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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 640. Alternative Discharging Sewage Treatment Regulations for Individual Single Family Dwellings
6/29/2022

12VAC5-640-500. Operation and maintenance requirements.

A. Due to the potential for degrading surface water and groundwater quality or jeopardizing the public health, or both, routine operation and maintenance of discharging systems is required. In order to assure the treatment system is operated, maintained, monitored, and reported properly, the permit holder shall engage a licensed operator as defined in subsection E of this section. Reporting in accordance with 12VAC5-640-490 and 12VAC5-640-510 is sufficient evidence of an ongoing contract. Owners with existing monitoring waivers that allow the owner to collect formal compliance samples as of December 16, 2015, may be extended, but no new waivers shall be issued. In the event the individual fails to collect three or more of any of the required samples in any five-year period, the department will void the waiver and require evidence of an operation and maintenance contract that includes monitoring.

B. It is the owner's responsibility to do the following:

1. Have the system operated and maintained by a licensed operator;

2. Have an operator visit the system at the frequency required by this chapter (at least semiannually);

3. Have an operator collect and analyze any samples required by this chapter;

4. Provide prompt maintenance and repair of the treatment works. If an owner is notified by the operator of a repair or maintenance need pursuant to subdivision C 4 of this section and the discharge does not comply with the effluent requirements of the General Permit, then the owner shall begin pump and haul of the sewage and take other actions as may be directed by the local health department until the treatment works returns to normal function;

5. Keep a copy of the log provided by the operator on the property where the system is located in electronic or hard copy form, make the log available to the department upon request, and make a reasonable effort to transfer the log to any future owner;

6. Follow the O&M manual (where available) and keep a copy of the O&M manual in electronic or hard copy form for the system on the property where the system is located, make the O&M manual available to the department upon request, and make a reasonable effort to transfer the O&M manual to any future owner; and

7. Comply with the VPDES permit requirements contained in 9VAC25-110.

C. The operator has the following responsibilities:

1. Perform all testing required in either Part I A or Part I B (9VAC25-110-80) of the General Permit, as appropriate, and in this chapter, unless the owner maintains a waiver in accordance with subsection A of this section. Note: The treatment works will be sampled during normal discharging operations or normal discharging conditions (i.e., operations that are normal for that facility). The operator should not force a discharge in order to collect a formal sample, but the informal sampling should be used to identify any operational problems;

2. Whenever an operator performs a visit that is required by this chapter, he shall do so in such a manner as to accomplish the various responsibilities and assessments required by this chapter through visual or other observations and through laboratory and field tests that are required by this chapter or that he deems appropriate;

3. When performing activities pursuant to a visit that is required by this chapter, the operator is responsible for the entire system, and where applicable, the operator shall follow the approved O&M manual;

4. Provide a written or electronic notification to the owner within 24 hours whenever the operator becomes aware that maintenance or repair of the owner's treatment works is necessary; and

5. Document the results of each site visit in the log and report in accordance with 12VAC5-640-510. Each operator shall keep an electronic or hard copy log for each system for which he is responsible. The operator shall provide a copy of the log to the owner. In addition, the operator shall make the log available to the department upon request. At a minimum, the operator shall record the following items in the log:

a. Results of all testing and sampling;

b. A copy of the Discharge Monitoring Report required by the General Permit;

c. Maintenance, corrective actions, and repair activities that are performed;

d. Recommendations for repair and replacement of system components;

e. Sludge or solids removal; and

f. The date reports were given to the owner.

D. In localities where a public service authority, sanitary district, or other public utility exists which operates and maintains the systems, permitted under this chapter, the requirements for the operation and maintenance contract may be waived by the division provided the owner of the system subscribes to the service and the utility meets the minimum elements described in 12VAC5-640-490, 12VAC5-640-500, and 12VAC5-640-510.

E. In order to competently evaluate system performance, collect samples, interpret sample results, and repair and maintain discharging systems, an individual must be knowledgeable in sewage treatment processes. All individuals who perform maintenance on discharging systems pursuant to 12VAC5-640-500 are required to hold a valid Class IV or higher wastewater works operator license or an alternative onsite sewage system operator license issued by the Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-400 § 3.12, eff. July 30, 1992; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 6, eff. December 16, 2015.

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