Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code

Part I. Definitions

12VAC5-620-10. Definitions.

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

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

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

"Board" means the State Board of Health.

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

"Commissioner" means the State Health Commissioner.

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

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

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Health.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

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

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