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What happens to the sanitary survey report?

The completed sanitary survey report should not sit on a shelf and collect dust. Maintaining clean water requires frequently updating this resource through a tracking and reporting system. Properties should be routinely surveyed and potential sources assessed and reassessed. A survey should be updated typically every one to three years and as new information is gathered. A database, as described in Part I of this guide, allows the greatest flexibility and ease in updating changes (e.g., new development, the status of a subsurface wastewater disposal system, etc.) and tracking progress within the watershed of concern. This can also help evaluate which corrective actions had the greatest impact on water quality.

How does preventing bacterial pollution fit in with other planning efforts?

Water quality is linked to land use practices, and therefore fits within the scope of local comprehensive plans. Conser- vation and development planning lays the groundwork for regulations and policies. According to Maine NEMO (Non- point Education for Municipal Officials), key components of a natural resource-based comprehensive plan include:

  • Inventory of natural resources

  • Priority areas for conservation

  • Targeting development to the most appropriate locations

  • Development of an action plan at the local and regional (watershed) level

  • Creation of and/or revising ordinances to support plans

Regional or local level zoning ordinances can work to protect water quality by implementing BMPs. Municipalities can- not make ordinances less strict than the state and federal requirements. Ordinances should give municipalities the au- thority to identify and correct pollution sources, and should clearly outline enforcement actions. They should provide incentives to protect water quality and provide disincentives for development and practices causing bacterial pollution.78

For example, local ordinances can require new development to demonstrate that water quality will not

Eliminating Identified Problems

be degraded. Offshore activities can also be regulated. Examples include but are not limited to ordinances that:

  • Require routine maintenance of subsurface wastewater disposal systems.

  • Require routine property surveys including a point of sale inspection and verification process.

  • Require routine assessment, maintenance, and repair of the sewer system and of the storm drain network.

  • Require greater (than state or federal regulations) setback requirements from water.

  • Prohibit livestock access to waterways.

  • Prohibit diverting stream flows.

  • Retain and/or restore natural landscape and drainage patterns.

  • Protect wetlands.

  • Limit the amount of shoreline development and land covered by impervious materials.

  • Require new developments to have effective stormwater management plans (e.g., road swales).79

  • Require vegetative zones and buffers along waterways.

  • Require pump-out logs for recreational and commercial boats.

  • Prohibit illicit discharges to the storm drainage network and/or sanitary sewer system.80

  • Restrict access of (or prohibit) dogs and horses on the beach.

  • Prohibit feeding of waterfowl and other wildlife.

Provide tax incentives to limit shoreline development and to implement low-impact development practices (i.e., reduce impervious materials, promote use of porous pavement, vegetative swales for stormwater infiltration, etc.). Low-impact development practices are site-specific development strategies designed to reduce stormwater runoff by mimicking natural hydrological function, recharging groundwater, and treating pollution. 81


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