Lancaster Sewer District Commission

Lancaster Massachusetts

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Connect a New Development or Subdivision

The process for connecting a new development or multiple lots in a subdivision can be a complex process.  This guide was created to assist developers, engineers, and others seeking to connect a development or subdivision.  

Homeowners or businesses seeking to connect should review the

general sewer connection guide.  

Please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to assist

you with any questions.


Step 1: Determine the sewer capacity flow credits needed to connect

Step 2: Determine if a Boundary Change or a Sewer Extension Permit is needed

Step 3: Determine Sewer Entrance Charge in Lieu of Assessment

Step 4: Presubmission consultation with the Commission

Step 5: Prepare and submit permit and final design

Step 6: Review process

Step 7: Commission Approval

Step 8: Construction stage, reporting, and as-builts


Step 2: Determine if a Boundary Change or a Sewer Extension Permit is needed

Subdivisions may or may not need a sewer extension permit.  This added level of permitting is necessary when the Commission's System is extended in order to increase the service area.  

In accordance with the rules and regulations, a Sewer Extension Permit is triggered anytime a collection pipe is added to the system which will provide a connection point for two or more properties or housing units and that pipe will be installed in part or in whole in a public way or will be maintained by the Commission or by an association.

In general, small subdivisions with ANR lots and shared driveways, rental or condominium complexes, and office parks with a direct connection to the sewer will not require a sewer extension permit.  Larger developments where a new roadway is proposed will typically require a sewer extension permit. There may be additional steps necessary if the Distrcit boundaries also need to be expanded.

Proponents who believe they may need a Sewer Extension Permit should review the Service Area Expansion and Sewer Extensions guide in addition to the remainder of this connection guide and be prepared to discuss the issue with the Commission.

Step 4: Presubmission consultation with the Commission

At this stage, the Proponent should have enough basic information to have a presubmission consultation with the Commission.  The permits required for the subdivision should be filled out in draft form and any preliminary plans should be brought before the Commission for discussion.  The Commission will review the proposal and advise the proponent of any concerns or issues.

This presubmission consultation is very important.  It provides an opportunity for the Commission to provide valuable feedback on the proposal and provide an indication on whether the proposal will be supported or not.  This enables the proponent to understand the costs involved in the connection and to make adjustments to the proposal before incurring extensive design costs.  The Commission will also make a determination on if mitigation will be required in lieu of sewer capacity flow credits and on whether a third-party review will be necessary.

Step 1: Determine the sewer capacity flow credits needed to connect

Any connection that is not replacing a failed septic system will need to obtain sewer capacity flow credits from the Sewer Bank in order to connect.  The sewer bank is a “bank” of sewer capacity flow credits used by the LSDC to allow new connections which would otherwise be required to fix infiltration and inflow leaks in the District's system first.  To determine the capacity needed, download the DEP Title 5 Flow Charts and calculation sheet and determine the amount of flow you will be adding to the system.  All issuances of sewer capacity flow credits from the Sewer Bank need Commission approval.  In certain circumstances the Commission may require the project proponent to perform repairs to the LSDC's system in lieu of issuing capacity credits.

Step 3: Determine Sewer Entrance Charge in Lieu of Assessment

If the new property does not require a sewer extension, it may instead be subject to a Sewer Entrance Charge in Lieu of Assessment.  This type of charge is for properties that were not previously charged a betterment.  

An example of when this charge would apply is if a large property is split into two or more smaller properties several years after a betterment was assessed.  The original property was assessed a single betterment but the new properties that were split from the original were not charged a betterment.  These new properties would be subject to this charge.

If the property was already assessed a betterment or is part of a development built under a sewer extension permit then this fee will not apply.

The charge is equal to the betterment fee applied to adjacent properties or at the minimum charge set by the Commission. If required, this charge is calculated as part of the permit application process described in Step 5.

Step 5: Prepare and submit permit, site plan and design

Download and complete the LSDC Subdivision Connection Application Multiform. This is a special permit that contains approval of the major elements needed to connect a subdivision including approval of sewer credits or an I&I sewer abatement program, approval of Sewer Entrance Charges, and approval of the general connection for the development.  If necessary, the Sewer Extension Permit will also be submitted as part of the package.  The permit submission must be accompanied by, at a minimum, the permit application, and review fee.  The application, and review fees are non-refundable fees.  The other fees associated with the permit, including the charge for sewer credits and the Sewer Entrance Fee will be charged to the Proponent after the permit is approved.

Sewer specific site plans must be submitted to the LSDC as part of the review process. Please see the LSDC's Site Plan Submission Guide for more information on this process. All site plans submitted to the LSDC for review and approval must be signed and stamped by a Professional Civil Engineer registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

Step 6: Review and Acceptance Process

Permits with site plans must go through a review and acceptance process before being submitted to the Commission for approval. This means that the plans and permit application must reach a level of completeness that satisfies the LSDC's Rules and Regulations before it can be formally presented at a Commission meeting for approval.

For most subdivisions the LSDC reviews site plans in-house.  However, larger submissions may require the use of a third-party reviewer paid for by the proponent.  The need for a third party reviewer will typically be determined at the presubmission consultation with the Commission when the full scope of the project is discussed.  If a third party review is necessary the Commission will determine the initial review fee once the permit, site plan and design is submitted.  The submission will be sent to the the reviewer and the initial review fee will be established.  The fee is a lump sum fee that must be paid to the Commission who will pay the reviewer directly.  The review will not commence until the initial review fee is received.  

Reviews are an iterative process that depend largely upon the completeness of the submission and quality of the design.  In most cases, a second round of reviews is necessary for larger designs.  If the project requires an extensive review the initial review fee may not be sufficient to reach final acceptance.  In those cases the review will be suspended until the fee is increased.  

Once the submission has reached a stage where it can be deemed Accepted a meeting for Approval will be scheduled with the Commission.

Step 7: Approval Process

Once the submission has reached a stage where it can be deemed Accepted a meeting for Approval will be scheduled with the Commission.  Proponents will be notified of the scheduled meeting and will be required to attend and present the project. At this meeting Proponents will be expected to discuss the scope of the project, any mitigation measures such as I&I removal being proposed, and the project schedule. The Commission may grant full approval of the project or for larger projects they may grant conditional approval where, for example, minor administrative issues or design adjustments must be completed prior to full approval.

As part of the approval process the Commission will also agree to the final costs associated with the project and whether or not third party inspection will be required.  Third party inspection will generally be required for larger projects with sewer extensions.  Third party inspections will be paid for by the Proponent.

Once the project is approved the design is considered final.  Modifications to the design will not be allowed unless expressly authorized by the LSDC.  

A letter of approval will be sent to the Proponent by the LSDC and will include any special conditions, final fees, and schedule of payments.  The project will be considered approved once this letter is sent to the Proponent and construction associated with the project may commence.

Step 8: Construction stage, reporting, and As-builts

For any work on the Commission's System the proponent must use a contractor who is licensed and bonded by the LSDC.  Prior to construction the proponent will provide a schedule detailing major construction milestones related to the connection or any mitigation.  

All construction must be observed by the LSDC or it's agent. At least 48 hours in advance of the commencement of construction the proponent's contractor must arrange for inspection with the LSDC Inspector.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  The LSDC must inspect the connection or it will be ordered removed.

For longer duration projects the proponent will provide the LSDC with a report on progress.  This report will be provided monthly during construction and will include but is not limited to construction progress, issues or concerns, and an updated schedule.

Once construction is complete the proponent will provide the LSDC with as-built plans of all construction work in both paper and electronic form.