- In the U.S. the VA has not specified setbacks between well and septic; but the property certainly should meet your local and state requirements. Those vary a bit depending on the property location, but 100 feet separation between well and septic is reasonable.
How far apart should a well and septic tank be?
Department of Health in many States requires that new septic tanks or human-waste lagoons to be installed at least 50 feet from a well. Septic tank drain fields must be at least 100 feet from a well.
What is the minimum distance in meters of a well from a septic tank?
At least 15m from the nearest water supply. This is a minimum and should be more if the ground is rocky and fissures could take the outflow further. It should be at least 3m from the nearest building. Avoid areas where rainwater would stand or flow over the tank or vehicles could drive over it.
How close can a well be to a leach field?
According to recommendations by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a septic tank should be at least 50 feet away from a well that is used for drinking water.
How far does a septic tank have to be from a house in Virginia?
Sewage disposal system or other contaminant source (e.g., drainfield, underground storage tank, barnyard, hog lot, etc.) Private wells shall not be constructed within 50 feet of a house sewer line except as provided below.
How close can you build next to a septic tank?
– A full foundation must be 10 feet from the septic tank and 20 feet from the leaching area. – A slab foundation such as a garage must be 10 feet from the septic tank and 10 feet from the leaching area.
How far should a septic tank be from a house?
Most importantly, a septic tank must be at least seven metres from a house, defined as a ‘habitable property’. Septic tanks are built underground and release wastewater slowly into the surrounding environment. For this reason, they must be a set distance away from a home.
How far should drain field be from septic tank?
Common guidelines require at least 50′ clearance distance between a well and a septic system tank or 150′ between a well and a septic drainfield or leaching bed but you will see that different authorities may recommend different distances. Local soil and rock conditions can make these “rules of thumb” unreliable.
How far away from a well can you build?
As a general guidance, personal drinking water wells should have a minimum horizontal distance of at least 10 feet and preferably 25 feet from such boundaries.
What is the minimum distance should be kept between well and toilet pit?
The pits can be located at a minimum distance of 10 m from the drinking water sources, such as tubewells and dugwells if the ES of the soil is 0·2 mm or less; and.
Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?
The waste from most septic tanks flows to a soakaway system or a drainage field. If your septic tank doesn’t have a drainage field or soakaway system, the waste water will instead flow through a sealed pipe and empty straight into a ditch or a local water course.
How far is distribution box from septic tank?
The D-box is normally not very deep, often between 6″ and two feet to the top of the box. You may also see a pattern of parallel depressions, typically about 5 feet apart, that mark the individual drainfield leach lines. The D-box will at or near end of the drainfield area that is closest to the septic tank.
What is the distance between toilet and well?
Re: Ground water pollution from leach pit toilets “If the distance between the bottom of the pit and ground water table is 2m or more throughout the year, the pit can be located at a minimum distance of 3.0m from the water source (tube well or dug well) for the effective size (E.S.) of the soil 0.2 mm or less.
Does VA require septic inspection?
There is nothing in the law or regulations that requires a septic system to be inspected or pumped prior to the sale of a property; however, some localities may require evidence that the septic tank has been pumped within the past 5 years and some lenders may require a septic inspection prior to approving the loan.
Is a septic inspection required in Virginia?
1. There is no Virginia law or regulation that requires septic systems or wells to be inspected at the time real property is bought or sold.
How do I decide where to put my septic tank?
Ideally, a septic tank should be placed on level ground. If possible, the tank should be placed on high ground in order to avoid flooding and seeping. It will be important that you look around and avoid steep slopes or areas of dense tree roots that can damage your entire system.
Title 12. Health
A sanitary survey is carried out. The district or local health department should investigate any evident source of hazardous or harmful chemicals within 200 feet of the proposed private well as part of the sanitary survey conducted as part of the sanitary survey. Items mentioned in Table 3.1 may be sources of pollution, but they are not restricted to them. Other sources of contamination may include abandoned wells, pesticide-treated soils, underground storage tanks, and other sources of physical, chemical, or biological contamination.
Unless otherwise specified, the minimum separation distance between a private well and any structures, topographic features, or polluting sources must conform with the minimum distances indicated in Table 3.1.
|TABLE 3.1 DISTANCES (IN FEET) BETWEEN A WELL AND A STRUCTUREOR TOPOGRAPHIC FEATURE|
|Structure or Topographic Feature||Class IIIC or IV||Class IIIA or B|
|Building foundation (termite treated)||50 1||50 1|
|House sewer line||50 2||50 2|
|Sewer main, including force mains||50 3||50 3|
|Pretreatment system (e.g. septic tank, aerobic unit, etc.)||50||50|
|Sewage disposal system or other contaminant source (e.g.,drainfield, underground storage tank, barnyard, hog lot, etc.)||100||50|
|Sewage Dump Station||100||50 1|
|2 Private wells shall not be constructed within 50feet of a house sewer line except as provided below. Where specialconstruction and pipe materials are used in a house sewer line to provideadequate protection, and the well is cased and grouted to the water bearingformation, all classes of private wells may be placed as close as 10 feet tothe house sewer line. Special construction for house sewer lines constitutescast iron pipe with water-tight caulked joints or mechanical joints usingneoprene gaskets, or solvent welded Schedule 40 or better polyvinyl chloride(PVC) pipe. It is the responsibility of the applicant to providedocumentation from the contractor that such construction and pipe materialshave been installed. In no case shall a private well be placed within 10 feetof a house sewer line.|
|3 Private wells shall not be constructed within 50feet of a sewer main except as provided below. Where special construction andpipe materials are used in a sewer main to provide adequate protection, andthe well is cased and grouted to the water bearing formation, Class III wellsmay be placed as close as 35 feet to a sewer main and Class IV wells as closeas 10 feet. Special construction for sewer mains constitutes ductile ironpipe with water-tight joints, solvent welded Schedule 40 or better polyvinylchloride (PVC) pipe (SDR-35 plastic PVC with neoprene gaskets). It is theresponsibility of the applicant to provide documentation from the localbuilding official or sanitary district that such construction and pipematerials have been installed. In no case shall a Class III well be placewithin 35 feet of a sewer main. Likewise, in no case shall a Class IV well beplaced within 10 feet of a sewer main.|
B. Locating wells on the sloping terrain away from possible sources of contamination. When a well is located within a 60-degree arc directly downslope from any part of an existing or intended onsite sewage disposal system or other known source of pollution, such as, but not limited to, buildings subject to termite or vermin treatment, buildings used to store polluting substances, storage tanks or storage areas for petroleum products or other deleterious substances, special precautions must be taken to ensure that the well is not contaminated.
- The minimum separation distance shall be raised by 25 feet for every 5.0 percent increase in slope; or (ii) the minimum depth of grout and casing shall be increased by five feet for every 5.0 percent increase in slope, whichever is greater.
- No private well covered by this chapter shall be situated in locations prone to the accumulation of pollutants, such as marshy regions, low areas, or places exposed to floods, or in any other area subject to pollution.
- This includes the construction of well covers.
- Other criteria may be imposed as assessed by the division on an individual case-by-case basis.
- The boundaries of the property.
- A separation distance from property lines must be established by the owner to ensure that the well’s construction and location are on the owner’s land and in compliance with any applicable municipal legislation.
- Underground utility lines.
- The minimum separation distance may, however, be determined by the individual utility company or by local regulation in certain circumstances.
- Treatment with pesticides and termiticides.
- If a building foundation has been chemically treated with a termiticide or other pesticide, no Class IV private well may be located closer than 50 feet to the foundation, with the exception of those described below.
As close as 10 feet can be put between a Class IV well and a chemically treated foundation, provided the following conditions are met: Aquifers that are constrained must be used to extract water from wells or springs (i.e., there must be an impermeable stratum overlying the water bearing formation).
- At any depth greater than 20 feet below the ground level, the well must be cased and grouted to the first restricting layer that exists between the ground surface and a water bearing formation from which water is being taken; otherwise, the well must be abandoned.
- The material that is used to cover the restricted aquifer must be collapsible.
- Ground-source heat pump wells that are closed-loop are an exception.
- This is dependent on the architecture of the well.
- If the well is grouted for a total depth of 20 feet, the minimum separation lengths must meet with the requirements for Class IV wells.
- As long as the well is grouted throughout its full depth, it is exempt from complying with the minimum separation distances specified in Table 3.1.Statutory Authority32.1-12 and32.1-176of the Code of Virginia.
- Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are offered solely for the reader’s convenience and are not guaranteed to be live or up to date.
- The reader is recommended to consult the source material indicated in the regulation in order to confirm that the information included by reference is accurate.
As a result, we will not be able to reply to legal queries or provide legal advice, including the application of law to specific facts, on our website. An attorney should be consulted in order to fully understand and safeguard your legal rights.
Title 12. Health
As required by Virginia Code 32.1-163.6, AOSSs constructed in accordance with that section are subject to the following horizontal setbacks, which are necessary to safeguard public health and the environment: 2.The vertical and horizontal setback distances as defined in 12VAC5-610 that apply to public and private drinking water sources of all types, including wells, springs, reservoirs, and other surface water sources, except that in cases where an existing sewage system is closer to a private drinking water source, the AOSS shall be no closer to the drinking water source than the existing sewage system;3.The vertical and horizontal setback distances as defined in 12VAC5-610 that apply to shellfish waters;4.The Horizontal separation requirements for AOSSs utilizing septic tank effluent are set forth in 12VAC5-610; b.
- horizontal separation requirements for AOSSs utilizing TL-2 or TL-3 (without disinfection) are set forth in 12VAC5-610; andc.
- Authority derived from Sections 32.1-12 and 32.1-164 of the Code of Virginia.
- Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are offered solely for the reader’s convenience and are not guaranteed to be live or up to date.
- The reader is recommended to consult the source material indicated in the regulation in order to confirm that the information included by reference is accurate.
- As a result, we will not be able to reply to legal queries or provide legal advice, including the application of law to specific facts, on our website.
Pocahontas County Health Department – Sewage and Water
We aim to make sure that all of our residents enjoy better, healthier, and longer lives than they otherwise would. Take a look at our helpful hints. Individual Sewage Systems and the drilling of water wells are governed by laws and design requirements imposed by the West Virginia Department of Health. The criteria have been designed in order to safeguard those members of the public who will rely on ground water sources for their drinking water needs. It is your responsibility as a homeowner to be aware of the following requirements: Individual Wastewater Treatment Systems:
- The State of West Virginia requires that a sewage system installer be accredited before working on a project. Permits are required for the installation of an Individual Sewage System by both homeowners and sewage system installers. An application for a septic permit must be submitted before any building permits may be awarded. The minimal design criteria for all Individual Sewage Systems must be met during the construction process.
Individual Water Wells: In 2008, West Virginia passed new legislation pertaining to individual water wells. A well driller in West Virginia is required to be licensed by the state. To drill a well, both homeowners and drillers must obtain permits from the local government. All wells must be constructed in accordance with the minimum Design Specifications. To obtain a list of Certified Well Drillers, please click here. please visit this site Water samples from individual water sources (wells, springs, and so on) can be collected and submitted to the West Virginia State lab for analysis in order to determine whether or not coliforms are present in the water supply.
Well Disinfection Instructions may be found by clicking here.
Are you looking for the most up-to-date Calendar of Events? There’s no need to look any further! We are committed to keeping you up to date on the latest developments.
Realtor’s® Guide to Well & Septic Part One
Part One of the Realtor’s® Guide to WellSeptic Systems written by Mike Lynn Due to recent changes in Virginia law and the ensuing restrictions for alternative septic systems, buyers and sellers are now forced to consider septic difficulties when purchasing or selling a home. The results of a well and septic system examination are likely to be just as relevant as the results of a house inspection in this situation. However, unlike roofs, appliances, HVAC systems, and other building components, the most important components of a septic system are buried underground and may necessitate excavation in order to be inspected and maintained.
- Fairfax County saw development booms between 1970 and 1990, which resulted in the bulk of septic systems in Northern Virginia being installed.
- During these time periods, a traditional septic system may be anticipated to last 25 years or more.
- The majority of the time, public sewer is not available in these communities.
- A more comprehensive examination is in the seller’s best advantage, since agents who represent purchasers are well aware of this fact.
- A careful balance must be struck, one that most inspectors and agents recognize and respect.
- There is no rule or regulation in Virginia that mandates septic systems or wells to be examined at the time of purchase or sale of real estate.
- Under Virginia law, a seller is required to disclose whether or not the house is served by a septic system, as well as to warn prospective buyers that it is the seller’s obligation to ascertain the specifics of the system and its maintenance needs.
If someone in Virginia purports to be a qualified inspector, that individual must be an NSF-certified or other nationally recognized certified inspector in order to be considered certified.
The state requires that alternative septic systems undergo inspections at least once a year, and that inspection results be submitted electronically into a state database.
Most counties require septic tanks to be pumped out once every five years, but this pump-out does not entail an inspection of the tank or any other septic components.
New wells must be capable of producing at least one gallon per minute, and some areas require a quality analysis of the produced water.
Each of these DPOR licenses is divided into two classes: the conventional class and the alternate class.
Real estate contracts differ from one region to the next, and some individual sellers and attorneys create their own documents to sell their properties.
If the system is new or is regularly maintained, agents should explore the possibility of a walkover or a visual examination, which may be sufficient for a system that serves an inhabited residence.
This includes the seller, buyer, and inspector.
What is NSF International, and what does it do?
Mike Lynn is the president of The SES Companies, which is based in Warrenton, Virginia, and provides soil and environmental testing and consulting.
Note from the editor: This is the first installment in a two-part article on WellSeptic. Part two of this article can be found in the July/August issue by clicking here.
Septic Systems: What is Required?
The Legal Hotline has received an increase in the number of questions about what sellers are expected to provide in terms of septic systems, so we wanted to take this opportunity to go into greater detail about what is required by law and by the Virginia REALTORS ®contract, as well as what you can do in order to keep your transactions moving forward smoothly. A septic system is not required to be tested or pump prior to the sale of real estate; however, some municipalities may require proof that the septic tank has been pumped within five years of the sale of the property, and some lenders may require a septic inspection prior to the approval of a mortgage loan.
- Home inspection contingency addendum (Form 600D), as well as paragraph 17 of the Virginia REALTORS ®sales contract (Form 600), address septic system difficulties in two places: the Home Inspection Contingency Addendum (Form 600D) and the Home Inspection Contingency Addendum (Form 600).
- Septic system inspections are included in the addendum, which gives a non-exclusive list of the types of inspections that may be performed.
- The septic inspection, like other inspections, must be performed by someone who possesses the necessary credentials.
- Something that is extremely essential to notice is that the Virginia REALTORS ®Home Inspection Contingency Addendum makes it crystal clear that any damage produced as a consequence of an inspection is the buyer’s responsibility.
- In addition to the Home Inspection Contingency, paragraph 17 of the Contract discusses septic systems and their installation.
- According to the Contract, this certificate must be issued by an appropriate governmental entity – such as the Virginia Department of Health or a local health department – or by a private organization that meets certain criteria.
It is not required by this paragraph that a specific type of inspection be performed, but we have heard more and more that there are few licensed or accredited professionals who are willing to provide a certificate of any type without first conducting an inspection that is more extensive than a “walkover,” and that the cost of these more extensive inspections is significantly higher than buyers and sellers, or their agents, had expected.
In response to the concerns we’ve been hearing about, the Virginia REALTORS®Standard Forms Subcommittee is evaluating possible remedies to the problems.
If you are representing a buyer in a transaction in which this paragraph has been removed, and you are using the Home Inspection Contingency Addendum as part of your contract, the buyer will still have the option of obtaining a septic inspection at their own expense, based on the inspection language included in the Home Inspection Addendum, even if the paragraph has been removed.
Make sure to clarify the need of a septic check with your customer in order to guarantee that they are properly safeguarded from harm.
Warren County, VA: Wells and Sewage Disposal Systems
Warren County has been identified as having fragile hydrogeology, with the potential for depletion and pollution of water supplies, as well as threats to human health, safety, and welfare, among other things. In order to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the general public, the criteria set out in this article are imposed on all wells and sewage disposal systems that are created or installed for the purpose of advancing those interests. According to their definitions in this article, the following words shall have the following meanings: THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH The Environmental Health Specialist, who is appointed by the County Health Officer or his fully authorized agent.
SYSTEMS DE DISPOSITION DE SEWAGE An alternate on-site sewage disposal system or an alternative discharge system, as those words are defined under rules established by the Virginia Department of Health, is a type I, II, III, or IV sewage disposal system.
Use of, or permitting the use of, any well or sewage disposal system to which this article applies, as well as the renting and leasing of such well or sewage disposal system for use, shall be prohibited until such well or sewage disposal system has been approved and permitted by the Health Department and the construction thereof has been completed in accordance with the requirements of this article.
According to this article, the Health Department has the authority to inspect any well or sewage disposal system that is subject to this article for the purpose of verifying whether or not such well or sewage disposal system has been properly erected and is performing successfully.
If the person to whom the permit was issued or such person’s successor in interest fails to comply with the terms of such notice, the Health Department shall immediately remedy the condition that is the subject of such notice, and the expense incurred by the Health Department in doing so shall be charged to the person to whom the permit was issued or his successor in interest, and the expense incurred by the Health Department in doing so shall be collected by legal action or in any other manner authorized by la.
To carry out the purposes mentioned in Sections 179-5 and 179-6, the Health Department shall have the authority to enter into public or private property.
Those who violate any of the requirements of this article, whether as a principal, agent, employee, or otherwise, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and those who cause or facilitate the violation of any of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a felony Each day that the violation is permitted to continue beyond the reasonable time granted by the Health Department or the County Building Official for repairs shall be deemed a new offense if the violation is shown to be intentional or purposeful.
There should be established a Board of Appeals with the authority to issue deviations to the provisions of this article in the following ways: A.The Board shall be composed of three members, one of whom shall be a member of the Board of Supervisors appointed by the Board of Supervisors, one of whom shall be a resident of and own real estate in an area to which this article is applicable under 179-3 of this article and one of whom shall be appointed by the Health Department.
B.The Board shall be composed of three members, one of whom shall be a member of the Board of Supervisors appointed by the Board of Supervisors, one of whom shall be Initially, the non-Supervisor member appointed by the Board of Supervisors’ term of office will expire with the expiration of the term of the Supervisor representing such member’s election district; thereafter, such member’s term of office will be limited to the portion of the term that has not yet expired.
Members may be reappointed to take over as successors to themselves.
B.The Board of Directors shall have the following powers and responsibilities: Appeals from any order, requirement, judgment, or determination issued by anyone in the administration or enforcement of this article will be heard and decided by the Administrative Law Judge.
To permit, upon appeal or initial application, in specified instances, any variation or variations from the requirements of this article as will not be prejudicial to the public interest, as set out in 179-1 of the Revised Code of Virginia.
Variances may only be granted under the following circumstances: In the event that a thorough investigation determines that the hardship, which may be economic in nature, imposed by this article outweighs the benefits that may be received by the general public, a variance may be granted; however, the granting of a variance shall not subject any member of the general public to unreasonable health risks or jeopardize groundwater resources.
B.Anyone wishing to request a variance must submit a written request to the Board.
The following factors must be considered by the Board in evaluating a variance application:(1)the effect and cost, as well as other economic considerations, of granting a variance as opposed to not granting a variance;(2)the effect that such a variance would have on the protection of public health;(3)the effect that such a variance would have on the protection of groundwater resources; and(4)any other factors that the Board deems appropriate.
- D.When granting deviations, the Board may impose reasonable requirements that are consistent with the objective of this article.
- F.Unless otherwise noted, all variations are transferrable.
- When the permit to which a variance is connected is revoked, the variance and the permit are both withdrawn.
- As part of the notice, such neighboring property owners are informed of the nature of the variance application as well as the time and location of an upcoming hearing for consideration of the variance application at which they may appear and express their opinions.
H.A nonrefundable application fee of $100 must accompany all requests for a deviation from the rules. The approval of a variance exempting an applicant from the terms of this chapter is expressly prohibited.
Frederick County, VA: General Requirements and Maintenance of On-Site Sewage Systems
When cleaning a septic tank, the sludge and materials taken from the tank must be disposed of by dumping the sludge and debris at a water reclamation plant that has been recognized by the state. It is necessary to connect to an approved public sewer system, or, in the case of an existing sewage system, to a private sewer system, if one is available within the Sewer and Water Service Area, if modifications are required to provide safe and adequate treatment and if the building or structure to be served is within 300 feet of an approved public sewer system or, if one is available within the Sewer and Water Service Area, the property owner shall connect to the sewer system.
Alternatively, if a reasonable connection cannot be established, the Board of Supervisors may permit modifications to the existing sewage system through the use of a waiver.
Unless otherwise specified, every alternative sewage system allowed under the provisions of this chapter must meet the standards and requirements listed below: 1.Any alternative on-site sewage system must be authorized by the Health Department as being in compliance with this section and the applicable rules of the Virginia Department of Health before it may be installed and operated.
- Such an agreement must have, as a bare minimum, the following provisions: (1)Notify all parties who may be affected by the property’s alternative on-site sewage system, including but not limited to succeeding owners of the property.
- When the land that is the subject of the permit is sold or transferred, the agreement that governs it will be transferred together with the title to the property in question.
- These conditions may include, but are not limited to, the necessity for a maintenance contract.
- It is required that the inspection be carried out by a person who has been licensed or certified as being able to operate, monitor, and maintain an alternative on-site wastewater system.
- During the period that the alternative on-site sewage system is in operation, the property owner is required to maintain a working relationship with an authorised operator.
The property owner shall also file with the Health Department a copy of the inspection report, in a form approved by the Health Department, once a year, within 30 days of the anniversary date of the recorded agreement, or such longer period as may be permitted by the Health Department, and repair or replace such system, as necessary, to correct any deficiencies identified in the inspection report in accordance with this section and the applicable regulations of the Virginia Department of Health.
F.A copy of the operation and maintenance log given by the designated operator must be kept on the premises by the property owner, and a copy of the log must be provided to each subsequent owner of the property.
h.In the case of a system failure, as determined by the operator or the Virginia Department of Health, the repair or replacement of the system shall be subject to any relevant rules enacted by the Virginia Department of Health or the State Water Control Board.
Failure to comply with the provisions of this section constitutes a violation of this chapter and is subject to the fines and other remedies set out in this chapter.
To offset the costs of permits, licenses, and/or inspections that are needed to be granted and/or conducted pursuant to this chapter, the County must create, determine, and charge such fees as it considers necessary and reasonable in its sole discretion.
FAQ – Septic Systems, Percing Land
|Septics and Percing Q ABelow is a QA covering the most common questionsabout septic systems and percing lots.View my current listings forlandbuilding lots|
|There is a lot of misunderstanding about septic systems and “percing”, what it is, when and why it needs to be done, and how muchit will cost. So here is a QA covering some of the most common questions I hear.Note that this is for informational purposes only, and you should talk to the local Health Department if you intend to rely upon theinformation.Also, while many of the comments below should apply generally to the State of Virginia, they are based on my experiences withWarren County in particular. There can be local variations.|
|Q. What is “percing”?A.Percing is the process of obtaining a septic approval for a lot. Perc is an abbreviation of “percolation”, dating back to when tests were carried out by pouring water into a hole and seeing how long it took to seep away into the ground. It is a much more sophisticated process these days, involving measuring slope and soil depth, analysis of the soil itself, and setting out the septic layout on the ground.|
|Q. What is a Septic Permit?A.An actual Septic Permit is the final approval to operate a septic system, following installation and final inspection. But to get to thatpoint from undeveloped land, you need a septicapproval, which will take one of the following forms:- aCertification Letter- no expiry date, usually recorded at the Court House andtransferable with the land, granting approval in principle for a septic system but notguaranteeing the specific system to be installed- aConstruction Permit- valid for 18 months, not transferable, granting permission toinstall a septic system to a specified design.A Certification Letter has to be converted into a Construction Permit before installation of the septic system can begin. If an owner has no plans to buildimmediately, he will normally request a Certification Letter.|
|Q. What is meant by a 3 Bedroom Perc?A.There are a couple of “rules of thumb” in operation – (1) that 2 people in a home use approx 150 gallons per day (gpd) ofwater; and (2) that maximum occupancy of a home will be 2 people per bedroom.Thus, a “regular” 3 BR septic approval assumesconsumption of 450 gpd and maximum 6 person occupancy of the dwelling. A “regular” 4 BR approval assumes 600 gpd andmaximum 8 person occupancy.There can be variations on this, the most common of which would be, for instance, aconditional3 BR approval.Thismay state that it is for a 3 BR home, but maximum 4 person occupancy – because the system is only designed to deal with 300 gpdof wastewater. It is understood that some jurisdictions will not grant conditional approvals|
|Q. What is the difference between a “conventional septic” and an “alternative system”?A.Aconventionalseptic is basically a good “old-fashioned” gravity system that your parents and yourgrandparents knew. Wastewater from the house goes into a large septic tank where bacterial action breaks it down. From there itpasses through a distribution box into a gravity-fed drainfield, where it simply seeps into the ground. Nature itself is the filter. Avariation is apumpedconventional system, where pumping is required to move the wastewater to the top of the drainfieldabove or alongside the house, but the drainfield still operates under gravity.Analternativesystem can be one of several types, but is broadly designed to pre-treat the wastewater so that it isless of a pollutant by the time it gets into the ground. Early examples were the “sand mounds”, but more modern systems includePuraflo �(peat moss filter), AdvanTex �(syntheticfilter), Aquarobic �and FAST �(aeration systems).Dispersal into the ground may also be more “hi-tech”, such as a low pressure drip (LPD) system. Whatever the system, some formof pumping is always involved.These days, conventional systems are much more difficult to obtain, especially on smaller lots. On the west side of Warren County,for instance, new approval for a conventional system is almost unheard of.|
|Q. What decides the type and specification of the system?A.The $64,000 question! There is a whole range of factors, including depth of soil, composition of soil, amount of slope,proximity of other drainfields and wells, proximity of streams, springs or drainage channels, and location of the drainfield relative tothe house site. These factors also apply to the “reserve area” which is a backup area in case of future failure of the main drainfield. Inmost cases, this reserve area has to be the same size as the primary drainfield area and meet all the same criteria.|
|Q. Can I perc my lot myself?A.You can, while coordinating with the Health Department, but unless you really know what you are doing and have the time andability to attend site visits etc, it is notadvised.I only recommend employing an AOSE (Authorized Onsite Soil Evaluator), also sometimes referred to as a Soil Scientist,who is recognized and approved by the Health Department.|
|Q. What does the percing process entail?A.First, the boundaries and corners of the lot need to be clearly marked (which may entail a fresh survey). Then the AOSE,accompanied by a backhoe and its driver, will dig “perc holes”, take soil samples and other readings, and work out the optimumlocation and design of a septic system. He will stake this out on site, along with the proposed well location and likely house site.Next, a surveyor needs to “survey in” all the stakes, and produce a final plat. Finally, the AOSE will put together the application andsubmit it to the Health Department for approval.If a Certification Letter is requested, it is recommended that it is recorded at the Court House once issued.|
|Q. How long does the percing process take?A.Realistically you need to allow six to eight weeks, though it can depend on weather and ground conditions, etc.|
|Q. How much does the percing process cost?A.For a Certification Letter, around $3,500 +/- in Warren County, but this will vary by jurisdiction (for instance FauquierCounty has a much higher application fee, and costs will be around $1,000 more). Costs include the AOSE’s time, surveying andplat, backhoe rental, and the application fee itself.For a Construction Permit for aconventional(non-engineered) septic, there is no additional cost.But for a Construction Permit for analternativeseptic, the system first has to be “engineered”,i.e technical plans drawn up for the installation. This is performed by a firm specializing in engineering septic systems, and thecost could be another $1,500 to $2,500, depending on the system and features of the location.|
|Q. If I want to sell my lot, do I have to get it perced?A.Technically no, but in practice no one is going to buy your land at fair market value without knowing that it is perced,and the terms upon which the approval is granted. And it is rare to find a buyer who is prepared to spend his own money on theprocess prior to owning the land. Sorealistically, you need to get the land perced with a Certification Letter in orderto sell, or at least to start the process at the same time as it is marketed.I am generally only prepared to market an unperced lot ifthe owner is committed to having it perced as part of the process.|
|Q. My lot was perced back in the 1980’s or 1990’s. Can I revive the old permit?A.Unfortunately, no. The rules changed in 2000/2001, and any older permits are now dead and gone. Basically, you willneed to go through the complete process described above to perc your lot again, though sometimes the original soil analysis(if available) can be re-used.|
|Q. My lot has not been perced (or it has an old, expired permit), and I have no plans to sell it or build for the time being. Should Iget it perced now?A.My answer to that is an emphatic YES, especially if it is a smaller lot. If you do not do so, then you run the risk that other lotsaround it may be perced in such a way as to make it impossible to get a septic approval on your own lot in the future.For example, all wells typically have to sit at least 100 ft from any drainfield, and smaller lots in particular can struggle to meet that requirementif neighboring lots have their well sites close to your boundary. This applies regardless of whether those approved septics and wells haveactually been installed.My strong advice is to perc the lot with a recorded Certification Letter to protect your investment, and to ensure that your land will remain buildable.Once you have that Certification Letter it is grandfathered in, and effectively forms part of the title to the land.|
|If you are looking to sell land, whether or not it is percedplease don’t hesitate to call me oremail meView my current listings forlandbuilding lots|
West Virginia Septic System Installation
Home-Exterior Septic tanks are a cost-effective method of treating wastewater generated on a single homestead. Before a new home can be constructed in West Virginia, the septic system must be allowed, installed, and approved by the local government. If you currently own a home and want to put in a septic system, there are a few things you need do before breaking ground on the project. When the length of the sources is equal to zero, this.parentNode.removeChild(sources); otherwise, this.onerror = null; this.src = fallback; )(, arguments.target.currentSrc.replace(), ‘, /public/images/logo-fallback.png’) ” loading=”lazy”> ” loading=”lazy”> The installation of a septic tank necessitates the use of heavy construction equipment.
Select the septic tank capacity that is appropriate for your unique requirements. A daily design flow capacity of 1,000 gallons per day or less is required by state law in West Virginia, which is generally suitable for a residence with one to four bedrooms. Increase the capacity by 250 gallons for each additional bedroom in the house. Although the size of the drain field varies depending on factors such as topography, percolation, soil and rock conditions, a minimum of 300 to 400 square feet should be allocated for each bedroom in the house.
Examine the size of your property. Installing a septic system on a property larger than 10,000 square feet is permissible if you acquired the land before July 1, 1970, and the deed was recorded before that date. If you purchase the land after that date, the land must be at least 20,000 square feet in size. If your lot is too small, but you feel it can still sustain the system you desire, you should request an exemption from the environmental director on your behalf.
Decide on a location that meets municipal criteria for minimum safe distances from drinking water sources, streams and lakes as well as residential neighborhoods. There are two ways to measure distances – horizontally (across the ground) and vertically (the depth at which the septic tank and soil absorption system will be built). According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, a distance of at least 50 feet should be maintained between wells and septic tanks.
Percolation tests should be performed on the ground at your chosen location to ensure that the soil is capable of absorbing the wastewater discharged by the septic tank. It is required by the state of West Virginia that percolation tests be done by a certified person who can legally attest that the test findings are correct, thus it is best to employ a professional for this portion of the procedure.
Check with your local health department or environmental health office to see if there are any differences between local and state health rules.
In many situations, local governments simply incorporate state rules into their own body of laws without making any changes to them or to the regulations. When you apply for a permit to build a septic tank system, find out how many copies of your designs must be submitted with your application.
The area where the septic tank will be installed, as well as an outline of the soil absorption field, should be marked with small stakes and string or ribbon. This will give you a better understanding of how much room the system will require and will assist you in avoiding installation issues. The layout will also be useful for measuring distances for the site plans, which will be created later.
Detailed design of the proposed septic tank system should be created in the form of a drawing. Include measures such as the holding capacity of the septic tank and the size of the drain field, which is also known as a soil absorption system, in your report. Measure the distance between the residence and the proposed septic tank system and include these measures, as well as the depth at which the septic tank will be built, in your calculations. (See also Reference 2)
Take the needed number of copies to the appropriate government department, complete the permission application form or forms, and pay any costs that may be owed to the government agency responsible. Results of percolation testing should be sent as an attachment to your application packet.
Make use of earthmovers and any other heavy equipment necessary to dig a hole large enough to accommodate the size of the septic tank you intend to use. Meanwhile, construct the drain field and add gravel, pipes, and any other objects that are required for your individual circumstance. It is essential that the drain field be positioned such that no cars will ever pass over it and cause harm to the subterranean drainage system.
Water & Sewer Application Process
An application is required for all on-site sewage and water permits/certification letters before any work may commence. An application can be filed by any party acting as an agent for either an existing owner or a prospective owner. State form C.H.S. 200, Application for a Sewage Disposal and/or Water Supply Permit, is used as the standard application for sewage disposal and/or water supply permits. Applications are accessible from the Environmental Offices of the local Health Departments. Applicants should be aware of the information that is expected of them in the application.
- Permits to build any new construction are required. All of these permits are granted to the individual (owner, agent, or builder) who will have their name included on the building permit. There is no transferability of these licenses, and they are only valid for 18 months from the date of issuance. Certification letters are required. Certificates attesting that a certain place on a property (determined by a plat of survey) is appropriate for the installation of an on-site sewage disposal system with a specified capacity (either by bedroom count or gallons per day) and an on-site water supply. Certification letters do not certify what sort of system or technology will be required in a particular situation. Certification letters are transferrable and can be redeemed for construction permits at no cost provided the permit is applied for within 18 months of the date of issuance of the certification letter
- Other requests for on-site permits and approvals
- And other requests for information. These requests will be based on the applicant’s wish to extend, relocate, build, or replace a structure, as well as the applicant’s desire to make use of existing well and sewage facilities. Before granting an Occupancy Permit, the local building authority will often want VDHconfirmation of the system’s adequacy, which will be obtained during the application process. A new Sewage Operations Permit, as well as well approved as confirmation, will be issued by VDH when it has been thoroughly documented.
The fees charged are determined on what has to be allowed or certified. Please keep in mind that the costs for state and local applications changed on July 1st. Please call the Spotsylvania County Health Department at 540-507-7386 if you have any questions or concerns.
Previously examined sites by either the Department or private consultants are included in the definition of lots of record (which are those that are not part of a subdivision; a subdivision is defined as several construction lots originating from a single parcel or parcels of land).
- The applicant/agent is responsible for completing and submitting a full application to the local Health Department. CHS200 or an equivalent course, a site sketch, and/or a suggested development plan are all required (survey plat if available). See the checklist for a breakdown of what constitutes a complete application. Staff will do a basic assessment of the application and any attachments, and they will certify that the application package has been completed. Permit/certification fees are determined and stamped on the application
- Fees for the requested permits/certifications are determined and stamped on the application
- The applicant/agent brings the completed, stamped application to the Code Compliance counter, where he or she receives the following: aCBPAchecklist that confirms what RPA and Reservoir features may be present or need to be considered
- The proper tax map and parcel number are confirmed
- And a copy of the RPA and Reservoir features checklist. In order to complete the application, it must be delivered to the Spotsylvania Treasures Office, where payments are paid and the application is stamped as complete. The applicant/agent returns to the Health Department, where staff gives a permit number to the application and delivers a copy of the application cover sheet to the applicant for his or her records. It is entered into the computer database, any necessary files pertaining to the property are searched for, and the package is submitted to the Environmental Supervisor or designee, who checks the application for completeness. If the application is complete, it is allocated to an Environmental Health Specialist who will do a field evaluation and finish the processing. If the application is not complete, the applicant is advised by phone or mail of the shortcomings, and the application is placed on hold for a maximum of 90 days. When the defects have been corrected, the application will be withdrawn from the hold pile and placed in the “new” application stack, where it will continue to be processed. It is denied if the relevant information is not provided during the 90-day “hold” period, and a new application fee and fee schedule must be submitted.) Whenever possible, the Environmental Health Specialist strives to organize a time and date for a site visit with the applicant or the property owner in order to validate the applicant’s purpose as well as to define the lot layout and planned development plan. It is sometimes more efficient for the EHS to visit the site over the course of the day’s activities than than scheduling a special appointment that may be disrupted by higher priority duties
- However, this is not always the case. When an EHS comes on the scene, it is important to establish that the lot and development site are clearly and easily distinguishable. Property corners have been marked, lot lines have been well defined, and the development site has been clearly and completely designated on-site and can be easily linked to the site drawing that was provided with the application. If this is not the case, the EHS is instructed to leave the property and place the application on hold
- The owner/agent is notified by phone or mail of specific issues, and the application is placed on hold until the Department is notified that the defects have been addressed. The application will be denied if this does not take place within 90 days, and a fresh set of fees and application will be required. Applicants who have their applications taken from the hold pile are relegated to the bottom of the EHS’s individual assignment stack, where they will be considered when they reach the top of the stack.
AOSE Application Process
In this procedure, builders and property owners have the freedom of dealing with a professional site evaluator and working together to obtain the desired outcomes in development of a property, rather than dealing with a single individual. AOSEs are state-certified site and soil assessors who are well-versed in the requirements of the Sewage Handling and Disposal Regulations, as well as other environmental regulations. The Department’s personnel do not have the skills or experience to produce the necessary papers for submission and approval, therefore they can skip the site and soil examinations.
Because the Department is obligated to examine and approveAOSEreports within 15 working days after the submission of a full proposal, AOSEservices can expedite the review and approval process.
This document includes generic review sheets for AOSE submissions, which are currently in use by the Spotsylvania Health Department and are attached to this document.
It is quite similar to the method described above for submitting a plain application, with the following exception:
- Three full copies of the proposal will be included in an AOSEpackage for use by the Department
- AOSEs provide varied levels of service. The applicant, surveyor, engineer, and builder all work together to coordinate the entire procedure, and some even walk the permit through the full application process. Others may just supply the most rudimentary of services. Just like with any other consumer issue, anybody seeking services from an individual or company should examine references and the level of pleasure shown by previous customers.
Other On-site Permit Requests
As previously stated, there are several instances in which applicants wish to make significant changes to their application. It is possible that the construction of a new or replacement structure, an extension, or any alteration will have an influence on the current SDS (sewage disposal system) or water supply. The Rappahannock Area Health District has a policy in place regarding the examination and approval of current systems for the purpose of allowing them to be used indefinitely or extended.
- The installed systems have been approved and approved of
- That the proposed construction activities will not have an adverse impact on the existing well, drainfield, and reserve areas
- And that the proposed construction activities will not have an adverse impact on the existing well, drainfield, and reserve areas.
Upon request, VDH will give copies of its records. In order to review current systems, VDH does not have the regulatory authority or a mandated program in place. Wastewater Disposal Systems that have been properly approved and recorded are allowed to run, and VDH will not violate that permission until the system fails or until the owner chooses to make changes to the system or the structure that it is linked to. It is at this point that a new permission is necessary, and a new Sewage Operations Permit will be granted once all of the permit conditions have been fulfilled.
Numerous requests are made for lots with systems that are more than 10 years old, and in other cases, requests are made for lots with data that are partial or nonexistent. The Rappahannock Area policy on reviewing existing systems outlines the procedures to be followed when requests are received for systems that satisfy the criteria outlined in the preceding paragraph. Septic tank and distribution box will be exposed, and an EHS will conduct a site visit to confirm the location and condition of the systems (an as-built construction drawing will be created that defines the exact location of the house, well, septic tank and distribution box as well as the absorption field will be created).
Any time an owner or a local building official requests final permission fromVDH, a permit must be requested for, costs paid (save for repairs), and a SO.P.
Prior to issuing Operation Permits or other permits, final inspections and extra paperwork (such as well logs or completion statements) may be required to ensure that the file is complete.
Repair permits (no fees) are issued when the site evaluations, reports from owners or others reveal maintenance needs or system problems.
For further information, please see the website of the Virginia Department of Health’s Division of On-site Sewage and Water Services for more details.