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

12VAC5-610-940. Low Pressure Distribution.

Low pressure distribution is the conveyance of effluent through the pressure percolation lines at full flow conditions into the absorption area with the prime motive force being a pump or siphon. Low pressure systems are limited to a working pressure of from one to four feet of head at the distal end of the pressure percolation lines. For the purpose of this chapter low pressure distribution is considered to provide unsaturated soil conditions.

A. Dosing cycle. Systems shall be designed so that the effluent volume applied to the absorption area per dosing cycle is from seven to 10 times the volume of the distribution piping, however, the volume per dosing cycle should not result in a liquid depth in the absorption trench greater than two inches.

B. Manifold lines. Manifold lines are watertight lines that convey effluent from the initial point of flow splitting to the pressure percolation lines.

1. Size. The manifold line shall be sized to provide a minimum velocity of two feet per second and a maximum velocity of eight feet per second.

2. Materials. All pipe used for manifolds shall be of the pressure type with pressure type joints.

3. Bedding. All manifolds shall be bedded to supply uniform support along its length.

4. Backfilling and tamping. Manifold trenches shall be backfilled and tamped as soon as possible after the installation of the manifold has been approved. Material for backfilling shall be free of large stones and debris.

5. Valves. Valves for throttling and check valves to prevent backflow are required wherever necessary. Each valve shall be supplied with a valve box terminating at the surface.

C. Pressure percolation lines. Pressure percolation lines are perforated pipes utilized to distribute the flow evenly along the length of the absorption trench.

1. Size. Pressure percolation lines should normally have a 1-1/4 inch inside diameter.

2. Hole size. Normal hole size shall be 3/16 inch to 1/4 inch.

3. Hole placement. Center to center hole separation shall be between three and five feet.

4. Line length. Maximum line length from manifold should not exceed 50 feet.

5. Percent flow variation. Actual line size, hole size and hole separation shall be determined on a case-by-case basis based on a maximum flow variation of 10% along the length of the pressure percolation lines.

6. Materials and construction. The preferred material is plastic, either PVC or ABS, designed for pressure service. The lines shall have burr free and counter sunk holes (where possible) placed in a straight line along the longitudinal axis of the pipe. Joining of pipes shall be accomplished with manufactured pressure type joints.

7. Installation.

a. Crushed stone or gravel. Clean gravel or crushed stone having a size range from 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch shall be utilized to bed the pressure percolation lines. Minimum depth of gravel or crushed stone beneath the percolation lines shall be 8-1/2 inches. Clean course silica sand (does not effervesce in the presence of dilute hydrochloric acid) may be substituted for the first two inches (soil interface) of the required 8-1/2 inches of gravel beneath the pressure percolation lines. The absorption trench shall be backfilled to a depth of two inches over the pressure percolation lines with the same gravel or crushed stone. Clean sand, gravel or crushed stone shall be free of fines, clay and organic materials.

b. Grade boards or stakes. Grade boards or stakes placed in the bottom or sidewalls of the absorption trench shall be utilized to maintain the gravel level for placement of the pressure percolation lines. Grade stakes shall not be placed on centers greater than 10 feet.

c. Placement and alignment. Pressure percolation lines shall be placed so that the holes face vertically downward. All pressure percolation piping shall be placed at the same elevation, unless throttling valves are utilized, and shall be level. The piping shall be placed in the horizontal center of the trench and shall maintain a straight alignment. Normally the invert of the pressure percolation lines shall be placed 8-1/2 inches above the trench bottom. However, under no circumstance shall the invert of the pressure percolation lines be placed closer than 16-1/2 inches to the seasonal water table as defined in 12VAC5-610-470 D. When the invert of the pressure percolation lines must be placed at an elevation greater than 8-1/2 inches above the trench bottom, landscaping over the absorption area may be required to provide the two inches of gravel and six inches of fill over the pressure percolation lines required in subdivision 7 a of this subsection.

d. Backfilling. After the placement of the pressure percolation piping the absorption trench shall be backfilled evenly with crushed stone or gravel to a depth of two inches over the opening. Untreated building paper or other suitable material shall be placed at the interface of the gravel and soil to prevent migration of fines to the trench bottom. The remainder of the trench shall be backfilled with soil to the ground surface.

8. Appurtenances. The distal (terminal) end of each pressure percolation lines shall be fitted with a vertical riser and threaded cap extending to the ground surface. Systems requiring throttling valves will be supplied with couplings and threaded riser extensions at least four feet long so that the flow may be adjusted in each line.

D. Gravelless material with general approval may be used for low pressure distribution in accordance with the manufacturer's approved installation manual, Table 5.4 of 12VAC5-610-950, and the applicable requirements of this chapter.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12, 32.1-164, and 32.1-164.9 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 4.29, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 25, 2016.

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