AGENDA REQUEST

Sponsor:

Meeting Date:

Raymond E. Graham, Cedar Run District Supervisor 

July 21, 2003

Staff Lead:

Department: 

Danny Hatch, County Soil Scientist Charles Shepherd, District Manager

Community Development                      County Health Department

 

Topic: An Ordinance Approving Amendments to Chapter 17 of the Fauquier County Code Regarding Sewage System Maintenance and Monitoring for Both New Conventional and Alternative Systems

 

Topic Description:

Update:

The public hearing was conducted on June 16th and covered the proposed amendment to the Fauquier County Code Chapter 17, focusing on sewage system maintenance and monitoring for both new conventional and alternative systems.  Action was postponed until the next meeting, with a work session scheduled for further discussion.  A request was made that the amendment be revised to include only alternative systems.  That revision is included in Attachment 2.

Background:  

The Board of Supervisors has expressed interest in requiring some type of maintenance program for individual septic systems. There have been discussions in the past about initiating a program that would require maintenance and pump out of septic tanks on a scheduled basis for both new conventional and alternative systems. This proposal was initiated at the Planning Commission and staff level for Board of Supervisors consideration.  The proposal becomes more important when linked with Fauquier County ’s work on the overall management of the quality and quantity of its water resources.

Due to the Virginia Department of Health’s adoption of its 2000 regulations, there are a number of alternative wastewater systems, which are now allowed statewide. It is critical that these systems have perpetual and routine maintenance. The performance of the alternative and conventional systems is dependent on how they are monitored and maintained. The complexity and degree of maintenance required on different technologies will have to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

There is currently no state regulation or local ordinance that requires mandatory maintenance and monitoring of the alternative systems. According to Health Department records, there are approximately 60 residential alternative systems that are being used throughout Fauquier County .  With the recent increase in the number of acceptable alternative systems for installation in Virginia , the proposed ordinance would allow the County to ensure the proper performance of future on-site residential wastewater systems. The proposed ordinance enclosed is for on-site wastewater treatment systems that are regulated by the Commonwealth of Virginia Sewage , Handling, and Disposal Regulations.  The objectives of the Ordinance are to:

·        Protect the environment, (land and resources);

·        Protect the citizens of Fauquier County ;

·        Inform the public of the long-term effect and cost of an alternative system; and

·        Protect the County from dealing with premature failures, which may result in the untimely and expensive extension of public utilities.

Ordinance Requirements:

Each of the proposed ordinances would require that all alternative systems (on-site systems with smaller footprint than conventional systems and all systems which require pretreatment) will require an engineered design and stamp certification. This requirement is not mandated by State Health Department Regulations for many proprietary systems that have been approved for use in the Commonwealth of Virginia . This engineered design would add to the cost of some alternative systems being proposed in the County, and limit the design to qualified professionals that can seal and certify such systems.

The proposed ordinance presented as Attachment 1 would require that new conventional systems be pumped every five (5) years or sooner if the home has a garbage disposal. The homeowner would pay for this service.  It does not affect existing systems (approved and functioning); those would be classified as grandfathered systems, and would not be subject to this code amendment unless replaced with a new on-site unit. Attachment 3 would have broader application to conventional systems in environmentally sensitive areas.

The County staff and Health Department’s position is that the fiscal impact would be minimal to the system owner and in many cases when the system design incorporates a proprietary system product, the manufacturer’s operation and maintenance manual may be adequate.

It is the intent of this Ordinance to inform the homeowner how to properly use their particular on-site system, and this communication is best done with a specific engineered design. It also places more liability on the engineer to ensure that the maintenance and monitoring of the homeowner’s system is clearly understood and is performed according to design.

Alternative systems that require maintenance over and above conventional systems will require a Conditional Permit with the maintenance requirements recorded as part of the permit approval. This will ensure that present and future homeowners will maintain and provide monitoring data to the County so a major failure will not occur due to system abuse or internal mechanical malfunction.

During the Board of Supervisors May 19th Work Session; there was interest in including existing systems within this program under certain circumstances. As a result of that discussion, Attachment 3 is an amended Ordinance that would have broader application to existing individual sewage systems.

Options:

As a result of the June 16th meeting, a revised ordinance, which focuses on the maintenance and monitoring for only alternative systems, has been prepared for Board of Supervisors consideration. That option is represented in Attachment 2.  The following summarizes only the discrete differences now in the three ordinance options currently under consideration:

·        Attachment 1:  For all new systems, this ordinance requires cleanout of traditional systems every 5 years, as well as requiring a maintenance and monitoring program for alternative systems.

·        Attachment 2:   This ordinance does not require the cleanout of traditional systems every 5-years, but mandates that alternative systems, in existence prior to the adoption of this ordinance, shall be operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s and/or designer’s specifications.  It also empowers the Health Department to require routine maintenance for alternative systems needing a conditional permit.

·        Attachment 3:  Requires traditional systems installed, repaired, replaced or extended after the effective date of this ordinance, or located within an area designated by the County as an Aquifer Protection Overlay District or Watershed Management and Protection Overlay District, must be cleaned every 5 years.  This option also requires the owner of a traditional system to furnish the Health Department a receipt or evidence that the system has been cleaned within the past 5 years, and then requires subsequent purchasers to clean the system pursuant to ordinance requirements.  The maintenance and monitoring program for alternative systems is the same as Option 1.

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Consider adoption of the proposed amendments to Chapter 17 of the Fauquier County Code represented in Attachments 1, 2 or 3.

Planning Commission Action:

The Planning Commission conducted its public hearing in March and unanimously forwarded the proposed amendment to Chapter 17 of the Fauquier County Code to the Board of Supervisors for adoption as presented.  Attachment 1 represents the ordinance forwarded to the Board of Supervisors for consideration.  (Note Attachments 1 and 3 were subject to Board of Supervisor public hearing.) 

Financial Impacts Analysis:

The County Health Department does not anticipate additional staff to initiate the implementation of this program at this time. Future personnel and office costs should be covered by local fees, which are currently being reviewed and amended. Due to the limited number of these systems existing currently in the county, the initiation of this program should not be overwhelming to the County Health Department. The anticipated number of these alternative systems being installed in the future and ensuring that existing systems are in performance compliance will be financed by a fee which is being developed.

At the present time, the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission (RRRC; PD-9) is working with the County in developing a tracking program to identify and locate all on-site systems on a GIS-associated layer. This regional tracking program should allow the County to develop a program to monitor systems that need annual maintenance. Grant monies are being sought to finance this region wide tracking system and to provide staffing to enter and maintain data.

Identify any Departments, Organizations or Individuals that would be affected by this request:

Health Department, Community Development, County Attorney’s Office, Commissioner of the Revenue, Certified Professional Soil Scientists/Authorized On-Site Soil Evaluators, Licensed Professional Engineers, Homeowners, Certified Maintenance Professionals, State Certified System Installers, Licensed Land Surveyors

Attachments:

1.                  Ordinance for Conventional and Alternative Systems Maintenance and Monitoring

2.                  Ordinance for Alternative Systems Maintenance and Monitoring

3.                  Ordinance for Conventional and Alternative Systems Maintenance and Monitoring, Including Property Transfers

4.                  Projected Costs of Chapter 17 Amendment

Attachment 1

  Conventional and Alternative Systems Included

ORDINANCE

AN ORDINANCE APPROVING AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 17 OF THE FAUQUIER COUNTY CODE REGARDING SEWAGE SYSTEM MAINTENANCE AND MONITORING FOR BOTH NEW CONVENTIONAL AND ALTERNATIVE SYSTEMS

            WHEREAS, the Fauquier County Code Chapter 17 allows land owners to treat and dispose domestic wastewater onsite; and

           

            WHEREAS, landowners shall obtain a Virginia Health Permit which is in substantial compliance with all State Health Department Regulations and County Regulations ; and

            WHEREAS, with the advancement of technology in pre-treating wastewater before being disposed into the soil, approved alternative systems are now available for use in soils that are not suitable for traditional systems; and

            WHEREAS, the perpetual maintenance of these alternative systems is imperative for the long term successful performance to ensure that the public health and the environment are protected; and

            WHEREAS, routine maintenance of traditional systems is imperative for the long term successful performance to ensure that the public health and the environment are protected; and

            WHEREAS, Virginia State Health Regulations do not mandate maintenance and monitoring of onsite residential sewage systems; and

            WHEREAS, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors realizes the importance in mandating a maintenance and monitoring program to protect the citizens and the pristine environment of Fauquier County ; and

            WHEREAS, the Fauquier County Planning Commission held a work session on January 23, 2003 and a public hearing on March 13, 2003 ; and

            WHEREAS, the Planning Commission added several refinements to the proposed ordinance; and

            WHEREAS, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on June 16, 2003 ; and

            WHEREAS, the adoption of this ordinance would be in keeping with the spirit of the Fauquier County Code and in the best interest of the citizens of Fauquier County ; now, therefore, be it

            ORDAINED by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors this 21st day of July 2003, That Sections 17-20 and 17-21 of the Fauquier County Code be amended to set standards for traditional systems and alternative systems and their design; and, be it

            ORDAINED FURTHER, That Section 17-22 of the Fauquier County Code is amended to set standards for mandated routine maintenance and monitoring requirements for onsite alternative systems; and, be it

            ORDAINED FURTHER, That Sections 17-23 and 17-24 of the Fauquier County Code be amended to set standards for permit owners that neglect or are in violation of this Ordinance; and, be it

            ORDAINED FINALLY, That amendments to Sections 17-21, 17-22, 17-23, and 17-24 are added to Chapter 17 of the Fauquier County Code. These amendments shall read as follows:

Article II.  ONSITE SEWAGE SYSTEM DESIGN, MAINTENANCE AND MONITORING

Sec. 17-20 Categories of onsite waterborne sewage disposal systems. 

There are two categories of onsite waterborne sewage disposal systems:

A.      Traditional systems:

A traditional on-site sewage disposal system consists of a sewer line, septic tank, distribution box and a series of 2’ to 3’ wide drainfield laterals installed in gravel.  These systems are designed to dispose and treat the effluent at a depth of 18’’ to 54’’ and depend on the naturally occurring soil.  Traditional systems may use a sewage pump to lift the effluent to a single higher elevation.

B.     Alternative systems

1.  Alternative proprietary pre-engineered systems:

A proprietary pre-engineered system is an alternative non-discharge system which has received general approval from the State Health Commissioner.

 2.   Alternative Engineered systems:

Engineered systems are those non-discharge systems which have not received general approval from the State Health Commissioner.

Sec. 17-21 Design Requirements for Alternative systems

A.  Alternative proprietary pre-engineered systems

An Authorized on Site Soil Evaluator (hereinafter AOSE) may design a proprietary pre-engineered system which is within the pre-engineered limits of the system.  When the system is not within the pre-engineered limits or involves a reduction in disposal area, the Health Department may require design or review by a Professional Engineer, licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia in consultation with an Authorized On-site Soil Evaluator and Virginia Certified Professional Soil Scientist.

B.  Alternative Engineered systems

Engineered systems shall be designed by a Professional Engineer licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia in consultation with an AOSE and Virginia Certified Professional Soil Scientist.

17-22 Routine maintenance and monitoring requirements for onsite systems:

A.     Traditional systems:

Traditional systems must be cleaned every 5 years unless there is a garbage disposal unit or grinder pump, in which case the septic tank must be cleaned at more frequent intervals if necessary to prevent non-biodegradable material from migrating to the disposal field.  After the date of adoption of this ordinance, all new or replacement septic tanks shall be installed with adequate manholes, properly secured, to allow easy inspection and cleaning of the holding tank.

B.     Maintenance and monitoring of Alternative systems:

  1.  As a requirement of the design every alternative system must have an “Operation and Maintenance” manual, written in lay terms which can be easily understood by the homeowner as well as the professional operator (if required).  At a minimum, when the AOSE/Engineer prepares the original plan for the alternative system, that person must specify the effluent limits for the system as well as the routine service requirements and degree of expertise required to operate the system.  When the system design incorporates a proprietary system, the manufacturer’s operation and maintenance manual may be adequate to comply with this section if so stipulated by the designer.
  2. Alternative systems that require routine maintenance over and above traditional systems require a CONDITIONAL PERMIT with the maintenance requirements recorded as a part of the permit approval.  The conditional permit, along with the document which enumerates the conditions must be recorded and indexed in the grantee index in the Land Records of Fauquier County.  The Health Department may impose conditions based upon the maintenance requirements of the system including but not limited to a requirement for a maintenance contract, professional operator or demonstration of competency to operate the system by the owner/ operator.

C.  Maintenance of disposal fields for traditional and alternative systems.

1.   An appropriate ground cover shall be established and maintained over the disposal site.   Permanent lawn irrigation systems are prohibited within twenty feet of any disposal area.  Trees and shrubs shall not be planted or allowed to grow in the disposal field.  The area reserved for the subsurface disposal field and future repair of the system shall be retained for that sole purpose.

2.   No structures shall be placed over the subsurface soil absorption system. Driveways or parking lots shall not be constructed on the subsurface soil absorption system unless the invert of the lead or header lines or top of the gravel in the absorption trenches is deeper than 30 inches below the ground surface and the driveway or parking lot is paved with Portland cement or bituminous concrete to prevent compaction of the trench bottom. Driveways and parking lots shall not be constructed over the distribution box unless adequate structural and access provisions are provided.

17-23  Neglect

In order to protect the public health it shall be unlawful for any owner to neglect or abuse any sewage disposal system, fail to perform the routine or necessary maintenance, fail to comply with the requirements of a conditional permit, fail to file required monitoring reports, or fail to comply with any other provision of this article.

17-24  Violations; Penalties; Applicability

The penalty for any violation of this Article shall be the same as that set forth in Article I, Section 17-19.  This Article shall apply to all systems constructed after the date of adoption.


Attachment 2

  Only Alternative Systems Included Regarding Maintenance

ORDINANCE

AN ORDINANCE APPROVING AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 17 OF THE FAUQUIER COUNTY CODE REGARDING SEWAGE SYSTEM MAINTENANCE AND MONITORING FOR ALTERNATIVE SYSTEMS

            WHEREAS, the Fauquier County Code Chapter 17 allows land owners to treat and dispose domestic wastewater onsite; and

           

            WHEREAS, landowners shall obtain a Virginia Health Permit which is in substantial compliance with all State Health Department Regulations and County Regulations ; and

            WHEREAS, with the advancement of technology in pre-treating wastewater before being disposed into the soil, approved alternative systems are now available for use in soils that are not suitable for traditional systems; and

            WHEREAS, the perpetual maintenance of these alternative systems is imperative for the long term successful performance to ensure that the public health and the environment are protected; and

            WHEREAS, Virginia State Health Regulations do not mandate maintenance and monitoring of onsite residential sewage systems; and

            WHEREAS, Fauquier County Board of Supervisors realizes the importance in mandating a maintenance and monitoring program to protect the citizens and the pristine environment of Fauquier County ; and

            WHEREAS, the Fauquier County Planning Commission held a work session on January 23, 2003 and a public hearing on March 13, 2003 ; and

            WHEREAS, the Planning Commission added several refinements to the proposed ordinance; and

            WHEREAS, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on June 16, 2003 ; and

            WHEREAS, the adoption of this ordinance would be in keeping with the spirit of the Fauquier County Code and in the best interest of the citizens of Fauquier County ; now, therefore, be it

            ORDAINED by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors this 21st day of July 2003, That Sections 17-20 and 17-21 of the Fauquier County Code be amended to set standards for alternative systems and their design; and, be it

            ORDAINED FURTHER, That Section 17-22 of the Fauquier County Code is amended to set standards for mandated routine maintenance and monitoring requirement for onsite alternative systems; and, be it

            ORDAINED FURTHER, That Sections 17-23 and 17-24 of the Fauquier County Code be amended to set standards for permit owners that neglect or are in violation of this Ordinance; and, be it

            ORDAINED FINALLY, That amendments to Sections 17-21, 17-22, 17-23, and 17-24 are added to Chapter 17 of the Fauquier County Code. These amendments shall read as follows:

Article II.  ON-SITE SEWAGE SYSTEM DESIGN, MAINTENANCE AND MONITORING

Sec. 17-20 Categories of on-site waterborne sewage disposal systems

There are two categories of on-site waterborne sewage disposal systems:

A.     Traditional systems:

A traditional on-site sewage disposal system consists of a sewer line, septic tank, distribution box and a series of 2’ to 3’ wide drainfield laterals installed in gravel.  These systems are designed to dispose and treat the effluent at a depth of 18’’ to 54’’ and depend on the naturally occurring soil.  Traditional systems may use a sewage pump to lift the effluent to a single higher elevation.

B.     Alternative systems:

1.  Alternative proprietary pre-engineered systems:

A proprietary pre-engineered system is an alternative non-discharge system, which has received general approval from the State Health Commissioner.

2.   Alternative Engineered systems:

Engineered systems are those non-discharge systems, which have not received general approval from the State Health Commissioner.

Sec. 17-21 Design Requirements for Alternative systems

A.  Alternative proprietary pre-engineered systems:

An Authorized On-site Soil Evaluator (hereinafter AOSE) may design a proprietary pre-engineered system, which is within the pre-engineered limits of the system.  When the system is not within the pre-engineered limits or involves a reduction in disposal area, the Health Department may require design or review by a Professional Engineer, licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia in consultation with an Authorized On-site Soil Evaluator and Virginia Certified Professional Soil Scientist.

B.  Alternative Engineered systems:

Engineered systems shall be designed by a Professional Engineer licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia in consultation with an AOSE and Virginia Certified Professional Soil Scientist.

17-22 Routine maintenance and monitoring requirements for on-site systems:

A.     Maintenance and monitoring of Alternative systems:

  1. As a requirement of the design every alternative system must have an “Operation and Maintenance” manual, written in lay terms which can be easily understood by the homeowner as well as the professional operator (if required).  At a minimum, when the AOSE/Engineer prepares the original plan for the alternative system, that person must specify the effluent limits for the system as well as the routine service requirements and degree of expertise required to operate the system.  When the system design incorporates a proprietary system, the manufacturer’s operation and maintenance manual may be adequate to comply with this section if so stipulated by the designer.
  2. Alternative systems that require routine maintenance over and above traditional systems require a CONDITIONAL PERMIT with the maintenance requirements recorded as a part of the permit approval.  The conditional permit, along with the document that enumerates the conditions must be recorded and indexed in the grantee index in the Land Records of Fauquier County.  The Health Department may impose conditions based upon the maintenance requirements of the system, including but not limited to, a requirement for a maintenance contract, professional operator or demonstration of competency to operate the system by the owner/operator.
  3. Alternative systems in existence prior to the adoption of this ordinance shall be operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s and/or designer’s specifications.  Any alternative system existing on the date of adoption of this ordinance which is repaired, altered, replaced or extended shall be governed by the provisions of this ordinance.

B.  Maintenance of disposal fields for traditional and alternative systems:

1.   An appropriate ground cover shall be established and maintained over the disposal site.   Permanent lawn irrigation systems are prohibited within twenty feet of any disposal area. Trees and shrubs shall not be planted or allowed to grow in the disposal field.  The area reserved for the subsurface disposal field and future repair of the system shall be retained for that sole purpose.

2.   No structures shall be placed over the subsurface soil absorption system. Driveways or parking lots shall not be constructed on the subsurface soil absorption system unless the invert of the lead or header lines or top of the gravel in the absorption trenches is deeper than 30 inches below the ground surface and the driveway or parking lot is paved with Portland cement or bituminous concrete to prevent compaction of the trench bottom. Driveways and parking lots shall not be constructed over the distribution box unless adequate structural and access provisions are provided.

17-23  Neglect

In order to protect the public health it shall be unlawful for any owner to neglect or abuse any sewage disposal system, fail to perform the routine or necessary maintenance, fail to comply with the requirements of a conditional permit, fail to file required monitoring reports, or fail to comply with any other provision of this article.

17-24  Violations; Penalties; Applicability

The penalty for any violation of this Article shall be the same as that set forth in Article I, Section 17-19.  This Article shall apply to all systems constructed after the date of adoption.


Attachment 3

  Conventional and Alternative Systems, Including Property Transfers

ORDINANCE

AN ORDINANCE APPROVING AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 17 OF THE FAUQUIER COUNTY CODE REGARDING SEWAGE SYSTEM MAINTENANCE AND MONITORING FOR BOTH NEW CONVENTIONAL AND ALTERNATIVE SYSTEMS.

          WHEREAS, the Fauquier County Code Chapter 17 allows land owners to treat and dispose of domestic wastewater on-site; and

           WHEREAS, landowners shall obtain a Virginia Health Permit which is in substantial compliance with all State Health Department Regulations and County Regulations ; and

            WHEREAS, with the advancement of technology in pre-treating wastewater before being disposed into the soil, approved alternative systems are now available for use in soils that are not suitable for traditional systems; and

WHEREAS, the perpetual and routine maintenance of these alternative systems is imperative for the long term successful performance to ensure that the public health and the environment are protected; and

            WHEREAS, Virginia State Health Regulations do not mandate maintenance and monitoring of on-site residential sewage systems; and

WHEREAS, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors realizes the importance in mandating a maintenance and monitoring program to protect the citizens and the land and other resources of Fauquier County ; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2003 , the Fauquier County Planning Commission conducted a public hearing and voted to recommend approval of this amendment; and

            WHEREAS, on June 16, 2003 , the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing; and

WHEREAS, the adoption of this ordinance would be in keeping with the spirit of the Fauquier County Code and in the best interest of the citizens of Fauquier County ; now, therefore, be it

ORDAINED by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors this 21st day of July 2003, That Sections 17-20 and 17-21 of the Fauquier County Code be, and is hereby, amended to set standards for traditional systems and alternative systems and their design; and, be it

ORDAINED FURTHER, That Section 17-22 of the Fauquier County Code is amended to set standards for mandated routine maintenance and monitoring requirement for on-site systems; and, be it

ORDAINED FURTHER, That Sections 17-23 and 17-24 of the Fauquier County Code be amended to set standards for permit owners that neglect or are in violation of this Ordinance; and, be it

            ORDAINED FINALLY, That amendments to Sections 17-21, 17-22, 17-23, and 17-24 ar added to Chapter 17 of the Fauquier County Code. These amendments shall read as follows:

Article II.  ON-SITE SEWAGE SYSTEM DESIGN, MAINTENANCE AND MONITORING

Sec. 17-20 Categories of on-site waterborne sewage disposal systems

There are two categories of on-site waterborne sewage disposal systems:

A.     Traditional systems:

A traditional on-site sewage disposal system consists of a sewer line, septic tank, distribution box and a series of 2’ to 3’ wide drainfield laterals installed in gravel.  These systems are designed to dispose and treat the effluent at a depth of 18’’ to 54’’ and depend on the naturally occurring soil.  Traditional systems may use a sewage pump to lift the effluent to a single higher elevation.

B.     Alternative systems:

1.  Alternative proprietary pre-engineered systems:

A proprietary pre-engineered system is an alternative non-discharge system, which has received general approval from the State Health Commissioner.

2.   Alternative Engineered systems:

Engineered systems are those non-discharge systems, which have not received general approval from the State Health Commissioner.

Sec. 17-21 Design Requirements for Alternative systems

A.  Alternative proprietary pre-engineered systems:

An Authorized On-site Soil Evaluator (hereinafter AOSE) may design a proprietary pre-engineered system, which is within the pre-engineered limits of the system.  When the system is not within the pre-engineered limits or involves a reduction in

disposal area, the Health Department may require design or review by a Professional Engineer, licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia in consultation with an Authorized On-site Soil Evaluator and Virginia Certified Professional Soil Scientist.

B.  Alternative Engineered systems:

Engineered systems shall be designed by a Professional Engineer licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia in consultation with an AOSE and Virginia Certified Professional Soil Scientist.

Sec. 17-22 Routine maintenance and monitoring requirements for on-site systems:

A.     Traditional systems:

Traditional systems installed, repaired, replaced or extended after the effective date of this ordinance or located within an area designated by the County as an Aquifer Protection Overlay District or Watershed Management and Protection Overlay District must be cleaned every 5 years unless there is a garbage disposal unit or grinder pump, in which case the septic tank must be cleaned at more frequent intervals if necessary to prevent non-biodegradable material from migrating to the disposal field.  Prior to transfer of any property served by a traditional system, the owner shall furnish to the Health Department and the grantee a receipt or evidence that the system has been cleaned within the previous 5 years, and thereafter the grantee and subsequent purchasers shall be required to clean the system in accordance with the requirements of this ordinance.   After the date of adoption of this Ordinance, all new or replacement septic tanks shall be installed with adequate manholes, properly secured, to allow easy inspection and cleaning of the holding tank.

B.     Maintenance and monitoring of Alternative systems:

1.      As a requirement of the design every alternative system must have an “Operation and Maintenance” manual, written in lay terms which can be easily understood by the homeowner as well as the professional operator (if required).  At a minimum, when the AOSE/Engineer prepares the original plan for the alternative system, that person must specify the effluent limits for the system as well as the routine service requirements and degree of expertise required to operate the system.  When the system design incorporates a proprietary system, the manufacturer’s operation and maintenance manual may be adequate to comply with this section if so stipulated by the designer.

2.      Alternative systems that require routine maintenance over and above traditional systems require a CONDITIONAL PERMIT with the maintenance requirements recorded as a part of the permit approval.  The conditional permit, along with the document that enumerates the conditions must be recorded and indexed in the grantee index in the Land Records of Fauquier County.  The Health Department may impose conditions based upon the maintenance requirements of the system, including but not limited to, a requirement for a maintenance contract, professional operator or demonstration of competency to operate the system by the owner/operator.

3.      Alternative systems in existence prior to the adoption of this ordinance shall be operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s and/or designer’s specifications.  Any alternative system existing on the date of adoption of this ordinance which is repaired, altered, replaced or extended shall be governed by the provisions of this ordinance.

C.  Maintenance of disposal fields for traditional and alternative systems:

1.   An appropriate ground cover shall be established and maintained over the disposal site.   Permanent lawn irrigation systems are prohibited within twenty feet of any disposal area. Trees and shrubs shall not be planted or allowed to grow in the disposal field.  The area reserved for the subsurface disposal field and future repair of the system shall be retained for that sole purpose.

2.   No structures shall be placed over the subsurface soil absorption system. Driveways or parking lots shall not be constructed on the subsurface soil absorption system unless the invert of the lead or header lines or top of the gravel in the absorption trenches is deeper than 30 inches below the ground surface and the driveway or parking lot is paved with Portland cement or bituminous concrete to prevent compaction of the trench bottom. Driveways and parking lots shall not be constructed over the distribution box unless adequate structural and access provisions are provided.

Sec. 17-23  Neglect

In order to protect the public health it shall be unlawful for any owner to neglect or abuse any sewage disposal system, fail to perform the routine or necessary maintenance, fail to comply with the requirements of a conditional permit, fail to file required monitoring reports, or fail to comply with any other provision of this article.

Sec. 17-24  Violations; Penalties; Applicability

The penalty for any violation of this Article shall be the same as that set forth in Article I, Section 17-19.  This Article shall apply to all systems constructed after the date of adoption.

Attachment 4

MEMORANDUM

June 3, 2003

To:  Paul McCulla, County Attorney

From:  Charles Shepherd, Manager

Subject:  Projected Costs of the Chapter 17 Amendment

In response to your request we have attempted to project the cost to this office to implement a mandatory septic tank pump-out ordinance.

The costs enumerated are for additional Environmental Health personnel, both field and data entry positions.  The estimates are based on current salaries, benefits, mileage reimbursement and computer equipment costs.  If recent trends continue these costs should remain stable or perhaps drop slightly (cost of computer equipment).

You will find four major proposals divided into three possible time frames.

In category 1, all exiting systems would be included in the language of the ordinance amendment.  This would include some 45,000 to 50,000 systems and records.

The second category would cover all systems permitted since 1973.  It was at this time that we began to require a marker for each septic tank.  Although many of the markers might not be extant, many are (27,911 systems).

The third proposed time frame would be those systems permitted since 1982.  After this date the state Sewage Handling and Disposal Regulations required an "as-built" to be submitted to the Health Department.  Although many of these are relatively crude they do all have distances from a known point to the corner of each septic tank (18,636 systems).

The last grouping would be systems installed after the Ordinance is adopted (10 year average 760 systems per year).

Each of these proposed time frames are further divided into three levels depending on the degree of information provided in the system:

A. Data Entry. In this subsection the information in the files would be simply transferred               to a database for tracking purposes only.

B.  Data Entry and Approximate location of the sewage disposal system scanned into the database.  Some field visits would be necessary.

C.  Physically locating each septic tank and system by GPS so they can be entered into the GIS system.

The figures in the table are based solely on the personnel and equipment costs to the Health Department.  It does not include any additional office space or collateral County support that may be necessary to make the effort a success.  Each of the years in a five-year period is included with that time period being the goal for completion of the project.  Continuing costs after the initial five-year period would be projected to be one half of the yearly operating expense for the fifth year.

Please contact this office if you need clarification of any of the information included in this memo.

1. All Existing Systems

A. Data Entry

B. Some Site Visits

C. Locates All Sites

Year 1

     $ 45,474.64

    $ 123,098.52

    $ 292,683.58

Year 2

45,474.64

       123,098.52

292,683.58

Year 3

45,474.64

123,098.52

292,683.58

Year 4

45,474.64

161,910.46

418,119.40

Year 5

45,474.64

161,910.46

418,119.40

2. Systems Since 1973

 

 

 

Year 1

     $ 34,105.98

     $ 92,323.89

    $ 159,247.76

Year 2

34,105.98

92,323.89

159,247.76

Year 3

34,105.98

92,323.89

159,247.76

Year 4

34,105.98

92,323.89

178,653.73

Year5

34,105.98

92,323.89

238,871.64

3. Systems Since 1982

 

 

 

Year 1

     $ 22,737.32

     $ 61,549.26

    $ 119,435.82

Year 2

22,737.32

61,549.26

119,435.82

Year 3

22,737.32

61,549.26

119,435.82

Year 4

22,737.32

61,549.26

119,435.82

Year 5

22,737.32

61,549.26

159,247.76

4. Systems Since 2003

 

 

 

Year 1

              $0

            $ 0

            $ 0

Year 2

0

0

0

Year 3

0

0

12,937.23

Year 4

0

0

19,405.97

Year 5

0

0

38,811.94