Illinois Drafts Standards For Direct Discharge

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency drafted a general NPDES permit to set water quality and management standards for direct discharge from 1,500-gpd buried or recirculating sand filters, waste stabilization ponds, and aerobic treatment plants listed by NSF for Class I effluent.

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The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency drafted a general NPDES permit to set water quality and management standards for direct discharge from 1,500-gpd buried or recirculating sand filters, waste stabilization ponds, and aerobic treatment plants listed by NSF for Class I effluent. If the state does not adopt the standards, the legislation will prohibit direct discharge from these systems on Jan. 1, 2013.

Direct discharging represents more than 40 percent of annual state onsite permits, and estimates place the number of existing systems at more than 150,000.

Colorado

The Gilpin County Board of Health adopted new onsite regulations requiring more thorough site characterizations for system designs and time-of-sale pumping and inspection of systems more than five years old. Inspectors must be National Association of Wastewater Transporters-certified or equivalent, and violations must be corrected before closing. That includes abandonment of cesspools and straight pipes when found. Extensive outreach is under way to inform local engineers and real estate associations of the new requirements.

Florida

The state legislature passed a bill delaying implementation of Senate Bill 550 from Jan. 1 to July 1. The bill would require all of the state’s estimated 2.6 million septic tanks to be inspected every five years and brought into compliance with health department regulations by 2016. The decision also delays the Department of Health mandate to test water tables as part of the inspections. Some lawmakers are fighting to repeal the measure, saying it’s extreme and costly to homeowners.

South Dakota

The Rapid City council proposed changing the city’s onsite system inspection program to mirror the one in Pennington County, eliminating the overlap in city and county jurisdiction. If approved, the frequency of inspections and permit costs for onsite systems would be lowered to match those in the county.

The city operating permit fee is $125 with inspections every three years. Outside city limits, the fee is $20 with inspections every six years. The city also charges $150 to permit new systems and $125 to repair systems, compared with the county’s $300 per system. The city oversees 3,150 onsite systems. If approved, the changes would go into effect 20 days after publication.

North Carolina

The state Environmental Management Commission approved regulations to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in Falls Lake, Wake County’s largest source of drinking water. The law, which took effect Jan. 15, covers new and existing development with sewer and onsite systems discharging to the watershed. The two-stage program will put the lake in compliance within 30 years, time enough for local governments to determine whether the rules work as designed.

Michigan

City of Grand Rapids commissioners compromised with eight suburbs after consulting with onsite installers and well drillers. Instead of requiring residents within 200 feet of a municipal water and sewer line to hook to it if their well or onsite system failed, they now have the option to replace systems if they fit on the property. The Utility Advisory Board also approved the rules. Installers and drillers objected to the original version, saying it would cost homeowners up to $30,000 to tie into the city system.

Maryland

In response to a Rules and Regulations item in the January issue, the Maryland Department of the Environment has clarified that a one year ban on drip irrigation systems applies to large, land applications systems and not residential systems. The clarification comes from Steven Krieg, a sanitarian in the MDE On-Site Systems Division in an e-mail to several installers in the state.



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