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

12VAC5-610-590. Acceptable disposal sites.

A. Sewerage system or treatment works. Any sewerage system or treatment works for which a certificate to operate has been issued jointly by the department and State Water Control Board or a system which has been issued a separate permit by the commissioner is considered an approved disposal site for vehicular transported sewage sludge or septage provided permission is obtained from the owner of the sewerage system or treatment works and the department and the State Water Control Board, as applicable, determine that the disposal of the sewage sludge or septage will not overload the facility.

B. Special facility. A special facility is a treatment works especially designed and constructed for the stabilization or disposal of septage including land as well as physical works. All special facilities are Type III sewage disposal systems (see 12VAC5-610-250 C). Industrial waste sludges and sludges containing chemical concentrations in violation of state hazardous waste regulations and applicable federal regulations shall not be placed in a special facility.

Exception: Special facilities related to lime stabilization or direct injection may not require formal plans and specifications to be submitted.

C. Processes which may be utilized in special facilities designed for stabilization of septage.

1. The following processes are described with associated criteria in the Commonwealth of Virginia Sewerage Regulations, State Department of Health, State Water Control Board, February 1977 (Sewerage Regulations, 12VAC5-580-10 et seq.):

a. Aerobic digestion;

b. Anaerobic digestion;

c. Chemical oxidation; and

d. Incineration.

2. The following processes are described in Article 9 of this chapter:

a. Anaerobic lagooning; and

b. Lime stabilization.

3. Other processes may be considered on a case-by-case basis if supported by operating and test data satisfactory to the department.

D. Land as a special facility for ultimate disposal of septage.

1. Landfilling. Prior to landfilling, septage must be stabilized and dewatered. All landfilling operations utilizing septage must be in conformance with the regulations of the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Waste Management governing disposal of solid waste.

2. Land spreading. For the purpose of this chapter land spreading is the controlled uniform application of either dewatered or undewatered septage to the land surface for ultimate disposal. Land spreading shall be accomplished in such a manner so as not to adversely affect future agricultural use of the land. All land spreading operations must take into consideration such factors as application rates, potential runoff of contaminants from the septage applied to soils, groundwater contamination, proximity to residences and people and other public health considerations. All land spreading operations require site specific management criteria and approval.

a. Stabilized septage may be disposed of by land spreading in accordance with the provisions of applicable portions of 12VAC5-580-720 of the Sewerage Regulations and any applicable federal regulations, except where stated in this chapter.

b. Unstabilized septage may be disposed of by land spreading in accordance with the provisions of subsection E, the Code of Virginia and any applicable federal regulations.

E. Land spreading of unstabilized septage. General. Land spreading of unstabilized septage via shallow injection plowing is permissible (see 12VAC5-610-560 D). Injection plowing is a technique which employs a device which injects septage into a cavity created below the ground surface with positive closure of the injection swath. Injection plowing shall be accomplished with a narrow shank injector at a depth between 6 and 12 inches. The injection device and any associated prime mover shall be equipped with high flotation tires so as not to damage the physical characteristics of the soil in relation to agricultural practices. All land spreading operations for unstabilized septage shall provide for:

1. Storage during periods when weather, soil conditions or cropping conditions do not allow for injection;

2. Sampling and monitoring of the septage before land spreading for quality control as may be requested;

3. Record keeping and reporting for quality control;

4. Controlled access to the public for 12 months;

5. No grazing for at least one month following the date of each injection by farm animals whose products are consumed by humans;

6. Compliance with applicable portions of 12VAC5-580-720 of the Sewerage Regulations except where stated in this chapter; and

7. Limiting the application rate so as not to exceed ½ acre-inches (13,600 gal./acre) at one time due to the low solids content and excessive hydraulic loading by septage.

F. Special facility operation.

1. Records and reports shall be kept in a manner satisfactory to the department. As a minimum, the records shall reflect the quantity of septage (gallons) discharged into the special facility daily, the quantity (gallons) removed daily for land application, the land application site, and for anaerobic lagoons, the date the last load was discharged into the anaerobic lagoon. Reports shall be submitted to the department on a quarterly basis (See APPENDIX H).

2. Sampling and analyses requirements for special facilities are as follows:

a. Anaerobic lagoon. In accordance with the provisions of 12VAC5-580-720 of the Sewerage Regulations.

b. Lime stabilization of domestic septage. The origin and the pH of each load must be determined and recorded by the hauler prior to land application. However, periodic sampling and analyses may be required by the department on a case-by-case basis (See paragraph F 1 of this section).

c. Shallow injection of unstabilized septage. Generally no sampling and analyses will be required by the department. The origin of each load must be determined and recorded by the hauler prior to injection. However, periodic sampling and analyses may be required by the department on a case by case basis.

3. An operations and maintenance manual shall be prepared for the septage stabilization facility and shall contain, as a minimum the following information:

a. Site security methods to prevent unauthorized entry.

b. Procedures to maintain the appropriate records.

c. Site management procedures including all-weather access road and ground maintenance.

d. Methods and equipment utilized for placing septage into and removing septage from, the lagoon facility, mixing facility or storage facility as applicable.

e. Plan for land application of septage and/or other disposal methods.

f. Methods for odor control which may include both physical methods such as lagoon depth control and the use of appropriate chemicals.

g. Methods and procedures for monitoring characteristics of the septage and groundwater quality.

4. The site and physical works shall be maintained in a condition free from tall grass and weed overgrowth and rodent harborage.

5. When an anaerobic lagoon is utilized for stabilization its contents shall not be removed for land application until a time period of at least 90 days has elapsed from the time the last load of septage has been discharged into the lagoon.

G. Special facility abandonment. In the event a septage stabilization facility ceases to operate, it shall be the responsibility of the owner to abandon the facility properly. The following steps are required.

1. The owner shall notify the department at least 30 days in advance that the facility is to be abandoned;

2. The contents of the facility shall be disposed of in an approved manner under the supervision of the department; and

3. The structure shall be dismantled and the site returned approximately to its natural contours.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12 and 32.1-164 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 3.15, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988.

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