Administrative Code

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

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

12VAC5-610-955. Drip dispersal.

A. Drip dispersal applies wastewater in an even and controlled manner over an absorption area. Drip dispersal system components may include treatment components, a flow equalization pump tank, a filtration system, a flow measurement method, supply and return piping, small diameter pipe with emitters, air/vacuum release valves, redistribution control, and electromechanical components or controls.

B. Drip dispersal system tubing shall be color coded and certified by the manufacturer as designed and manufactured for the dispersal of wastewater. All drip dispersal system tubing shall be equipped with emitters approved for use with wastewater. For the application of septic tank effluent, the tubing must have self-cleaning emitters.

1. The minimum linear feet of tubing in the system shall be one-half of the minimum soil absorption area in square feet.

2. All tubing shall be placed on contour.

3. Except as provided by 12VAC5-613, drip systems dispersing septic tank effluent shall comply with the requirements of 12VAC5-610-594.

4. Drip systems dispersing secondary effluent or better require a minimum of six inches of cover over the tubing. Cover may be achieved by a combination of installation depth and Group II or Group III soil cover or other approved material over the drip field.

5. The discharge rate of any two emitters shall not vary by more than 10% in order to ensure that the effluent is uniformly distributed over the entire drip field or zone.

6. The emitters shall be evenly spaced along the length of the drip tubing at not less than six inches or more than 24 inches apart.

7. The system design shall protect the drip emitters and system from the effects of siphoning or backflow through the emitters.

C. Drip dispersal systems shall comply with the following minimum soil absorption area requirements:

1. For the dispersal of septic tank effluent, the minimum soil absorption area for a drip system shall be calculated by multiplying the trench bottom area required for a low pressure distribution system in Table 5.4 of 12VAC5-610-950 by three.

2. For the dispersal of TL-2 effluent or TL-3 effluent, the minimum soil absorption area shall be in accordance with Table 5.5 of 12VAC5-610-950.

3. Air/vacuum release valves shall be located at the high points of the supply and return manifolds to each zone.

D. All drip dispersal systems shall be equipped with devices or methods to restrict effluent from draining by gravity to portions of a zone or laterals lower in elevation. Variable distribution due to gravity drainage shall be 10% or less within a zone.

E. A minimum of six hours of emergency storage above the high water alarm in the pump chamber shall be provided. The equalization volume shall be equal to 18 hours of storage. The equalization volume shall be measured from the pump off level to the high water alarm level. An audio/visual alarm meeting the requirements of 12VAC5-610-880 B 8 shall be provided for the pump chamber.

F. Each drip dispersal zone shall be time-dosed over a 24-hour period. The dose volume and interval shall be set to provide unsaturated flow conditions. Demand dosing is prohibited. Minimum dose volume per zone shall be 3.5 times the liquid capacity of the drip laterals in the zone plus the liquid capacity of the supply and return manifold lines (which drain between doses) accounting for instantaneous loading and drain back.

1. At each dosing cycle, the system design shall only allow a full dose volume to be delivered.

2. For design flows greater than 1,000 gallons per day, a means to take each zone off line separately shall be provided. The system shall have the capability to bypass each zone that is taken out of service such that each subsequent dose is dispersed to the next available zone in sequence.

G. Filtration shall be provided to remove suspended solids and prevent clogging of emitters. The filtration design shall meet the drip tubing manufacturer's particle size requirements for protection of the emitters at a flow rate equal to or greater than the rate of forward flushing. Filter flush water shall be returned to the treatment system at a point where the residuals and volume of the flush water do not negatively impact the effluent quality or exceed the hydraulic design capacity of the treatment system.

H. A means for measuring or estimating total flow dispersed to the soil absorption area and to verify field dosing and field flushing rates shall be provided.

I. The system shall provide forward field flushing to achieve scouring velocity as specified by the drip tubing manufacturer. Field flushing shall occur on a routine schedule to prevent excessive solids accumulation and clogging. Flush water shall be returned to the treatment system at a point where the residuals and volume of the flush water do not negatively impact the effluent quality or exceed the hydraulic design capacity of the treatment system.

J. Electrical components shall be Underwriters Laboratory (UL) listed for the intended purpose. The designer shall provide a description with a schematic diagram of the electrical and control functions in the operation and maintenance manual. The electrical control equipment shall be mounted within a National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) 4X rated enclosure with a rigid latching door. All switches shall be clearly identified, and all internal wiring shall be factory installed. All wiring shall be installed according to applicable electrical safety codes and the manufacturer's installation schematic.

K. All components in a drip dispersal system shall be rated to withstand contact with wastewater and recommended for this application by the manufacturer. All components shall be protected from freezing.

L. The designer of the drip dispersal system shall verify the dosing rates, the flushing rates, and other parameters critical to the proper operation of the system at the startup inspection. A summary of the startup inspection shall be included in the operation and maintenance manual and shall include, at a minimum, the dosing volume, the forward flow flushing rate, the pressure head of the system, and verification of proper cycling between zones.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 25, 2016; amended, Virginia Register Volume 39, Issue 4, eff. November 24, 2022.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.