The Edgartown board of health this week voted to fine and temporarily suspend the license of Maciel & Sons Septic Service after a billing dispute resulted in the company pumping septic waste back into a customer’s tank and leaching field.

The order came after about an hour of discussion at a meeting of the board of health Wednesday afternoon.

The punishment includes a 15-day suspension of the Vineyard Haven-based company’s on-site septic pumping license, as well as a $500 fine. The suspension does not include Maciel and Sons’ portable toilet pumping services.

“This is something that cannot happen again in the town of Edgartown,” Edgartown health agent Matt Poole said at the meeting.

Board of health members Meegan Lancaster, Garret Orazem and Chris Edwards voted unanimously for the license suspension.

Maciel & Sons is entitled to request a public hearing on the board of health order, according to Mr. Poole.

The incident dates to March 26, according to a summary of events provided by Mr. Poole at the meeting, when Maciel & Sons received a service call from a property located at 18 Mill Hill Road. The property is owned by Nicholas Bruno, according to assessor’s records.

According to a police report obtained by the Gazette and Mr. Poole’s summary, the company pumped between 5,800 and 5,900 gallons of septic waste from two 1,500-gallon tanks, one 1,000-gallon tank, and one 2,000-gallon leaching field on the property.

The police report was compiled by Edgartown officer Zach Townes.

After the pump-out, the waste was taken to the Edgartown wastewater facility and a facility in New Bedford, Mr. Poole said, and the property owners were sent an invoice for the service.

A billing dispute followed, in which the property owners inquired about the invoice and the quantity of the pump-out, making multiple calls to both the Edgartown board of health and Maciel & Sons.

Eight days later, on April 6, according to Mr. Poole and the police report, Trevor Maciel returned to the Bruno property and pumped approximately 2,000 gallons of septic waste back into the owners’ tank. The property owners then called the police and the board of health, according to the report, and Mr. Maciel halted the pump after police arrived.

At the meeting Wednesday, Mr. Poole said the incident constituted a violation of state codes that require septic discharge to go to a licensed facility. Trevor and Troy Maciel, as well as Mr. Bruno and his wife, Karen Liffmann, were present and provided testimony at the meeting.

“Nobody is denying that this event occurred,” Mr. Poole said. “I would like the board to consider this as a violation.”

According to Mr. Poole, a similar incident occurred with Maciel & Sons in 2018. Although that incident was resolved before a board of health order was issued, Mr. Poole said the more recent incident constituted a second violation from the same company — the only two such violations in his 24 years as a health agent.

“It is clearly not the way to do business,” Mr. Poole said. “And if those things continue to happen, it’s going to result in some sort of mishap, that is, you know, beyond repair — either environmentally, or from a human health perspective.”

During the meeting, Troy and Trevor Maciel criticized the board of health for indicating to the property owners that the bill might have been overcharged, while Mr. Bruno and Ms. Liffmann criticized the company for poor communication. Both sides provided extensive testimony regarding the bill dispute.

Edgartown police chief Bruce McNamee, who was also present at the meeting, said the matter was referred to the Cape and Islands district attorney’s office. The office determined that the incident should be resolved through the board of health, or civil court, Chief McNamee said.

After discussion, board of health members agreed that they did not want to revoke the company’s license due to its role as an essential service, but said they found it necessary to exercise punitive measures.

“It’s inappropriate, it’s wrong to put septage back into a septic system,” Mr. Orazem said. “We have to make it clear that that was the wrong thing to do.”

Ms. Lancaster suggested a fine and temporary suspension, allowing the company to continue its work on portable toilets.

“That sort of balances out the gravity of what occurred . . . and just serving as a good reminder for the company to not do this again,” she said.

Mr. Poole said in a follow-up email with the Gazette Thursday that he was confident Maciel & Sons had not returned to remove the septic that was reintroduced to the system, and that the bill remained unpaid.