Maine Revised Statutes

§3428. Malfunctioning domestic waste water disposal units; abatement of nuisance

Malfunctioning waste water disposal units, including septic tanks, cesspools, cisterns, dry wells, drainage beds, drains, sewer lines and pipes and the like, have become a menace to the health and general welfare of the citizens of this State and are declared to be a nuisance. [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]

1. Abatement procedure.  Upon complaint of any person resulting in documentation of a malfunctioning waste water disposal unit or on their own information, the municipal officers shall serve an order to remedy a malfunctioning waste water disposal unit upon the owner of any premises within that municipality that has such a malfunctioning unit.
[ 2007, c. 568, §1 (AMD) .]
2. Content of order.  The order must be addressed to the owner of the premises and must contain:
A. The date; [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
B. The fact of the malfunctioning waste water disposal unit; [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
C. A notice to remedy the nuisance within 10 days of service of the order; and [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
D. The signatures of the municipal officers. [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
The municipal officers may allow the owner of the premises to request an extension of the 10-day period for no longer than an additional 20 days and may explain how to request an extension in the order. The municipal officers or their agents may approve an extension if it is reasonably necessary for and likely to result in remediation of the nuisance.
[ 2007, c. 568, §1 (AMD) .]
3. Service and return of service.  One of the municipal officers or a law enforcement officer shall serve the order personally upon the owner, tenant or occupant in possession. The server shall make and file a return of service indicating the method used and the person served.
[ 1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD) .]
4. Abatement.  If the nuisance is not abated within the 10-day period or such period up to but not exceeding the additional 20 days as allowed by the municipal officers under subsection 2, the municipal officers or their agents may enter the premises and have the malfunction adequately remedied. To recover any actual and direct expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees if the municipality is the prevailing party, incurred by the municipality in the abatement of such nuisances, the municipality shall:
A. File a civil action against the owner. The costs, including reasonable attorney fees, to create and prosecute an action to collect expenses following such a civil complaint, shall also be recovered from the owners; or [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
B. Assess a special tax against the land on which the waste water disposal unit is located for the amount of the expenses. This amount shall be included in the next annual warrant to the tax collector of the municipality for collection in the same manner as other state, county and municipal taxes are collected. Interest as determined by the municipality pursuant to Title 36, section 505, in the year in which the special tax is assessed, shall accrue on all unpaid balances of any special tax beginning on the 60th day after the day of commitment of the special tax to the collector. The interest shall be added to and become part of the tax. [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
[ 2007, c. 568, §1 (AMD) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1987, c. 737, §§A2,C106 (NEW). 1989, c. 6, (AMD). 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD). 1989, c. 104, §§C8,10 (AMD). 2007, c. 568, §1 (AMD).

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