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Chapter 246-272A WAC On-site sewage systems
Last Update: 12/12/05
(Effective July 1, 2007.)
Purpose, objectives, and authority.
(1) The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public health by minimizing:
(a) The potential for public exposure to sewage from on-site sewage systems; and
(b) Adverse effects to public health that discharges from on-site sewage systems may have on ground and surface waters.
(2) This chapter regulates the location, design, installation, operation, maintenance, and monitoring of on-site sewage systems to:
(a) Achieve effective long-term sewage treatment and effluent dispersal; and
(b) Limit the discharge of contaminants to waters of the state.
(3) The state board of health is authorized under RCW 43.20.050 to establish minimum requirements for the department of health and local boards of health, and consistent with RCW 43.70.310 integrating the preservation of public health with protection of the environment in order to endorse policies in common.
(4) This chapter is intended to coordinate with other applicable statutes and rules for the design of on-site sewage systems under chapter 18.210 RCW and chapter 196-33 WAC.
(5) This chapter is intended to coordinate with other applicable statutes for land use planning under chapters 36.70 and 36.70A RCW, and the statutes for subdivision of land under chapter 58.17 RCW.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 05-15-119, § 246-272A-0001, filed 7/18/05, effective 9/15/05.]
The local health officers and the department shall administer this chapter under the authority and requirements of chapters 70.05, 70.08, 70.118, 70.46, and 43.70 RCW. RCW 70.05.060(7) authorizes local health officers to charge fees for the administration of this chapter.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 05-15-119, § 246-272A-0005, filed 7/18/05, effective 9/15/05.]
(1) Acronyms used in this chapter:
"ANSI" means American National Standards Institute.
"BOD" means biochemical oxygen demand, typically expressed in mg/L.
"CBOD5" means carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand, typically expressed in mg/L.
"FC" means fecal coliform, typically expressed in number colonies/100 ml.
"LOSS" means a large on-site sewage system (see chapter 246-272B WAC).
"NSF" means National Sanitation Foundation International.
"O&G" (formerly referred to as FOG) means oil and grease, a component of sewage typically originating from food stuffs (animal fats or vegetable oils) or consisting of compounds of alcohol or glycerol with fatty acids (soaps and lotions). Typically expressed in mg/L.
"OSS" means on-site sewage system.
"RS&G" means recommended standards and guidance.
"SSAS" means a subsurface soil absorption system.
"TAC" means the technical advisory committee established in WAC 247-272A-0400.
"TN" means total nitrogen, typically expressed in mg/L.
"TSS" means total suspended solids, a measure of all suspended solids in a liquid, typically expressed in mg/L.
"USEPA" means United States Environmental Protection Agency.
(2) Definitions used in this chapter:
"Additive" means a commercial product added to an on-site sewage system intended to affect the performance or aesthetics of an on-site sewage system.
"Approved" means a written statement of acceptability issued by the local health officer or the department.
"Bed" means a soil dispersal component consisting of an excavation with a width greater than three feet.
"Building sewer" means that part of the horizontal piping of a drainage system extending from the building drain, which collects sewage from all the drainage pipes inside a building, to an on-site sewage system. It begins two feet outside the building wall and conveys sewage from the building drain to the remaining portions of the on-site sewage system.
"Cesspool" means a pit receiving untreated sewage and allowing the liquid to seep into the surrounding soil or rock.
"Conforming system" means any on-site sewage system or component, meeting any of the following criteria:
(a) In full compliance with new construction requirements under this chapter; or
(b) Approved, installed and operating in accordance with requirements of previous editions of this chapter; or
(c) Permitted by the waiver process under WAC 246-272A-0420 that assures public health protection by higher treatment performance or other methods.
"Cover material" means soil placed over a soil dispersal component composed predominately of mineral material with no greater than ten percent organic content. Cover material may contain an organic surface layer for establishing a vegetative landscape to reduce soil erosion.
"Cuts and/or banks" means any naturally occurring or artificially formed slope greater than one hundred percent (forty-five degrees) and extending vertically at least five feet from the toe of the slope to the top of the slope as follows:
"Department" means the Washington state department of health.
"Designer" means a person who matches site and soil characteristics with appropriate on-site sewage technology. Throughout this chapter this term applies to both on-site sewage treatment system designers licensed under chapter 18.210 RCW and professional engineers licensed under chapter 18.43 RCW.
"Design flow" means the maximum volume of sewage a residence, structure, or other facility is estimated to generate in a twenty-four-hour period. It incorporates both an operating capacity and a surge capacity for the system during periodic heavy use events. The sizing and design of the on-site sewage system components are based on the design flow.
"Development" means the creation of a residence, structure, facility, subdivision, site, area, or similar activity resulting in the production of sewage.
"Disinfection" means the process of destroying pathogenic microorganisms in sewage through the application of ultraviolet light, chlorination, or ozonation.
"Distribution technology" means any arrangement of equipment and/or materials that distributes sewage within an on-site sewage system.
"Drain field" see subsurface soil absorption system (SSAS) and soil dispersal component.
"Drainrock" means clean washed gravel or crushed rock ranging in size from three-quarters inch to two and one-half inches, and containing no more than two percent by weight passing a US No. 8 sieve and no more than one percent by weight passing a US No. 200 sieve.
"Effluent" means liquid discharged from a septic tank or other on-site sewage system component.
"Expanding clay" means a clay soil with the mineralogy of clay particles, such as those found in the Montmorillonite/Smectite Group, which causes the clay particles to expand when they absorb water, closing the soil pores, and contract when they dry out.
"Expansion" means a change in a residence, facility, site, or use that:
(a) Causes the sewage quantity or quality to exceed the existing design flow of the on-site system, for example, when a residence is increased from two to three bedrooms or a change in use from an office to a restaurant; or
(b) Reduces the treatment or dispersal capability of the existing on-site sewage system or the reserve area, for example, when a building is placed over a reserve area.
"Extremely gravelly" means soil with sixty percent or more, but less than ninety percent rock fragments by volume.
"Failure" means a condition of an on-site sewage system or component that threatens the public health by inadequately treating sewage or by creating a potential for direct or indirect contact between sewage and the public. Examples of failure include:
(a) Sewage on the surface of the ground;
(b) Sewage backing up into a structure caused by slow soil absorption of septic tank effluent;
(c) Sewage leaking from a sewage tank or collection system;
(d) Cesspools or seepage pits where evidence of ground water or surface water quality degradation exists;
(e) Inadequately treated effluent contaminating ground water or surface water; or
(f) Noncompliance with standards stipulated on the permit.
"Fecal coliform" means bacteria common to the digestive systems of warm-blooded animals that are cultured in standard tests. Counts of these organisms are typically used to indicate potential contamination from sewage or to describe a level of needed disinfection. Generally expressed as colonies per 100 ml.
"Gravelly" means soils with fifteen percent or more, but less than thirty-five percent rock fragments by volume.
"Gray water" means sewage from bathtubs, showers, bathroom sinks, washing machines, dishwashers, and kitchen sinks. It includes sewage from any source in a residence or structure that has not come into contact with toilet wastes.
"Ground water" means subsurface water occupying the zone of saturated soil, permanently, seasonally, or as the result of the tides. Indications of ground water may include:
(a) Water seeping into or standing in an open excavation from the soil surrounding the excavation or monitoring ports.
(b) Spots or blotches of different color or shades of color interspersed with a dominant color in soil, caused by reduction and oxidation of iron. These color patterns are redoximorphic features, commonly referred to as mottling. Redoximorphic features often indicate the intermittent presence of ground water and may indicate poor aeration and impeded drainage. Also see "water table."
"Holding tank sewage system" means an on-site sewage system which incorporates a sewage tank without a discharge outlet, the services of a sewage pumper/hauler, and the off-site treatment and disposal for the sewage generated.
"Hydraulic loading rate" means the amount of effluent applied to a given treatment step, in this chapter expressed as gallons per square foot per day (gal/sq.ft./day).
"Industrial wastewater" means the water or liquid carried waste from an industrial process. These wastes may result from any process or activity of industry, manufacture, trade or business, from the development of any natural resource, or from animal operations such as feedlots, poultry houses, or dairies. The term includes contaminated storm water and leachate from solid waste facilities.
"Infiltrative surface" means the surface within a treatment component or soil dispersal component to which effluent is applied and through which effluent moves into original, undisturbed soil or other porous treatment media.
"Installer" means a person approved by the local health officer to install on-site sewage systems or components.
"Local health officer" means the health officer of the city, county, or city-county health department or district within the state of Washington, or a representative authorized by and under the direct supervision of the local health officer, as defined in chapter 70.05 RCW.
"Maintenance" means the actions necessary to keep the on-site sewage system components functioning as designed.
"Massive structure" means the condition of a soil layer in which the layer appears as a coherent or solid mass not separated into peds of any kind.
"Moderate structure" means well-formed distinct peds evident in undisturbed soil. When disturbed, soil material parts into a mixture of whole peds, broken peds, and material that is not in peds.
"Monitoring" means periodic or continuous checking of an on-site sewage system, which is performed by observations and measurements, to determine if the system is functioning as intended and if system maintenance is needed. Monitoring also includes maintaining accurate records that document monitoring activities.
"On-site sewage system" (OSS) means an integrated system of components, located on or nearby the property it serves, that conveys, stores, treats, and/or provides subsurface soil treatment and dispersal of sewage. It consists of a collection system, a treatment component or treatment sequence, and a soil dispersal component. An on-site sewage system also refers to a holding tank sewage system or other system that does not have a soil dispersal component.
"Operating capacity" means the average daily volume of sewage an OSS can treat and disperse on a sustained basis. The operating capacity, which is lower than the design flow, is an integral part of the design and is used as an index in OSS monitoring.
"Ordinary high-water mark" means the mark on lakes, streams, springs, and tidal waters, found by examining the beds and banks and ascertaining where the presence and action of waters are so common and usual, and so long continued in all ordinary years, as to mark upon the soil a character distinct from that of the abutting upland with respect to vegetation, as that condition exists on the effective date of this chapter, or as it may naturally change thereafter. The following definitions apply where the ordinary high-water mark cannot be found:
(a) The ordinary high-water mark adjoining marine water is the elevation at mean higher high tide; and
(b) The ordinary high-water mark adjoining freshwater is the line of mean high water.
"Ped" means a unit of soil structure such as blocks, column, granule, plate or prism formed by natural processes.
"Person" means any individual, corporation, company, association, society, firm, partnership, joint stock company, or any governmental agency, or the authorized agents of these entities.
"Planned unit development" means a subdivision characterized by a unified site design, clustered residential units and/or commercial units, and areas of common open space.
"Platy structure" means soil that contains flat peds that lie horizontally and often overlap. This type of structure will impede the vertical movement of water.
"Pressure distribution" means a system of small diameter pipes equally distributing effluent throughout a SSAS, as described in the department's "Recommended Standards and Guidance for Pressure Distribution Systems," 2001. A subsurface drip system may be used wherever the chapter requires pressure distribution.
"Professional engineer" means a person who is currently licensed as an engineer under the provisions of chapter 18.43 RCW.
"Proprietary product" means a sewage treatment and distribution technology, method, or material subject to a patent or trademark.
"Public domain technology" means a sewage treatment and distribution technology, method, or material not subject to a patent or trademark.
"Public sewer system" means a sewerage system:
(a) Owned or operated by a city, town, municipal corporation, county, or other approved ownership consisting of a collection system and necessary trunks, pumping facilities and a means of final treatment and disposal; and
(b) Approved by or under permit from the department of ecology, the department of health and/or a local health officer.
"Pumper" means a person approved by the local health officer to remove and transport sewage or septage from on-site sewage systems.
"Record drawing" means an accurate graphic and written record of the location and features of the OSS that are needed to properly monitor, operate, and maintain that system.
"Repair" means the relocation, replacement or reconstruction of a failed on-site sewage system.
"Reserve area" means an area of land approved for the installation of a conforming system that is protected and maintained for replacement of the OSS upon its failure.
"Residential sewage" means sewage having the constituency and strength typical of wastewater from domestic households.
"Restrictive layer" means a stratum impeding the vertical movement of water, air, and growth of plant roots, such as hardpan, claypan, fragipan, caliche, some compacted soils, bedrock and unstructured clay soils.
"Rock fragment" means rock or mineral fragments having a diameter of two millimeters or more; for example, gravel, cobbles, stones, and boulders.
"Seepage pit" means an excavation more than three feet deep where the sidewall of the excavation is designed to dispose of septic tank effluent. Seepage pits may also be called "dry wells."
"Septage" means the mixture of solid wastes, scum, sludge, and liquids pumped from within septic tanks, pump chambers, holding tanks, and other OSS components.
"Septic tank" means a watertight treatment receptacle receiving the discharge of sewage from a building sewer or sewers, designed and constructed to permit separation of settleable and floating solids from the liquid, detention and anaerobic digestion of the organic matter, prior to discharge of the liquid.
"Septic system" see on-site sewage system or OSS.
"Sewage" means any urine, feces, and the water carrying human wastes, including kitchen, bath, and laundry wastes from residences, buildings, industrial establishments or other places.
"Sewage quality" means contents in sewage that include:
(a) CBOD5, TSS, and O&G;
(b) Other parameters that can adversely affect treatment. Examples include pH, temperature, and dissolved oxygen;
(c) Other constituents that create concerns due to specific site sensitivity. Examples include fecal coliform and nitrogen.
"Sewage tank" means a prefabricated or cast-in-place septic tank, pump tank/dosing chamber, holding tank, grease interceptor, recirculating filter tank or any other tanks as they relate to on-site sewage systems including tanks for use with proprietary products.
"Soil dispersal component" means a technology that releases effluent from a treatment component into the soil for dispersal, final treatment and recycling.
"Soil log" means a detailed description of soil characteristics providing information on the soil's capacity to act as an acceptable treatment and dispersal medium for sewage.
"Soil scientist" means a person certified by the American Society of Agronomy as a Certified Professional Soil Scientist.
"Soil type" means one of seven numerical classifications of fine earth particles and rock fragments as described in WAC 246-272A-0220 (2)(e).
"Standard methods" means the 20th Edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, prepared and published jointly by the American Public Health Association, the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation.
"Strong structure" means peds are distinct in undisturbed soil. They separate cleanly when soil is disturbed, and the soil material separates mainly into whole peds when removed.
"Subdivision" means a division of land or creation of lots or parcels, described under chapter 58.17 RCW, including both long and short subdivisions, planned unit developments, and mobile home parks.
"Subsurface drip system" means an efficient pressurized wastewater distribution system that can deliver small, precise doses of effluent to soil surrounding the drip distribution piping (called dripline) as described in the department's "Recommended Standards and Guidance for Subsurface Drip Systems."
"Subsurface soil absorption system" (SSAS) means a soil dispersal component of trenches or beds containing either a distribution pipe within a layer of drainrock covered with a geotextile, or an approved gravelless distribution technology, designed and installed in original, undisturbed, unsaturated soil providing at least minimal vertical separation as established in this chapter, with either gravity or pressure distribution of the treatment component effluent.
"Surface water" means any body of water, whether fresh or marine, flowing or contained in natural or artificial unlined depressions for significant periods of the year, including natural and artificial lakes, ponds, springs, rivers, streams, swamps, marshes, irrigation canals and tidal waters.
"Timed dosing" means delivery of discrete volumes of sewage at prescribed time intervals.
"Treatment component" means a technology that treats sewage in preparation for further treatment and/or dispersal into the soil environment. Some treatment components, such as mound systems, incorporate a soil dispersal component in lieu of separate treatment and soil dispersal components.
"Treatment level" means one of six levels (A, B, C, D, E, & N) used in these rules to:
(a) Identify treatment component performance demonstrated through requirements specified in WAC 246-272A-0110; and
(b) Match site conditions of vertical separation and soil type with treatment components. Treatment levels used in these rules are not intended to be applied as field compliance standards. Their intended use is for establishing treatment product performance in a product testing setting under established protocols by qualified testing entities.
"Treatment sequence" means any series of treatment components that discharges treated sewage to the soil dispersal component.
"Trench" means a soil dispersal component consisting of an excavation with a width of three feet or less.
"Unit volume of sewage" means:
(a) Flow from a single-family residence;
(b) Flow from a mobile home site in a mobile home park; or
(c) Four hundred fifty gallons of sewage per day where the proposed development is not single-family residences or a mobile home park.
"Vertical separation" means the depth of unsaturated, original, undisturbed soil of soil types 1-6 between the bottom infiltrative surface of a soil dispersal component and the highest seasonal water table, a restrictive layer, or soil type 7 as illustrated below by the profile drawing of subsurface soil absorption systems:
"Very gravelly" means soil containing thirty-five percent or more, but less than sixty percent rock fragments by volume.
"Water table" means the upper surface of the ground water, whether permanent or seasonal. Also see "ground water."
"Well" means any excavation that is constructed when the intended use of the well is for the location, diversion, artificial recharge, observation, monitoring, dewatering or withdrawal of ground water for agricultural, municipal, industrial, domestic, or commercial use. Excluded are:
(a) A temporary observation or monitoring well used to determine the depth to a water table for locating an OSS;
(b) An observation or monitoring well used to measure the effect of an OSS on a water table; and
(c) An interceptor or curtain drain constructed to lower a water table.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 05-15-119, § 246-272A-0010, filed 7/18/05, effective 9/15/05.]
Local management and regulation.
(1) By July 1, 2007, the local health officers of health jurisdictions in the twelve counties bordering Puget Sound shall develop a written plan that will provide guidance to the local health jurisdiction regarding development and management activities for all OSS within the jurisdiction. The plan must specify how the local health jurisdiction will:
(a) Progressively develop and maintain an inventory of all known OSS in operation within the jurisdiction;
(b) Identify any areas where OSS could pose an increased public health risk. The following areas shall be given priority in this activity:
(i) Shellfish protection districts or shellfish growing areas;
(ii) Sole source aquifers designated by the USEPA;
(iii) Areas in which aquifers used for potable water as designated under the Washington State Growth Management Act, chapter 36.70A RCW are critically impacted by recharge;
(iv) Designated wellhead protection areas for Group A public water systems;
(v) Up-gradient areas directly influencing water recreation facilities designated for swimming in natural waters with artificial boundaries within the waters as described by the Water Recreation Facilities Act, chapter 70.90 RCW;
(vi) Areas designated by the department of ecology as special protection areas under WAC 173-200-090, Water quality standards for ground waters of the state of Washington;
(vii) Wetland areas under production of crops for human consumption;
(viii) Frequently flooded areas including areas delineated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and or as designated under the Washington State Growth Management Act, chapter 36.70A RCW;
(ix) Areas where nitrogen has been identified as a contaminant of concern; and
(x) Other areas designated by the local health officer.
(c) Identify operation, maintenance and monitoring requirements commensurate with risks posed by OSS within the geographic areas identified in (b) of this subsection;
(d) Facilitate education of homeowners regarding their responsibilities under this chapter and provide operation and maintenance information for all types of systems in use within the jurisdiction;
(e) Remind and encourage homeowners to complete the operation and maintenance inspections required by WAC 246-272A-0270;
(f) Maintain records required under this chapter, including of all operation and maintenance activities as identified; and
(g) Enforce OSS owner permit application, operation, monitoring and maintenance and failure repair requirements defined in WAC 246-272A-0200(1), 246-272A-0270, 246-272A-0275, and 246-272A-0280 (1) and (2);
(h) Describe the capacity of the local health jurisdiction to adequately fund the local OSS plan, including the ability to find failing and unknown systems; and
(i) Assure that it was developed to coordinate with the comprehensive land use plan of the entities governing development in the health officer's jurisdiction.
(2) After being approved by the local board of health following a public hearing, the local health officers required to develop a written plan under subsection (1) of this section shall:
(a) Supply a copy of the plan to the department;
(b) Supply a copy of the plan to the entities responsible for land use planning and development regulations in the health officer's jurisdiction; and
(c) Implement the plan described in subsection (1) of this section.
(3) The plans of local health jurisdictions required to develop a written plan under subsection (1) of this section shall be submitted to the department by July 1, 2007, and shall be reviewed to ensure the elements described in subsection (1) of this section have been addressed. The department shall provide in writing to the local board of health its review of the completeness of the plan.
(4) For purposes of this chapter, the local health jurisdictions in marine counties are Clallam, Island, Kitsap, Jefferson, Mason, San Juan, Seattle-King, Skagit, Snohomish, Tacoma-Pierce, Thurston and Whatcom.
(5) The local health officers for all other jurisdictions not required to develop a written plan under subsection (1) of this section shall develop a written plan that will provide guidance to the local jurisdiction regarding development and management activities for all OSS within the jurisdiction. At a minimum the plan shall include:
(a) A description of the capacity of the local health jurisdiction to provide education and operation and maintenance information for all types of systems in use within the jurisdiction;
(b) A description of how the local health officer will remind and encourage homeowners to complete the operation and maintenance inspection required by WAC 246-272A-0270; and
(c) A description of the capacity of the local health jurisdiction to adequately fund the local OSS plan.
(6) In order to implement the plan described in subsections (1) and (5) of this section, the local health officer shall require the owner of the OSS to:
(a) Comply with additional requirements identified in the plan for the location, design, or performance; and
(b) Comply with the conditions of the operational permit if one is required.
(7) In order to implement the plan described in subsections (1) and (5) of this section, the local health officer may require the owner of the OSS to:
(a) Ensure additional maintenance and monitoring of the OSS;
(b) Provide dedicated easements for inspections, maintenance, and potential future expansion of the OSS;
(c) Place a notice to title identifying any additional requirements for OSS operation, maintenance and monitoring; and
(d) Have an inspection of the OSS at the time of property transfer including the preparation of a "record drawing" if necessary.
(8) No later than July 1, 2006, the department shall develop guidance on local management programs to assist marine local health jurisdictions in plan development.
(9) Until such time as the local board of health decides to adopt its own rules, the local health officer shall enforce this chapter. Local boards of health may adopt and enforce local rules and regulations governing on-site sewage systems when the local regulations are:
(a) Consistent with, and at least as stringent as, this chapter; and
(b) Approved by the department prior to the effective date of local regulations.
(10) A local board of health shall apply for departmental approval of local regulations by initiating the following procedure:
(a) The local board shall submit the proposed local regulations to the department.
(b) Within ninety days of receipt, the department shall:
(i) Approve the regulation in writing; or
(ii) Signify automatic tacit approval with the local regulations and permitting local implementation by failing to act; or
(iii) Deny approval of the regulations. If the department determines local regulations are not consistent with this chapter, the department shall provide specific reasons for denial.
(11) Upon receipt of departmental approval or after ninety days without notification, whichever comes first, the local board may implement adopted regulations. The local board shall provide a copy of the adopted local regulations to the department.
(12) If the department denies approval of local regulations, the local board of health may:
(a) Resubmit revised regulations for departmental consideration; or
(b) Submit a written request for a review of the departmental denial within one hundred twenty days from the date the local board of health receives the written reasons for the denial.
(13) Upon receipt of written request for review of the departmental denial, the department shall:
(a) Acknowledge the receipt of the request in writing; and
(b) Form a mutually acceptable advisory panel consisting of:
(i) One departmental employee;
(ii) One employee from a local health jurisdiction other than that which requested the review; and
(iii) One member of the technical advisory committee.
(14) If good faith efforts to reach agreement are unsuccessful, the local board of health may appeal the denial to the Washington state board of health for resolution.
(15) Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the adoption and enforcement of more stringent regulations by local health departments.
(16) In the plan required in subsection (1) of this section and in local regulations, the local health officer may address water conservation and include options for the nonpotable reuse of gray water. Any treatment and dispersal of gray water outside the residence or structure must comply with this chapter.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 05-15-119, § 246-272A-0015, filed 7/18/05, effective 9/15/05.]
(1) The local health officer:
(a) Shall apply this chapter to OSS treating sewage and dispersing effluent from residential sources with design flows up to three thousand five hundred gallons per day;
(b) May apply this chapter to OSS for nonresidential sources of sewage if treatment, siting, design, installation, and operation and maintenance measures provide treatment and effluent dispersal equal to that required of residential sources.
(c) May not apply this chapter to industrial wastewater.
(2) The department shall apply this chapter for the registration of proprietary treatment and distribution products.
(3) A valid sewage system design approval, or installation permit issued prior to the effective date of these regulations:
(a) Shall be acted upon in accordance with regulations in force at the time of issuance;
(b) Shall have a maximum validity period of five years from the date of issuance or remain valid for an additional year beyond the effective date of these regulations, whichever assures the most lenient expiration date; and
(c) May be modified to include additional requirements if the health officer determines that a serious threat to public health exists.
(4) This chapter does not apply to facilities regulated as reclaimed water use under chapter 90.46 RCW.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 05-15-119, § 246-272A-0020, filed 7/18/05, effective 9/15/05.]
Connection to public sewer system.
(1) When adequate public sewer services are available within two hundred feet of the residence or facility, the local health officer, upon the failure of an existing on-site sewage system may:
(a) Require hook-up to a public sewer system; or
(b) Permit the repair or replacement of the on-site sewage system only if a conforming system can be designed and installed.
(2) Except as noted in subsection (1) of this section, the owner of a failure shall abandon the OSS under WAC 246-272A-0300 and connect the residence or other facility to a public sewer system when:
(a) The distance between the residence or other facility and an adequate public sewer is two hundred feet or less as measured along the usual or most feasible route of access; and
(b) The sewer utility allows the sewer connection.
(3) The owner of a residence or other facility served by a system meeting the requirements of Table IX of this chapter shall abandon the OSS according to the requirements specified in WAC 246-272A-0300, and connect the residence or other facility to a public sewer system when:
(a) Connection is deemed necessary to protect public health by the local health officer;
(b) An adequate public sewer becomes available within two hundred feet of the residence or other facility as measured along the usual or most economically feasible route of access; and
(c) The sewer utility allows the sewer connection.
(4) Local boards of health may require a new development to connect to a public sewer system to protect public health.
(5) Local boards of health shall require new development or a development with a failing system to connect to a public sewer system if it is required by the comprehensive land use plan or development regulations.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 05-15-119, § 246-272A-0025, filed 7/18/05, effective 9/15/05.]
(1) The department may develop recommended standards and guidance to assist local health officers in permitting different types of sewage treatment and distribution technologies including the following four broad categories:
(a) Public domain treatment technologies (e.g., sand filters);
(b) Proprietary treatment products (e.g., aerobic treatment systems and packed bed filters);
(c) Public domain distribution technologies (e.g., gravel or generic gravel substitutes, gravity and pressure distribution methods and materials);
(d) Proprietary distribution products (e.g., subsurface dripline products or gravelless distribution products).
(2) All types of sewage technologies must have either standards for use described in this chapter or departmental recommended standards and guidance before the local health officer may permit them. Recommended standards and guidance may include information and detail such as:
(d) Operation, monitoring and maintenance;
(e) Performance expectations; and
(f) Sources of information.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 05-15-119, § 246-272A-0100, filed 7/18/05, effective 9/15/05.]
Proprietary treatment products — Certification and registration.
(1) Manufacturers shall register their proprietary treatment products with the department before the local health officer may permit their use.
(2) To qualify for product registration, manufacturers desiring to sell or distribute proprietary treatment products in Washington state shall:
(a) Verify product performance through testing using the testing protocol established in Table I and register their product with the department using the process described in WAC 246-272-0120;
(b) Report test results of influent and effluent sampling obtained throughout the testing period (including normal and stress loading phases) for evaluation of constituent reduction according to Table II;
(c) Demonstrate product performance according to Table III. All thirty-day averages and geometric means obtained throughout the test period must meet the identified threshold values to qualify for registration at that threshold level; and
(d) For registration at levels A, B, and C verify bacteriological reduction according to WAC 246-272A-0130.
(3) Manufacturers verifying product performance through testing according to the following standards or protocols shall have product testing conducted by a testing facility accredited by ANSI:
(a) ANSI/NSF Standard 40 -- Residential Wastewater Treatment Systems;
(b) NSF Standard 41: Non-Liquid Saturated Treatment Systems;
(c) NSF Protocol P157 Electrical Incinerating Toilets - Health and Sanitation; or
(d) Protocol for bacteriological reduction described in WAC 246-272A-0130.
(4) Manufacturers verifying product performance through testing according to the following standards or protocols shall have product testing conducted by a testing facility meeting the requirements established by the Testing Organization and Verification Organization, consistent with the test protocol and plan:
(a) EPA/NSF -- Protocol for the Verification of Wastewater Treatment Technologies; or
(b) EPA Environmental Technology Verification Program protocol for the Verification of Residential Wastewater Treatment Technologies for Nutrient Reduction.
(5) Treatment levels used in these rules are not intended to be applied as field compliance standards. Their intended use is for establishing treatment product performance in a product testing setting under established protocols by qualified testing entities.
TABLE I Testing Requirements for Proprietary Treatment Products
Treatment Component/Sequence Category Required Testing Protocol
Category 1 Designed to treat sewage with strength typical of a residential source when septic tank effluent is anticipated to be equal to or less than treatment level E. ANSI/NSF 40 -- Residential Wastewater Treatment Systems (protocols dated between July 1996 and the effective date of these rules)
Category 2 Designed to treat high-strength sewage when septic tank effluent is anticipated to be greater than treatment level E. EPA/NSF Protocol for the Verification of Wastewater Treatment Technologies/ EPA Environmental Technology Verification (April 2001)
(Such as at restaurants, grocery stores, mini-marts, group homes, medical clinics, residences, etc.)
Category 3 Black water component of residential sewage (such as composting and incinerating toilets). NSF/ANSI Standard 41: Non-Liquid Saturated Treatment Systems (September 1999)
NSF Protocol P157 Electrical Incinerating Toilets - Health and Sanitation (April 2000)
Total Nitrogen Reduction in Categories 1 & 2 (Above) Protocol for the Verification of Residential Wastewater Treatment Technologies for Nutrient Reduction/EPA Environmental Technology Verification Program (November, 2000)
TABLE II Test Results Reporting Requirements for Proprietary Treatment Products
Treatment Component/Sequence Category Testing Results Reported
Category 1 Designed to treat sewage with strength typical of a residential source when septic tank effluent is anticipated to be equal to or less than treatment level E. Report test results of influent and effluent sampling obtained throughout the testing period for evaluation of constituent reduction for the parameters: CBOD5, and TSS:
Average Standard Deviation
Median Interquartile Range
30-day Average (for each month)
For bacteriological reduction performance, report fecal coliform test results of influent and effluent sampling by geometric mean from samples drawn within thirty-day or monthly calendar periods, obtained from a minimum of three samples per week throughout the testing period. See WAC 246-272A-0130.
Test report must also include the individual results of all samples drawn throughout the test period.
Category 2 Designed to treat high-strength sewage when septic tank effluent is anticipated to be greater than treatment level E. Report all individual test results and full test average values of influent and effluent sampling obtained throughout the testing period for: CBOD5, TSS and O&G. Establish the treatment capacity of the product tested in pounds per day for CBOD5.
(Such as at restaurants, grocery stores, mini-marts, group homes, medical clinics, residences, etc.)
Category 3 Black water component of residential sewage (such as composting and incinerating toilets). Report test results on all required performance criteria according to the format prescribed in the NSF test protocol described in Table I.
Total Nitrogen Reduction in Categories 1 & 2 (Above) Report test results on all required performance criteria according to the format prescribed in the test protocol described in Table I.
TABLE III Product Performance Requirements for Proprietary Treatment Products
Treatment Component/Sequence Category Product Performance Requirements
Category 1 Designed to treat sewage with strength typical of a residential source when septic tank effluent is anticipated to be equal to or less than treatment level E. Treatment System Performance Testing Levels
CBOD5 TSS O&G FC TN
A 10 mg/L 10 mg/L ---- 200/100 ml ----
B 15 mg/L 15 mg/L ---- 1,000/100 ml ----
C 25 mg/L 30 mg/L ---- 50,000/100 ml ----
D 25 mg/L 30 mg/L ---- ---- ----
E 125 mg/L 80 mg/L 20 mg/L ---- ----
N ---- ---- ---- ---- 20 mg/L
Values for Levels A - D are 30-day values (averages for CBOD5, TSS, and geometric mean for FC.) All 30-day averages throughout the test period must meet these values in order to be registered at these levels.
Values for Levels E and N are derived from full test averages.
Category 2 Designed to treat high-strength sewage when septic tank effluent is anticipated to be greater than treatment level E. All of the following requirements must be met:
(1) All full test averages must meet Level E; and
(Such as at restaurants, grocery stores, mini-marts, group homes, medical clinics, residences, etc.) (2) Establish the treatment capacity of the product tested in pounds per day for CBOD5.
Category 3 Black water component of residential sewage (such as composting and incinerating toilets). Test results must meet the performance requirements established in the NSF test protocol.
Total Nitrogen Reduction in Categories 1 & 2 (Above) Test results must establish product performance effluent quality meeting Level N, when presented as the full test average.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 05-15-119, § 246-272A-0110, filed 7/18/05, effective 9/15/05.]
Proprietary treatment product registration — Process and requirements.
(1) Manufacturers shall register their proprietary treatment product(s) with the department by submitting a complete application in the format provided by the department, including:
(a) Manufacturer's name, mailing address, street address and phone number;
(b) Contact individual's name, mailing address, street address, and phone number. The contact individual must be vested with the authority to represent the manufacturer in this capacity;
(c) Name, including specific brand and model, of the proprietary treatment product;
(d) A description of the function of the proprietary treatment product along with any known limitation on the use of the product;
(e) Product description and technical information, including process flow drawings and schematics; materials and characteristics; component design specifications; design capacity, volumes and flow assumptions and calculations; components; dimensioned drawings and photos;
(f) For treatment systems in Category 2, daily capacity of the model or models in pounds per day of CBOD5;
(g) Siting and installation requirements;
(h) Detailed description, procedure and schedule of routine service and system maintenance events;
(i) Estimated operational costs for the first five years of the treatment component's life. This shall include both estimated annual electricity costs, and routine maintenance costs, including replacement of parts;
(j) Identification of information subject to protection from disclosure of trade secrets;
(k) Copies of product brochures & manuals: Sales & Promotional; Design; Installation; Operation & Maintenance; and Homeowner Instructions;
(l) The most recently available product test protocol and results report;
(m) A signed and dated certification by the manufacturer's agent specifically including the following statement, "I certify that I represent (INSERT MANUFACTURING COMPANY NAME) and I am authorized to prepare or direct the preparation of this application for registration. I attest, under penalty of law, that this document and all attachments are true, accurate, and complete. I understand and accept that the product testing results reported with this application for registration are the parameters and values to be used for determining conformance with Treatment System Performance Testing Levels established in chapter 246-272A WAC";
(n) A signed and dated certification from the testing entity including the statement, "I certify that I represent (INSERT TESTING ENTITY NAME), that I am authorized to report the testing results for this proprietary treatment product. I attest, under penalty of law, that the report about the test protocol and results is true, accurate, and complete"; and
(o) The fee described in WAC 246-272A-990.
(2) Products within a single series or model line (sharing distinct similarities in design, materials, and capacities) may be registered under a single application, consistent with the provisions of their test protocol for the certification of other products within a product series. Products outside of the series or model line must be registered under separate applications.
(3) Upon receipt of an application the department shall:
(a) Verify that the application is complete;
(b) If complete, place the product on the list of proprietary treatment products.
(4) All registrations are valid for up to one year, expiring on December 31 of each year. Fees are not prorated.
(5) In order to renew technology registration, a manufacturer shall:
(a) Apply for renewal of product registration using the form or in the format provided by the department.
(b) Submit the results of retesting, if the product has completed retesting according to the protocol required for registration and a report from the testing entity has been issued since initial registration or previous renewal. Renewal shall be based on the most recent test results.
(c) Provide an affidavit to the department verifying whether or not the product has changed over the previous year. If the product has changed, the affidavit must also include a full description of the changes. If the product has changed in a way that affects performance, the product may not be renewed and shall meet the requirements for initial registration.
(d) Submit the fee established in WAC 246-272A-990.
(6) As part of product registration renewal, the department shall:
(a) Request field assessment comments from local health officers no later than October 31st of each year. These comments may include concerns about a variety of field assessment issues, including product function, product reliability, and problems arising with operation and maintenance;
(b) Discuss with the TAC any field assessment information that may impact product registration renewal; (continued)