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12 VAC 5-611

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12 VAC 5-611

    12 VAC 5-611

    Onsite Sewage System Regulations

    Part I

    Administration

    12VAC5-611-10. Definitions. The words and terms used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

    “Absorption area” means the upper surface of the absorption volume utilized for the

    absorption of effluent. It includes all infiltrative surfaces in a subsurface soil absorption

    system and the soil between and around them, and it extends laterally from their

    outermost edges an additional 3 feet to the compliance boundary. [TJ]

    “Absorption bed” means a type of subsurface soil absorption system with no minimum

    installation depth, (a minimum width greater than 3 ft ??) and a size ranging from 320 sq.

    ft to 800 sq. ft. Effluent distribution systems in absorption beds may include multiple

    lines (gravity percolation, pressure percolation or drip) or trickle dosing (i.e. forward

    flow/forced flow) from treatment device, tipping distribution box, or similar devices.

    Only one absorption bed may be included in the design of a single onsite sewage

    system.[TJ]

    “Absorption trench” means an excavation for distribution and dispersal of effluent or

    other liquids with maximum dimensions of 3 ft. x 100 ft. for gravity distribution and 2 ft

    x 50 ft for LPD distribution, which contains distribution media and a single percolation

    line, and whose bottom and at least 12 inches of sidewall is an infiltrative surface. Upon

    installation of the media and percolation line, the trench is covered with soil. In some

    absorption trenches, the gravity percolation line and the media may be replaced by

    proprietary products such as chambers or percolation lines bundled with media.][TJ]

    “Absorption Volume” means the undisturbed soil medium underlying the absorption area and extending from the absorption area to the lower edge of the compliance boundary

    within which effluent is treated by subsurface soil absorption.[TJ]

    “Advisory Committee” shall mean the Onsite Sewage Systems Advisory Committee

    established in this Chapter.

    "Agent" means a legally authorized representative of the record owner.

    "Alluvium" means mineral materials, either weathered or unweathered, that are

    transported by flowing water and deposited or redeposited in a flood-plain or marine

    terrace.

    "Alluvial soil" means a soil developing from recently deposited alluvium and

    exhibiting essentially no horizon development or modification of the recently deposited

    materials.

     “Alternative onsite system” See “alternative onsite sewage system”.[TJ]

     “Alternative onsite sewage system” means a treatment works that is not a

    conventional onsite sewage system and does not result in a point source discharge. [TJ]

     “AOSE” See “authorized onsite soil evaluator.”

     “Appeal Review Board” shall mean the Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeal

    Review Board established in Va. Code ?32.1-166.1.

    "Aquifer" means water-bearing portion of a geologic formation that transmits water.

    “Authorized onsite soil evaluator” until July 1, 2009, means a person holding a

    certification issued by the Commissioner pursuant to 12 VAC 5-615-10 et seq.

    “Backlog” means a condition that is deemed to exist when the processing time for

    more than 10% of a local or district health department’s complete bare applications for

    construction permits exceeds a predetermined number of working days (i.e. a 15-day

    backlog exists when the processing time for more than 10% of permit applications

    exceeds 15 working dats). When calculating backlogs, only applications for construction

    permits shall be counted.

    “Bare application” means an application for a construction permit or a certification

    letter submitted without supporting documentation from an AOSE or a PE.

    “Bed” See “absorption bed”[TJ]

    “Board” means the State Board of Health.

    "Certification letter" means a letter issued by the commissioner, in lieu of a

    construction permit, which identifies a specific site and recognizes the appropriateness of

    the site for an onsite sewage system.

    "Colluvial soil" means a soil developing from recently deposited colluvium and

    exhibiting essentially no horizon development or modification of the recently deposited

    materials.

    "Colluvium" means an accumulation of soil material, or a mixture of stone fragments

    and soil material, deposited at the base of slopes or in depressional areas, primarily by

    gravity.

    "Commissioner" means the State Health Commissioner or his subordinate who has been delegated powers in accordance with subdivision 2VAC5-611-50.

    “Complete application” means an application for a construction permit or certification letter that includes all necessary information needed to process the application as

    specified in (section) of this Chapter including a site plan as specified in (section) of this Chapter.

     “Compliance envelope” means a three-dimensional surface around a subsurface soil

    absorption system incorporating as its upper limit the ground surface, or the upper surface of a mound, and as its lower limit the permanent water table, or where a permanent water has not been identified, a restriction or a specific depth or distance below the surface. Compliance with the performance requriements of this Chapter is measured or imputed at

    the compliance envelope. For systems designed in accordance with the prescriptive

    criteria contained in Part VI or VII, the compliance envelope in the horizontal dimension is defined as a perimeter line 3 feet from the edge of the infiltrative surface. For systems designed in accordance with Part VIII the system designer shall designate the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the compliance envelope.

    “Conditional construction permit” means a construction permit which carries specific design conditions authorized or required by this Chapter. (includes land area nitrogen,

    any conditions deemed appropriate- section 230-, design flow based on number of

    persons or non-residential use, water table conditions, temporary use, whenever a

    renewable operating permit will be required…probably for any alternative system

    because of the ongoing maintenance requirements…)

    “Conditional operating permit” means…..

    "Conventional onsite sewage system" means an onsite treatment works consisting of one

    or more septic tanks with gravity, pumped, or siphoned conveyance to a gravity

    distributed subsurface drainfield.

    “Conveyance system” means the assemblage of piping, mechanical equipment and

    appurtenances of an onsite sewage system that allows effluent to be conducted from a

    pretreatment system to a point where the flow is split for distribution.[TJ]

    "Cr horizon" means weathered or soft bedrock and is used to indicate root restrictive layers or bedrock or saprolite.

    “Deemed approved” or “deemed approval” means that the Department has not taken action to approve or disapprove an application for a permit, an individual lot certification letter, multiple lot certification letter, or subdivision approval for residential development within the time limits prescribed in ?? 32.1-163.5 and 32.1-164.H of the Code of Virginia. In such cases, an application submitted in proper form pursuant to this Chapter is deemed approved and the appropriate letter or letters, permit, or approval shall be immediately issued by the department. Deemed approval applies only to applicatios for single-lot

    construction permits, subdivision review, and single- or multiple-lot certification letters submitted with evaluations and designs certified by an AOSE or a PE in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Virginia and this Chapter. Sites that have been previously denied by the Department and proprietary, pre-engineered systems, deemed by the

    department to comly with the Board’s regulations are not subject to the provisions of deemed approval. An application “deemed approved” meams that it is approved only

    with respect to the Board’s regulations. In accordance with this Chapter a local

    government may authorize the Department in writing to implement the provisions of any local ordinance that is more restrictive than this Chapter through the provisions of this Chapter, in which case, such local ordinance, or portion thereof, shall be subject to deemed approval in accordance with this Chapter.

    “Department” means the Virginia Department of Health.

    "Dilution area" means the land immediately adjacent to and down gradient, in the direction of ground water flow, from a mass sewage disposal system, which is provided for the purpose of diluting nitrogen, or other nutrients occurring in sewage, with ambient ground water, in order to assure compliance with nutrient standards contained in this chapter.

    “Dispersal” means the discharge of effluent from a distribution device, distribution

    medium or treatment medium directly to the infiltrative surface.[TJ]

     “Distribution system” means the assemblage of components that may include piping, tubing, flow splitting devices, absorption trenches, gravel, and other appurtenances of an onsite sewage system that allows effluent to be conducted from the point of flow splitting to the point of dispersal (i.e., to the infiltrative surface) .[TJ]

    "District health department" means a consolidation of local health departments as authorized in ?32.1-31 C of the Code of Virginia.

    "Division" means the Division of Onsite Sewage and Water Services, Office of Environmental Health Services, State Health Department or its administrative successor. “Drainfield” means a subsurface soil absorption system in which effluent is distributed to

    absorption trenches. See “gravity drainfield” and “LPD drainfield”. [TJ]

    “Drip irrigation” or “drip dispersal” means a SWIS that utilizes a pressurized network of small diameter tubing fitted with emitters evenly spaced along the length of the tubing along with control technologies employed so that the network evenly disperses

    wastewater effluent over an absorption area in a contolled manner, involving time dosing and flow equalization…and no effluent storage volume provided in the SWIS.

    “Drip dispersal” means a method of pumping effluent at regular time intervals and full flow conditions through flexible, small-diameter pipe (drip tubing, or drip line)

containing evenly spaced emitters (devices that discharge at a known rate) in order to

    evenly disperse the effluent over the absorption area. [TJ]

     “Dripfield” means a subsurface soil absorption system incorporating drip dispersal. [TJ]

    “Effluent” means the liquid resulting from sewage treatment. [TJ]

    “Elevated sand mound” means a subsurface soil absorption system that incorporates

    pressure distribution to distribute effluent to a layer of sand placed over the infiltrative surface to some height above the natural ground surface for additional treatment before dispersal in the natural underlying soil. The entire mound is covered by an overlying

    layer of soil. {TJ]

    "Existing construction" (with failing sewage disposal systems) means an existing structure where the sewage disposal system serving the structure has failed or is currently in violation of state law or regulations and requires correction.

    “Existing system” means….

    "General approval" means approval granted to systems which are proven and tested in accordance with Article 2 (12VAC5-610-441 et seq.) of Part II of this chapter.

    "Grandfathered lot" means:

    1. Any lot upon which no permit has been issued and which is in a subdivision approved by the department prior to July 1, 2000, in accordance with a local subdivision ordinance. Individual lots may or may not have been evaluated; or

    2. Any lot, parcel, or portion thereof with a previously issued permit or a specific written approval (not including a certification letter) from the department.

    “Graywater” means untreated sewage collected from residential bathtubs, showers,

    lavatory fixtures, clotheswashing machines, and laundry tubs. Does not include industrial wastes, sewage contaminated with toxic levels of chemicals, sewage passing from toilets, urinals, kitchen sinks, dishwashers, or laundry water exposed to soiled diapers.

    "Gray color" means a chroma-2 or less on the Munsell Color Chart.

    “Gravity distributed subsurface drainfield” means a subsurface soil absorption area consisting of subsurface soil absorption trenches wherein effluent is divided and flows from a distribution box by gravity (a force main may terminate in the distribution box). “Gravity distributed subsurface drainfield” means a subsurface drainfield wherein

    effluent is moved by gravity through a distribution system that incorporates absorption trenches (a force main may terminate in the distribution box). [TJ]

     “Gravity distribution” means the use of gravity to move effluent through a distribution system. [TJ]

    “Gravity drainfield” See “gravity distributed subsurface drainfield”. [TJ]

    "Impervious strata" means soil or soil materials with an estimated or measured percolation rate in excess of 120 minutes per inch.

    “Infiltrative Surface” means the area of natural soil at the initial point or points of effluent contact. It may include the bottoms of absorption beds, the sidewalls (at least 12 inches) and bottoms of absorption trenches, the soils immediately beneath individual drip emitters, or the ground surface area used for spray application. [TJ]

    “Innovative design” or “innovative system” means a system or a system design created in accordance with standard engineering practices which does not substantially

    comply with the prescriptive location, design, and construction criteria contained in this chapter.

    “In situ soil” or in situ soils means soil that is present at the time a qualified site

    evaluator conducts a site and soil evaluation.

    “Installation condition” means how the receiving environment is used. It involves the type of system, method of effluent application, and depth of installation (and maybe other things too). There is no regulatory requirement to use the soil horizon with the highest permeability. This allows the system designer to establish the conditions that will

    establish the level of treatment, the method of distribution, and the installation depth tat suits the intended needs of the designer.

    "Large sewage disposal system" means a sewage disposal system or systems which will discharge effluent to a single absorption area or multiple absorption areas with or without combined flows, such that the loading rate applied to any acre, as determined by the department, exceeds 1,000 gallons per day. [TJ]

    “Licensed onsite soil evaluator” means a person holding a license as an onsite soil evaluator pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia, or until June 31, 2009, an Authorized Onsite Soil Evaluator.

    “Licensed professional engineer” means a person qualified to practice engineering in the Commonwealth pursuant to Chapter 4 of Title 54 of the Code of Virginia.

    "Local health department" means a local health department established in each city and county in accordance with ?32.1-30 of the Code of Virginia.

    “Low pressure distributed (LPD) drainfield” See “pressure distributed subsurface

    drainfield”. [TJ]

“LPD drainfield” See “low pressure distributed (LPD) drainfield”. [TJ]

“LPD” See “low pressure distribution”. [TJ]

“Low pressure distribution” means the use of pressure provided by a pump or siphon to

    move effluent at full flow conditions through a distribution system consisting of small diameter pipes having orifices (or nozzles, in the case of spray dispersal) spaced at

    intervals. [TJ]

    “Manufacturer” means a person who manufactures a treatment unit, a dispersal device or method, either or both, or is responsible for manufacturing such device, including a plant, a place where it is actually made…also to include one-off design by a PE wherein

    pre-manufacturered parts are assembled, either on the construction site or in another

    location…

    "Maintenance" means performing adjustments to equipment and controls and in-kind replacement of normal wear and tear parts such as light bulbs, fuses, filters, pumps,

    motors, or other like components. Maintenance includes pumping the tanks or cleaning

    the building sewer on a periodic basis. Maintenance shall not include replacement of

    tanks, drainfield piping, distribution boxes, or work requiring a construction permit and installer.

    “Maintenance” means the routine or periodic action or actions taken to assure proper

    system performance, extend system longevity, and/or assure a system meets

    performance requirements.

    Malfunction….“Malfunction” means the failure of an onsite sewage system or any component of an onsite sewage system to function as it was designed. [TJ]

    "Mass sewage disposal system" means a sewage disposal system or systems which will discharge effluent to a single absorption area or multiple absorption areas with or without combined flows, such that the loading rate applied to any acre, as determined by the department, exceeds 1,200 gallons per day.

    "Mineral soil" means a soil consisting predominantly of, and having its properties determined predominantly by, mineral matter. A mineral soil usually contains less than 20% organic matter, but it may contain an organic surface layer up to 12 inches thick. “Mound” See “elevated sand mound”. [TJ]

    “Multiple lot certification letters” means two or more applications for certification letters filed by the same owner for existing or proposed lots to serve detached, individual dwellings.

    "New construction" means construction of a building for which a building permit is required.

    "Office" means the Office of Environmental Health Services, State Health Department.

    “Onsite sewage system” or “onsite treatment works” means a treatment works, which

    does not result in a point discharge which may utilize soil for sewage treatment and

    dispersal of effluent, designed, constructed and operated in accordance with this Chapter.

    “Onsite treatment works” means a treatment works designed, constructed and operated in

    accordance with this Chapter, which does not result in a point discharge, and which may

    utilize soil for dispersal and treatment of effluent, [TJ]

    “Onsite sewage system” See “Onsite treatment works” [TJ]

    "Operate" means the act of making a decision on one's own volition (i) to place into or

    take out of service a unit process or unit processes or (ii) to make or cause adjustments in

    the operation of a unit process at a treatment works.

    "Operate" means the act of making a decision on one's own volition (i) the act of

    determining if a component or device is functional, (ii) to place into or take out of service

    a unit process or unit processes or (iii) to make or cause adjustments in the operation of a

    unit process at a treatment works.

    "Operation" means the biological, chemical, and mechanical processes of

    transforming sewage or wastewater to compounds or elements and water that no longer

    possess an adverse environmental or health impact.

    "Operator" means any individual employed or contracted by any owner, who is

    licensed or certified under Chapter 23 (? 54.1-2300 et seq.) of Title 54.1 as being

    qualified to operate, monitor, and maintain an alternative onsite sewage system

    "Owner" means the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions, including

    sanitary districts, sanitation district commissions and authorities, any individual, any

    group of individuals acting individually or as a group, or any public or private institution,

    corporation, company, partnership, firm or association which owns or proposes to own a

    sewerage system or treatment works.

    “Pad” See “bed”. [TJ]

     “Pressure distributed subsurface drainfield” means a subsurface drainfield wherein

    effluent is moved by low pressure distribution through a distribution system that

    incorporates absorption trenches. [TJ]

    “Pressure distribution” See “low pressure distribution”. [TJ]

    "Person" means an individual, corporation, partnership, association or any other legal

    entity.

    “Point Discharge” or “Point Source Discharge”….

    “Pretreatment system” means the assemblage of tanks, piping, mechanical equipment and appurtenances of an onsite sewage system that accepts raw sewage and produces effluent for conveyance to the distribution system. {TJ]

    "Previously issued permit" means any permit issued prior to July 1, 2000, and in accordance with the regulations in effect at the time the permit was issued. There is no distinction between an expired permit and one that has been continually renewed.

    “Processing time” means the number of working days from the date a complete, bare application is received by a local or district health department to the date a permit or certification letter is issued. Working days characterized by severe weather conditions shall not be included in any calculation of processing time.

    “Professional courtesy review” means a site-specific field review requested by an

    AOSE or a PE prior to the submission of an application for a construction permit or

    certification letter or a general field consultation (not site-specific) regarding a proposed subdivision.

    “Professional engineer in consultation with an AOSE” means that a PE has communicated with an AOSE regarding the site and soil conditions present where an

    onsite sewage system is proposed, in a manner sufficient to assure compliance with this Chapter. Such consultation is required when a PE performs a site evaluation (TERM

    USED IN THE Code) and completes the site evaluation report.

    "Pump and haul" means any unusual circumstance wherein sewage is permitted to be transported by vehicle to a point of disposal. The term "pump and haul" includes all

    facilities and appurtenances necessary to collect and store the sewage for handling by a contractor having a valid sewage handling permit.

    “Receiving environment” means…the overall environment where effluent will be released and is measured from the ground surface vertically or horizontally to a

    significant feature such as rock, seasonal water table, impervious strata, well, property lines, etc….

    “Record owner” means a property owner in whose name the title appears in the public records (from Black’s ….Eighth Edition)

    Recycle and reuse systems are methods, processes and equipment in which sewage is restored to a condition suitable for reuse.

    “Residential development” means development, including repair or replacement systems in accordance with (section) of this Chapter, using single family homes, which utilize individual onsite sewage systems for each structure. Mass drainfields and other

cluster systems that serve more than one dwelling are not considered residential

    development for the purposes of this Chapter.

    "Residential wastewater" means sewage (i) generated by residential or accessory uses,

    not containing storm water or industrial influent, and having no other toxic, or

    hazardous constituents not routinely found in residential wastewater flows, or (ii) as

    certified by a professional engineer. (From Va. Code ? 54.1-400)

    "Residential sewage" means sewage (i) generated by residential or accessory uses, not

    containing storm water or industrial influent, and having no other toxic, or hazardous

    constituents not routinely found in residential sewage flows, or (ii) as certified by a

    professional engineer.

    Responsible Management Entity means… may be an owner…Such management

    entity shall be responsible for all requirements of this chapter, including but not limited to monitoring, operation and maintenance operating and maintaining the onsite sewage

    system in accordance with this Chapter and all applicable laws and regulations for the

    expected life of the living units or dwellings.

    "Rock" or "bedrock" means continuous, coherent, lithologic material that has relative hardness depending on the degree of weathering. Bedrock has characteristics such as

    strike, dip, jointing, and lithological compositions. Structure and water movement are

    rock controlled. Bedrock grinds with an auger, and mechanical penetration is more

    difficult or prevented as the material gets harder.

    “Single-lot construction permit/certification letter” means one application filed by an

    owner for an onsite sewage system construction permit or certification letter to serve an individual dwelling on one lot or parcel of land.

    “Site evaluator” means a licensed onsite soil evaluator or an employee of the

    Department to whom the commissioner has delegated authority to conduct site

    evaluations pursuant to this chapter.

    “Subdivision review” means the review of a proposed or preliminary subdivision plat by a local or district health department for a local government pursuant to a local

    ordiance or ordinances requiring such review and pursuant to ?? 15.2-2242 and 15.2-

    2260 of the Code of Virginia and (section) of this Chapter for the purposes of

    determining and documenting whether a site for an approved onsite sewage system is

    present on each lot proposed.

    Subsurface wastewater infiltration system or SWIS….means the undisturbed soil

    medium beginning at the soil gravel or sand interface which is utilized for absorption of the effluent. The absorption area includes the infiltrative surface in the absorption trench and the soil between and around the trenches. absorption trenches and the spaces

    between and around the trenches out 1.5 feet from the ends and exterior edges of the

    trenches, absorption beds and the area 1.5 outsicde the bed, spray irrigation field,

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