Permit Fact Sheet
- Who must notify DEP about an overflow or bypass, and when?
Any owner or operator of the following facilities:
- Municipal, state, federal, regional, industrial or other private wastewater collection system;
- Wastewater utility;
- Wastewater treatment works;
- Facility with a groundwater discharge permit;
- Facility with a surface water discharge permit.
The following situations require notification to DEP and submittal of the SSO Report Form:
- An un-permitted overflow or bypass;
- Backup of wastewater into public or private property when the event is caused by a condition of the system owned and operated by the sewer authority
- In a combined sewer system, an overflow or bypass during dry weather conditions or at a location not covered by a NPDES permit, or from a portion of the system that has a separate sanitary sewer.
- What are the procedures for reporting?
Immediate telephone and/or email notification to MassDEP, EPA, and other parties. See Instructions for list of agencies and contact numbers.
Hazardous Material Releases: if you believe an overflow, bypass, or any other discharge may have resulted in an oil or hazardous material release, report it to MassDEP at any time, 24 hours a day, at this toll-free number: 1-888-304-1133.
MassDEP may require, on a case-by-case basis, more extensive reporting of the SSO event where determined necessary to protect users of resources affected by SSO discharges.
Submit a written report to DEP within five (5) calendar days of the time you become aware of the overflow, bypass or backup. DEP requires the use of the MassDEP Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO)/Bypass notification form, unless an alternative reporting form is authorized by MassDEP in writing.
The Notification form should be fully completed, and shall include a clear description of the overflow, or bypass and its causes, including the best approximation of the dates and times, and if the situation has not been corrected, the amount of time the overflow/bypass is expected to continue, and a description of the measures to be implemented to stop the discharge. The Form or attachments must also include steps taken or planned to reduce, eliminate, and prevent recurrence.
If you have a discharge permit, check the Monitoring and Reporting Section of your permit to determine if your Notification Form should be sent to the attention of DEP’s regional Bureau of Waste Prevention (industrial facilities) or the regional Bureau of Resource Protection (nonindustrial facilities). All municipal facilities shall submit their reports to the Bureau of Resource Protection.
Fax the Notification Form to the attention of the Bureau of Resource Protection in your DEP Regional Office: Find Your Region and the US EPA Water Technical Unit (OES 04-4), 5 Post Office Square - Suite 100, Boston, MA 02109-3912, Fax 617-918-0870.
- What should I do if I'm not sure of the information I am providing?
For required items such as time of occurrence, causes of incident, volume of overflow, etc., PROVIDE YOUR BEST ESTIMATE OR ASSESSMENT AT THE TIME OF THIS REPORT. You can submit any additions or corrections later.
- What is the best way to report the exact location of the overflow or bypass?
Include with your Notification Form a copy of a map indicating its location. Please use 8-1/2" by 11" paper at an appropriate scale between 1:5000 to 1:25000. Specifying the geographic location will help DEP determine the public health and water quality impacts associated with overflows and bypasses.
- Why do I need to report backups into buildings?
DEP wants to ensure that sewage backups into buildings as a result of problems in the sewer system are properly repaired and measures are put in place to reduce the likelihood of recurrence. Owner/operators of sewer systems that caused a backup may need to repair, rehabilitate, or upgrade the hydraulic capacity of their system, or change their operations and maintenance procedures.
- Are there some overflows or bypasses that are not subject to these reporting requirements?
DO NOT use the Sanitary Sewer Overflow(SSO)/Bypass Notification Form in the following situations:
- The overflow is from a properly permitted Combined Sewer Overflow structure. Follow the reporting requirements in your NPDES Permit.
- You are reporting an overflow or bypass of sewage for a collection system or treatment works that is not under your ownership and control. However, please assist DEP by immediately reporting to the appropriate DEP Regional Office by phone or fax any overflows or bypass incidences for facilities other than your own which involve a discharge of wastewater to the environment.
- What are the state regulations that apply to this notification? Where can I get copies?
These regulations include, but are not limited to:
- Surface Water Discharge Regulations, 314 CMR 3.00
- Groundwater Discharge Regulations, 314 CMR 5.00
- Sewer Connection Regulations, 314 CMR 7.00
- Operation and Maintenance Regulations, 314 CMR 12.00