Tisbury Massachusetts
51 Spring Street, P.O. Box 1239, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568
ph: (508) 696-4200
Wastewater Regulations

Regulations of Sewage and Septage Collection
Treatment and Disposal
Approved by the Board of Public Works Commissioners


Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the meaning of terms used in these regulations shall be as follows:

ABATEMENTS OF USER FEES – Any formal request made to the Board of Public Works Commissioners for mitigation of user fees, or extension of payments due.

BILLING PERIOD – User fees will be billed out to each customer at the end of each quarter; ie. July 1st, October 1st, January 1st and April 1st of each year. All payments must be made 30 days after issuance. Any payments not received within 30 days of issuance will be considered delinquent.

BOD – Biochemical oxygen demand – A measure of strength of domestic waste, which is the quantity of oxygen, utilized in the biochemical oxidation of organic matter under standard laboratory procedures in 5 days at 20 degrees centigrade, expressed in mg/liter.

B.O.H. – Shall mean the Tisbury Board of Health.

B.O.P.W.C. – Shall mean the Board of Public Works Commissioners.

BUILDING DRAIN – Shall mean that part of the lowest horizontal piping of a building drainage system, which collects roof, floor (other than bathroom and kitchen) or other drainage and conveys it to the exterior of the building.

CHIEF OPERATOR – The individual, licensed by the state, at a grade level equal to or higher than the grade of the plant, and is responsible for the operation, testing and maintenance of the WWTF and the sewage collection system including the submission of mandated reports to the D.E.P.

D.E.P. – Department of Environmental Protection.

D.P.W. – Department of Public Works administered by an independently elected Board of Public Works Commissioners, as established by statute.

DOMESTIC WASTE – Shall mean the liquid waste that would normally be generated by kitchen and bathroom facilities.

FLOW – Is the volume of sewage over time though a pipe and shall be measured in gallons per day.

GREASE TRAP – An external watertight structure designed to pre-treat commercial kitchen waste before discharging into the town's sewer system. Its purpose is to separate grease from the sewage waste stream, in order to dispose of those wastes separately. No domestic waste shall be allowed to enter any external grease trap, and must be sized in accordance with D.E.P./B.O.H. regulations.

INDUSTRIAL WASTE – Shall mean the liquid waste from an industrial manufacturing processes, such as photograph processing, electroplating or printing.

INTERCEPTOR (grease or sand) –A device designed and installed so as to separate and retain deleterious hazardous, or undesirable matter from the sewage waste stream while permitting domestic sewage to discharge into the town's sewer system.

OIL & GREASE – Any material (animal, vegetable or hydro carbon) which is extractable from an acidified sample of waste by freon or other designated solvents and as determined by the appropriate standard procedure.

PERSON – Shall mean any individual, firm, company, association society, corporation, or group.

pH – Shall mean the logarithm of the reciprocal of the weight of hydrogen ions in grams per liter of solution.

PLANT OPERATOR – The individual licensed by the state to operate and maintain the WWTF and works directly for the chief operator.

PRETREATMENT- The reduction of the amount of pollutants, the elimination of pollutants, or the alteration of the nature of the pollutant's properties in wastewater prior to or in lieu of discharging or otherwise introducing such pollutants into the Town's Sewage Collection System. Garbage disposals are a permitted type of pretreatment.

PROPERTY OWNER – The person who has deeded ownership of property connected to the Town's sewage collection system, as registered with the Duke's County registry of deeds.

SEPTAGE – Shall mean any pump out of on site domestic sewage waste from title 5 disposal systems (excluding waste containing grease, fats, or oils) or from holding tanks containing domestic sewage wastes from marine recreational vehicles.

SEPTAGE HAULERS – Shall mean vehicles outfitted to pump out liquid/solid waste permitted by the Tisbury Board of Health.

SERVICE AREA – Is described in article 10 "Figure 1: Phase IV Centralized Service Area" drawn by Stone Environmental Inc. (voted April 11, 2000) or as modified by Town vote.

SEWAGE – Shall mean a combination of the water carried domestic waste from residences, businesses, institutions and industrial establishments.

SEWAGE CONNECTION PERMIT – A permit issued by the Board of Public Works Commissioners for sewer connections within the sewage area to the WWTF, which must be approved 5 business days prior to work commencing on the connection and all related piping.

SEWAGE COLLECTION SYSTEM – Shall mean all exterior facilities for collecting, pumping, treating and disposing of domestic sewage, which carries sewage, and to which storm surface, and ground water are not permitted

SEWAGE AND SEPTAGE FEES – user fees established by the Board of Public Works Commissioners as approved annually by Town vote for the reimbursement of the cost associated with processing domestic sewer and septage wastes.

SEWAGE REVIEW BOARD – A board empowered to recommend to Town meeting any changes to assigned flows within the service area, or to recommend an increase to the service area. Increases in flows/strength for (2) years after these Regulations are adopted will not be permitted. Under extraordinary circumstances if approved by both the Board of Public Works Commissioners and the Sewage Review Board, user fee abatements and flow penalties maybe waived in whole or in part.

STOP WORK ORDER – A letter issued by the Board of Public Works Commissioners, which shall cause the property owner or agent to immediately cease operations and comply with regulations or cause to be remedied any condition in variance with these regulations, which the D.P.W. Director, or Chief Operator believes to be unsafe. The Board of Health will be notified immediately and a copy of this letter will be forwarded to the Board of Health and Tisbury Building Inspector.

STORM DRAIN – Shall mean a collection system, which carries storm and surface waters and drainage, but excludes sewage and industrial waste.

WWTF – Waste Water Treatment Facility, which is a publicly owned treatment works, which is designed to treat domestic sewage of those properties designated within the service area and septage for property owners within the Town of Tisbury as operated under the authority of the Board of Public Works Commissioners.


The Board of Public Works Commissioners have set forth the following regulations for the Town's WWTF. The WWTF shall provide economical and timely wastewater processing service and SEPTAGE processing service to the Town of Tisbury. The efficient operation of the WWTF will protect the ground waters of Martha's Vineyard by treating the wastewater so that the water discharged from the WWTF will meet D.E.P. permitting standards. These Regulations provide the necessary administrative processes and billing rates for SEWAGE and SEPTAGE treatment for its customers. Adherence to these regulations will allow the facility to continue its operation and maintenance programs in an effective and efficient manner.

The PROPERTY OWNER shall be required to install at their expense, PRETREATMENT or FLOW equalizing facilities for any waters or waste, if at the discretion of the B.O.P.W.C. acting on the recommendation of the CHIEF OPERATOR their FLOW or biological loading is greater than 300 mg/liter B.O.D. their FLOW will exceed their FLOW allotment or the WWTF ability to treat that particular waste stream. Such equipment shall be maintained continuously by the PROPERTY OWNER at their expense. All installations of pretreatment facilities must be permitted by the appropriate town inspectors.

There shall be a SEWAGE CONNECTION PERMIT furnished by the Department of Public Works upon which the PROPERTY OWNER shall make application for service. This application will be valid for a period of 60 days from approval and is valid only for the original conditions for which it was issued. The permit application shall include plans detailing the proposed connection, or other documentation as required by the DPW. Increase in FLOW to that which was granted on the initial application shall require a new permit, and a Town vote. The issuance of a permit by the DPW does not preclude other permit requirements of the Town of Tisbury.

The PROPERTY OWNER of any building connected to the SEWAGE COLLECTION SYSTEM shall make available to the D.P.W., upon written request, any and all Material Safety Data Sheets used in the process, manufacturing, treatment, or cleaning of any materials that may enter the SEWAGE COLLECTION SYSTEM.


Upon receiving an approved SEWAGE CONNECTION PERMIT, the PROPERTY OWNER may install the connection within the following parameters:

1.) Any connection to the SEWAGE COLLECTION SYSTEM shall be made under the supervision of the D.P.W. No unauthorized PERSON shall uncover, make any connection with, or opening into, use, alter, or disturb any part of the SEWAGE COLLECTION SYSTEM without first obtaining written permission from the D.P.W.

 BUILDING DRAIN and STORM DRAIN connections, to the SEWAGE COLLECTION SYSTEM are not permitted. The SEWAGE COLLECTION SYSTEM is only designed to treat DOMESTIC WASTE.

3.) The PROPERTY OWNER must install all sewage lines, pumps and electrical work through to Town property in accordance with the engineering details provided by the B.O.P.W.C., as a condition of obtaining a SEWAGE CONNECTION PERMIT. The PROPERTY OWNER will provide the Town with written permission to access the PROPERTY OWNER'S property in order to maintain system pumps or system controls, all gravity lines on private property are the responsibility of the PROPERTY OWNER.

Any owner requested disconnect for any reason such as owner renovation work shall be re-established for a reconnection fee equaling 125% of the actual cost incurred by the Town of Tisbury to reconnect.

Any outstanding delinquent payments will be reviewed by the B.O.P.W.C. and they may recommend to the B.O.S. that a lean be placed on the property of the PROPERTY OWNER whose delinquent in payment for the amount owed.

6.) Initial and semi-annual "in process" inspections of sewage pumps, pipe valves, and control systems, shall be done by the D.P.W. Director ,CHIEF OPERATOR, or Plant Operator personnel. A 24-hour notice to the PROPERTY OWNER of any inspection will be provided. Inspections will only be scheduled during normal business hours.

7.) All work to install sewage piping and equipment must be done in accordance with the design detail provided by the B.O.P.W.C., and comply with all state plumbing, building and electrical codes. Deviation from the prescribed procedures and materials shall be cause for issuance of a STOP WORK ORDER until compliance is met. Any requested deviation must be approved, in writing by the D.P.W.

8.) Grease, oil and sand INTERCEPTORS shall be provided when, at the discretion of the B.O.P.W.C. acting on the recommendation of the CHIEF OPERATOR, they are necessary for the proper handling of liquid waste. All INTERCEPTORS and types and capacity approved by the B.O.P.W.C. shall be located exterior to the facility and be readily accessible for cleaning and inspection, and their installation will require the appropriate town inspector permits.

 9.) The following pollutants are prohibited from entering the SEWAGE COLLECTION SYSTEM:

Waste which would create a fire or explosive hazard.

Waste which would cause corrosive structural damage, or have a pH lower than 5.5.

Solids or viscous materials, in the amounts, which will cause obstructions to FLOW.

Chemicals which will cause interference with normal bio-mass activity in the WWTF.

Heat (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in amounts, which will inhabit biological activity, resulting in biomass activity interference.

Waste which could cause excessive amounts of discoloration.


10.) Notice of Accidental Discharge:

Any person or party responsible for, or becoming aware of the discharge of any prohibited substance, shall report it immediately to the D.P.W./B.O.H. so the necessary precautions can be taken to minimize the deleterious effects of the discharge. The PROPERTY OWNER shall file a full written explanation to the B.O.P.W.C. and the B.O.H. within (24) hours of the accidental discharge detailing the cause as well as what measures will be taken to ensure future accidental discharges are prevented.

11.) Pressure Line Check Valves:

The incorporation of a check valve and ball valve assembly with a cast iron cover assembly at grade shall be required on all pressure lines from the pump chamber to the sewer main, this shall be at the owners expense. The ball valve assembly can be located at the property line. The type of assemblies (specifications) to be furnished by the D.P.W.



When required, the owner of any property serviced by the WWTF carrying INDUSTRIAL WASTE may require PRETREATMENT prior to entering the SEWAGE COLLECTION SYTEM and shall install a suitable monitoring manhole as detailed by the D.P.W. together with such necessary meters and other appurtenances in the building to facilitate observation, sampling, and measurement of the waste. Such a manhole, when required, shall be accessible and safely located, external to the building. The manhole shall be installed by the PROPERTY OWNER at their expense, and shall be maintained so as to be safe and accessible at all times.

2.) Equipment Maintenance:

The DPW shall have the responsibility of maintaining all pumps, pump chambers, control panel, alarms and all associated equipment, not including sewage pipes, within the SEWAGE COLLECTION SYSTEM.

Cost of maintenance of said equipment unless otherwise indicated shall be the responsibility of the PROPERTY OWNER.

Service calls – The DPW will provide two service calls annually at no expense to the PROPERTY OWNER. Any additional service calls will be billed to the PROPERTY OWNER at a rate of $ 25.00 per hour.

All buildings connected to the SEWAGE COLLECTION SYSTEM shall have water meters installed and the ability to read and access the meter by D.P.W. personnel.

3.) Control Panel:

Properties connected to the pressurized sewer main must have the control panel's auto dialer alarm connected to the PROPERTY OWNER'S telephone line at the property and have access to it. The telephone line will only be used by the equipment when trouble is detected and is used to signal the WWTF in case of a serious malfunction. The PROPERTY OWNER'S phone line will not be affected in anyway, other than the intermittent signaling to the WWTF.

The PROPERTY OWNER is prohibited from opening or tampering with the control panel, unless approved by the DPW.

4.) Grease Trap/Interceptor Maintenance:

The PROPERTY OWNER must maintain any required GREASE TRAP or INTERCEPTOR so as not to cause a problem to the WWTF, which includes but is not limited to pumping and cleaning the units on a regularly schedule basis.

The PROPERTY OWNER shall make available to the D.P.W. copies of the GREASE TRAP pump outs when requested.

It is the PROPERTY OWNER'S responsibility to dispose of the GREASE TRAP or INTERCEPTOR'S contents in accordance with B.O.H./D.E.P. regulations, but in no case will such contents be accepted at the WWTF.

5.) Guidelines for Connecting to the pressurized sewer main (Does not apply to gravity feed connections). Please see Appendix A.

6.) Regulations for receiving SEPTAGE to the WWTF

SEPTAGE Permits - All permits shall be issued by the B.O.H. to SEPTAGE HAULERS, and shall be limited to 4000 gallons per day unless approved by the PLANT OPERATOR. No SEPTAGE will be accepted at the WWTF without a permit. SEPTAGE may be denied in all or in part if in the judgment of the WWTF operator the SEPTAGE would cause a problem to the WWTF treatment process. Any pH adjustments to incoming septage will be done prior to discharge to the WWTF. PROPERTY OWNERS are responsible for arranging and paying for the service of SEPTAGE HAULERS.

Hours of operation for receiving SEPTAGE – Monday through Friday from 8:00AM to 11:00AM and 1:00PM to 3:00PM. The B.O.P.W.C. has the option of changing/modifying the hours to best suit the WWTF's needs.

Emergency Pump Out Disposal – All emergency pump out disposals shall go through the B.O.H. emergency pump-out process and will be limited to the one load only.


SEPTAGE disposal fees are $ 200.00 per 1000 gallons, which do not include the pump out permit fee issued from the B.O.H. The fee will be $300.00 for dumping during non-posted hours.

SEWAGE disposal fees are $.02/gallon, based on water meter readings.

Penalties – If determined by the B.O.P.W.C. that a PROPERTY OWNER has used more than their assigned allocation of wastewater, a penalty shall be assessed for that amount per gallon, per quarter. The assessment shall be 125% of the cost per gallon over the allocated amount on a per quarter basis, and if not corrected within 30 days after the first day the penalty is assessed, an additional assessment of $100.00 per day will be charged until corrected.

SEWAGE USER FEES will be invoiced through the Town Hall for each user within the SERVICE AREA, for each BILLING PERIOD.


A SEWAGE REVIEW BOARD shall be established to review requests for increases to the approved FLOWS within the SERVICE AREA. The SEWAGE REVIEW BOARD will recommend to the annual or special Town meeting disposition of requests for increases to flow or increases to the service area. Considerations in making the decisions will include but not be limited to the impact on the WWTF, with regard to the FLOW and concentration and other wastewater characteristics.

The SEWAGE REVIEW BOARD will consist of one member from the elected boards of the B.O.H., Finance Committee, Planning Board, Board of Selectmen, D.P.W., or their designated representatives.


All ABATEMENT OF USER FEES must be requested of the B.O.P.W.C., in writing detailing the justification, which may include those who qualify under CLAUSE 41C or Qualifying Veterans.

Date:_________________ Permit#_____________________

(Office use only)

Tisbury DPW Sewer Connection Permit

(All information printed/typed)

Owner of Property: ______________________________________________

Mailing Address: ________________________________________________

Street Address: __________________________________________________

Septic Tank Pumped: Y/N (Circle one) Date________________

Septic Tank Filled I.A.W. BOH Reg. Y/N (Circle one) Date________________

Installer/Contractor: _____________________________________Date________________

Name of Insurance Carrier: __________________________________________

(Attached copy of insurance certificate)

Address: _________________________________________________________

Plumbing Permit Required Y/N (Circle one) Permit#_______________

Electrical Permit Required Y/N (Circle one) Permit#_______________

Board of Health Permit Required Y/N (Circle one) Permit#_______________

Type of Service: Gravity/Pressure (Circle one)

Check Valve Installed (Gravity) Y/N (Circle one)

Check Valve/Ball Valve Installed (Pressure) Y/N (Circle one)

Inspected By: DPW______________________________ Date_______________

BOH______________________________ Date_______________

Plumbing__________________________ Date_______________

Electrical__________________________ Date_______________


Attach detailed sketch of work signed by contractor:




Permission to Maintain Equipment - I ________________________ hereby give permission to duly


authorized employees of the Town having the proper credentials to enter my property for the purpose of inspections, observation, reading measurements, sampling, repair and maintenance of any portion of the SEWAGE COLLECTION SYSTEM.

___________________________ ________________________

Owner Signature Date

Appendix A

Top of grinder basin will be level with finished landscaping, and must be accessible at all times (ex: not under decks, walkways, or have heavy objects placed on them).

Manhole risers are not authorized unless approved by the D.P.W.

Inlet from house connection should be cut opposite of the rail assembly.

All discharge piping will meet Massachusetts Plumbing code standards and will have 6 inches of sand under and 6 inches of sand over the pipe, standard excavation installation. Directional boring installations are exempt from back fill requirements.

All discharge piping will be marked with sewer tape no deeper than 12 inches from finished grade for standard excavation. Directional boring installations will require some means of pipe detection.

All discharge piping connections must be inspected by the D.P.W. before back filling.

Grinder basin must be accessible at all times (ex: not under decks, walkways, or have heavy objects placed on them).

Grinder basin will be level and back-filled to finished grade before the pump can be installed and wired.

All conduit must be installed by a licensed electrician.

Conduit from the control panel to the grinder must not cross over or under discharge piping, and shall not be in the same trench as the discharge piping.

All conduit must be 1" for Simplex grinders and 1 ¼" for Duplex grinders. You may use 1 ¼" conduit for Simplex grinders if you reduce to 1" into the control panel.

All conduit and fittings will be electrical and not water pipe.

All conduit must be inspected by the Town wiring inspector before backfilling, for standard excavations.

 The control panel must be mounted in an accessible area and mounted on the dwelling structure, being aware that all state codes must be met, in particular to meeting the appropriate separation requirements between propane appurtenances and electrical devices.

Wiring from the load center in the house to the disconnect and from the disconnect to the control panel must be complete and energized. (Turn breakers off in disconnect box and control panel)

Lightening arrestor must be wired to top terminals of disconnect breaker.

Disconnect must be grounded, green wires from feed and control panel, white wires from lightening arrestor must be mounted to bar and ground screw installed.

For 2-hp simplex and 2-hp duplex pumps the voltage is 240 single phase, in the case of a commercial voltage of 208 the contractor is required to have a buck boost transformer installed to supply the required voltage.

No sewage discharge lines shall be in the same trench as the domestic water line and shall be installed with the separation criteria as required by the Massachusetts Plumbing Code.

All wiring from the control panel to the pump chamber must be insulated individually with the color code recommended by the manufacture.

Gravity piping must have cleanouts installed for each change in pipe direction and these cleanouts must be accessible at finished grade.