Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 590. Waterworks Regulations

12VAC5-590-1160. Valve, air relief, meter, and blowoff chambers.

A. Standard fire hydrants or blowoffs shall be considered to enable removal of sediment and air accumulations.

B. Drains in chambers or pits that contain valves, blowoffs, meters, or other appurtenances to a distribution system shall not be connected directly to any storm drain or sanitary sewer, nor shall blowoffs or air relief valves be connected directly to any sanitary sewer.

C. Chambers or pits shall be drained to the surface of the ground where they are not subject to flooding by surface water or to absorption pits located above the seasonal groundwater table elevation. The backfill material for the water main may serve as an absorption pit if granular embedment material is laid from the pipe bedding up through the final backfill layer for the entire length of pipe in the chamber. Sump pumps may be used where other means are not practicable.

D. Chambers or pits shall be designed to facilitate air-valve inspection and servicing.

E. Air relief and blowoff piping.

1. The open end of an air relief pipe shall be extended from the manhole or enclosing chamber to a point at least one foot above ground and provided with a screened, downward facing elbow. The exposed pipe and appurtenances shall be protected from vandalism and other damage.

2. When an aboveground extension is not practical or desired, the open end of the air relief pipe or blowoff shall be extended.

a. Where the pit or chamber is provided with proper drainage and is not otherwise subject to high groundwater levels, surface flooding, ponding, and contaminant or pollutant spills, the open end may be provided with a screened, downward facing elbow. The valve chamber or pit shall be vented to provide sufficient air flow to allow proper operation of the air valve. Air valves fitted with a smooth vent port and screened hood are allowable under these conditions.

b. Where the pit or chamber is not properly drained or is otherwise subject to high groundwater levels, surface flooding, ponding, and contaminant or pollutant spills, a manually operated valve or blowoff shall be used and the open end shall be fitted with a watertight cap or other means to prevent contamination from entering the pipe and valve.

c. The installation and testing specifications shall require field verification by the owner's engineer of the groundwater elevation and surface water drainage, as needed in circumstances or situations where this is of potential concern, before placement of the pit or chamber.

Statutory Authority

§ 32.1-12 and 32.1-170 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-18-012.06 § 3.53, eff. August 1, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 20, eff. June 23, 2021.

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