Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
10/27/2021

Part I. General Framework for Regulations
Article 1
General Provisions

12VAC5-610-20. Purpose of regulations.

This chapter has been promulgated by the State Board of Health to:

1. Assure that all sewage is handled and disposed of in a safe and sanitary manner;

2. Guide the State Health Commissioner in his determination of whether a permit for handling or disposing of sewage should be issued or denied; and

3. Guide the owner in the requirements necessary to secure a permit for handling and disposing of sewage.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 1.2, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-30. Relationship to other regulations.

A. This chapter addresses the handling and disposal of those portions of sewage flows not regulated by a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) Permit or a Virginia Pollutant Abatement (VPA) Permit issued in accordance with 9VAC25-31 or 9VAC25-32, respectively.

B. Reclamation and reuse of sewage may be subject to permitting by the Department of Environmental Quality under 9VAC25-740.

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 § 1.3, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. August 25, 2016.

12VAC5-610-40. Administration of regulations.

This chapter is administered by the following:

1. State Board of Health. The State Board of Health, hereinafter referred to as the board, has the responsibility to promulgate, amend, and repeal regulations necessary to ensure the safe and sanitary handling and disposal of sewage.

2. State Health Commissioner. The State Health Commissioner, hereinafter referred to as the commissioner, is the chief executive officer of the State Department of Health. The commissioner has the authority to act, within the scope of regulations promulgated by the board, for the board when it is not in session. The commissioner may delegate his powers under this chapter with the exception of his power to issue orders under § 32.1-26 of the Code of Virginia and 12VAC5-610-170 B. The commissioner has final authority to adjudicate contested decisions of subordinate delegated powers under this section prior to appeal of such decisions to the circuit court.

3. State Department of Health. The State Department of Health, hereinafter referred to as the department, is designated as the primary agent of the commissioner for the purpose of administering this chapter.

4. District or local health departments. The district or local health departments are responsible for implementing and enforcing the operational activities as required by this chapter.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 1.4, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988.Amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-50. Sewage Handling and Disposal Advisory Committee.

The commissioner shall appoint a Sewage Handling and Disposal Advisory Committee consisting of 16 appointed members and five ex officio members. The commissioner shall appoint to the Sewage Handling and Disposal Advisory Committee one individual each from the following: a member of the Virginia Society of Professional Engineers; a member of the Consulting Engineers Council of Virginia; a member of the Virginia Association of Professional Soil Scientists; a member of the Home Builders Association of Virginia; a member of the Virginia Association of Counties; a member of the Virginia Municipal League; a member of the Virginia Association of Realtors; a member of the Virginia Section, America Institute of Professional Geologists; a member of the Virginia Well Drillers Association; a member of the Virginia Water Environment Association; a faculty member of a Virginia state university or college whose principal field of teaching is soil science; a member of the Virginia Environmental Health Association; a member of the Virginia Wastewater Association; a member of the Virginia Coalition of Environmental Associations and two citizens at large. Ex officio members shall consist of the Director, Division of Wastewater Engineering; an environmental engineer from Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Department; a person with nonpoint source experience from the Department of Conservation and Recreation; Director, Bureau of Applied Technology, Department of Environmental Quality; and the Director, Division of Onsite Sewage; and Water Services; or their designees. The chairman shall be designated by the commissioner.

Appointed members shall serve at the discretion of the commissioner with terms being two years in duration. The Sewage Handling and Disposal Advisory Committee shall make recommendations to the commissioner regarding sewage handling and disposal policies, procedures and programs of the department. The committee shall meet at least annually. The committee shall establish its rules of order.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 1.5, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-60. The State Health Department Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeals Review Board.

There is established within the Department of Health under § 32.1-166.1 the Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeals Review Board, hereinafter referred to as the Appeals Review Board.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 1.6, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988.

12VAC5-610-70. Grandfather clause.

A. Any owner of a grandfathered lot may submit an application for a construction permit according to the procedure in 12VAC5-610-250. The local health department may perform a site and soil evaluation in accordance with Part III (12VAC5-610-450 et seq.) of this chapter and a permit shall be issued for a system which complies to the greatest extent possible with this chapter provided that the site and soil conditions would not preclude the successful operation of the system. Whenever the site and soil conditions on a grandfathered lot do not substantially comply with the requirements in Part IV (12VAC5-610-591 et seq.) of this chapter for a septic tank effluent system, secondary treatment will be required in the system design. In no case may the separation distance between the subsurface absorption system and a drinking water supply be less than the separation distance established in the regulations in effect at the time the grandfathered lot was approved (subdivision approval) or when the first permit was issued for the grandfathered lot.

B. Certification letters may not be issued in lieu of permits under the grandfather clause.

C. All permits issued under the grandfather clause which do not substantially comply with the provisions of this chapter shall be considered conditional permits in accordance with 12VAC5-610-250 J. A statement approved by the division shall be recorded and indexed in the grantor index of the land records of the circuit court having jurisdiction over the site of the sewage treatment and disposal system. The statement shall indicate that the permit is issued under the grandfather clause and that the site and soil conditions do not substantially comply with the current regulations and may contain such other information as the division deems appropriate to serve notice to future owners of the unique nature of grandfathered lots.

D. Within 18 months of July 1, 2000, any owner of a lot for which a certification letter or subdivision approval was issued after November 1, 1982, may submit an application for a construction permit according to the procedures in 12VAC5-610-250. Such application shall be subject to the permitting requirements of the regulations under which the certification letter or subdivision approval was issued.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 1.7, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-75. Permits valid on the effective date of this chapter.

Sewage disposal system construction permits which are valid on July 1, 2000, shall be automatically renewed on a one-time basis. Each permit thus renewed shall have an expiration date 18 months from the expiration date shown on the face of the permit. Such permits may be converted to certification letters only if they substantially comply with the current provisions of this chapter.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-80. Sewerage systems and/or treatment works required.

A. The discharge of untreated sewage onto the land or into the waters of the Commonwealth is prohibited.

B. No owner, person, or occupant shall discharge treated or untreated sewage onto the land, into the soil or into the waters of the Commonwealth without a valid permit from the commissioner or, as appropriate, a certificate issued by the Department of Environmental Quality in accordance with Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia.

C. All buildings, residences, and structures designed for human occupancy, employment or habitation and other places where humans congregate shall be served by an approved sewerage system and/or treatment works. An approved sewerage system or treatment works is a system for which a certificate to operate has been issued jointly by the department and the Department of Environmental Quality or a system which has been issued a separate permit by the commissioner.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 1.8, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-90. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 1.9, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-100. Right of entry.

The commissioner or his designee shall have the right to enter any property to assure compliance with this chapter in accordance with the provisions of § 32.1-25 of the Code of Virginia.

Article 2

Definitions

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 1.10, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-110. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 1.11, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-120. 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.

"Alluvial soil" means a soil developing from recently deposited alluvium and exhibiting essentially no horizon development or modification of the recently deposited materials.

"Alluvium" means mineral materials, either weathered or unweathered, that are transported by flowing water and deposited or redeposited in a flood-plain or marine terrace.

"Aquifer" means water-bearing portion of a geologic formation that transmits water.

"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.

"Colluvial soil" means a soil developing from recently deposited colluvium and exhibiting essentially no horizon development or modification of the recently deposited materials.

"Colluvium" means an accumulation of soil material, or a mixture of stone fragments and soil material, deposited at the base of slopes or in depressional areas, primarily by gravity.

"Commissioner" means the State Health Commissioner or his subordinate who has been delegated powers in accordance with subdivision 2 of 12VAC5-610-40.

"Cr horizon" means weathered or soft bedrock and is used to indicate root restrictive layers or bedrock or saprolite.

"Dilution area" means the land immediately adjacent to and down gradient, in the direction of ground water flow, from a mass sewage disposal system, which is provided for the purpose of diluting nitrogen, or other nutrients occurring in wastewater, with ambient ground water, in order to assure compliance with nutrient standards contained in this chapter.

"District health department" means a consolidation of local health departments as authorized in § 32.1-31 C of the Code of Virginia.

"Division" means the Division of Onsite Sewage and Water Services, Office of Environmental Health Services, State Health Department or its administrative successor.

"Existing construction" (with failing sewage disposal systems) means an existing structure where the sewage disposal system serving the structure has failed or is currently in violation of state law or regulations and requires correction.

"General approval" means approval granted to systems which are proven and tested in accordance with Article 2 (12VAC5-610-441 et seq.) of Part II of this chapter.

"Grandfathered lot" means:

1. Any lot upon which no permit has been issued and which is in a subdivision approved by the department prior to July 1, 2000, in accordance with a local subdivision ordinance. Individual lots may or may not have been evaluated; or

2. Any lot, parcel, or portion thereof with a previously issued permit or a specific written approval (not including a certification letter) from the department.

"Gray color" means a chroma-2 or less on the Munsell Color Chart.

"Impervious strata" means soil or soil materials with an estimated or measured percolation rate in excess of 120 minutes per inch.

"Local health department" means a branch of the State Health Department established in each city and county in accordance with § 32.1-30 of the Code of Virginia.

"Mass sewage disposal system" means a sewage disposal system or systems which will discharge effluent to a single absorption area or multiple absorption areas with or without combined flows, such that the loading rate applied to any acre, as determined by the department, exceeds 1,200 gallons per day.

"Mineral soil" means a soil consisting predominantly of, and having its properties determined predominantly by, mineral matter. A mineral soil usually contains less than 20% organic matter, but it may contain an organic surface layer up to 12 inches thick.

"New construction" means construction of a building for which a building permit is required.

"Office" means the Office of Environmental Health Services, State Health Department.

"Owner" 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 or treatment works.

"Person" means an individual, corporation, partnership, association or any other legal entity.

"Previously issued permit" means any permit issued prior to July 1, 2000, and in accordance with the regulations in effect at the time the permit was issued. There is no distinction between an expired permit and one that has been continually renewed.

"Pump and haul" means any unusual circumstance wherein sewage is permitted to be transported by vehicle to a point of disposal. The term "pump and haul" includes all facilities and appurtenances necessary to collect and store the sewage for handling by a contractor having a valid sewage handling permit.

"Rock" or "bedrock" means continuous, coherent, lithologic material that has relative hardness depending on the degree of weathering. Bedrock has characteristics such as strike, dip, jointing, and lithological compositions. Structure and water movement are rock controlled. Bedrock grinds with an auger, and mechanical penetration is more difficult or prevented as the material gets harder.

"Saprolite" means material weathered from igneous or metamorphic rock, without soil structure, and with remnant structure and fabric of the parent rock which is soft in place and can be penetrated easily with an auger.

"Secondary effluent" means effluent treated to reduce five-day biochemical oxygen demand to 30 mg/l or less, total suspended solids to 30 mg/l or less, and fats, oils, and grease to less than 5 mg/l.

"Septic tank effluent" means effluent characterized by a five-day biochemical oxygen demand between 120 and 200 mg/l; total suspended solids between 70 and 150 mg/l; fats, oils, and grease of 30 mg/l or less; and having no other toxic, hazardous, or constituents not routinely found in residential wastewater flows.

"Septage" means the mat of grease and scum on the surface of septic tanks, the accumulated sludge at the bottom of tanks and the sewage present at the time of pumping.

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

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

"Sewage handler" means any person who removes or contracts to remove and transports by vehicle the contents of any septic tank, sewage treatment plant, privy, holding tank, portable toilet or any sewage, septage or sewage sludges which have been processed to meet acceptable treatment standards as defined in this chapter or the Sewage Regulations (12VAC5-580-10 et seq.).

"Sewage handling" means the vehicular conveyance of sewage (See "Transportation" in § 32.1-163 of the Code of Virginia).

"Sewerage system" means pipe lines 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.

"Shrink-swell soils" means soils with horizons that contain montmorillonite and other clays that excessively shrink upon drying and swell upon wetting.

"Sink hole" means a depression in the topography without a surface outlet for drainage from the low point. Sink holes are common in areas containing limestone and generally result from the collapse of solution cavities.

"Soil" means the weathered mineral and organic fraction of the earth's regolith, which is less than or equal to 2.0 mm in size as observed in place. Soil comprises sands, silts or clays or combinations of these textured components and may contain larger aggregate materials such as gravel, cobbles, stones or channers or precipitates from aqueous solution. Soil includes the A, O, B, C, and E horizons.

"Soil horizon" means a layer of soil or soil material approximately parallel to the land surface and different from adjacent genetically related layers in physical, chemical, and biological properties or characteristics such as color, structure, texture, consistency, kinds and numbers of organisms present, degree of acidity or alkalinity, etc.

"Subdivision" means multiple building lots derived from a parcel or parcels of land.

"Subsurface soil absorption" means a process which utilizes the soil to treat and dispose of effluent from a treatment works. (Also see "Subsurface drainfield" in § 32.1-163 of the Code of Virginia).

"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 effluent resulting from such treatment.

Part II

Procedural Regulations

Article 1

Procedures

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 1.12, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-130. Compliance with Virginia Administrative Process Act.

The provisions of the Virginia Administrative Process Act of the Code of Virginia shall govern the promulgation and administration of this chapter and shall be applicable to the appeal of any case decision based upon this chapter.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.1, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-140. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 §§ 2.2 and 2.3, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-160. Emergency order or rule.

If an emergency exists the commissioner may issue an emergency order or rule as is necessary for preservation of public health, safety, and welfare. The emergency order or rule shall state the reasons and precise factual basis upon which the emergency rule or order is issued. The emergency order or rule shall state the time period for which it is effective.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.4, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988.

12VAC5-610-170. Enforcement of regulations.

All sewage handling and disposal facilities shall be constructed and operated in compliance with the requirements as set forth in this chapter. The commissioner may enforce this chapter through any means lawfully available.

A. Notice. Subject to the exceptions indicated below whenever the commissioner or the district or local health department has reason to believe a violation of any of these regulations has occurred or is occurring, the alleged violator shall be notified. Such notice shall be made in writing, shall be delivered personally or sent by certified mail, shall cite the regulation or regulations that are allegedly being violated, shall state the facts which form the basis for believing the violation has occurred or is occurring, shall include a request for a specific action by the recipient by a specified time and shall state the penalties associated with such violations (See § 32.1-27 of the Code of Virginia). When the commissioner deems it necessary he may initiate criminal prosecution or seek civil relief through mandamus or injunctive relief prior to giving notice.

B. Orders. Pursuant to the authority granted in § 32.1-26 of the Code of Virginia the commissioner may issue orders to require any owner to comply with the provisions of this chapter. The order shall be signed by the commissioner and may require:

1. The immediate cessation or correction, or both, of the violation;

2. The acquisition or use of additional land, equipment, supplies or personnel to assure that the violation does not recur;

3. The submission of a plan to prevent future violations to the commissioner for review and approval;

4. The submission of an application for a variance; and

5. Any other corrective action deemed necessary for proper compliance with the regulations.

C. Hearing before the issuance of an order. Before the issuance of an order described in subsection B of this section, a hearing must be held with at least 30 days notice to the affected owner of the time, place and purpose thereof, for the purpose of adjudicating the alleged violation or violations of this chapter. The procedure at the hearing shall be in accordance with 12VAC5-610-200 B and with §§ 9-6.14:11 and 9-6.14:12 of the Code of Virginia.

D. Order; when effective. All orders shall become effective not less than 15 days after mailing a copy thereof by certified mail to the last known address of the owner violating this chapter. Violation of an order is a misdemeanor. (See § 32.1-27 of the Code of Virginia.)

E. Compliance with effective orders. The commissioner may enforce all orders. Should any owner fail to comply with any order, the commissioner may:

1. Apply to an appropriate court for an injunction or other legal process to prevent or stop any practice in violation of the order;

2. Seek mandamus against any owner that is a municipal corporation;

3. Request the Attorney General to bring an action for civil penalty;

4. Request the Commonwealth's Attorney to bring a criminal action.

F. Not exclusive means of enforcement. Nothing contained in this section shall be interpreted to require the commissioner to issue an order prior to seeking enforcement of any regulations or statute through an injunction, mandamus or criminal prosecution.

G. Suspension of regulations during disasters. If in the case of a man-made or natural disaster, the commissioner finds that certain regulations cannot be complied with and that the public health is better served by not fully complying with this chapter, he may authorize the suspension of the application of the regulations for specifically affected localities and institute a provisional regulatory plan until the disaster is abated.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.5, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-180. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.6, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-190. Variances.

The commissioner may grant a variance to this chapter; however, minor deviations to the criteria contained in Part IV (12VAC5-610-591 et seq.) or Part V (12VAC5-610-660 et seq.) of this chapter may be granted in accordance with 12VAC5-610-280 C. The commissioner shall follow the appropriate procedures set forth in this section in granting a variance.

A. Definition of a variance. A variance is a conditional waiver of a specific regulation which is granted to a specific owner relating to a specific situation or facility and may be for a specified time period.

B. Requirements for a variance. The commissioner may grant a variance if a thorough investigation reveals that the hardship imposed (may be economic) by this chapter outweighs the benefits that may be received by the public and that the granting of such variance does not subject the public to unreasonable health risks.

C. Application for a variance. Any owner who seeks a variance shall apply in writing for a variance. The application shall be sent to the appropriate district and local health department for review and forwarding to the commissioner. The application shall include:

1. A citation to the regulation from which a variance is requested;

2. The nature and duration of the variance requested;

3. Any relevant analytical results including results of relevant tests conducted pursuant to the requirements of this chapter;

4. The hardship imposed by the specific requirement of this chapter;

5. A statement of reasons why the public health and welfare would be better served if the variance were granted;

6. Suggested conditions that might be imposed on the granting of a variance that would limit the detrimental impact on the public health and welfare;

7. Other information, if any, believed pertinent by the applicant; and

8. Such other information as the local health department and the commissioner may require.

D. Evaluation of a variance application.

1. The commissioner shall act on any variance request submitted pursuant to subsection C of this section within 60 calendar days of receipt of the request.

2. In the commissioner's evaluation of a variance application, the commissioner shall consider the following factors:

a. The effect that such a variance would have on the operation of the sewage handling or disposal facility;

b. The cost and other economic considerations imposed by this requirement;

c. The effect that such a variance would have on protection of the public health;

d. Any relevant analytical results including results of relevant tests conducted pursuant to the requirements of this chapter;

e. The hardship imposed by enforcing the specific requirement of this chapter;

f. The applicant's statement of reasons why the public health and welfare would be better served if the variance were granted;

g. The suggested conditions that might be imposed on the granting of a variance that would limit the detrimental impact on the public health and welfare;

h. Other information, if any, believed pertinent by the applicant;

i. Such other information as the local health department and the commissioner may require; and

j. Such other factors as the commissioner may deem appropriate.

E. Disposition of a variance request.

1. The commissioner may reject any applicant for a variance by sending a rejection notice to the applicant. The rejection notice shall be in writing and shall state reasons for the rejection. The application may petition for a hearing within 30 calendar days to challenge the rejection pursuant to 12VAC5-610-200.

2. If the commissioner proposes to grant a variance request submitted pursuant to subsection C of this section, the applicant shall be notified in writing of this decision. Such notice shall identify the variance, sewage handling or disposal facility covered, and shall specify the period of time for which the variance will be effective and any conditions imposed pursuant to issuing the variance. The effective date of a variance shall be 15 calendar days following its issuance.

3. No owner may challenge the terms set forth in the variance after 30 calendar days have elapsed from the date of issuance.

F. Posting of variances. All variances granted to any sewage handling or disposal facility are nontransferable. Each variance shall be attached to the permit to which it is granted. Each variance is revoked when the permit to which it is attached is revoked.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.7, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-200. Hearing types.

Hearings before the board, commissioner or the commissioner's designees shall include any of the following forms depending on the nature of the controversy and the interests of the parties involved.

A. Informal hearings. An informal hearing is a meeting with the district or local health department with the district or local health director presiding and held in conformance with § 9-6.14:11 of the Code of Virginia. The district or local health department shall consider all evidence presented at the meeting which is relevant to the issue in controversy. Presentation of evidence, however, is entirely voluntary. The district or local health department shall have no subpoena power. No verbatim record need be taken at the informal hearing. The local or district health director shall review the facts presented and based on those facts render a decision. A written copy of the decision and the basis for the decision shall be sent to the appellant within 15 work days of the hearing unless the parties mutually agree to a later date in order to allow the department to evaluate additional evidence. If the decision is adverse to the interests of the appellant, an aggrieved appellant may request an adjudicatory hearing pursuant to 12VAC5-610-200 B.

B. Adjudicatory hearing for appeals of denials of sewage system construction permits. The adjudicatory hearing is a formal, public adjudicatory proceeding before the commissioner, the Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeal Review Board or a designated hearing officer, and held in conformance with § 9-6.14:12 of the Code of Virginia. An adjudicatory hearing includes the following features:

1. Notice. Notice which states the time and place and the issues involved in the prospective hearing shall be sent to the owner or the person who is the subject of the hearing. Notice shall be sent by certified mail at least 15 calendar days before the hearing is to take place.

2. Record. A verbatim record of the hearing shall be made by a court reporter. A copy of the transcript of the hearing, if transcribed, will be provided within a reasonable time to any person upon written request and payment of the cost.

3. Evidence. All interested parties shall attend the hearing and submit oral and documentary evidence and rebuttal proofs, expert or otherwise, that is material and relevant to the issues in controversy. The admissibility of evidence shall be determined in accordance with § 9-6.14:12 of the Code of Virginia.

4. Counsel. All parties may be accompanied by and represented by counsel and are entitled to conduct such cross-examination as may elicit a full and fair disclosure of the facts.

5. Subpoena. Pursuant to § 9-6.14:13 of the Code of Virginia, the commissioner, Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeal Board, or hearing officer may issue subpoenas on behalf of themselves for the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, maps or other materials. Failure to appear or to testify or to produce materials without adequate excuse may be reported by the commissioner to the appropriate circuit court for enforcement.

6. Judgement and final order. The commissioner may designate a hearing officer or subordinate to conduct the hearing as provided in § 9-6.14:12 of the Code of Virginia, and to make written recommended findings of fact and conclusions of law to be submitted for review and final decision by the commissioner. The final decision of the commissioner shall be reduced to writing and will contain the explicit findings of fact upon which his decision is based. A certified copy of the decision shall be delivered to the affected owner. Notice of a decision will be served upon the parties and become a part of the record. Service may be by personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.8, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-210. Request for hearing.

The commissioner or any person or owner injured by alleged violation of this chapter may request a hearing of one of the types listed by sending the request in writing to the district or local health department. The request for hearing shall cite the reason or reasons for the hearing request and shall cite the section or sections of this chapter involved.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.9, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988.

12VAC5-610-220. Hearing as a matter of right.

Any person or owner whose rights, duties, or privileges have been, or may be affected by any decision of the board or its subordinates in the administration of this chapter shall have a right to both informal and adjudicatory hearings. The commissioner may require participation in an informal hearing before granting the request for a full adjudicatory hearing.

Exception. No person other than an owner shall have the right to an adjudicatory hearing to challenge the issuance of either a construction permit or operation permit unless the person can demonstrate at an informal hearing that the minimum standards contained in these regulations have not been applied and that he will be injured in some manner by the issuance of the permit.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.10, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988.

12VAC5-610-230. Appeal.

A. Any appeal from a denial of a construction permit for a sewage disposal system must be made in writing and received by the department within 30 days of the date of receipt of notice of the denial.

B. Any request for hearing on the denial of an application for a variance pursuant to 12VAC5-610-170 E 1 must be made in writing and received within 30 days of receipt of the denial notice.

C. Any request for a variance must be made in writing and received by the department prior to the denial of the sewage disposal system permit, or within 30 days after such denial.

D. In the event a person applies for a variance within the 30-day period provided by subsection C of this section, the date for appealing the denial of the permit, pursuant to subsection B of this section, shall commence from the date on which the department acts on the request for a variance.

E. Pursuant to the Administrative Process Act (§ 9-6.14:1 et seq. of the Code of Virginia), an aggrieved owner may appeal a final decision of the commissioner or Appeal Review Board to an appropriate circuit court.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.11, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-240. Permits; general.

No person or owner shall construct, operate, expand or modify a sewage disposal or handling system without a written permit from the commissioner.

A. Sewage disposal permits. No person or owner shall cause or allow the construction, expansion or modification of a sewage disposal system without the written construction permit from the commissioner which authorizes the construction or modifications. Furthermore, no person or owner shall cause or permit any sewage disposal system constructed after the effective date of this chapter to be operated without a written operation permit issued by the commissioner which authorizes the operation of the sewage disposal system, and/or nonpublic drinking water system (see 12VAC5-610-340). Conditions may be imposed on the issuance of any permit and no sewage disposal system shall be constructed, modified or operated in violation of these conditions.

B. Sewage handling permits. Any person who removes or contracts to remove and transport by vehicle the contents of any septic tank, sewage treatment plant, privy, holding tank, portable toilet, or any sewage septage or sewage sludges from any other device shall be deemed an owner and shall have a written sewage handling permit issued by the commissioner.

Exception. No such permit is required for the handling of sewage from (1) a holding tank on a vehicle or vessel by the owner of such vehicle or vessel or (2) the removal of screenings, sludges, grit, etc. from a sewage treatment plant by the owner or employees of such sewage treatment facilities.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.12, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988.

12VAC5-610-250. Procedures for obtaining a construction permit for a sewage disposal system.

Construction permits are issued by the commissioner but all requests for a sewage disposal construction permit shall be directed initially to the district or local health department.

A. Type I. A Type I sewage disposal system is an individual sewage disposal system incorporating a septic tank and subsurface soil absorption (septic tank-subsurface drainfield) serving a single residence. The submission of an application is all that is normally necessary to initiate procedure for obtaining a permit under this subsection. If after a site investigation, it is determined that pumping, enhanced flow distribution (see 12VAC5-610-930 A) or low pressure distribution (see 12VAC5-610-940) is necessary, the system shall be considered a Type II system.

B. Type II. A Type II sewage disposal system is a sewage disposal system incorporating a septic tank and subsurface soil absorption system which serves a commercial or other establishment, more than a single family dwelling unit, or where pumping, enhanced flow distribution (see 12VAC5-610-930 A) or low pressure distribution (see 12VAC5-610-940) is necessary. The procedure for obtaining a permit includes the following steps:

1. The submission of an application;

2. A preliminary conference as necessary; and

3. The submission of informal plans, specifications, design criteria, and other data, as may be required by the district or local health department. Depending on the size and complexity of the system, the submission of formal plans and specifications may be required.

C. Type III. A Type III sewage disposal system includes sewage disposal systems other than a septic tank subsurface soil absorption system, and subsurface soil absorption systems, regardless of design, with design flows greater than 1,000 gpd. The procedure for obtaining a permit under this subsection includes the following steps:

1. The submission of an application;

2. A preliminary conference; and

3. The submission of formal plans, specifications and design criteria. Other supporting data may be required on a case-by-case basis.

When high strength wastes are proposed for subsurface disposal, the treatment methodology shall comply with the requirements found in 12VAC5-580-10 et seq. of the Sewage Regulations.

D. Type IV-Privies. The submission of an application is all that is normally necessary to initiate the procedure for obtaining a permit under this section.

E. Application. All applications for any type sewage disposal system shall be made on an application form provided by the district or local health department and approved by the department.

F. Preliminary conference. A preliminary conference with the district or local health department is held for Type II and Type III systems. When a Type III system for septage disposal is planned, the conference shall be with the department. At such conference the owner and/or his agent shall be prepared to set forth the sewage disposal problems and the proposed solution in such a manner to support his conclusions and recommendations.

G. Formal plans.

1. All formal plans for sewage disposal systems shall bear a suitable title showing the name of the owner and shall show the scale in feet, a graphical scale, the north point, date, and the name of the licensed professional engineer by or under whom prepared. The cover sheet and each plan sheet shall bear the same general title identifying the overall sewage disposal project and each shall be numbered. Appropriate subtitles should be included on the individual sheets.

The plans shall be clear and legible. They shall be drawn to a scale which will permit all necessary information to be plainly shown. The size of the plans should be no larger than 30 inches by 48 inches. Data used should be indicated. Location, when made, shall be shown on the plans. Logs of test borings shall be given either on plans or in the specifications.

Detailed plans shall consist of plan views, elevations, sections, and supplementary views which together with the specifications and general layouts provide the working information for the contract and construction of the work, including dimensions and relative elevations of structures, the location and outline form of equipment, the location and size of piping, water levels, ground elevations, and erosion control abatement facilities.

2. Geographical and other features. Topography, elevations (contour lines), existing or proposed streets and all bodies of water, ditches, buildings, springs, cisterns and wells within 100 feet horizontally of the proposed sewage disposal system site and/or well, a water mounding analysis showing the impact of the proposed sewage system on ground water and all property lines shall be clearly shown.

3. General layout. The general layout shall show the following:

a. Test borings, ground water elevation (if observed), and soil profiles;

b. Size and location of sewage disposal systems;

c. Schematic flow diagram showing the flow through the various disposal system units;

d. Piping; and

e. Hydraulic profile showing the flow of sewage.

4. Detailed plans. Detailed plans shall show the following:

a. Location, dimensions and elevations of existing or proposed system facilities;

b. Pertinent data concerning the rated capacity of pumps, blowers, motors and other mechanical devices. All or part of such data may be included in the specifications by suitable reference on the plans;

c. Average and maximum hydraulic flow in profile; and

d. Adequate description of any features not otherwise covered by the specifications.

H. Formal specifications. Complete technical specifications for the construction of the sewage disposal system and all appurtenances shall accompany the plans. The specifications accompanying construction drawings shall include, but not be limited to, all construction information not shown on the drawings, which is necessary to inform the builder in detail of the design requirements as to the quality of material workmanship and fabrication of the project, type, size, strength, operating characteristics, and rating of equipment; allowable infiltration, machinery, valves, piping, and jointing of pipe, electrical apparatus, wiring and meters; operating tools and construction materials; special filter materials such as stone, sand, gravel or slag; miscellaneous appurtenances; chemicals when used; instructions for testing materials and equipment as necessary to meet design standards and operating test for the complete works and component units.

I. Special requirements for certain sewage disposal systems. A construction permit for a single sewage disposal system proposed to serve a dwelling unit with multiple living units, multiple dwelling units or multiple lots with dwelling units shall be issued only to a single owner. The owner shall provide legal documentation to assure operation and the maintenance of the system for the expected life of the living units or dwellings.

J. Construction permit with conditions.

1. Definition: "Conditional construction permit" means a permit authorizing the installation of a septic tank subsurface soil absorption system which does not fully conform to the criteria in Part V (12VAC5-610-660 et seq.) of this chapter pertaining to septic tank size, subsurface soil absorption system size and certain ground water table conditions as indicated by soil evaluation, but which, under the conditions to which the permit is subject, can be reasonably expected to function without danger to public health.

2. The purpose of this section is to allow for the issuance of conditional construction permits. Procedures for obtaining a conditional construction permit are the same as those contained in subsections A, B, C and D of this section.

3. Conditional construction permits may be issued for any one or more of the following use conditions when satisfactory substantiation is provided by the applicant:

a. Reduced water flow based on permanent water saving plumbing devices;

b. Limitations on the number of persons occupying the dwelling or using the facility served by the proposed septic tank system;

c. Intermittent or seasonal use of the dwelling or facility served by the septic tank system; and

d. Temporary use of the septic tank system for a specified time period not to exceed one year. Such permits may be renewable when the commissioner determines there is a good cause for renewal.

4. Criteria.

a. The septic tank and/or drainfield size may be reduced based on the use conditions contained in subdivision 3 a, b, c, or d of this subsection.

b. In areas with seasonal fluctuating water table(s), where the seasonally high water table would cause failure if the system were to be used continuously, septic tank systems may be installed when the period of use of the septic tank system coincides with the period when the ground water table, as indicated by free water, is at its lowest level. Acceptable separation distances to free standing ground water are the same as those found in Tables 4.3 and 4.4 of this chapter.

c. Because of the increased risk of failure, a conditional permit shall not be issued, in an area with a seasonally fluctuating water table if the proposed absorption area is within 200 feet of a shellfish growing area, recreational waters or a public water supply impoundment.

5. The district or local health department shall affix to the conditional construction permit a clear and concise statement relating the conditions and circumstances which formed the basis for issuing the conditional permit as well as the owner's obligations under the permit.

6. The holder of any conditional construction permit shall have the permit recorded and indexed in the grantor index under the holder's name in the land records of the clerk of the circuit court having jurisdiction over the site of the septic tank system. District or local health departments shall be provided with certification that the conditional septic tank system permit has been recorded in the land records of the circuit court. The conditional permit shall become effective one day after the district or local health department receives notification of recordation. The district or local health department shall advise the local building official that conditional septic tank system permits are not valid without certification that the permits have been properly recorded as required and shall forthwith notify the local building official when the conditional permit becomes effective. Final approval of the construction of the septic tank subsurface soil absorption system shall not be given until or unless the system is constructed in accordance with the conditions of the permit. The operation permit will be issued in accordance with 12VAC5-610-340.

7. As per § 32.1-164.1 of the Code of Virginia, the holder of the permit and any subsequent holders of the permit shall be bound by the conditions stated in the permit unless the holder or subsequent holder obtains an additional permit for modification or alteration of the septic tank system to meet any new use conditions.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.13, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-255. Certification letters.

A. An applicant for a sewage disposal system who does not intend to build within 18 months of application shall apply for a certification letter. The process shall be the same as for a system application made in accordance with 12VAC5-610-250. The fees charged for a certification letter shall be the same as prescribed in § 32.1-164 C of the Code of Virginia.

B. Certification letters indicate that a site is suitable for an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system and do not need to indicate the type of system for which the site is suitable.

C. Certification letters do not expire and shall convey with the land in the event the property is sold between the time the certification letter is issued and a construction permit is requested.

D. Certification letters may be converted to a construction permit by making application to the local health department in accordance with 12VAC5-610-250 and paying any required fees. Note, however, no additional fee shall be charged when a certification letter is converted to a construction permit within 18 months of the date the letter was issued.

E. Formal plans and specifications are not required in order to obtain a certification letter unless said plans and specifications are necessary to determine the appropriateness of a site for a sewage disposal system. Depending upon the type and complexity of the system to be permitted, formal plans and specifications may be required.

F. Certification letters shall be issued only for conventionally approved systems. Certification letters shall not be issued for experimental or provisionally approved systems because there is no assurance that said system will successfully complete the required testing and demonstration and, hence, may not be available when the property owner wishes to convert the letter to a construction permit. Further, no certification letter shall be issued for a conditional permit pursuant to 12VAC5-610-250 J.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-260. Requirements for the submission of formal plans, specifications and other data.

A. In accordance with the provisions of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia, all formal drawings, specifications, reports, and other documents submitted for approval shall be prepared by or under the supervision of a licensed professional engineer. The front cover of each set of drawings, of each copy of data and each copy of the specifications submitted shall bear the original imprint of the seal and signature of the licensed professional engineer by or under whom prepared. In addition each drawing submitted shall bear an imprint or a legible facsimile of such seal.

B. If revisions to the formal plans, specifications or documents are necessitated, a letter will be sent to the engineer outlining the revisions and requesting submission of the revised documents within 30 calendar days.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.14, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-270. Approval of formal plans.

Final, complete and detailed plans and specifications submitted in accordance with the provisions of 12VAC5-610-250 and 12VAC5-610-260 will be reviewed by the district or local health department as appropriate as soon as practicable upon receipt. Such plans will be approved if they demonstrate compliance with the criteria set forth in Part V (12VAC5-610-660 et seq.) of this chapter, and if the sewage disposal system will be able to function properly. A set of approved plans will be returned to the owner.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.15, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-280. Issuance of the construction permit.

A. A construction permit shall be issued by the commissioner after approval of the application submitted under 12VAC5-610-250 A and D and fulfilling the requirement contained in 12VAC5-610-700 E 2, if applicable.

B. A construction permit shall be issued by the commissioner after approval of the application and plans and specifications submitted under 12VAC5-610-250 B and C. Such approvals shall include the requirement contained in 12VAC5-610-700 E 2, if applicable, and applicable requirements of the Department of Environmental Quality in accordance with § 32.1-164.3 of the Code of Virginia.

C. Exception.

1. If compliance with the criteria contained in Part IV (12VAC5-610-591 et seq.) or Part V (12VAC5-610-660 et seq.) of this chapter imposes economic or other conditions that are not justified by the health considerations upon which the criteria are based, a construction permit may be issued for the disposal system design which substantially complies with the criteria set forth in Part IV or V of this chapter.

2. When issuing a construction permit for repair of an existing failing sewage disposal system for an occupied structure with indoor plumbing, the criteria contained in Parts IV and V of this chapter shall be complied with to the greatest extent possible. However, it is not necessary to substantially comply with all of the requirements in those parts of this chapter with the exception of the set back distances for shellfish waters or drinking water wells, unless the system is already closer in which case the corrected system shall not be closer than the existing system. Furthermore, when it can be documented that compliance with those parts creates an economic hardship, the district health director or the district environmental health manager may waive the requirements for pretreating the effluent. All corrections must be of such a nature that they can reasonably be expected to reduce the risk to public health caused by the malfunctioning systems.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.16, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-290. Denial of a construction permit.

A. If it is determined that the proposed design is inadequate or that soil, geological or other conditions are such to preclude safe and proper operation of a proposed sewage disposal system or that the installation of the system would create an actual or potential health hazard or nuisance, the permit shall be denied and the owner shall be notified in writing of the basis for the denial. The notification shall also state that the owner has the right to appeal the denial.

B. Construction permits may be denied for new construction to be served by a public water supply system which has reached its permitted capacity.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.17, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-300. Voidance, revalidation, and revocation of construction permits with and without conditions.

A. Null and void. All sewage disposal construction permits are null and void when (i) conditions such as house location, sewage system location, sewerage system location, well location, topography, drainage ways, or other site conditions are changed from those shown on the application; (ii) conditions are changed from those shown on the construction permit; or (iii) more than 18 months elapse from the date the permit was issued. Reapplication for the purposes of having an expired permit reissued shall be the responsibility of the owner, and such reapplication shall be handled as an initial application and comply fully with 12VAC5-610-250.

B. Revalidation. Except as provided in 12VAC5-610-70, construction permits shall be revalidated if more than 18 months have elapsed since issuance of the construction permit and construction has not commenced. The district or local health department shall revalidate the permit if the permit had been previously issued in accordance with this chapter and the site conditions are the same as shown on the application and construction permit. Exception. This subsection is inapplicable to a Type III septage disposal facility.

C. Revocation. The commissioner may revoke a construction permit or inspection statement for any of the following reasons:

1. Failure to comply with the conditions of the permit;

2. Violation of any of this chapter for which no variance has been issued;

3. Facts become known which reveal that a potential health hazard would be created or that the ground water resources may be adversely affected by allowing the proposed sewage disposal system to be installed or completed.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.18, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-310. Revisions of approved plans.

Any deviation from approved plans and specifications affecting capacity, hydraulic conditions, operating units or the functioning of the sewage disposal system must be approved by the bureau before such changes are made. Revised plans and specifications shall be submitted in time to permit the review and approval of such plans and specifications before any construction work which will be affected by the changes is begun.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.19, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988.

12VAC5-610-320. Inspection and correction.

No part of any installation shall be covered with earth or used until inspected, corrections made if necessary, and approved, by the district or local health department or unless expressly authorized by the district or local health department. Any part of an installation which has been covered prior to approval shall be uncovered upon the direction of the district or local health department. This section shall not apply to any sewage disposal system installation that is pursuant to a design certified by a licensed professional engineer or onsite soil evaluator.

Exception. This section is inapplicable to a Type III septage disposal facility.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.20, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 4, eff. November 22, 2012.

12VAC5-610-330. Inspections of private evaluations and designs and reports required upon completion of construction.

A. Upon completion of the construction or modifications of a sewage disposal system permitted pursuant to a design certified by a licensed professional engineer or onsite soil evaluator, the certifying licensed professional engineer or onsite soil evaluator shall inspect the sewage disposal system installation in a timely manner and submit to the district or local health department a signed inspection report stating that the installation was completed substantially in accordance with the approved evaluation and design revised only in accordance with the provisions of 12VAC5-610-310. This inspection report shall be based upon inspections of the sewage disposal system during and after construction or modifications that are adequate to assure the accuracy of the report. The department may, but is not required to, inspect the installation of such sewage disposal system. In the event that the certifying licensed professional engineer or onsite soil evaluator does not inspect the installation in a timely manner or declines to certify that the installation was completed substantially in accordance with the approved evaluation and design, the owner may petition the district or local health department to inspect the installation and render a final case decision approving or disapproving the installation. The district or local health department shall not be required to convene an informal fact-finding proceeding in accordance with § 2.2-4019 of the Code of Virginia or 12VAC5-610-200 prior to rendering such decision.

B. Statement from the sewage disposal system contractor. Upon completion of the construction or modification of a sewage disposal system, the owner shall submit to the district or local health department a statement signed by the contractor that the construction work was completed in accordance with the construction permit, and when appropriate the plans and specifications approved for the project and substantially in accordance with Part V (12VAC5-610-660 et seq.) of this chapter.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.21, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000; Volume 29, Issue 4, eff. November 22, 2012.

12VAC5-610-340. Issuance of the operation permit.

Upon satisfactory completion of the requirements of 12VAC5-610-320 and 12VAC5-610-330 the commissioner shall issue an operation permit. The issuance of an operation permit does not denote or imply any guarantee by the department that the sewage disposal system will function for any specified period of time. It shall be the responsibility of the owner or any subsequent owner to maintain, repair or replace any sewage disposal system that ceases to operate as defined in the operation permit and in 12VAC5-610-350.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.22, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-350. Failure of a sewage disposal system.

For the purpose of requiring correction of a malfunctioning sewage disposal system the presence of raw or partially treated sewage on the ground's surface or in adjacent ditches or waterways or exposure to insects, animals or humans is prima facie evidence of such system failure and is deemed a violation of these regulations. Pollution of the groundwater or backup of sewage into plumbing fixtures may also indicate system failure.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.23, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988.

12VAC5-610-360. Review of subdivision plats for individual sewage disposal systems when required by local ordinance.

A. The intent of this section is to assure that adequate information is supplied to the district or local health department to determine if any or all proposed lots contain a suitable area and reserve area for onsite sewage disposal systems prior to recordation of the subdivision plat. This section shall not be construed to restrict the department in rendering preliminary opinions in accordance with local ordinances prior to recordation. The information requested herein is supplemental to the information which may be required by local subdivision ordinances.

B. A subdivision plat or a subsection of a subdivision plat submitted to the district or local health department for review of onsite sewage disposal systems shall show at a minimum the location of the proposed onsite sewage disposal systems and the reserve absorption areas if required by Part V (12VAC5-610-660 et seq.) of this chapter, 12VAC5-610-710 for the onsite sewage disposal systems and the location of the water supply system on each lot, if applicable. Each plat or subsection of a subdivision plat shall be accompanied by specific soil information for each lot (absorption area and reserve area) in accordance with Article 1 (12VAC5-610-450 et seq.) of Part III of this chapter. If not provided by the local subdivision ordinance, the district or local health department may require the plat to show streets, utilities, storm drainage, water supplies, easements, lot lines and original topographic contour lines by detail survey or other information as required. For suggested contour interval and scale see APPENDIX L.

C. No department employee shall sign or indicate approval for onsite sewage disposal systems on a subdivision plat or subsection of a subdivision plat for recordation until a sewage disposal site(s), including reserve area when required in accordance with 12VAC5-610-710, has been identified, approved or disapproved and recorded on each lot of the subdivision plat on file with the district or local health department. The plat on file with the district or local health department shall be reconciled with the plat to be recorded. The recorded plat shall reference the plat on file with the department. The signature of a department employee on a recorded subdivision plat or subsection of a subdivision plat does not imply or connote that any lot(s) identified as approved shall be issued a sewage disposal construction permit unless all conditions and circumstances, such as but not limited to landscaping, contained in the original approval exist at the time of application for a sewage disposal construction permit.

D. Before building construction begins on a lot within the subdivision, a valid individual sewage disposal construction permit shall be issued for that lot in accordance with 12VAC5-610-280.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.24, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-370. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.25, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-380. Procedures for obtaining a sewage handling permit.

A. Sewage handling permits are issued by the commissioner. (See 12VAC5-610-240 B.) Applications for such permits shall be directed to the district or local health department. The procedure for obtaining sewage handling permits includes the following:

1. Application;

2. Conference;

3. Scheduling of equipment for initial inspection; and

4. Approval of disposal site or sites.

B. Application. An application for a sewage handling permit shall be made to the local or district health department on a form provided by the department.

C. Conference. A conference will be held with the district or local department for the purpose of discussing the methods and equipment utilized in the handling of sewage.

D. Initial equipment inspection. The owner shall make arrangements with the district or local health department at a suitable time for inspecting the sewage handling equipment.

E. Approval of disposal site or sites.

1. An approved sewerage system or treatment works is a system for which a certificate to operate has been issued jointly by the department and the Department of Environmental Quality or a system which has been issued a separate permit by the commissioner. When the applicant is not the owner of the approved sewerage system or treatment works, the applicant shall append a statement from the owner of the approved sewerage system or treatment works to the application stating that the applicant may discharge septage and/or sewage. The statement shall include the quantity per day and point of discharge as indicated on the application to the approved sewerage system or treatment works.

2. If the disposal site is not an approved sewerage system or treatment works, each disposal site shall be considered a special facility (see 12VAC5-610-590 B) and shall be inspected and approved or disapproved on a case-by-case basis by the district or local health department and the bureau in accordance with 12VAC5-610-250 C.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.26 eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-390. Issuance of sewage handling permit.

The commissioner shall issue a sewage handling permit upon satisfactory completion of the procedures outlined in 12VAC5-610-380 and compliance with the criteria contained in Article 2 (12VAC5-610-560 et seq.) of Part III and Articles 8 (12VAC5-610-1020 et seq.) and 9 (12VAC5-610-1080 et seq.) of Part V of this chapter.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.27, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-400. Revocation of sewage handling permits.

A. Each permit shall be for a time period not to exceed 12 months.

B. Each permit may be revoked when conditions are changed from those shown in the application.

C. Each permit may be revoked when there is a potential or real health hazard associated with the sewage handling operation.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.28, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988.

12VAC5-610-410. Special permits for pump and haul of sewage.

A special permit for a definite time period issued by the commissioner is required for pump and haul. (See Part III, Article 2 of this chapter.)

Exception.

1. No such special permit is required for pump and haul associated with pumpout facilities at marinas or other places where boats are moored which are authorized by the Rules and Regulations Governing Sewerage and Sanitary Facilities at Marinas and Other Places Where Boats are Moored.

2. Where pump and haul is a maintenance requirement of an approved sewage disposal system such as pumping septage from a septic tank or periodic pumping of a holding privy, no such separate special permit is required.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.29, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988.

12VAC5-610-420. Procedure for obtaining a pump and haul permit.

A. An owner who seeks a pump and haul permit shall follow the following steps:

1. Application;

2. Conference;

3. Plans, specifications, and other data as may be required;

4. Securing a contract with a sewage handling contractor having a valid sewage handling permit;

5. Submission of a detailed construction schedule for completion of the permanent receiving facilities; and

6. Bonding.

B. Application. An application shall be made through the district or local health department on a form provided by the department.

C. Conference. A conference is necessary with the district or local health department for the purpose of discussing the reasons for pump and haul and the methods and equipment to be utilized in the pump and haul operation.

D. Plans and specifications. Plans and specifications in sufficient detail shall be provided, when required, to show the sewage collection and holding facilities. See 12VAC5-610-250 C and E for further details relating to plans and specifications.

E. Contract with a sewage handling contractor. The owner shall secure and maintain a contract with a sewage handling contractor having a valid sewage handling permit. The contract shall be for a period of time sufficient to complete the construction necessary to alleviate the need for pump and haul.

The contract shall contain at a minimum, the following conditions:

1. Duration of contract;

2. Pumping schedule;

3. Availability of equipment;

4. Emergency response capability;

5. Disposal site, including limitations, utilized by the contractor; and

6. The contractor shall maintain and submit records on a monthly basis to the owner and the department. The records shall indicate the date, time and volume of each load, the disposal site or sites utilized and overflows or spillage.

F. Submission of detailed construction schedules. A detailed construction schedule shall show at a minimum, initial construction date and date of completion. Progress reports shall be submitted monthly.

G. Bonding. The commissioner may require any owner holding or applying for a permit issued pursuant to this section to post a bond with surety approved by the commissioner for the purpose of insuring continuation of the pump and haul operation for the specified time period contained in the pump and haul permit. Such bond shall be forfeited if the owner ceases to continue the pump and haul operation before the need for pump and haul has been alleviated. The forfeited bond shall be expended as necessary to restore and maintain the pump and haul operation for the permitted time period. Forfeiture of the bond shall not relieve the permit holder of any other legal obligations set forth in this chapter. No bond shall be required of a government entity holding a permit in accordance with 12VAC5-610-550.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.30, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-430. Issuance of a construction permit for storage facilities associated with the pump and haul of sewage.

A construction permit shall be issued by the commissioner after completion of the requirements contained in 12VAC5-610-420 and, Article 7 (12VAC5-610-990 et seq.) of Part V of this chapter.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.31, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-440. Issuance of the special pump and haul permit.

After concurrence of the local political subdivision and upon satisfactory completion of the requirements set forth in 12VAC5-610-420, 12VAC5-610-430, Article 4 (12VAC5-610-598 et seq.) of Part IV and Article 7 (12VAC5-610-990 et seq.) of Part V of this chapter, and if the commissioner determines that issuance of the pump and haul permit is in the best interest of public health, a permit shall be issued.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.32, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

Article 2
Systems with Experimental or Provisional Approval

12VAC5-610-441. Special permits for experimental methods, process and equipment.

Article 2
Systems with Experimental or Provisional Approval

A. New construction. Sewage treatment and disposal methods, processes, and equipment which (i) are not covered by criteria in Part V (12VAC5-610-660 et seq.) of this chapter and (ii) in principle and/or application are new or unconventional are subject to a special permitting procedure in lieu of that set forth in 12VAC5-610-250. All applications for such processes, methods, and equipment shall be made to the division through the district or local health department.

1. Submission of data on experimental methods, processes, and equipment. The policy of the division is to encourage the development of any new methods, processes, and equipment which appear to have application for the treatment and disposal of sewage; however, new developments shall have been thoroughly tested in a full scale or representative pilot system utilizing this process and equipment. Results of this testing must be submitted to the division. The testing required on new developments will generally follow the following guidelines:

a. All procedures used in validating the process shall be conducted under the supervision of a faculty member in an appropriate program of an accredited college or university, a licensed professional engineer experienced in the field of sanitary engineering, or by a testing firm acceptable to the division.

b. The tests shall be performed under maximum design conditions and over extended periods of time in the geographical area of the proposed installation.

c. The data shall be from a continuous operation of a full scale or pilot installation treating or conveying the type of sewage to be handled.

d. Flow measuring equipment shall be provided and total flow shall be recorded daily.

e. The minimum sampling and analysis program will be established by the division in accordance with the process under investigation.

f. All analyses will be made in accordance with Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 1992 (American Public Health Association), or analytical methods approved by the division.

g. The sampling shall establish the impact of the experimental sewage treatment and disposal methods, processes, or equipment on ground water and public health.

h. The application shall identify and suggest operation and maintenance guidelines for the process or components of the process.

2. Detailed plans must be submitted showing how, in case of noncompliance, the method, equipment or process will be converted to or replaced with a proven system. In order to assure that funds are available to convert or replace the experimental method, equipment or process with a proven system, bonding or other assurances shall be provided. A proven system shall be a Type I, II, or III system, a point source discharge system or connection to an existing approved sewerage system or treatment works. The application for the experimental system shall be accompanied by one of the following: (i) a Virginia Pollution Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit, or (ii) a General Permit Registration Statement issued by the Department of Environmental Quality and a construction permit for an alternative discharging sewage treatment system issued by the commissioner, or (iii) certification from the owner of the existing sewage system or treatment works that connection is available, or (iv) a valid construction permit for a Type I, II, or III system.

3. Issuance of a construction permit. After review of the plans and testing data by the division and approval of a proven system (see subdivision 2 of this subsection), the commissioner shall issue a construction permit in accordance with the procedures in 12VAC5-610-250 if reasonably satisfied that the method, process, or equipment will provide satisfactory sewage disposal.

4. Issuance of an experimental operation permit. Upon completion of construction or modification, a permit to operate for a definite period of time will be issued for the operation of the experimentally approved methods, processes and equipment. The number of experimental systems of similar design characteristics to be installed for an evaluation period shall be determined by the division and where soil dependent systems are utilized, the number shall be limited to not more than four for each physiographic province (see Appendix K). There shall be no limit on the number of experimental systems allowed to be installed when an approved back-up system is constructed in accordance with subdivision 2 of this subsection and plumbing is provided to the back-up system. In this instance, a flow diversion valve shall be installed to divert wastewater flow between the two systems as necessary. The experimental permit to operate the experimental system shall require that the evaluation period be a minimum of 18 months and no longer than 36 months, under design conditions, and the holder of the experimental operation permit shall submit reports on operation during the evaluation period as required by the division.

5. Issuance of an operation permit. The commissioner shall issue an operation permit upon expiration of the experimental permit if, on the basis of testing during that period, the division finds that the experimental method, processes or equipment provides satisfactory sewage disposal. If these conditions are not met, then the commissioner shall issue an order which will require the owner to alter the sewage disposal system in a manner that will enable the conditions to be met.

B. Existing construction. Sewage treatment and disposal methods, processes and equipment (i) are not covered by the criteria in Part V (12VAC5-610-660 et seq.) of this chapter and (ii) in principle and/or application are new or unconventional may be utilized where a conventional sewage disposal system serving an occupied dwelling has failed and it is not possible to provide an alternate sewage disposal system having a discharge to state waters. The procedures for obtaining a permit for such systems shall generally follow those set forth in subsection A of this section with the following exceptions:

1. The detailed plans required need not show how in case of nonacceptance the sewage disposal system will be converted to or replaced with a proven process nor are bonds or assurances required;

2. More than four permits for soil dependent experimental systems of similar design characteristics may be issued per physiographic province; and

3. If the disposal system fails to work satisfactorily on a year-round basis, further correction to the system may be required.

C. Issuance of design and construction criteria. When sewage treatment and disposal methods, processes or equipment have demonstrated satisfactory performance and operational competence to the satisfaction of the commissioner, by completing the experimental process or by similar rigorous testing in other states or countries, provisional system approval shall be granted and design and construction criteria shall be developed in accordance with this article. If the wastewater to be treated is substantially different in flow or characteristics from one which was used during testing, the commissioner shall require the issuance of an experimental operating permit and further testing conducted until operational competence is demonstrated. The criteria shall include, at a minimum, the siting criteria, design and construction standards, performance, monitoring and service requirements of the methods, processes and equipment.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-442. Provisionally approved systems; overview.

A. Sewage treatment and disposal systems, methods, processes, technology and equipment that are not covered by criteria in Part V (12VAC5-610-660 et seq.) of this chapter and have not received general approval for use under the provisions of this chapter may be eligible for provisional approval. Depending upon the complexity of the system, method, process, technology or equipment, provisional approval may be granted requiring individual applications for either a Type II or Type III system, as described in 12VAC5-610-250. After the evaluation period described in 12VAC5-610-500, a provisionally approved system may be given general approval and be incorporated into this chapter.

B. The purpose of the provisional approval process is to use, evaluate, and develop criteria for the use of new and innovative technology. The evaluation process allows the department a realistic amount of time, under varied field conditions, to develop and refine siting, construction, operation and maintenance criteria applicable to conditions and uses occurring in Virginia. During this evaluation period, residents of the Commonwealth have the benefit of the systems and the department can review, evaluate, revise and refine all aspects of criteria related to the system.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-443. Applying for provisional approval.

A. Applications for provisional approval shall be made in writing to the division and shall request provisional approval for a specific system, technology, method or process. The application shall comply with 12VAC5-610-250 regarding the submission of detailed plans and specifications.

B. The application shall include the following:

1. A description of the system's operation including the accepted scientific and engineering principles upon which the system technology, method or process is based.

2. A description of the site criteria required for successful operation of the system.

3. Design criteria for sizing the system to meet all relevant site conditions and waste flow characteristics.

4. Construction procedures for successfully installing a system.

5. Operation criteria and maintenance requirements for the successful use of the system over the life expectancy of the system.

6. Proposed performance standards that the system is expected to meet to determine the success or failure of the system.

7. Documentation giving factual evidence of the principles upon which the system is based demonstrating the capacity for satisfactory performance and operational competency for treating and disposing of effluent. Such evidence must include sufficient basic and applied research to demonstrate that experimental status should be waived. Provisional approval of a product is principally intended to provide a method of full-scale system demonstration; however, limited applied research may be required when in the exclusive opinion of the department, the information obtained from applied research is necessary to the evaluation and decision-making process. Systems, technologies, methods, or processes which have not demonstrated sufficient basic and applied research to support the principles or theory of operation shall be considered experimental.

8. Documentation of at least 50 comparable systems of identical design and capacity having been installed in Virginia or elsewhere. Only systems installed under similar soil and site conditions (if applicable) to the site and soil conditions for which approval is sought in Virginia shall be considered. Additionally, the wastewater flows, strength and other characteristics shall be documented and be similar in both the demonstration systems and the proposed use in the provisional application.

9. Data indicating that the 50 systems identified in subdivision 8 of this subsection have provided both treatment and disposal no worse than a conventional septic tank-drainfield system over a period of time not less than three years.

10. Test results and certifications must be conducted by an accredited college or university, the National Sanitation Foundation, entities accredited by the American National Standards Institute, or other testing groups that may be acceptable to the division as being impartial and competent in testing or evaluating wastewater treatment and disposal methods.

C. An application submitted according to this section and containing the information required by subsections A and B of this section shall be considered a completed application.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-444. Evaluation process for provisional system applications.

A. Preliminary evaluation. Upon receiving an application, the division shall review it for completeness. The division shall request additional information from the applicant if the application does not contain all of the requested information. Once the application is complete, the division shall prepare a summary and a preliminary evaluation of the proposal.

B. Division evaluation and recommendation. The division shall evaluate all completed applications and make a recommendation to the commissioner concerning the application. The recommendation, if favorable, shall include proposed criteria for installing, operating and maintaining the system. The division shall consider the following information which shall be provided by the manufacturer or other interested party:

1. Whether the demonstrations and test results required by 12VAC5-610-443 B will provide sufficient scientific evidence to support the proposed theory of operation and that the application of the theory is appropriate for proposed uses without posing an undue risk to public health and ground water.

2. The impact of the system on ground water and public health.

3. The operation of the system in other states. The division may solicit evaluations and comments from health officials in other states or countries where the system, method, process, equipment or technology has been used.

4. A review of the appropriate manufacturer's or the distributor's records relating to system maintenance and user complaints. Failure to maintain accurate and up-to-date records of maintenance actions and customer complaints may delay or prevent completing a review.

5. A review of any sample results which may be collected from or around any of the systems.

6. The practicability of preventative maintenance and the frequency of the required maintenance.

7. Other information as deemed appropriate by the division which relates to evaluating the effect of the system, method or process on ground water or public health.

C. Decision by commissioner. In making a decision, the commissioner shall review the recommendations of the division and the comments and recommendations made by the advisory committee. The commissioner may elect to approve or deny the application, or approve the application with conditions or with requirements for additional testing. The commissioner's provisional approval shall set forth the criteria for filing an application (i.e., Type II or Type III system), installing, operating, maintaining and testing the provisionally approved system. The commissioner's approval shall indicate that the provisional approval may be modified as set forth in 12VAC5-610-447 C.

D. During the first year of provisional system approval, a maximum of 100 permits may be issued for a provisionally approved system. When 50 or more systems have been installed, operated, reviewed by the division and found to be demonstrating satisfactory performance and operational competency, the division may allow additional permits to be issued, up to 1,000 systems during the first five years. No single increment of additional permits may exceed 500 additional systems and a satisfactory review must be made by the division prior to any additional release of permits. Further, at least 12 months must elapse between permit releases to assure adequate time passes for potential problems to develop and be discovered by the division.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-445. Appeals.

A. Denial of provisional status. Pursuant to the Administrative Process Act (§ 9-6.14:1 et seq. of the Code of Virginia), any aggrieved applicant seeking provisional approval for a specific type of system may appeal the final case decision of the commissioner by requesting an adjudicatory hearing.

B. Denial of an applicant for use of a provisionally approved system. Aggrieved applicants who have been denied use of a system having provisional approval may request a hearing in accordance with 12VAC5-610-210.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-446. Permits for constructing and operating provisionally approved systems.

A. Construction permit application. Homeowners can apply for a construction permit to install a provisionally approved system in the same manner provided for in 12VAC5-610-250 for Type II or Type III systems depending upon the nature of the provisional approval granted by the commissioner. Appeals from the denial of a permit application for a provisionally approved system shall conform to the requirements of 12VAC5-610-210.

B. Operation permit status. Homeowners installing a provisionally approved system in accordance with the construction permit issued by the commissioner and provisional siting, design and construction criteria for that system shall be issued an operation permit. Such operation permit shall be valid until the system ceases to operate in a safe and sanitary manner, as determined by the department. The validity of any individual operation permit issued for a system having provisional approval shall not be dependent upon ultimate approval or denial of that specific type of provisionally approved system for general approval under this chapter.

C. Recordation. All permits for provisionally approved systems shall be recorded with the clerk of the circuit court in the jurisdiction where the system is permitted, in accordance with 12VAC5-610-250 J 6.

D. Repair area. A 100% repair area, meeting or exceeding the requirements of this chapter, or an approved discharge permit shall be identified prior to permitting a site for a provisional system. The repair area shall be reserved for the exclusive use of the repair system. A 100% repair area meeting the requirements of the provisional approval shall be considered adequate toward meeting this repair area provision.

E. Maintenance. Whenever deemed appropriate by the commissioner, the department shall require operation and maintenance procedures and schedules appropriate for the method proposed.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-447. Evaluation period for provisionally approved systems.

A. Evaluation criteria. Prior to receiving general approval and being incorporated into this chapter, systems with provisional approval shall be evaluated for not less than five years. The division should conduct an annual review of systems with provisional approval. The review, at a minimum, should be based on the following information submitted by the manufacturer; however, nothing shall prevent the department from verifying, augmenting or otherwise collecting additional information on the performance and operation of the system.

1. A field review of a sample of the systems installed. The sample shall include a representation of systems of newer and older installations and systems installed under different site and system limitations. System limitations will frequently be unique to each system and therefore the criteria used to select systems of different manufacturers will vary according to the nature and design of the system. The division shall determine the sample size to be evaluated and the criteria for sample selection.

2. Interviews with a sample of system owners to determine customer satisfaction and customer opinions. This sample may or may not be the same as the sample of systems reviewed under subdivision 1 of this subsection.

3. A review of the manufacturer's or the distributor's records relating to system maintenance and customer complaints. Failure to maintain accurate and up-to-date records of maintenance actions and customer complaints may delay or prevent completing a product review.

4. A review of any sample results which may be collected from or around any of the systems.

5. Other information as deemed appropriate by the division which relates to evaluating the effect of the system, method or process on ground water or public health.

B. Tracking of site locations. The manufacturer shall submit to the department records on the numbers, locations and operation of all provisionally approved systems on a quarterly basis not later than the 15th day of the month following the quarter.

C. Revisions to provisional approval. During the period of provisional approval, the department may revise any aspect of the site, soil and design requirements for that system based on experience gained during the use of the systems. The department shall work with the applicant to revise the approval by agreement, but shall not be prohibited from doing so without the consent of the applicant if warranted by health or environmental concerns. The revised provisional approval shall apply to any systems for which an application is filed after the revision is made.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

12VAC5-610-448. General approval of provisionally approved systems.

A. After the evaluation period specified in 12VAC5-610-447 is completed, site selection design and construction criteria shall be developed when the commissioner is satisfied that the sewage treatment and disposal system, method, process or equipment has demonstrated operational competency and satisfactory performance equal to or better than that of a gravity flow septic tank drainfield absorption system. Initially these criteria shall be implemented by policy and shall grant the status of general approval to the system or process and shall not limit the number of systems allowed. Subsequently, at the discretion of the department, criteria for the approved system shall be incorporated into this chapter in accordance with the Virginia Administrative Process Act (§ 9-6.14:1 et seq. of the Code of Virginia). The criteria shall include, at a minimum, the site conditions necessary for permitting a system, design considerations, installation criteria, performance, monitoring and service requirements of the methods, processes and equipment.

B. After the evaluation period specified in 12VAC5-610-447 is completed, site selection and design and construction criteria required in Part V (12VAC5-610-660 et seq.) of this chapter shall not be developed if the commissioner concludes that the sewage treatment and disposal system, method, process or equipment has not demonstrated satisfactory performance and operational competency equal to or better than that of a gravity flow septic tank-drainfield absorption system. The provisional system approval may be extended or rescinded for any system failing to show equivalency with a gravity flow septic tank-drainfield absorption system. After the provisional approval for a system has been rescinded, any future applications for systems utilizing the same design shall be denied. However, this provision shall not be used to prevent systems of similar design which have been modified in a manner which can reasonably be expected to overcome the previously identified deficiencies to be considered under the experimental requirements of this chapter.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

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