ground surface in an area of disturbed ground.Top of Page

Primitive disposal field A minimal disposal field designed specifically to treat gray waste water originating from a non-pressurized water supply.Top of Page

Primitive system See definition, System, primitive.Top of Page

Principal or year-round dwelling unit A dwelling which existed on December 31, 1981, and which was used as a principal or year-round residence during the period from 1977 to 1981. Evidence of use as a principal or year-round residence includes, but is not limited to the listing of that dwelling as an occupant's legal residence for the purpose of voting, filing a state tax return, or automobile registration, or the occupancy of that dwelling for a period exceeding 7 months in any calendar year.Top of Page

Professional engineer A person licensed to practice professional engineering in Maine , pursuant to Title 32 Chapter 19.Top of Page

Proprietary disposal device A device utilized in disposal fields as an alternative to a disposal field with a bedding of stone and one or more distribution pipes.Top of Page

Public sewer Municipal or quasi-municipal sewerage system. Top of Page

Pump Tank A watertight container, usually (but not always) separate from the septic tank, into which effluent flows by gravity and is then ejected by a submersible electric pump through a pressure line to the leachfield. Pump tanks often are hooked to an alarm to warn of pump failure. Top of Page

Raw Sewage Household or commercial wastewater that has not yet received any treatment. Raw sewage is what flows into wastewater treatment systems, e.g., the septic tank in an onsite wastewater treatment system.Top of Page

Realty improvement Any new residential, commercial, or industrial structure, or other premises, including but not limited to condominiums, garden apartments, town houses, mobile homes, stores, office buildings, restaurants, and hotels, not served by an approved public sewer, the useful occupancy of which will require the installation or construction of systems. Each dwelling unit in a proposed multiple-family dwelling unit or each commercial unit in a commercial structure shall be construed to be a separate realty improvement.Top of Page

Recreation/Sporting Camp A structure or group of structures established to lodge sportspersons for the specific purpose of hunting and/or fishing. These camps have the potential to operate year-round with a variety of use patterns.Top of Page

Repair Minor repairs or replacement as required for the operation of pumps, siphons, or accessory equipment, for the clearance of a stoppage, or to seal a leak in the septic tank, holding tank, pump tank, or building sewer.Top of Page

Replacement system See definition, System, replacement.Top of Page

Residence See definitions, Dwelling unit and Realty improvement.Top of Page

River A free flowing body of water from that point at which it provides drainage for a watershed of 25 square miles to its mouth.Top of Page

Rock fragment A fragment of rock, contained within the soil that is greater than 2 millimeters in equivalent spherical diameter or that is retained on a 2 millimeter sieve.Top of Page

Sand A particle size category consisting of mineral particles that are between 0.05 and 2 millimeters in equivalent spherical diameter. Also a soil textural class having 85% or more sand along with a maximum of 15% silt and clay. The percentage of silt may not be more than 15 times the percentage of clay.Top of Page

Saturated A condition in which all easily drained voids between the soil particles are temporarily or permanently filled with water.Top of Page

Scum A mass of waste water solids floating on the surface of the waste water and buoyed up by entrained gas, grease, or other substances. The term scum layer shall be construed accordingly.Top of Page

Seasonal conversion permit Written authorization issued by the plumbing inspector to allow the conversion of a seasonal dwelling unit located in a shoreland zone of major waterbodies/courses to year-round use.Top of Page

Seasonal dwelling unit A dwelling which existed on December 31, 1981, and which was not used as a principal or year-round residence during the period from 1977 to 1981.Top of Page

Seasonal ground water table The upper limit of seasonal ground water. This zone may be determined by identification of soil drainage mottling, the MAPSS (Maine Association of Professional Soil Scientists) drainage key, or by monitoring.Top of Page

Separate laundry disposal field A separate disposal field sized to handle the laundry waste water from single-family dwelling units.Top of Page

Separation Distance The vertical distance in inches between the bottom of the disposal bed and limiting factors such as seasonally high groundwater, bedrock, or an impermeable soil layer.Top of Page

Septage All sludge, scum, liquid, or any other material removed from a septic tank or disposal field.Top of Page

Septic System A system for treating wastewater from an individual home or business, or a group of homes or businesses that relies on natural anaerobic and aerobic bacterial decomposition processes to treat wastewater and return it to the environment. A conventional onsite septic system consists of a gravity-fed septic tank designed to separate solid matter from liquid effluent, and a gravity-fed leachfield whose soils absorb and further treat effluent. Properly designed and maintained, a septic system can effectively and naturally treat wastewater for 20-30 yearsTop of Page

Septic tank A watertight receptacle that receives the discharge of untreated waste water. It is designed and installed so as to permit settling or settleable solids from the liquid, retention of the scum, partial digestion of the organic matter, and discharge of the liquid portion into a disposal field.Top of Page

Septic tank effluent Primary treated waste water discharged through the outlet of a septic tank and/or an approved sand, peat, or similar filter.Top of Page

Septic tank filter A device designed to keep solids and grease in a septic tank.Top of Page

Serial distribution A method of distributing septic tank effluent between or within a series of disposal fields so that each successive disposal field receives septic tank effluent only after the preceding disposal fields have become full to the bottom of the invert.Top of Page

Setback distance The shortest horizontal distance between a component of a system and certain site features or structures.Top of Page

Shoreland zone of major waterbodies/courses area For these rules all land area within 250 feet, horizontal distance, of the normal high-water line or any great pond, river or salt water body; or within 75 feet, horizontal distance, of the normal high-water line of a stream or as designated by a municipality.Top of Page

Should A verb denoting recommended action under certain circumstances.Top of Page

Silt A particle size category consisting of mineral particles that are between 0.002 and 0.05 millimeters in equivalent spherical diameter. It also means a soil textural class having 80% or more of silt and 12% or less of clay.Top of Page

Single-family dwelling unit A structure or realty improvement intended for single-family use.Top of Page

Site evaluation The practice of investigating, evaluating, and reporting the basic soil and site conditions that apply to waste water treatment and disposal along with a system design in compliance with this code.Top of Page

Sludge A relatively dense accumulation of waste water solids that settle to the bottom of a septic tank. These solids are relatively resistant to biological decomposition and collect in the septic tank over a period of time. The term sludge layer shall be construed accordingly.Top of Page

Soil The outermost surface layer of the earth. It is made up of individual soil bodies, each with its own individual characteristics. In places, soil has been modified or even made by people. It contains living matter and is capable of supporting plants out-of-doors.Top of Page

Soil color The soil color and Munsell color designation determined by comparison of the moist soil with color chips contained in a Munsell soil color book.Top of Page

Soil consistence The resistance, in place, of a soil horizon to penetration by a soil probe.Top of Page

Soil profile A vertical cross section of the undisturbed soil showing the characteristic soil horizontal layers or soil horizons that have formed as a result of the combined effects of parent material, topography, climate, biological activity, and time.Top of Page

Soil saturation The state when all the pores in the soil are filled with water. Water will flow from saturated soils into an observation hole.Top of Page

Soil texture The relative proportions of sand, silt, and clay.Top of Page

Stone A rock fragment that is rounded or semi-rounded in shape and greater than 10 inches in diameter.Top of Page

Stream A free-flowing body of water from the outlet of a great pond or the confluence of two perennial streams (as depicted on the most recent edition of a United States Geological Survey 7.5 minute topographical map or, if not available, a 15 minute topographic map) to the point where the body of water becomes a river.Top of Page

Substantial compliance A term and concept for regulatory review in the shoreland zone of major waterbodies/courses stated in 30A MRSA §4211. Used to define application of requirements in one time expansions or conversion from seasonal to year round use of structures. For the purpose of these rules, substantial compliance means a reduction of the setback and soil requirements for first time systems as found in Table 600.4 and Table 700.4.Top of Page

Subsurface waste water disposal system septic tanks; disposal fields; grandfathered cesspools; holding tanks; pretreatment filter, piping, or any other fixture, mechanism, or apparatus used for those purposes; does not include any discharge system licensed under Title 38 MRSA §414, any surface waste water disposal system, or any municipal or quasi-municipal sewer or waste water treatment system.Top of Page

System See definition, Subsurface waste water disposal system.Top of Page

System cleaner Any solid or liquid material intended or used primarily for the purpose of cleaning, treating, degreasing, unclogging, disinfecting, or deodorizing any part of a system. These do not include those liquid or solid products intended or used primarily for manual cleaning, scouring, treating, deodorizing, or disinfecting the surfaces of common plumbing fixtures. See Section 910.0.Top of Page

System, engineered Any subsurface waste water disposal system designed, installed, and operated as a single unit to treat and dispose of 2,000 gallons of waste water per day or more; or any system designed to be capable of treating waste water with significantly higher BOD5 and total suspended solid concentrations than domestic waste water in Table 603.1.Top of Page

System, experimental Any subsurface waste water disposal system, including components thereof, designed upon unproven concepts; processes otherwise untried in Maine ; or field applications of processes developed under controlled research conditions.Top of Page

System, first time The first system designed to serve a specific structure; a new system.Top of Page

System, multi-user For the purposes of this code, multi-user disposal systems serve or are designed to serve three or more structures under different ownerships. See Chapter 12.Top of Page

System, non-conforming A system that does not conform to the location, design, construction, or installation requirements in this code.Top of Page

System, non-engineered Any system designed, installed, and operated as a single unit to treat and dispose of less than 2,000 gallons of waste water per day.Top of Page

System, primitive A system consisting of a primitive disposal field and an alternative toilet.Top of Page

System, replacement A system designed to replace an existing system, an overboard discharge, or any ground surface discharge, without any increase in water usage, except as allowed in Section 1702.0.Top of Page

Tank Baffle A baffle is a vertical section or wall within the tank that reduces the velocity of, and directs the waste through, the tank and prevents solids from flowing into the outlet pipe and leaving the tank. overwhelm the baffles.Top of Page

Temporary portable toilet A prefabricated toilet designed for temporary use, typically at social functions, work sites, outdoor gatherings, etc. No plumbing permit nor site evaluation is required.Top of Page

Test Pit (Observation hole) A subsurface exploration, excavated by hand shovel, back-hoe, auger, or a soil core taken intact and undisturbed, using a probe, to a depth of 48 to bedrock or to a depth of 12 below a restrictive layer.Top of Page

Unit See dwelling unit.Top of Page

Unorganized area An area subject to the jurisdiction of the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission under Title 12, Chapter 206-A.Top of Page

Value The relative lightness or intensity of a color, one of the three variables of soil color defined within the Munsell system of classification.Top of Page

Variance Written authorization that permits some act or condition not otherwise permitted by this code.Top of Page

Vault privy An alternative toilet that retains human waste in a sealed vault.Top of Page

Waste water Any domestic waste water, or other waste water from commercial, industrial, or residential sources which has constituents similar to that of domestic waste water. This term specifically excludes hazardous or toxic wastes and materials.Top of Page

Waste water discharge license A waste water discharge license issued by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection under Title 38 MRSA §414.Top of Page

Waste water ejector A device to elevate and/or pump untreated waste water to a public sewer, septic tank, or other means of disposal.Top of Page

Water body natural and artificial lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, brooks, swamps, marshes, bogs and tidal marshes. It usually discharges into a larger water body and has a definite channel, bed, banks and high water mark.Top of Page

Water body/course, major Any waterbody or water course depicted on a United States Geological Survey (USGS) 7.5 minute map, or a 15 minute map if a 7.5 minute map is not compiled.Top of Page

Water body/course, minor Any water body or water course that is not a major water course. This does not include man-made ditches, except where a ditch is dug as a diversion to a natural water course.Top of Page

Water course A channel created by the action of surface water and characterized by the lack of upland vegetation or the presence of aquatic vegetation and by the presence of a bed devoid of top soil containing waterborne deposits on exposed soil, parent material or bedrock.Top of Page

Water well A bored, drilled, or driven shaft or a dug hole, that extends below the seasonal ground water table and is used as the primary drinking water supply. If there is more than one well on a property, it is presumed that one well supplies the structure(s) associated with the property with drinking water and that all other wells have either been abandoned or are spite wells.Top of Page

Well, public water supply A well supplying water to a public water supply. A public water supply furnishes water to at least 25 individuals at least 60 days a year, or has at least 15 service connections, or bottles water for sale.Top of Page

Wetland Area that has a predominance of hydric soils and that is inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances does support, a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions.Top of Page

Wetland, coastal All tidal and sub-tidal lands; all lands below any identifiable debris line left by tidal action; all lands with vegetation present that is tolerant of salt water and occurs primarily in a salt water or estuarine habitat; and any swamp, marsh, bog, beach, or contiguous lowland subject to tidal action during the maximum spring tide level as identified in tide tables published by the National Ocean Service. Coastal wetlands may include portions of coastal dunes.Top of Page

Wetland, freshwater Freshwater swamp, marsh, bog, or similar area that is inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and for a duration sufficient to support, and normally does support, predominantly wetland vegetation. A freshwater wetland may contain inclusions of land that do not conform to the requirements of this definition.Top of Page

Wetland, special freshwater Wetlands which consist of, or contain: 1. Under normal circumstances, at least 20,000 square feet of aquatic vegetation, emergent marsh vegetation, or open water, except for artificial ponds or impoundments; or, 2. Peatlands dominated by shrubs, sedges and sphagnum moss.Top of Page

Work started The work has started when any construction directly associated with the system's or system component's installation has begun.Top of Page



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