Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
2/27/2020

Chapter 620. Regulations Governing Fees for Onsite Sewage Disposal Systems, Alternative Discharge Systems, and Private Wells

Part I
Definitions

12VAC5-620-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Agent" means a legally authorized representative of the owner.

"Alternative discharging system" means any device or system that results in a point source discharge of treated sewage for which the board may issue a permit authorizing construction and operation when the system is regulated by the State Water Control Board pursuant to a general Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit for an individual single family dwelling with flows less than or equal to 1,000 gallons per day.

"Board" means the State Board of Health.

"Certification letter" means a letter issued by the commissioner in lieu of a construction permit, which identifies a specific site and recognizes the appropriateness of the site for an onsite wastewater disposal system.

"Commissioner" means the State Health Commissioner.

"Construction of private wells" means acts necessary to construct private wells, including the location of private wells, the boring, digging, drilling, or otherwise excavating a well hole and installing casing with or without well screens, or well curbing.

"Decommission" means to permanently seal an existing private well in accordance with the requirements of the Private Well Regulations (12VAC5-630).

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Health.

"Dewatering well" means a driven well constructed for the sole purpose of lowering the water table and kept in operation for a period of 60 days or less. Dewatering wells are used to allow construction in areas where a high water table hinders or prohibits construction and are always temporary in nature.

"Family" means the economic unit which shall include the owner, the spouse of the owner, and any other person actually and properly dependent upon or contributing to the family's income for subsistence. A husband and wife who have been separated and are not living together, and who are not dependent on each other for support, shall be considered separate family units. The family unit, which is based on cohabitation, is considered to be a separate family unit for determining if an application fee may be waived. The cohabiting partners and any children shall be considered a family unit.

"Fee schedule" means a listing by item of the fees to be charged by the department for processing applications and for other services rendered by the department.

"Income" means total cash receipts of the family before taxes from all sources. These include money wages and salaries before any deductions, but do not include food or rent in lieu of wages. These receipts include net receipts from nonfarm or farm self-employment (e.g., receipts from the family's own business or farm after deductions for business or farm expenses.) They include regular payments from public assistance (including Supplemental Security Income), social security or railroad retirement, unemployment and worker's compensation, strike benefits from union funds, veterans' benefits, training stipends, alimony, child support, and military family allotments or other regular support from an absent family member or someone not living in the household; private pensions, government employee pensions, and regular insurance or annuity payment; and income from dividends, interest, rents, royalties, or periodic receipts from estates or trusts. These receipts further include funds obtained through college work study programs, scholarships, and grants to the extent said funds are used for current living costs. Income does not include the value of food stamps, WIC checks, fuel assistance, money borrowed, tax refunds, gifts, lump sum settlements, inheritances or insurance payments, withdrawal of bank deposits, earnings of minor children, money received from the sale of property. Income also does not include funds derived from college work study programs, scholarships, loans, or grants to the extent such funds are not used for current living costs.

"Minor modification of an existing sewage disposal system" means an alteration that is not a repair, voluntary upgrade, or routine maintenance, does not result in an increase in treatment level or volume of the system, and does not require evaluation of the soil conditions prior to issuance of a permit. Minor modifications include but are not limited to relocation of a system component or an additional plumbing connection to the system that does not increase the actual or estimated flow of the system.

"Onsite sewage disposal system" means a sewerage system or treatment works designed not to result in a point source discharge.

"Owner" means any person who owns, leases, or proposes to own or lease a private well, an onsite sewage disposal system, or an alternative discharging system.

"Person" means the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions, including sanitary districts, sanitation district commissions and authorities, any individual, any group of individuals acting individually or as a group, or any public or private institution, corporation, company, partnership, firm or association which owns or proposes to own a sewerage system, treatment works or private well.

"Principal place of residence" means the dwelling unit, single family dwelling, or mobile home where the owner lives.

"Private well" means any water well constructed for a person on land which is owned or leased by that person and is usually intended for household, groundwater source heat pump, agricultural use, industrial use, use as an observation or monitoring well, or other nonpublic water well. A dewatering well, for the purposes of this chapter, is not a private well.

"Repair" means the construction or replacement of all or parts of a sewage disposal system or private well to correct a failing, damaged, or improperly functioning system or well when such construction or replacement is required by the board's regulations.

"Replacement of a private well" means the construction of a private well to be used in lieu of an existing private well.

"Review Board" means the State Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeals Review Board.

"Sewage" means water-carried and non-water-carried human excrement, kitchen, laundry, shower, bath or lavatory wastes separately or together with such underground, surface, storm and other water and liquid industrial wastes as may be present from residences, buildings, vehicles, industrial establishments or other places.

"Sewerage system" means pipelines or conduits, pumping stations and force mains and all other construction, devices and appliances appurtenant thereto, used for the collection and conveyance of sewage to a treatment works or point of ultimate disposal.

"Treatment works" means any device or system used in the storage, treatment, disposal or reclamation of sewage or combinations of sewage and industrial wastes, including but not limited to pumping, power and other equipment and appurtenances, septic tanks and any works, including land, that are or will be (i) an integral part of the treatment process or (ii) used for ultimate disposal of residues or effluents resulting from such treatment.

"Voluntary upgrade" means an improvement to an existing onsite sewage disposal system or alternative discharging system that (i) is not required for compliance with any law or regulation and (ii) results in no net increase in the permitted volume or strength of sewage dispersed by the system.

"Well" means any artificial opening or artificially altered natural opening, however made, by which groundwater is sought or through which groundwater flows under natural pressure or is intended to be artificially drawn; provided this definition shall not include wells drilled for the purpose of exploration or production of oil or gas, for building foundation investigation and construction, elevator shafts, grounding of electrical apparatus, or the modification or development of springs.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12, 32.1-164, and 32.1-176.4 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-03 § 1, eff. July 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 10, eff. February 12, 2016.

Part II
General Information

12VAC5-620-20. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-03 § 2.1, eff. July 1, 1989; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 10, eff. February 12, 2016.

12VAC5-620-30. Purpose of regulations.

The board has promulgated these regulations to:

1. Establish a procedure for determining the fees for services provided by the department for onsite sewage systems, alternative discharge systems, and private wells;

2. Establish procedures for the refund of fees; and

3. Establish procedures for the waiver of fees.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12, 32.1-164, and 32.1-176.4 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-03 § 2.2, eff. July 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 10, eff. February 12, 2016.

12VAC5-620-40. Compliance with the Administrative Process Act.

The provisions of the Virginia Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et. seq. of the Code of Virginia) shall govern the promulgation and administration of these regulations and shall govern the decisions of cases under this chapter.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12, 32.1-164, and 32.1-176.4 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-03 § 2.3, eff. July 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 10, eff. February 12, 2016.

12VAC5-620-50. Powers and procedures of regulations not exclusive.

The commissioner may enforce these regulations through any means lawfully available.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12, 32.1-164, and 32.1-176.4 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-03 § 2.4, eff. July 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 10, eff. February 12, 2016.

12VAC5-620-60. [Reserved]

Part III
Fees

12VAC5-620-70. Establishing fees.

A. The commissioner shall establish a schedule of fees to be charged by the department for services related to construction, maintenance, and repair or replacement of onsite sewage disposal systems, alternative discharge systems, and private wells and for appeals before the Review Board.

B. In establishing fees, the commissioner shall consider the actual or estimated average cost to the agency of delivering each service included in the schedule of fees.

The following fee schedule is hereby established:

SCHEDULE OF FEES

Application or Service

Fee

Certification letter, no onsite soil evaluator/professional engineer (OSE/PE) documentation (no charge for well)

$350

Certification letter with OSE/PE documentation, ≤1,000 gpd

$320

Certification letter with OSE/PE documentation, >1,000 gpd

$1,400

Construction permit for treatment works only, no OSE/PE documentation

$425

Combined well and treatment works construction permit, no OSE/PE documentation

$725

Combined well and treatment works construction permit with OSE/PE documentation, ≤1,000 gpd

$525

Construction permit for treatment works only with OSE/PE documentation, ≤1,000 gpd

$225

Construction permit for treatment works only with OSE/PE documentation, >1,000 gpd

$1,400

Combined well and treatment works construction permit with OSE/PE documentation, >1,000 gpd

$1,700

Private well construction or abandonment permit, with or without OSE/PE documentation

$300

Closed-loop geothermal well system (one fee per well system)

$300

Alternative discharge system inspection fee

$75

Minor modification to an existing system

$100

Appeal before the Review Board

$135

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12, 32.1-164, and 32.1-176.4 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-03 § 3.1, eff. July 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 10, eff. February 12, 2016.

12VAC5-620-75. Fee remittance; application completeness.

A. Each applicant shall remit any required application fee to the department at the time of making application. In any case where an application fee is required, including requests for hearings before the Review Board, the application will be deemed to be incomplete and will not be accepted or processed until the fee is paid.

B. The owner of an alternative discharge system shall pay the monitoring fee to the department for monitoring inspections conducted by the department that are mandated by 12VAC5-640. The department shall waive the monitoring fee when it conducts a monitoring inspection that is not mandated by 12VAC5-640.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12, 32.1-164, and 32.1-176.4 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 10, eff. February 12, 2016.

12VAC5-620-80. Waiver of fees.

A. An owner whose family income is at or below the 2013 Poverty Income Guidelines for the 48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia established by the Department of Health and Human Services, 78 FR 5182 (January 24, 2013), or any successor guidelines, shall not be charged a fee pursuant to this chapter.

B. Any person applying for a permit to construct a pit privy shall not be charged a fee for filing the application.

C. Any person applying for a permit to repair an onsite sewage disposal system or alternative discharging system shall not be charged a fee for filing the application.

D. Any person applying for a construction permit for the replacement of a private well may be charged a fee for filing the application. Any application fee paid for a construction permit for a replacement well shall be refunded in full upon receipt by the department of a Uniform Water Well Completion Report, pursuant to 12VAC5-630-310, indicating that the well that was replaced has been permanently and properly abandoned or decommissioned.

E. Any person applying for a permit to properly and permanently abandon or decommission an existing well on property that is his principal place of residence shall not be charged a fee for filing the application.

F. Any person who applies to renew a construction permit for an onsite sewage disposal system, alternative discharge system, or private well shall not be charged a fee for filing the application, provided that:

1. The site and soil conditions upon which the permit was issued have not changed;

2. The legal ownership of the property has not changed;

3. A building permit for the facility to be served by the sewage system or well has been obtained or construction of the facility has commenced;

4. No previous renewal of the permit has been granted;

5. The expiration date of the renewed permit shall be the date 18 months following the expiration date of the original permit; and

6. Where the construction permit is for an alternative discharging system, the permit must comply with 9VAC25-110, Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) General Permit for Domestic Sewage Discharges of Less Than or Equal to 1,000 Gallons per Day, issued by the State Water Control Board.

G. Any person whose application for a certification letter or for a permit to construct an onsite sewage disposal system, alternative discharging system, or private well is denied may file one subsequent application for the same site-specific construction permit for which the application fee shall be waived, provided that:

1. The subsequent application is filed within 90 days of receiving the notice of denial for the first application;

2. The denial is not currently under appeal; and

3. The application fee for the first application has not been refunded.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12, 32.1-164, and 32.1-176.4 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-03 § 3.2, eff. July 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 10, eff. February 12, 2016.

12VAC5-620-90. Refunds of application fee.

A. An applicant for a construction permit or certification letter whose application is denied may apply for a refund of the application fee. The application fee shall be refunded to the owner or agent, if applicable, if the department denies an application for the land upon which the owner intends to build his principal place of residence. When the application was made for both a sewage disposal system and a private well, both fees may be refunded at the owner's request. Any such request shall be considered a withdrawal of the application.

B. An applicant for a construction permit or a certification letter may request a refund of the application fee if the applicant voluntarily withdraws his application before the department issues the requested permit. The application fee will be refunded if the application is withdrawn before the department makes a site visit for the purpose of evaluating the application.

C. An applicant who has paid an application fee for a replacement well shall be refunded the application fee in full upon receipt by the department of a Uniform Water Well Completion Report, pursuant to 12VAC5-630-310, showing that the well that was replaced has been properly and permanently abandoned or decommissioned.

D. All applications for refunds must be made to the department no later than 12 months following the date upon which the applicant receives notification that his application for a construction permit or certification letter has been denied, within 12 months following the date upon which his application was withdrawn, or within 12 months following the date upon which any appeals of the denial of the application have been concluded.

E. All applications for refunds shall be made in writing in a form approved by the department.

F. Applications that have been withdrawn are not subject to appeal.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12, 32.1-164, and 32.1-176.4 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-03 § 3.3, eff. July 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 10, eff. February 12, 2016.

12VAC5-620-100. Determining eligibility for waiver based on family income.

A. An owner seeking a waiver of an application fee shall request the waiver on the application form. The department will require information as to income, family size, financial status and other related data. The department shall not process the application until final resolution of the eligibility determination for waiver.

B. It is the owner's responsibility to furnish the department with the correct financial data in order to be appropriately classified according to income level and to determine eligibility for a waiver of an application fee. The owner shall be required to provide written verification of any employment or nonemployment income such as check stubs, written letter from an employer, W-2 forms, or other documentation acceptable to the department in order to provide documentation for the application.

C. The proof of income must reflect current income that is expected to be available during the next 12-month period. Proof of income must include, where applicable, name of employer, amount of gross earnings, and pay period for stated earnings. If no pay stub is submitted, a written statement must include the name, address, telephone number, and title of person certifying the income.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12, 32.1-164, and 32.1-176.4 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-03 § 3.3, eff. July 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 10, eff. February 12, 2016.



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