Manhole covers require free and clear access.
Manhole covers provide the provide the underground utility operator with access to their facilities for inspection,repair,maintenance, and the like. The CTSA which owns and operates, by landscaping, earthen fill, paved driveways, or similar acts. This makes it very difficult for us to provide the required level of service expected by our customers and the regulatory agencies. This includes the emergency clearing of a blockage in the sewer line, which may other wise lead to a sewage backup into a basement of sewage onto the ground.

Do no block the manholes!
The Sanitary Authority requires free and clear access to its manholes in case of emergency. Covering or placing decorative planters on top of manholes makes them difficult to locate in adverse conditions.

Heavy planters could inadvertently be damaged by Sanitary Authority staff attempting to move them. More importantly, lifting heavy planter could injure workers in their attempts to access the manhole for maintenance or in the event of a backup. CTSA Rules and Regulations governs the policy for excavation and raising of buried manholes to grade.

Manhole Inspections.
With 5,000 manholes, it takes several years between routine inspection of our manholes. As the Sanitary Authority works to improve the operational and management practices to better serve its customers by increasing preventative maintenance and thereby reducing urgent and emergency maintenance, we are discovering that substantial numbers of our manholes are buried. Recognizing that the multitude of our customers that comply with the sewer use regulations should not be burdened with the expense of uncovering and raising the manhole buried by any individual, the Sanitary Authority has adopted the policy of holding the current property owner responsible for all expenses incurred.

Violation Corrections.
The Sanitary Authority’s policy any manhole that is buried more than 4” to be in violation of the policy, and therefore the Authority will hold the current property owner responsible for its excavation and grade adjustment. This does not make it permissible to bury and manhole less than 4”, but rather provides the homeowner with the benefit of doubt for naturally occurring conditions that may have contributed to the manhole being buries held responsible. After being notified of any buried manhole on the property, which includes property they may maintain as
their own, the homeowner would have 30 days to bring the manhole onto compliance with Authority standards. If the homeowner fails to correct the deficiency, the Sanitary Authority will have the work performed and bill the homeowner for all costs incurred. Failure to reimburse the Sanitary Authority may result in a municipal lien being placed against the property

With your cooperation in assisting us to ensure that we have free and clear access to our facilities, we will continue to provide the quality service that you have come to expect from the Center Township Sanitary Authority.

Why am I responsible for the manhole on my property?
Many Homes have a manhole located on their property typically constructed by the developer of the housing plan. This manhole gives the Sanitary Authority access to our sewers for routine maintenance and emergency work. When your house was constructed, the top of the manhole was placed at grade, or ground level. Over time, residents and landscapers inadvertently cover over the manhole with grass, build planter boxes around manholes, or cover over the manhole with mulch.

Whether this obstruction was done by a previous owner or yourself, a buried manhole interferes with our ability to gain access to our lines to perform appropriate service and maintenance. Therefore, as the present owner or the premises, you are required to uncover or raise the manhole(s) to grade in accordance with the Sanitary Authority’s specifications for Sewer Line Installations. You may contact this office to obtain the specifications, and to arrange for an inspection of the completed work.

What is free and clear?
Free and clear is a term meaning that is free access to the manhole for our field staff to work.This would be enough room for two men to work to remove the lid and gain access with material. Trees, shrubs and other material. Trees, shrubs and other plantings should be placed far enough away to allow access by our field staff and not block access to the manhole. Access maybe necessary during adverse weather conditions where visual location of the manhole may be difficult. Plantings make locating manholes harder. Planning your landscaping with this in mind will help to minimize property damage in the event of an emergency.