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 613. Regulations for Alternative Onsite Sewage Systems
7/2/2022

12VAC5-613-90. Performance requirements; ground water protection.

A. The AOSS shall not pose a greater risk of ground water pollution than systems otherwise permitted pursuant to 12VAC5-610. After wastewater has passed through a treatment unit or septic tank and through the soil in the soil treatment area, the concentration of fecal coliform organisms shall not exceed 2.2 cfu/100 ml at the lower vertical limit of the project area boundary.

B. Each large AOSS shall comply with TN limit of 5 mg/l at the project area boundary. Prior to the issuance of a construction permit, the designer shall demonstrate compliance with this requirement through modeling or other calculations. Such demonstration may incorporate multiple nitrogen removal methods such as pretreatment, vegetative uptake (only for AOSSs with shallow soil treatment areas), denitrification, and other viable nitrogen management methods. Ground water and other monitoring may be required at the department's discretion.

C. AOSSs with direct dispersal of effluent to ground water are subject to the following requirements:

1. If the concentration of any constituent in ground water is less than the limits set forth at 9VAC25-280, the natural quality for the constituent shall be maintained; natural quality shall also be maintained for all constituents not set forth in 9VAC25-280. If the concentration of any constituent in ground water exceeds the limit in the standard for that constituent, no addition of that constituent to the naturally occurring concentration shall be made. The commissioner shall consult with the Department of Environmental Quality prior to granting any variance from this subsection.

2. Ground water and laboratory sampling in accordance with 12VAC5-613-100 G.

3. The treatment unit or system shall comply with the following at a minimum:

a. The effluent quality from the treatment unit or system shall be measured prior to the point of effluent application to the soil treatment area and shall be as follows: BOD5 and TSS concentrations each equal to or less than 5 mg/l; fecal coliform concentrations less than or equal to 2.2 col/100 ml as a geometric mean with no sample exceeding 14 col/100 ml; and TN concentration of less than 5 mg/l;

b. High level disinfection is required; and

c. Treatment systems shall incorporate filtration capable of demonstrating compliance with an average turbidity of less than or equal to 2 NTU prior to disinfection.

4. Gravity dispersal to the soil treatment area is prohibited.

5. Loading rates to the soil treatment area shall not exceed the loading rates in Table 1 of 12VAC5-613-80.

6. A renewable operating permit shall be obtained and maintained in accordance with 12VAC5-613-60 C.

7. The designer shall provide sufficient hydrogeologic analysis to demonstrate that a proposed AOSS will function as designed for the life of the structure served without degradation of the soil treatment area. This shall include a determination of ground water flow direction and rate.

D. The following additional nutrient requirements apply to all AOSSs in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed:

1. All small AOSSs shall provide a 50% reduction of TN as compared to a conventional gravity drainfield system; compliance with this subdivision may be demonstrated through the following:

a. Compliance with one or more best management practices recognized by the division such as the use of a NSF 245 certified treatment; or

b. Relevant and necessary calculations provided to show one or both of the following:

(1) Effluent TN concentration of 20 mg/l measured prior to application to the soil dispersal field; or

(2) A mass loading of 4.5 lbs N or less per person per year at the project boundary provided that no reduction for N is allotted for uptake or denitrification for the dispersal of effluent below the root zone (>18 inches below the soil surface).

2. All large AOSSs up to and including 10,000 gallons per day shall provide a 50% reduction of TN at the project boundary as compared to a conventional gravity drainfield system. Compliance with this subdivision may be demonstrated as follows:

a. A demonstrated effluent quality of less than or equal to 20 mg/l TN measured prior to application to the soil treatment area; or

b. In situ monitoring of the treatment works within 24 vertical inches of the point of effluent application to the soil treatment area to demonstrate the effluent leaving the treatment works has a TN concentration of less than or equal to 20 mg/l. The designer shall identify an intermediate compliance point within the treatment system and a corresponding TN concentration for use in the event that a representative in situ sample cannot be obtained. The intermediate compliance point and the corresponding TN concentration for use must be approved by the department and shall be conditions of the operation permit.

The AOSS operation permit shall be conditioned upon compliance with the constituent concentrations approved pursuant to this subdivision.

3. All large AOSSs over 10,000 gallons per day shall comply with the following TN requirements:

a. A demonstrated effluent quality of less than or equal to 8 mg/l TN measured prior to application to the soil treatment area; or

b. In situ monitoring of the treatment works within 24 vertical inches of the point of effluent application to the soil treatment area to demonstrate the effluent leaving the treatment works has a TN concentration of less than or equal to 5 mg/l. The designer shall identify an intermediate compliance point within the treatment system and a corresponding TN concentration for use in the event that a representative in situ sample cannot be obtained. The intermediate compliance point and the corresponding TN concentration for use must be approved by the department and shall be conditions of the operation permit.

The AOSS operation permit shall be conditioned upon compliance with the constituent concentrations approved pursuant to this subdivision.

4. For direct dispersal of effluent to ground water in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, TN concentration shall be less than or equal to 3 mg/l and total phosphorus concentration shall be less than or equal to 0.3 mg/l.

E. When an application is filed to repair or voluntarily upgrade an existing sewage system with an average daily sewage flow of 1,000 gallons per day or less, and the existing sewage system already disperses effluent to ground water as defined in 12VAC5-613-10 and the repair or upgrade must also be direct dispersal due to site conditions, then the repair or upgrade shall not be subject to the requirements of subsection C or subdivision D 4 of this section and 12VAC5-613-100 G. The repair or upgrade shall be subject to the following requirements:

1. A minimum 50% reduction of TN as compared to a conventional gravity drainfield system.

2. Provide TL-3 effluent and standard disinfection in accordance with Table 2 of subdivision 13 of 12VAC5-613-80 for systems with less than 12 inches vertical separation to ground water.

3. Monitoring pursuant to 12VAC5-613-100 D or E as appropriate.

F. Subsection E of this section does not apply to any application for repair or voluntary upgrade when the existing sewage system was installed on or after December 7, 2013, and the existing system was designed to meet the performance requirements for direct dispersal of effluent to ground water as set forth in subsection C or subdivision D 4 of this section and 12VAC5-613-100 G.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 5, eff. December 7, 2011; Errata, 28:8 VA.R. 762 December 19, 2011; amended, Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 20, eff. July 17, 2017.

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.