Floor Drain Regulations

Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 111, §§ 31 and 122, the Board of Health of the Town of East Bridgewater hereby issues this regulation related to floor drains and water protection.  The reasons necessitating the issuance of the regulation are as follows:  

Surface and ground water resources in the Town of East Bridgewater contribute to the town's drinking water supplies.  Discharges of hazardous wastes and other pollutants to floor drains leading to leaching structures and septic systems have repeatedly threatened surface and ground water quality throughout Massachusetts.  Floor drains in industrial and commercial facilities are often tied to a system leading to a leaching structure (e.g. dry well, cesspool, leach field) or a septic system.  Poor management practices and accidental and/or intentional discharges may lead to petroleum and other toxic or hazardous materials getting into these drainage systems in certain facilities.  Improper maintenance or inappropriate use of these systems may allow the passage of contaminants or pollutants entering the drain to discharge from the leaching structure or septic system to the ground potentially impacting the Town’s water supply.   

This regulation is, therefore, being adopted in order to preserve and protect the Town of East Bridgewater's drinking water resources from discharges of pollutants and to minimize  the risk to public health and the environment of the Town due to such discharges.  The regulation shall apply, as specified herein, to all applicable facilities within the Zone II areas.  The regulation is effective this ____ day of July, 2007.  


For the purposes of this regulation, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:

Commercial and Industrial Facility: A public or private establishment where the principal use is the supply, sale, and/or manufacture of services, products, or information, including but not limited to:  manufacturing, processing, or other industrial operations; service or retail establishments; printing or publishing establishments; research and development facilities; small or large quantity generators of hazardous waste; laboratories; hospitals.

Department: The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

Discharge: The accidental or intentional disposal, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking, incineration, or placing of toxic or hazardous material or waste upon or into any land or water so that such hazardous waste or any constituent thereof may enter the land or waters of the Commonwealth.  Discharge includes, without limitation, leakage of such materials from failed or discarded containers or storage systems and disposal of such materials into any on-site leaching structure or sewage disposal system.

Floor Drain: An intended drainage point on a floor constructed to be otherwise impervious which serves as the point of entry into any subsurface drainage, treatment, disposal, containment, or other plumbing system.

Leaching Structure: Any subsurface structure through which a fluid that is introduced will pass and enter the environment, including, but not limited to, dry -wells, leaching catch basins, cesspools, leach fields, and oil/water separators that are not water-tight.

Oil/Water Separator: Device designed and installed to separate and retain petroleum based oil or grease, flammable wastes as well as sand and particles from normal wastes while permitting normal sewage or liquid wastes to discharge into the drainage system by gravity.  Other common names for such systems include MDC traps, gasoline and sand traps, grit and oil separators, grease traps, and interceptors.

Hazardous Material: Any substance or mixture of physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics posing a significant, actual, or potential hazard to water supplies or other hazards to human health if such substance or mixture were discharged to land or water in the Town of East Bridgewater.   Hazardous materials include without limitation: synthetic organic chemicals; petroleum products;  heavy metals; radioactive or infectious wastes; acids and alkalis; solvents and thinners in quantities greater than normal household use; and all substances defined as hazardous or toxic under MGL 21C and 21E, and 310 CMR 30.00.   

Zone II: The area of an aquifer which contributes water to a well under the most severe pumping and recharge conditions that can be realistically anticipated (180 days of pumping at safe yield with no recharge from precipitation), as defined in 310 CMR 22.00.


With the exception of discharges that have received (or have applied and will receive) a Department issued permit prior to the effective date of this regulation, no floor drain(s) shall be allowed to discharge, with or without pretreatment (such as an oil/water separator), to the ground, a leaching structure, or septic system in any industrial or commercial facility if such floor drain is located in either:

  1. An industrial or commercial process area,
  2. A petroleum, toxic, or hazardous materials and/or waste storage area, or
  3. A leased facility without either A or B of this section, but in which the potential for a change of use of the property to a use which does have either A or B is, in the opinion of the Board of Health or its agent, sufficient to warrant the elimination of the ground discharge at the present.

Requirements for Existing Facilities

  1. The owner of a facility in operation prior to the effective date of this regulation with a prohibited (as defined above) floor drain system shall:
    1. Disconnect and plug all applicable inlets to and outlets from (where possible) applicable leaching structures, oil/water separators, and/or septic systems;
    2. Remove all existing sludge in oil/water separators, septic systems, and where accessible, leaching structures.  Any sludge determined to be a hazardous waste shall be disposed of in accordance with state hazardous waste regulations (310 CMR 30.000).  Remedial activity involving any excavation and/or soil or groundwater sampling must be performed in accordance with appropriate Department policies;
    3. Alter the floor drain system so that the floor drain shall be either:
      1. Connected to a holding tank that meets all applicable requirements of Department policies and regulations, with hauling records submitted to the East Bridgewater Board of Health at the time of hauling;
      2. Connected to a municipal sanitary sewer line, if available, with all applicable Department and local permits; or
      3. Permanently sealed.  Any facility sealing a drain shall be required to submit for approval to the Board of Health a hazardous waste management plan detailing the means of collecting, storing, and disposing any hazardous waste generated by the facility, including any spill or other discharge of hazardous materials or wastes.
  2. Any oil/water separator remaining in use shall be monitored weekly, cleaned not less than every 90 days, and restored to proper conditions after cleaning so as to ensure proper functioning.  Records of the hauling of the removed contents of the separator shall be submitted to the Board of Health at the time of hauling.
  3. Compliance with all provisions of this regulation must be accomplished in a manner consistent with Massachusetts Plumbing, Building, and Fire code requirements.
  4. Upon complying with one of the options listed under Section A.3., the owner/operator of the facility shall notify the Department of the closure of said system by filing the Department's UIC Notification Form (which may be obtained by calling 617/292-5770) with the Department, and sending a copy to the East Bridgewater Board of Health.

Effective Dates For All Facilities

The effective date of this regulation is the date posted on the front page of the regulation, which shall be identical to the date of adoption of the regulation.

  1. Existing Facilities:
    1. Owners/Operators of a facility affected by this regulation shall comply with all of its provisions within (120) days of the effective date;
    2. All applicable discharges to the leaching structures and septic systems shall be discontinued immediately through temporary isolation or sealing of the floor drain.
  2. New Facilities:
    1. As of the effective date of the regulation, all new construction and/or applicable change of use within the Town of East Bridgewater shall comply with the provisions of this regulation.
    2. Certification of conformance with the provisions of this regulation by the Board of Health shall be required prior to issuance of construction and occupancy permits.
    3. The use of any new oil/water separator shall comply with the same requirements as for existing systems, as specified above.


Failure to comply with provisions of this regulation will result in the levy of fines of not less than $200, but no more than $1000.  Each day's failure to comply with the provisions of this regulation shall constitute a separate violation.


Each provision of this regulation shall be construed as separate to the end that, if any provision, or sentence, clause or phrase thereof, shall be held invalid for any reason, the remainder of that section and all other sections shall continue in full force and effect.

East Bridgewater Board of Health

*Adopted by the BOH 7/17/07 and placed on file with the Town Clerk’s Office