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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 610. Sewage Handling and Disposal Regulations

12VAC5-610-1170:4. APPENDIX I. Buffer Zones.


Buffer Zones

A. All anaerobic lagoons shall provide the minimum buffer zone as shown below unless they qualify for reduced requirements as provided in (B) below. Buffer zones are areas of controlled or limited use. Within buffer zones residential uses or high density, human activities or activities involving food preparation are prohibited. The extent of the buffer zone perimeter is measured from the perimeter of the lagoon.

Lagoon Size:

Buffer Zone Requirement:

40,000 per day and less

500 feet

Less than 500,00 gallons per day and greater than 40,000 gallons per day

750 feet

B. The Department shall consider reduction of up to one half of the above listed buffer zone requirements based on topography, prevailing wind directions, provision of covered units or the inclusion of an effective wind break in the overall anaerobic lagoon design.

1. The prevailing wind direction should be determined by on-site data. Local weather station records may be utilized if they are demonstrated to be applicable. Attention should be paid to both moderate and high speed winds since the high velocity winds often have a prevailing direction different from the prevailing direction of moderate winds.

2. A windbreak should be located on both sides of the anaerobic lagoon normal to a line projected through the plant and area which is to be protected as close to the plant as practical. An effective windbreak is comprised of manmade or natural barriers which extend from the ground surface to minimum height of 16 feet. A cultivated tree windbreak may be developed by planting at least four rows of fast growing evergreens (pine family preferred) planted on staggered 10 feet centers. Rows should be spaced no greater than 16 feet apart. The variety of tree used should be readily adaptable to the soil and climate at the plant site.

C. The required buffer zone shall be maintained by an adequate legal instrument throughout the life of the anaerobic lagoon.

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