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DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL
Division of Water Resources
Surface Water Discharges Section
Statutory Authority: 7 Delaware Code, Chapter 60 (7 Del.C., Ch. 60)
7 DE Admin. Code 7101
 
proposed
 
REGISTER NOTICE
SAN #2008-29
 
1. Title Of The Regulations:
Regulations Governing the Design, Installation and Operation of On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems
 
2. Brief Synopsis Of The Subject, Substance And Issues:
Substantial revisions to the Regulations Governing the Design, Installation and Operation of On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems (On-site regulations) are proposed to incorporate the Guidance and Regulations Governing the Land Treatment of Wastes spray irrigation regulatory language. The on-site regulations have been revised to address large system site investigations, hydrogeological investigations, design considerations, operation and maintenance practices, updating of individual on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system design criteria, establishment of new licensees and inspection protocols, and to establish performance standards for small on-site systems utilizing alternative technologies and all large systems.
 
3. Possible Terms Of The Agency Action:
There is no sunset date for this regulation.
 
4. Statutory Basis Or Legal Authority To Act:
Title 7, Delaware Code, Chapter 60, Environmental Control
 
5. Other Regulations That May Be Affected By The Proposal:
Upon the effective date of revised regulations, the Regulations Governing the Pollution Control Strategy for the Indian River, Indian River Bay, Rehoboth Bay, and Little Assawoman Bay Watersheds, effective November 11, 2008, Sections 6.0, 7.0 and 8.0, may be affected.
 
6. Notice Of Public Comment:
The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Division of Water will conduct a public hearing on the proposed revisions to the Regulations Governing the Design, Installation and Operation of On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems, to address the proposed changes that have occurred over the past three years as a result of discussions, public workshops, committee meetings and literature searches.
The public hearing on this proposed revision of Regulations Governing the Design, Installation and Operation of On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems will be held Thursday, May 3, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. in the DNREC Auditorium, Richardson and Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.
The proposed regulation revisions may be inspected at the following locations:
 
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
89 Kings Highway
Dover, DE 19901
 
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
20653 DuPont Blvd, Unit 5
Georgetown, DE 19947
 
The proposed regulation revisions may be inspected on the DNREC Division of Water, Groundwater Discharges Section website:
http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/wr/Information/GWDInfo/Pages/GWDS%20Design%20Install%20Operate%20Info%20For%20Proposed%20Wastewater%20Treatment%20Regulations.aspx
 
For additional information or any appointments to inspect the proposed regulation revisions at DNREC, please contact Jack Hayes, DNREC Division of Water, Groundwater Discharges Section, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, (302) 739-9948, John.Hayes@state.de.us.
Interested parties shall submit comments in writing on the proposed regulation revisions by the end of the comment period, as designated by the hearing officer at this hearing, to Jack Hayes and/or statements and testimony may be presented either orally or in writing at the May 3, 2012 public hearing. It is requested that those interested in presenting statements at the public hearing register in advance and that written statements and comments be addressed to:
 
Jack Hayes
DNREC – Division of Water
Groundwater Discharges Section
89 Kings Highway
Dover, DE 19901
 
7. Prepared By:
Jack Hayes (302) 739-9948 March 15, 2012 John.Hayes@state.de.us
 
 
7101 Regulations Governing the Design, Installation and Operation of On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems
 
FOREWORD
 
The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (the Department) finds that a substantial portion of the State’s population lives where centralized water supplies or wastewater treatment services are limited. It is the intent of the Department to aid and assist the public in the installation of on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems, where possible, by utilizing the best information, techniques and soil evaluations for the most suitable system that site and soil conditions permit.
Statewide Regulations Governing the Design, Installation and Operation of On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems have existed since 1968. Inappropriate installations and poor operation and maintenance practices have resulted in disposal system malfunctions. Inadequately renovated wastewater has contaminated the State’s groundwater and presented a threat to the public health, safety, and welfare. Corrective measures required the replacement of water supply and wastewater systems, sometimes at a very high cost which is sometimes borne by the general public. After years of working under the Regulations which were first implemented in the 1960’s, numerous deficiencies were found to be present within the same. Given this, the Department concluded that significant revisions to its Regulations.
In considering these findings, the Department determined that the adoption of effective Regulations was the proper course of action. Through a process that included considerable staff research, public meetings and presentations, public workshops, a public hearing and a hearing officer’s report along with four draft versions of these Regulations were prepared, reviewed and revised. This final version is the result of those various activities, and incorporates, as best as possible, all valid concerns into its provisions.
The purpose of these Regulations, is to prevent the problems listed above. They are based on the best information available and include the establishment of a process for updating Regulations as information changes. They include what are considered to be the best engineered design standards for on-site systems, as determined by research and practical experience. These Regulations seek to require the use of on-site systems that will function according to their performance criteria without causing the State’s ground water resources to violate U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Drinking Water Standards on an average annual basis. Wastewater management actions necessary to achieve those standards were recommended to the Department in Delaware’s 1983 Comprehensive Committee’s Final Report which has since been adopted as state policy.
The proper siting of systems is addressed by the establishment of various soil criteria which lead to the selection of the most suitable on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system for local conditions. System selection and sizing are determined using the results of the site specific soil evaluations and percolation tests. Density is addressed by the adoption of minimum lot sizes tied to appropriate treatment and disposal techniques, and in some cases, the use of scientific ground water and geological analyses that both assure renovation of degradable pollutants and dilution of wastes which are inadequately treated in the soil. Site evaluation and system selection, design, installation and pump-outs are required to be performed by individuals licensed under these Regulations. Alternative system design criteria were established to enable proper waste treatment and disposal to occur in locations where conventional systems would be inappropriate. With the advent of mortgage companies requiring wastewater system inspections prior to loan approval, the Department took a pro-active approach to create a new licensee category (Class H System Inspector) and standardized format to perform the inspection so all inspections will be evaluated under the set of criterion. Finally, a specific variance procedure is established to provide an opportunity to reconsider any provision of these Regulations, provided that proper public disclosure and adequate consideration of the consequences are provided.
In developing these Regulations, the Department operated under the philosophy that where soil and site conditions permit, the least complex, easy to maintain and most economical system should be used. Although it has not been possible to include directly every method of on-site treatment and disposal, the Department’s policy is to encourage development of systems, processes and techniques which may benefit significant numbers of people within Delaware. It is expected that these Regulations will be reviewed and revised periodically and that standards for other alternative systems will be prepared as more experience and research data become available. The Regulations contain provisions that enable that process to occur.
 
1.0 Authority and Scope
1.1 These Regulations are adopted by the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control under and pursuant to the authority set forth in 7 Del.C., Ch. 60.
1.2 These Regulations shall apply to all aspects of:
1.2.1 The planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, rehabilitation, replacement, inspection and modification of individual and community onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems within the boundaries of the State of Delaware; and
1.2.2 The planning, design, construction and operation and maintenance of onsite wastewater holding tanks within the boundaries of the State of Delaware; and
1.2.3 The licensing of percolation testers, onsite wastewater treatment and disposal system designers, soil scientists, onsite wastewater treatment and disposal system contractors, system inspectors and liquid waste haulers within the boundaries of the State of Delaware.
1.3 These Regulations shall supersede and replace Water Pollution Control Regulations #2 Governing The Installation and Operation of Septic Tank Sewage Disposal Systems, the Guidelines for Septic Tank Systems, and Part II of Section 9 of the Regulations Governing the Control of Water Pollution. With respect to the other provisions of the Regulations Governing the Control of Water Pollution these Regulations shall supersede such Regulations only to the extent of any inconsistency. These Regulations shall apply throughout the State of Delaware.
1.4 The Department has the authority to establish and collect fees for the defraying of expenses incurred by the Department for facilities and services needed to provide for the administration of its programs. The authority is contained within Amendments 4701(a), 6026(a), 7 Del.C., Ch. 60, which also contains the schedule of fees.
 
2.0 Definitions
2.1 Words and Phrases
The following words and phrases, when used in these Regulations have the meaning ascribed to them as follows, unless the text clearly indicates otherwise:
“Absorption Facility”: System of open‑jointed or perforated piping, alternative distribution units, or other seepage systems for receiving the flow from septic tanks or other treatment facilities and designed to distribute effluent for oxidation and absorption by the soil within the zone of aeration.
“Aggregate-free Chambers”: A buried structure used to create an enclosed unobstructed soil bottom absorption area and side-wall absorption area for infiltration and treatment of wastewater which can be use to replace the filter aggregate and distribution pipe in an absorption facility.
“Alteration”: Any physical change in the design capacity of an existing system or any part thereof.
“Alternating System”: Two or more disposal fields, equal in size with dosing provided alternatively to each field.
“Alternative Treatment and Disposal System”: A wastewater treatment or disposal system not specified in these Regulations which has been proven to provide at least an equivalent level of treatment as the conventional systems included in these Regulations.
“Applicant”: The owner or legally authorized agent of the owner as evidenced by sufficient written documentation.
“Authorization to Use Existing System Permit”: A written document issued by the Department which states that an on‑site wastewater treatment and disposal system appears adequate to serve the purpose for which a particular application is made.
“Aquifer”: A part of a formation, a formation, or a group of formations that contains sufficient saturated permeable material to yield economically useful quantities of water to wells or springs.
“Backfill”: Soil which is clean and free of foreign debris, placed over the disposal area and fill extensions.
“Blackwater”: Waste carried off by toilets, urinals, and kitchen drains.
“Building Sewer”: Piping which carries wastewater from a building to the first component of the treatment and disposal system.
“Cesspool”: A covered pit with a porous lining into which wastewater is discharged and allowed to seep or leach into the surrounding soils with or without an absorption facility.
“Commercial Facility”: Any structure or building, or any portion therefore, other than a residential dwelling.
“Community System”: An on‑site wastewater treatment and disposal system which will serve more than three (3) lots or parcels or more than three (3) condominium units or more than three (3) units of a planned unit development.
“Completed Application”: One in which the application form is properly completed in full, is signed by the applicant, is accompanied by all required exhibits, detailed plans and specifications, and required fee.
“Confined Aquifer”: An aquifer bounded above and below by impermeable beds or by beds of distinctly lower permeability than that of the aquifer itself and containing ground water. An aquifer containing ground water which is at a pressure greater than atmospheric pressure and from which water in a well will rise to a level above the top of the aquifer.
“Confining Layer”: A body of impermeable or distinctly less permeable material stratigraphically adjacent to one or more aquifers.
“Construction Permit”: A permit issued by the Department for the construction, alteration, repair or replacement of an on‑site wastewater treatment and disposal system.
”Construction Report”: A report prepared by the Class E Systme Contractor and submitted to the Department within 10 calendar days after the absorption facility has been completely installed.
“Conventional On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems”: Gravity, low pressure pipe, pressure-dosed, sand-lined and elevated sand mound.
“Department: The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control of the State of Delaware (DNREC).
“Developer”: A person, persons, partnership, firm, corporation, or cooperative enterprise undertaking or participating in the development of a subdivision, manufactured home community, or multi‑unit housing project.
“Director”: The Director of the Division of Water Resources for the State of Delaware or his/her authorized representative.
“Disposal Area”: The entire area used for the absorption facility.
“Distribution Box”: A box for distributing wastewater equally to separate distribution laterals of the absorption facility.
“Distribution System”: Piping or other devices used in the distribution of wastewater within the absorption facility. (Also referred to as distribution laterals)
“Dosing”: The pumped or regulated flow of wastewater to the absorption facility.
“Dosing Chamber”: A receptacle for retaining wastewater until pumped or regulated to the absorption facility.
“Down Gradient”: An area that has a lower potentiometric surface (hydraulic head) than a comparative reference point.
“Dwelling”: Any structure or building, or any portion thereof which is used, intended, or designed to be occupied for human living purposes including but not limited to, houses, houseboats, boathouses, mobile homes, manufactured homes, travel trailers, hotels, motels, apartments, and condominiums.
“Easement”: An interest in land owned by another that entitles its holder to a specific limited use or enjoyment.
“Effluent Filter”: A device placed in the outlet compartment of a septic tank which conforms to ANSI/NSF Standard 46 for the purpose of removing particulate matter before the effluent enters the absorption facility.
“Effluent Line”: The pipe beginning at the treatment unit or septic tank and terminating at the absorption facility.
“Elevated Sand Mound”: An on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system which maintains a 36 inch separation distance above the limiting zone which is pressurized into suitable fill material constructed above existing grade.
“Emergency Repair”: Repair of a broken system component where immediate action is necessary to protect public health.
“Escarpment”: Any naturally occurring slope greater than thirty (30) percent which extends vertically six (6) feet or more as measured from toe to top, and which is characterized by a long cliff or steep slope which separates two (2) or more comparatively level or gently sloping surfaces, and may intercept one (1) or more layers than limit soil depth.
“Existing OnSite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal System”: Any installed on‑site wastewater treatment and disposal system constructed in conformance with the rules, laws and local ordinances in effect at the time of construction, or which would have conformed satisfactorily with system design provided for in Department Regulations.
“Feasibility Study”: A site/soil investigative report identifying the suitability of a parcel of land for on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems. The report includes information pertinent to the Department and other local government agencies in the determination of certain land use decisions.
“Fill”: Soil material which has been transported to and placed over the original soil or bedrock and is characterized by a lack of distinct horizons or color patterns as found in naturally developed, undisturbed soils.
“Filter Aggregate”: Washed gravel or crushed stone ranging in size from 3/4" to 2 l/2" in any dimension and clean and free of fine materials (dust) or meeting grading specifications in §6.4.2.
“Filter Fabric”: Any material approved by the Department which is permeable but does not allow soil particles to pass through for the purpose of protecting the filter aggregate or aggregate free chambers within the absorption facility.
“Full Depth Gravity”: A gravity fed on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system which maintains a 36 inch separation distance above the limiting zone where the trench or bed is installed 24 inches into the natural soil.
“Governmental Unit”: The state or any county, municipality, or any part thereof.
“GPD”: Gallons per day.
“Grade”: The inclination or slope of a conduit or ground or plane surface.
“Gravity Capping Fill”: A gravity fed on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system which maintains 36 inches separation distance above the limiting zone where the trench or bed is installed between 12 and 23 inches into the natural soil below a soil cap of a specified depth and texture.
“Greywater”: The untreated wastewater that has not come into contact with toilet waste. Greywater includes wastewater from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, clothes washing machines, laundry tubs and other wastewater which does not present a threat from contamination by unhealthy processing, manufacturing or operating wastes. It does not include wastewater from kitchen sinks or dishwashers.
“Grease Trap”: A watertight tank for the collection and retention of grease that is accessible for periodic removal.
“Groundwater”: Any water naturally found under the surface of the earth.
“Holding Tank”: A watertight receptacle used to store wastewater prior to being removed by a licensed Class F Liquid Waste Hauler.
“Hydraulic Conductivity”: A specific mathematical coefficient (quantitative) that relates the rate of water movement to the hydraulic gradient. A term of Darcy’s law Q = KAi where K represents hydraulic conductivity and is the current standard for measuring a soils ability to transmit water.
“Impervious Strata and Formation”: An underground or surface layer of soil or rock which will not allow water to pass through it at a rate permissible for subsurface disposal and having a percolation rate slower than one hundred twenty (120) minutes per inch.
“Invert”: The floor, bottom or lowest portion of the internal cross section of a closed conduit or structure.
“Isolation Distance”: The horizontal distance between a system component and selected site features or structures.
“Large System”: Any on‑site wastewater treatment and disposal system with a projected wastewater design flow rate greater than two thousand five hundred (2,500) gallons per day.
“Lift Pump Station”: A receptacle for pumping wastewater to a system component to overcome slope differentials for the use of gravity distribution.
“Limiting Zone”: Any horizon or condition in the soil profile or underlying strata which includes:
The presence of seasonal or perennial saturation as evidenced by redoximorphic features or direct measurement of observation wells; or
Rock with open joints, fractures or solution channels, masses of loose rock fragments, or loose weathered rock, including gravel, with insufficient fine soil to fill the voids between the fragments; or
Geologic stratum or soil zone in which the permeability of the stratum or zone effectively limits the movement of water.
“Lot: A portion of a subdivision or parcel of land.
“Low Pressure Pipe Capping Fill”: A pressurized on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system which is installed as trenches and maintains 18 inch separation distance above the limiting zone. The trenches are installed between 9-17 inches into natural soil below a soil cap of a specified depth and texture.
“Low Pressure Pipe Full Depth”: A pressurized on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system which is installed as trenches and maintains 18 inch separation distance above the limiting zone. The trenches are installed 18 inches into natural soil.
“Malfunctioning System”: A system which is not adequately renovating or hydraulically eliminating the wastewater it is receiving as evidenced by, but not limited to, the following conditions:
Failure of a system to accept wastewater discharge or the backup of wastewater into the structure served by the system.
Direct discharge of wastewater to the surface of the ground, surface water, or groundwater without adequate renovation.
“Manifold”: A pipe with numerous branches to convey effluent between a large pipe and several smaller pipes, or to permit choice of diverting flow from one of several sources or to one of several discharge points.
“Manufactured Home”: A home built entirely in the factory under a federal building code administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Manufactured homes may be single or multi-section and are transported to the site and installed.
“Mineral Soil”: A soil that is saturated with water less than 30 days (cumulative) per year in normal years and contains less than 20 percent (by weight) organic carbon; or is saturated for greater than 30 days or more cumulative in normal years, and has an organic carbon content (by weight) of less than 18 percent if the mineral fraction contains 60 percent or more clay; or less than 12 percent if the mineral fraction contains no clay.
“Monitor Well”: A well installed for the sole purpose of the determination of subsurface conditions and collecting groundwater samples.
“Mottling: Soil irregularly marked with spots of different colors that vary in number and size which may indicate poor aeration, lack of drainage and the upper extent of the seasonal high water table.
“Observation well”: A well used for the sole purpose of determining groundwater levels.
“OnSite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal System”: Conventional or alternative, wastewater treatment and disposal systems installed or proposed to be installed on land of the owner or on other land to which the owner has the legal right to install the system.
“On-Site System Advisory Board (OSSAB)”: A panel of licensee’s representing the on-site industry, asked to serve by the Secretary, on all matters pertaining to the issuance and revocation of all on-site licenses.
“Owner”: The person who has a vested legal or equitable title to real or personal property, including an on‑site wastewater treatment and disposal system.
“Percolation rate”: The rate of water movement through a soil. Percolation rate is usually measured and assigned on the basis of elapsed time per unit volumetric water level drop. The most commonly used unit for expressing percolation rate is minutes per inch (mpi).
“Permeability”: The property of a soil horizon that enables the soil to transmit gases, liquid, or other substances.
“Permit”: The written document approved by the Department which authorizes the installation of an on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system or any part thereof, which may also require operation and maintenance of the system.
“Permittee”: Any individual, partnership, corporation, association, institution, cooperative enterprise, agency, municipality, commission, political subdivision or duly established entity to which a permit is issued.
“Piezometer”: A small diameter non-pumping well with a short screen that is used to measure the elevation of the water table or potentiometric surface.
“Platy Structure”: Soil aggregates that are developed predominantly along the horizontal axes, laminated and flaky.
“Pollution or Water Pollution”: Any alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of any waters of the state, including change in temperature, taste, color, turbidity, silt or odor of the waters, or such discharge of any liquid, gaseous, solid, radioactive or other substance into any waters of the state, which will or tends to, either by itself or in connection with any other substance, create a public nuisance or which will or tends to render such waters harmful, detrimental or injurious to public health, safety or welfare, or to domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational or other legitimate beneficial uses or to livestock, wildlife, fish or other aquatic life or the habitat thereof.
“Potentiometric Surface”: A surface that represents the level to which water will rise in tightly cased wells.
“Pressure Dosed Capping Fill”: A pressurized on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system which maintains a 36 inch separation distance above the limiting zone where the trench or bed is installed between 12 and 23 inches into the natural soil below a soil cap of a specified depth and texture.
“Pressure Dosed Full Depth”: A pressurized on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system which maintains a 36 inch separation distance above the limiting zone where the trench or bed is installed 24 inches into the natural soil.
“Pressurized Distribution”: A network of piping with orifices designed to evenly distribute wastewater under pressure through the entire absorption facility.
“Primary Treatment”: A wastewater treatment process that takes place in a tank and allows those substances in wastewater that readily settle or float to be separated from the water being treated.
“Professional Engineer”: A person registered by the Delaware Association of Professional Engineers to practice professional engineering in the State of Delaware.
“Professional Geologist”: A person registered by the Delaware State Board of Registration of Geologists to practice professional geology in the State of Delaware.
“Project Site”: The total area within the property lines of an individual lot or within the division lines of a parcel or subdivision.
“Public Health Hazard”: A condition whereby there are sufficient types and amounts of biological, chemical or physical, including radiological, agents relating to water or sewage which are likely to cause human illness, disorders or disability. These include, but are not limited to, pathogens, viruses, bacteria, parasites, toxic chemicals, and radioactive isotopes.
“Redoximorphic Features”: Characteristic soil patterns formed by the reduction, translocation and oxidation of iron and manganese oxides. The occurrence of these features may be indicative of poor drainage, or lack of aeration associated with the upper most extent of the seasonal high water table.
“Repair”: Any modification to an existing on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system necessary to fix a problem or malfunction.
“Replacement System”: An on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system to replace the existing on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system or a portion thereof.
“Sand”: Individual mineral particles in a soil that range in diameter from the upper limit of silt (0.05 millimeters) to 2.0 millimeters.
“Sand Lined System”: A type of seepage trench or seepage bed soil absorption facility constructed in sandy fill material below the natural soil surface and may require pressurization. The fill material is used to replace a natural impermeable or slowly permeable soil layer or to completely remove an existing absorption facility.
“Sandy Fill”: Materials that consist of medium sand, sandy loam, loamy sand/sandy loam mixtures (see sieve requirements in §6.4.1).
“Scarifying”: Scraping or loosening the bottom and sidewall soil surfaces in the preparation of percolation test holes, seepage trenches, beds, or similar excavations.
“Scum”: A mass of sewage solids floating at the surface of effluent and buoyed up by entrained gas, grease or other substances.
“Seasonal High Water Table”: The highest zone of soil or rock that is seasonally or permanently saturated by a perched or shallow water table. A planar surface below which all pores in rock or soil (whether primary or secondary) is seasonally or permanently saturated.
“Secondary Treatment”: A combination of unit processes that will consistently remove 85% or more of the organic and suspended material in domestic wastewater and produce an effluent of sufficient quality to satisfy the following requirements; monthly average effluent BOD5 and TSS concentrations of 30 mg/L; daily maximum effluent BOD5 and TSS concentrations of 45 mg/L.
“Secretary”: Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control or a duly authorized designee.
“Seepage Bed”: An absorption facility consisting of an area from which the entire earth contents have been removed and replaced with a network of perforated pipe, filter aggregate or aggregate-free chambers and covered with suitable backfill material.
“Seepage Pit”: A covered pit with a porous lining into which wastewater is discharged and allowed to seep or leach into the surrounding soil and is preceded by a septic tank.
“Seepage Trench”: A soil absorption facility consisting of ditches with vertical sides and flat bottoms partially filled with filter aggregate and containing perforated pipe or aggregate-free chambers and covered with suitable backfill material.
“Septage”: The liquid and solid contents of a septic tank.
“Septic Tank”: A watertight receptacle which receives the discharge of wastewater from a structure or part thereof and is designed and constructed so as to permit settling of solids from the liquid, digestion of the organic matter by detention, and discharge of the liquid portion into an absorption facility.
“Single Family Dwelling”: A residence intended for single family residential use.
“Siphon”: A hydraulically operated device designed to rapidly discharge the contents of a dosing tank between predetermined hydraulic levels.
“Site Evaluation”: The practice of investigating, evaluating and reporting basic soil and site conditions which apply to the on‑site wastewater treatment and disposal system type and design criteria.
“Slope”: Deviation of a plane surface from the horizontal. It is usually expressed as a ratio or percentage of number of units of vertical rise or fall per unit of horizontal distance.
“Soil Horizon: A layer of soil or soil material approximately parallel to the land surface and differing from adjacent genetically related layers in physical, chemical, and biological properties or characteristics such as color, structure, texture, consistence and pH.
“Soil Profile”: A vertical cross-section of a soil that shows the various soil horizons. Soil drainage or moisture status are soil characteristics that can be inferred from the soil profile.
“Soil Structure”: The combination or arrangement of primary soil particles into secondary compound particles or clusters, the principle forms of which are: platy (laminated); prismatic (prisms with rounded tops); blocky (angular or subangular); granular and columnar.
“Soil Texture”: The grain sizes that comprise a soil consisting of three textural classes; sand, silt and clay. Field methods for judging the texture of a soil consist of forming a cast of soil, both dry and moist, in the hand and pressing a ball of moist soil between thumb and finger.
The major textural classifications are observed and can be determined in the field as follows:
“Sand”: Individual grains can be seen and felt readily. Squeezed in the hand when dry, this soil will fall apart when the pressure is released. Squeezed when moist, it will form a cast that will hold its shape when the pressure is released, but will crumble when touched.
“Sandy Loam”: Consists largely of sand, but has enough silt and clay present to give it a small amount of stability. Individual sand grains can be readily seen and felt. Squeezed in the hand when dry, this soil will readily fall apart when the pressure is released. Squeezed when moist, it forms a cast that will not only hold its shape when the pressure is released, but will withstand careful handling without breaking. The stability of the moist cast differentiates this soil from sand.
“Loam”: Consists of an even mixture of sand and of silt and a small amount of clay. It is easily crumbled when dry and has a slightly gritty yet fairly smooth feel. It is slightly plastic. Squeezed when moist, it forms a cast that will not only hold its shape when the pressure is released, but will withstand careful handling without breaking. The stability of the moist cast differentiates this soil from sand.
“Silt Loam”: Consists of a moderate amount of fine grades of sand, a small amount of clay, and a large quantity of silt particles. Lumps in a dry, undisturbed state appear quite cloddy, but they can be pulverized readily; the soil then feels soft and floury. When wet, silt loam runs together in puddles. Either dry or moist, casts can be handled freely without breaking. When a ball of moist soil is pressed between thumb and finger, it will not press out into a smooth, unbroken ribbon, but will have a ribbon appearance.
Clay Loam”: Consists of an even mixture of sand, silt, and clay, which breaks into clods or lumps when dry. When a ball of moist soil is pressed between the thumb and finger, it will form a thin ribbon that will readily break, barely sustaining its own weight. The moist soil is plastic and will form a cast that will withstand considerable handling.
“Silty Clay Loam”: Consists of a moderate amount of clay, a large amount of silt, and a small amount of sand. It breaks into moderately hard clods or lumps when dry. When moist, a thin ribbon or one‑eighth (1/8) inch wire can be formed between thumb and finger that will sustain its weight and will withstand gentle movement.
“Silty Clay”: Consists of even amounts of silt and clay and very small amounts of sand. It breaks into hard clods or lumps when dry. When moist, a thin ribbon or one‑eighth (1/8) inch or less sized wire formed between thumb and finger withstand considerable movement and deformation.
“Clay”: Consists of large amounts of clay and moderate to small amounts of sand. It breaks into very hard clods or lumps when dry. When moist, a thin, long ribbon or one‑sixteenth (1/l6) inch wire can be molded with ease. Fingerprints will show on the soil, and a dull to bright polish is made on the soil by a shovel.
“Silt”: Consists largely of silt with very small amounts of clay. The soil feels very silky or floury. When pressed between thumb and finger, it will readily pulverize without forming a ribbon.
“Loamy Sand”: Is predominately composed of sand, but has enough clay so that it can be formed into a weakly developed ball with careful handling.
Sandy Clay Loam”: The predominant particle size found within this soil textural class is sand, although it contains relatively high levels of clay with lesser amounts of silt. When moist, it will form a thin ribbon that does not readily break.
“Sandy Clay”: Consists of relatively even amounts of sand and clay with very small amounts of silt. When moist, a thin ribbon can readily be formed between thumb and finger without considerable deformation or movement.
These and other soil textural characteristics are defined as shown in the United States Department of Agricultural Textural Classification Chart which is hereby adopted as part of these Regulations (see Exhibit B). This textural classification chart is based on the Standard Pipette Analysis as defined in the United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service Soil Survey Investigations Report No. 1.
Throughout these Regulations where soil textural classes and other terminology describing soils are utilized, definition and interpretation shall be in accordance with the latest edition of Soil Survey Manual (Handbook 18), Field Book for Describing and Sampling Soils, and Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the Mid-Atlantic States as published by either the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“Solum”: The upper part of the soil profile (A, E and B horizons) above the parent material in which the processes of soil formation are active.
“Spare Area”: An area set aside for construction of a second absorption facility to be used in the event the original absorption facility malfunctions or is expanded.
“Subdivision”: Any tract or parcel of land which has been divided into two or more lots for which development is intended.
“System”: Refers to an on‑site wastewater treatment and disposal system.
“System Inspector”: A person licensed by the Department to inspect, investigate, collect data and make determinations regarding the present operational condition of an on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system.
“Test Pit”: An excavation used to examine a soil profile in order to assess soil permeability and depth to a seasonal high water table using soil texture, structure, and redoximorphic features as a basis for assessing site suitability.
“Topography”: Ground surface variations or contours of the earth's surface, both natural and anthropogenic.
“Unconfined Aquifer”: An aquifer in which no relatively impermeable layer exists between the water table and the ground surface and an aquifer in which the water is at atmospheric pressure.
“Undisturbed Soil”: Soil or soil profile unaltered by filling, removal, or other man‑made changes with the exception of agricultural activities.
“Upgradient”: An area that has a higher potentiometric surface (hydraulic head) than a comparative reference point.
“Wastewater”: Water‑carried waste from septic tanks, water closets, residences, buildings, industrial establishments, or other places, together with such groundwater infiltration, subsurface water, and mixtures of industrial wastes or other wastes as may be present.
“Wastewater Utility”: Any person who engages in the business of providing wastewater disposal and related services to the public for a fee, charge, or other remuneration in the State of Delaware.
“Watercourse”: Any ocean, bay, lake, pond, stream, river or defined ditch that will permit drainage into any surface water body, excluding ephemeral watercourses as defined below.
“Ephemeral”: A watercourse which flows briefly, only in direct response to precipitation in the immediate vicinity, and whose invert is above the seasonal high water table.
“Water Table”: The surface of an unconfined aquifer where the groundwater pore water pressure is equal to atmospheric pressure.
“Waters of the State”: Public waters, including lakes, bays, sounds, ponds, impounding reservoirs, springs, wells, rivers, streams, creeks, estuaries, marshes, inlets, canals, the ocean within the territorial limits of the State, and all other bodies of surface or underground water, natural or artificial, inland or coastal, fresh or salt, within the jurisdiction of the State of Delaware.
“Well”: Any excavation that is drilled, cored, bored, washed, driven, dug, jetted, or otherwise constructed when the intended use of such excavation is for the location, testing, acquisition, use; for extracting water from or for the artificial recharge of subsurface fluids; and where the depth is greater than the diameter or width. For the purpose of this regulation this definition does not include geotechnical test, soil, telephone and construction piling borings, fence posts, test pits, or horizontal closed loop heat pump circulation systems constructed within twenty (20) feet of the ground surface.
“Zone of Aeration”: A subsurface zone containing water under pressure less than that of the atmosphere, including water held by capillary and containing air or gases generally under atmospheric pressure. This zone is limited above by the land surface and below by the surface of the zone of saturation, i.e., the water table.
 
3.0 General Standards, Prohibitions and Provisions
3.1 Each and every owner of real property is jointly and severally responsible for:
3.1.1 Disposing of wastewater in conformance with all applicable Regulations; and
3.1.2 Connecting all plumbing fixtures on that property, from which wastewater is or may be discharged, to a central wastewater system or onsite wastewater treatment and disposal system approved by the Department; and
3.1.3 Maintaining, repairing, and/or replacing the system as necessary to assure proper operation of the system
3.2 No person shall construct, install, modify, rehabilitate, or replace an onsite wastewater treatment and disposal system or construct or place any dwelling, building, mobile home, manufactured home or other structure capable of discharging wastewater onsite unless such person has a valid Class E System Contractor license and permit issued by the Department pursuant to these Regulations.
3.3 No permit may be issued by the Department under these Regulations unless the county or municipality having land use jurisdiction has first approved the activity through zoning procedures provided by law.
3.4 Any county may assume responsibility and authority for administering its own regulatory program for onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems pursuant to 7 Del.C. Ch. 60, §6003(d), if the delegated program establishes standards no less stringent than the standards established in these Regulations.
3.5 Administrative and judicial review and the enforcement under these Regulations shall be in accordance with the provisions of 7 Del.C. Ch. 60.
3.6 If any part of these Regulations, or the application of any part thereof, is held invalid or unconstitutional, the application of such part to other persons or circumstances, and the remainder of these Regulations, shall not be affected thereby and shall be deemed valid and effective.
3.7 These Regulations, being necessary for the health and welfare of the State and its inhabitants, shall be liberally construed in order to preserve the land, surface water and ground water resources of the State.
3.8 At the sole discretion of the Department, if the proposed operation of a system may cause pollution of public waters or create a public health hazard, system installation or use shall not be authorized.
3.9 All wastewater shall be treated and disposed of in a manner approved by the Department.
3.10 No person shall dispose of wastewater at any location not authorized by the Department under applicable laws and regulations for such disposal.
3.11 Discharge of untreated or partially treated wastewater or septic tank effluent directly or indirectly onto the ground surface or into surface waters of the State, unless authorized by a permit issued by the Department, constitutes a public health hazard and is prohibited.
3.12 No cooling water, air conditioning water, groundwater, oil, water softener brine or roof drainage shall be discharged into any system without specific authorization of the Department. Water softener brine shall be discharged in a manner that does not allow surface discharge (curtain drain).
3.13 Except where specifically allowed within these Regulations, no person shall connect a dwelling or commercial facility to a system if the total projected wastewater flow would be greater than that allowed under the original system construction permit.
3.14 Each system shall have adequate capacity to properly treat and dispose of the maximum projected daily wastewater flow. The quantity of wastewater shall be determined from these Regulations or other information the Department determines to be valid that may show different flows.
3.15 A permit to install a new system can be issued only if each site has received an approved site evaluation and is free of encumbrances (e.g., easements, deed restrictions, etc.) which could prevent the installation or operation of the system from being in conformance with these Regulations.
3.16 A recorded utility easement is required whenever a system crosses a property line separating property under different ownership. The easement must accommodate that part of the system, including setbacks, which lies beyond the property line, and must allow entry to install, maintain and repair the system.
3.17 Whenever real property is recorded as two separate lots under common ownership and an onsite wastewater treatment and disposal system crosses the common boundary of the recorded lots, the owner shall execute and record, in the appropriate county office of Recorder of Deeds, an affidavit which notifies prospective purchasers of this fact on a form approved by the Department.
3.18 Except as provided in these Regulations, the spare area shall be kept vacant, free of vehicular traffic and soil modifications.
3.19 All systems shall be operated and maintained so as not to create a public health hazard or cause water pollution.
3.20 Exhibits A through Z are incorporated into these Regulations by reference.
3.21 No person shall transfer any portion of real property if the transfer would create a lot boundary which would cross an existing system or any part thereof including required setbacks and isolation distances unless, a utility easement is granted to the owner of the existing system and recorded in the appropriate county office of Recorder of Deeds.
3.22 The Department shall have the power to enter, at reasonable times, upon any private or public property for the purpose of inspecting and investigating conditions relative to the enforcement of these Regulations.
3.23 No person shall transfer any portion of real property after the issuance of a permit pursuant to these Regulations if the transfer would result in the use of the permitted onsite system on a lot which does not comply with these Regulations and the terms of the permit, including density, set back and isolation distance requirements.
 
4.0 Licenses
4.1 The Department shall administer a program for the licensing of percolation testers, system designers, soil scientists, system contractors, system inpsectors and liquid waste haulers. The licensing program shall provide the issuance of licenses as follows;
4.1.1 Class A Percolation Tester: The Class A license authorizes the performance of percolation tests and other types of infiltrometer testing.
4.1.2 Class B Designer: The Class B license authorizes the design of conventional onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems which utilize gravity distribution systems for seepage beds and seepage trenches and lift pump stations as provided for in these Regulations.
4.1.3 Class C Designer: The Class C license authorizes the design of conventional and alternative onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems and all pressure distribution systems.
4.1.4 Class D Soil Scientist: The Class D license authorizes the performance of site soil evaluations, percolation and/or permeability tests or hydraulic conductivity tests.
4.1.5 Class E System Contractor: The Class E license authorizes the construction, repair and installation of on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems.
4.1.6 Class F Liquid Waste Hauler: The Class F license authorizes the removal or disposal of the solid and liquid contents of septic tanks, cesspools, seepage pits, holding tanks or other wastewater treatment or disposal facilities as specified and required under these Regulations.
4.1.7 Class GB Designer: The Class GB license authorizes the design of combined well and conventional onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems which utilize gravity distribution systems for bed and trench designs.
4.1.8 Class GC Designer: The Class GC license authorizes the design of combined well and conventional and alternative onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems and all pressure distribution systems.
4.1.9 Class H System Inspector: The Class H license authorizes the inspection, investigation and data collection to make determinations regarding the present operational condition of on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems.
4.2 It shall be necessary to have the Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, Class E, Class F, Class GB, Class GC and Class H licenses in order to engage in the specified activities under Section 4.01000 of these Regulations except the Class H license will become effective January 1, 2006.
4.3 Any person seeking a license under this Section shall submit a complete application to the Department, on a standard form provided by the Department, references and pay the non-refundable application fee, if required. All applicants for a Class A, B, D, E, F, GB and/or H license will be required to pass an examination prepared and administered by the Department to test the competency and knowledge of the applicant regarding pertinent subject matter and the application and use of these Regulations. (GB and GC licenses shall not be available until §3.4 of the Regulations Governing the Construction and Use of Wells is amended.)
4.4 In the event an applicant fails to receive a passing grade on the examination, he/she shall be so notified by the Board within 30 days. The applicant may re-apply for a subsequent examination only after completion of a training course approved by the On-Site System Advisory Board (OSSAB). The examination may be taken no more than twice in a twelve (12) month time period.
4.5 With respect to Class C licenses the following shall constitute the Department's requirements:
4.5.1 Registration as a Professional Engineer with the Delaware Association of Professional Engineers; and
4.5.2 A complete qualifications statement on approved Department forms which verify the individual's knowledge and competency in the field of onsite wastewater treatment and disposal system engineering and design.
4.6 With respect to Class D licenses the following shall constitute the Department's requirements:
4.6.1 A completed application on forms provided by the Department; a resume which demonstrates that the applicant has had relevant experience in the field of soil classification and mapping and/or site evaluations for on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems; provide three (3) references; and one of the following (4.6.2, 4.6.3 or 4.6.4)
4.6.2 Six (6) years of professional experience under the supervision of an ARCPACS Professional Soil Classifier or Class D Soil Scientist in soil classification, mapping and interpretation with nine (9) semester hours in soil science and six (6) semester hours in geological sciences from accredited college or university; or
4.6.3 Four (4) years of professional experience under the supervision of an ARCPACS Professional Soil Classifier or Class D Soil Scientist in soil classification, mapping and interpretation and an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with nine (9) semester hours in soil science and six (6) semester hours in geological sciences; or
4.6.4 Two (2) years of professional experience under the supervision of an ARCPACS Professional Soil Classifier or Class D Soil Scientist in soil classification, mapping and interpretation and a graduate degree from an accredited college or university with thirty (30) semester hours in biological, physical and earth sciences and fifteen (15) semester hours in soil science; and
4.6.5 Pass a written examination administered by the Department to test the competency and knowledge of the applicant regarding site evaluations and pertinent information contained within the Regulations as it relates to siting on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems; and one of the following (4.6.6 or 4.6.7)
4.6.6 Registration as a Professional Soil Classifier with the Federation of Certifying Boards in Agriculture, Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences (ARCPACS); or
4.6.7 Pass a field practicum prepared and administered by the Site Interpretations Advisory Council and/or the Soil Scientists on the On-Site System Advisory Board. The field practicum shall assess whether competency exists for evaluating soils specific to Delaware.
4.7 With respect to Class E licenses the following shall constitute the Department's requirements:
4.7.1 A completed qualifications statement, on appropriate Department forms, which verify the individual’s knowledge and competency of the application and requirements of these Regulations; and
4.7.2 A minimum of two (2) years of experience in the construction of on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems
4.8 With respect to Class GB licenses the following shall constitute the Department’s requirements:
4.8.1 A complete qualifications statement on approved Department forms which verify the individual's knowledge and competency in the field of gravity onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems; and
4.8.2 A complete qualifications statement on approved Department forms which verify the individual’s knowledge and competency in the placement of wells and the Regulations Governing the Construction and Use of Wells
4.9 With respect to Class GC licenses the following shall constitute the Department's requirements:
4.9.1 Registration as a Professional Engineer with the Delaware Association of Professional Engineers; and
4.9.2 A complete qualifications statement on approved Department forms which verify the individual's knowledge and competency in the field of engineering and the design of onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems
4.9.3 A complete qualifications statement on approved Department forms which verify the individual’s knowledge and competency in the placement of wells and the Regulations Governing the Construction and Use of Wells
4.10 With respect to Class H licenses the following shall constitute the Department’s requirements:
4.10.1 Furnishes certification of training completed under the National Association of Waste Transporters (NAWT) certification, Pennsylvania Septage Management Association (PSMA) certification, Delaware Technical & Community College certification program or as approved by the Board.
4.11 Responsibilities of Licensees
4.11.1 Any Class D licensed Soil Scientist may be required to notify the Department orally or in writing at least thirtysix (36) hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and state holidays, prior to conducting the site evaluation. This is at the sole discretion of the Department.
4.11.2 All Class A, B, C, D, E, F, GB, GC and H licensees are responsible for correct and complete information submitted to the Department as it pertains to current Regulations.
4.11.3 All Class E licensed system contractors shall:
4.11.3.1 Initiate work only on systems for which a construction permit has been granted; and
4.11.3.2 Comply with all applicable Regulations and requirements; and
4.11.3.3 Be responsible for the work carried out by their employees; and
4.11.3.4 Submit to the Department within ten (10) days of completion of a system, a Construction Report on forms provided by the Department, signed by the licensed contractor; and
4.11.3.5 Notify the Department 24 hours prior to construction start up to receive an authorization number, except newly licensed contractors must notify the Department forty eight (48) hours prior to initial six (6) construction start ups to receive an authorization number; and
4.11.3.6 Be the sole contact person to the Department regarding inspection call-ins, consequential changes or problems. An individual employed by the licensee may be the contact person for inspection call-ins provided that person is a Class E licensee or has been designated as a contact person in writing to the Department by the licensee prior to calling; and
4.11.4 All Class F licensed liquid waste haulers shall:
4.11.4.1 Remove all wastewater from the appropriate tanks in accordance with the guidelines as set forth by the Department; and
4.11.4.2 May repair, add or replace septic tank and/or holding tank risers, baffles, lids, distribution box lids and effluent filters.
4.11.5 All Class H System Inspectors shall perform:
4.11.5.1 All inspections of on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems shall be submitted to the Department on forms approved by the Department (See Exhibit A for the inspection form example and guidelines). These forms shall be submitted within seventy two (72) hours of inspection completion.
4.11.6 Any person who engages in the practice of professional engineering or professional geology in the specified activities under this Section shall be duly registered in conformance with the requirements of the laws of the State of Delaware.
4.11.7 The Department may issue temporary Class A, B, or E licenses to property owners who wish to conduct their own percolation testing, system design, or system installation on their own property and for their own use. Certification of the intended use will be required. The applicant shall submit an application on Department forms along with any required fee and shall demonstrate his competency in those fields by successfully completing a test conducted by the Department. The term of the temporary Class A, B, or E license shall expire upon completion of work conducted by the applicant for which the permit was issued.
4.12 In exercising exclusive licensing authority under this section, the Department shall seek the views of an OnSite Systems Advisory Board (OSSAB) regarding licensing matters. The Board shall consist of eight (8) members designated by the Secretary. The Board shall, if possible, have one (1) member who is a representative of the Department, one (l) member who is a Professional Engineer, one (1) member who is a Professional Geologist, one (1) member who is a representative of the USDA, one (1) member who is a Class D Soil Scientist, one (1) member who is a Class E System Contractor, one (1) member who is a Class F Liquid Waste Hauler and one (1) member who is a Class H System Inspector. The members of the Board shall serve at the discretion of the Secretary. The Board shall advise the Department on matters relating to issuance of Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, Class E, Class F, Class GB, Class GC and Class H licenses.
4.12.1 Upon adoption of these Regulations, the applicant for a license renewal shall submit with the renewal application proof that he/she has attended and/or satisfactorily completed a minimum of ten (10) hours of continuing education training relating to the wastewater industry. This is to include siting, design, construction, operation and/or maintenance of on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems. Class D Soil Scientists not ARCPAC certified must attend at least three (3) hours of soil related curriculum. Any training must be sponsored by recognized governmental, educational or industrial groups which include equipment manufacturers and be approved by the OSSAB. The number of hours of continuing education for first year licensees will be decided by the OSSAB and be based upon license issuance date.
4.12.2 The Secretary may suspend or revoke the license of a Class A, B, C, D, E, F, GB, GC or H licensee after considering the recommendations of the OSSAB and demonstration that the licensee has practiced fraud or deception; that reasonable care, judgment, or the application or their knowledge or ability was not used in performance of their duties; or that the licensee is incompetent or unable to perform their duties properly or;
4.12.2.1 Violated any provision of these Regulations;
4.12.2.2 Violated any lawful order or rule rendered or adopted by the Department;
4.12.2.3 Obtained his/her license or any order, ruling, or authorization by means of fraud, misrepresentation, or concealment of material facts;
4.12.2.4 Failure to obtain the necessary hours of continuing education training required by these Regulations;
4.12.2.5 Been found guilty of misconduct in the pursuit of his/her profession
4.13 Any person whose application for a license has been denied or person whose license has been suspended or revoked shall be notified in writing and provided reasons for the decision. Within twenty (20) days of notification, the person shall notify the Secretary, in writing, if an appeal pursuant to 7 Del.C. Ch. 60, §6008 is to be requested. If no appeal request is received within the designated period the decision shall become final.
4.14 Licenses issued pursuant to this Section are not transferable and shall expire on December 31st of each year. A license may be renewed yearly without examination for an ensuing year provided the licensee makes application for renewal by November 30th of each year, shows proof of the number of hours of continuing education training and pays any applicable renewal fees adopted by the Department. If the licensee fails to renew the license he/she may reapply, without examination, within the first year. If more than a year passes the licensee must reapply for the license and take all necessary examinations. A reminder will be sent to the licensee to renew his/her license by the Department. The reminder will be sent to the address on file for the licensee. It is the licensee’s responsibility to renew the license yearly and notify the Department of any changes.
 
5.0 Site Evaluations and Permits
5.1 Site Evaluation Procedures
5.1.1 A site evaluation is the first step in the process of obtaining a construction permit for an onsite wastewater treatment and disposal system. Any person applying for a permit to install a new or replacement onsite wastewater treatment and disposal system shall first obtain a site evaluation report prepared by a Class D Soil Scientist. The Department shall conduct site evaluations only for Home Rehabilitation Loan Programs (HRLP), block grant households, State Revolving Fund (SRF) sites and other qualifying income programs with similar criteria.
5.1.2 Site evaluations performed for the purpose of siting large/community systems refer to the necessary criteria in §5.14.
5.1.3 Each report shall be completed in full and be accompanied, at a minimum, by approval page(s) (excluding sites not suitable for conventional on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems), report page(s), site drawing, soil profile notes, zoning verification form and the appropriate fee. The site evaluation report shall contain specific site conditions or limitations including, but not limited to, isolation and separation distances, slopes, existing wells, cuts and fills, and unstable landforms.
5.1.4 The Class D Soil Scientist shall specify on the approval page the type of on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system that may be constructed in the acceptable on-site disposal area as indicated on the site drawing. Any other on-site wastewater treatment and disposal options available in the evaluated area shall be specified by the Class D Soil Scientist. The evaluator shall either assign a percolation rate or have the appropriate hydraulic conductivity or percolation test conducted in the proposed disposal area prior to submittal.
5.1.5 A site drawing drawn to scale showing the information referenced in §5.1.10. All site drawings are required to show a reference point such as a numbered utility pole, telephone or electrical box, building(s), property corners or fixed survey marker. A minimum of two reference points shall be noted on the site drawing when no land survey boundary stakes or markers are readily identifiable in the field, or if the site drawing is not based on a survey conducted by a licensed land surveyor. However, if the site drawing is based on a survey conducted by a licensed land surveyor, the property corner stakes or markers will suffice for identification of the parcel. Site drawing(s) shall be based on an even number scale, not to exceed 1 inch equals 100 feet. Any site drawing exceeding the dimensions of 8.5 inches X 11 inches must be submitted in duplicate.
5.1.6 Showing the location of all on-site and adjacent wells within 150 feet of the approved soils area is the responsibility of the Class D Soil Scientist. The following procedure shall be used in all cases when on-site or adjacent well(s) cannot be located. For instances where the on-site or adjacent well(s) are below ground and the homeowner or adjacent property owner states that the well is located in a certain area, this information shall suffice for verification of well location. Any well(s) that can not be verified must be researched through the Water Supply Section of the Department. The search attempts to locate any well(s) that are near the affected parcel. If, after this search is completed, the well location(s) cannot be identified the Class D Soil Scientist can state “records were researched under this property owner’s name and no information was found”. The Department then sends a letter to the adjacent well owners notifying them of the need to locate their well(s) due to the future installation of an on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system. If no response is rendered within fifteen (15) days of receipt then the new system is to be designed to maximize the isolation distance from the property line.
5.1.7 A site evaluation prescription shall follow an approach that includes consideration of topography, available area, slope gradient and uniformity, soil profile (thickness and depth of each horizon, color, percolation, absorption rate, redoximorphic features, texture (see Exhibit B), and zones of saturation), drinking water supplies, bodies of water, and shellfish growing areas. All suitable soils within the evaluated area shall be delineated regardless of isolation distances, encumbrances and easement requirements as well as any of the above conditions which may exist.
5.1.8 All soil borings, holes and/or pits shall be flagged, identified and adequately shown on the site drawing.
5.1.9 In describing the soils and soil profile, the Class D Soil Scientist shall adhere to the procedures and techniques provided in the latest edition of the Soil Survey Manual, USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 18, as published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
5.1.10 The report shall contain, at a minimum, a site drawing and observations of the following site characteristics, if present:
5.1.10.1 Parcel size, location map of project site, configuration and approximate dimensions
5.1.10.2 Slope percent and direction
5.1.10.3 Surface streams, springs or other bodies of water and their definition (i.e. shellfish, intermittent, ephemeral, etc.)
5.1.10.4 Existing wells within 150 feet of approved soils area
5.1.10.5 Escarpments
5.1.10.6 Cuts and fills
5.1.10.7 Unstable landforms
5.1.10.8 A representative number of soil profile descriptions in the evaluated area(s) and shall identify the soil series or classification to the subgroup level (i.e. Sassafras or Typic Hapludult). The geographic coordinates of each representative soil boring, a minimum of two (2), must be determined by a global positioning system. The coordinates should be reported in the following format – Latitude DD.ddddd & Longitude DD.ddddd – (5 decimal places are required for accuracy).
5.1.10.9 Zones of saturation (as indicated by redoximorphic features)
5.1.10.10 Approved soils area(s)
5.1.10.11 Encumbrances
5.1.10.12 Central wastewater or water systems availability
5.1.10.13 Any other applicable information such as hydric soils (if any recorded state or federal wetlands) or refer to Statewide Wetland Mapping Project (SWMP)
5.1.10.14 Any overhead utilities
5.1.10.15 Existing dwellings
5.1.11 The application/construction permit report may be submitted with the site evaluation, in an emergency situation, when there is a public health risk associated with a malfunctioning system. The permit shall not be approved until the site evaluation is reviewed and complies with these Regulations. Site evaluations needed to replace the malfunctioning system shall be given a priority review.
5.1.12 Once received, the report shall be reviewed for compliance with current Regulations by a DNREC Environmental Scientist with a soil science background. If the report is in noncompliance, the Class D Soil Scientist shall be notified. The Class D Soil Scientist shall contact the Department to rectify the discrepancy. The Department shall not modify any site evaluation report unless requested by the Class D Soil Scientist. The corrections shall be submitted to the Department from the evaluator and a corrected copy to the owner, etc. The review process, which may include a field check, shall take place within ten (10) working days of receipt. (NOTE: If approval cannot be issued within ten (10) working days, the property owner or authorized agent shall be notified of the delay and a tentative date of approval or denial shall be given). Once approved, the report shall be mailed to the property owner or his/her authorized agent. A percentage of randomly chosen site evaluations submitted shall be field verified by DNREC staff. Site evaluations’ requiring test pits should be reported to the Department prior to conducting the site evaluation.
5.1.13 Approval of a site evaluation indicates only that the site evaluation was conducted in compliance with these Regulations. It is not an indication of the correctness or quality of the site evaluation nor an indication that a permit can be issued.
5.1.14 The approved site evaluation report shall indicate the type of the initial and type of replacement system for which the site is approved.
5.1.15 Technical regulation changes shall not invalidate an approved site evaluation but may require the use of a different type of system.
5.1.16 The approved site evaluation shall be valid for five (5) years from the date of the Department’s approval or the adoption of this Regulation revision unless a subdivision base plan restricting well and on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system locations has been approved by the Department and recorded in the local Recorder of Deeds Office. After the five (5) year period, a site evaluation as outlined in §5.1.10, shall be submitted to the Department for approval. This site evaluation will be reviewed as outlined in §§5.1.11 and 5.1.12.
5.1.17 Supplemental soil information submitted after the original site evaluation has been approved shall include a revised approval page, report page, soil profile notes, and revised site drawing locating supplemental borings/test pits. In all cases, the new report shall be approved provided all criteria for approval are met. If the purpose of supplemental work is to change the type of system previously prescribed, another review fee shall be required. Likewise, any borings/test pits conducted greater than 100 ft. from the previously approved area, with or without a system change, shall require a review fee. On larger parcels, the area evaluated shall be delineated on the site drawing.
5.1.18 The Department shall issue a notice of its intention to deny a site evaluation when appropriate. Alternative technologies for onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems, if appropriate, may be included in the letter. The applicant still maintains his/her right to appeal the decision of the Secretary, within twenty (20) days of receipt, in accordance with 7 Del.C. Ch. 60, §6008.
5.1.19 A property owner or agent has the option to use observation wells and/or piezometers to demonstrate that redoximorphic features are not an indication of zones of saturation. The following procedures for the use of observation wells/piezometers to determine the depth and duration of zones of saturation shall be implemented.
5.2 Observation Wells/Piezometers
5.2.1 Determining the zones of saturation using observation wells and/or piezometers follow these procedures:
5.2.1.1 The property owner or authorized agent shall notify the Department, in writing, of the intent to use observation wells and/or piezometers to determine the zones of saturation.
5.2.1.2 At least three (3) observation wells and/or piezometers shall be installed and monitored at a site. If, in the judgment of the Department, more than three (3) are needed, the property owner or agent shall be notified in writing within ten (10) days of receipt of the letter of intent.
5.2.1.3 The design illustrated in Exhibit Y shall be used when constructing observation wells and/or piezometers. At least two (2) wells/piezometers shall extend to a depth of six (6) feet, at a minimum, below ground surface. However, with layered mottled soil over permeable unmottled soil, at least one (1) well/piezometer shall terminate within the mottled layer. Site conditions may, in some cases, require monitoring at greater depths. It shall be the responsibility of the Class D Soil Scientist to determine the depth of the observation wells and/or piezometers for each site and, if in doubt, they shall request the guidance of the Department.
5.2.1.4 All observation wells are required to be permitted in accordance with the current Regulations Governing the Construction and Use of Wells.
5.2.1.5 Observation wells and/or piezometers shall be installed by or under the direct on-site supervision of a well driller licensed by the State of Delaware in accordance with the current Regulations Governing the Construction and Use of Wells.
5.2.1.6 Monitoring of water levels shall be done by an individual who is licensed by the Division of Water Resources. The property owner/agent or any relative shall not, at anytime, be allowed to monitor the water levels of these wells.
5.2.1.7 The preferred monitoring is from December 1st through May 15th of the following year to verify the depth and duration of the zones of saturation during years of near normal precipitation for fall, winter and spring seasons. However, the Class D Soil Scientist may, at his/her discretion, allow clients to install wells at any time he/she deems appropriate. Depending on when peaks are observed, the State may or may not accept the monitoring for that season. A near normal monitoring period is defined as a period that has plus or minus one standard deviation of the long term mean annual precipitation. (Long term refers to 30 or more years). Also, the mean monthly precipitation during a normal period must be plus or minus one standard deviation of the long term monthly precipitation for 8 of the 12 months. For the most part, normal years can be calculated from the mean annual precipitation.
5.2.1.7.1 The Department shall field check the monitoring periodically during the time of expected saturated soil conditions at their discretion.
5.2.1.7.2 The Department may, at any time during the observation period, verify the observed water depth by conducting a soil boring next to, and of equal depth with, any of the observation wells/piezometers. If the water level in the fresh boring, after twenty four (24) hours, presents a discrepancy with the water level observed in the well/piezometer, then at the discretion of the Department, the data may be declared invalid. If the data is declared invalid, then the Department will notify the owner in writing of the invalid data within ten (10) days of determination.
5.2.2 When monitoring determines that the site is suitable, the Department will request that a new site evaluation be submitted. The monitoring information must be incorporated into the new site evaluation. An approved site evaluation report shall be issued indicating the appropriate system type(s).
5.2.3 Observation wells and/or piezometers are required to be abandoned in accordance with the current Regulations Governing the Construction and Use of Wells.
5.3 Site Interpretation Advisory Council
5.3.1 The purpose of the Site Interpretation Advisory Council (Council) is to act as an objective peer group in the review of discrepancies between the Department and Class D Soil Scientists regarding questions of interpretation of soil and site information for the purpose of siting onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems.
5.3.2 The Council shall restrict its charge to those items normally and commonly addressed when conducting a site evaluation as discussed below. The Council specifically excludes instances regarding the engineering design and/or installation of on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems except when it is directly applied to the soil science practice.
5.3.2.1 The description and interpretation of soil morphology in regard to the proper functioning of onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems utilizing the soil as part of the treatment process.
5.3.2.2 The characterization of lithologic and hydrologic limiting layers and geomorphology pertinent to the proper siting and functioning of on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems.
5.3.2.3 The recognition and documentation of site limitations for the placement of onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems (i.e. existing wells and on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems) in accordance with standard practice in Delaware.
5.3.3 The Site Interpretation Advisory Council shall be appointed by the Secretary and consist of the following members:
5.3.3.1 Four (4) non‑governmental Class D Soil Scientists actively practicing in the State of Delaware for two (2) or more years with one (1) acting as an alternate.
5.3.3.2 One (1) employee of the Department with soils and onsite wastewater industry expertise.
5.3.3.3 One (1) soil scientist designated by the State Conservationist through the State Soil Scientist, NRCS, USDA.
5.3.3.4 A Manager of the Ground Water Discharges Section (GWDS), DNREC, shall serve as a liaison to the Council without voting privileges.
5.3.3.5 All members shall serve three (3) year terms. Procedures shall be established by the Council to stagger terms so as to provide continuity.
5.3.4 Documentation and testimony regarding a review shall be submitted to the Council. After the initial review by the Council, a determination shall be made as to whether sufficient information has been submitted to render an informed decision. The Council may request additional information from the applicant before proceeding with the review. There shall be no cost to the Council for any information submitted.
5.3.5 Within thirty (30) days from receipt of the documentation, the Council shall render a decision, based on a simple majority vote, regarding which system(s), if any, are suitable under the Delaware Regulations.
5.3.6 A site visit shall be conducted by at least four (4) members of the Council. The applicant is responsible for all costs that may be incurred. Council members shall not be reimbursed for any expenses.
5.3.7 Any decision rendered by the Council shall be considered by the Secretary and may be a deciding factor in his/her decision. The applicant still maintains his/her right to appeal the decision of the Secretary in accordance with 7 Del.C. Ch. 60, §6008.
5.3.8 The Council shall designate one of its members representing the private sector to serve as chairperson for a period of one year. The chairperson, or his/her designee, serving as the principal contact person between the Council and a Manager of the GWDS, shall perform the following duties:
5.3.8.1 Call and preside at all Council meetings. (A GWDS Manager may also call a meeting, but is not entitled to preside at a Council meeting.)
5.3.8.2 Upon receipt of a request, poll the Council members and communicate the results to the GWDS Manager calling a Council meeting when appropriate. (This function may also be performed by the GWDS Manager, when necessary.)
5.3.8.3 Prepare a letter communicating the Council’s decision in each case. (The letter shall be sent within fifteen (15) working days after the Council’s decision to the GWDS Manager for signature and returned for mailing within three (3) working days.)
5.3.9 The following services shall be furnished by the DNREC to facilitate the operation of this Council:
5.3.9.1 A Manager of the GWDS shall represent the Section’s position at all Council meetings.
5.3.9.2 All submittals for consideration shall be circulated to the Council under the direction of the GWDS Manager within ten (10) working days.
5.3.9.3 A GWDS Manager, at the request of the Council chairperson, shall reserve space in the DNREC facilities for Council meetings.
5.3.9.4 The DNREC shall provide clerical services for record keeping. Records of the Council meetings shall be furnished to all Council members within fifteen (15) working days following the meetings.
5.3.9.5 The clerical person shall prepare and mail the decisions of the Council upon receipt from the chairperson.
5.3.10 The Council shall restrict reviews to those submittals directly affected by the expertise of the NRCS Soil Scientist’s decision, using one of the following two (2) methods:
5.3.10.1 A submittal from the Secretary, DNREC; or
5.3.10.2 A submittal from a Class D Soil Scientist.
5.3.11 All submittals shall be circulated to the Council membership. A majority vote of the Council is required for any submittal to be accepted for Council review.
5.4 Permit Application Procedures General Requirements
5.4.1 No person shall cause or allow construction, alteration, or repair of a system, or any part thereof, without a permit. An exception may be allowed for certain emergency repairs as set forth in these Regulations.
5.4.2 Permit applications must be designed in accordance with the prescribed system type and design considerations as specified on an approved site evaluation or Soils Investigative Report for that parcel.
5.4.3 Applications for permits shall be made by the owner of the property or the owner's legally authorized agent on forms approved by the Department.
5.4.4 An application is complete only when the form is completed in full, signed by the owner or the owner's legally authorized agent, accompanied by all required exhibits (provided an approved site evaluation report is on file) and fee. And a form from the appropriate governmental unit having jurisdiction, a statement that the local governmental unit has approved the activity by zoning. Incomplete applications will not be processed and may be returned.
5.4.5 The Department shall deny the permit if:
5.4.5.1 The application contains false information;
5.4.5.2 The proposed system would not comply with these Regulations;
5.4.5.3 The proposed system, if constructed, would violate a Department moratorium;
5.4.5.4 A central wastewater system which can serve the proposed wastewater flow is both legally and physically available as described in §§5.4.7 and 5.4.8 of these Regulations;
5.4.5.5 Construction of an on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system is prohibited by codes, ordinances or county or municipal regulations having jurisdiction
5.4.6 The completed application shall include, at a minimum, the following site information;
5.4.6.1 Parcel and/or lot dimensions and size with a location map of project site;
5.4.6.2 Slope - in absorption facility and replacement areas (percent and direction);
5.4.6.3 Existing wells within 150 feet of the proposed system;
5.4.6.4 Any and all watercourses or bodies of water;
5.4.6.5 Distances of the on-site well(s) and on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems from the nearest two fixed points of reference. Points of reference as defined in §5.1.5;
5.4.6.6 Soil boring and test pit locations along with limits of approved area as indicated on the approved site evaluation;
5.4.6.7 Any other information required to satisfy these Regulations
5.4.7 A central wastewater system shall be deemed physically available if its nearest connection point from the property to be served is:
5.4.7.1 For a single family dwelling, or other establishment with a maximum projected daily wastewater flow of not more than five hundred (500) gallons within two hundred (200) feet;
5.4.7.2 For a proposed subdivision or group of two (2) to five (5) single family dwellings, or equivalent projected daily wastewater flow, not further than two hundred (200) feet multiplied by the number of dwellings or dwelling equivalents.
5.4.7.3 For proposed subdivision or other developments with more than five (5) single family dwellings, or equivalents, the determination of central wastewater availability shall be in the sole discretion of the Department.
However, a central wastewater system shall not be considered available by the Department if topographic or manmade features make connection physically impractical.
5.4.8 A central wastewater system shall be deemed legally available if the system is not under a Department connection permit moratorium and the wastewater system owner is willing or obligated to provide sewer service.
5.4.9 When a central wastewater system is deemed both physically and legally available, as outlined in §§5.4.7 and 5.4.8, the connection must occur within a timeframe as set forth by the wastewater system owner. The existing on-site system must be abandoned in accordance with §5.8.
5.4.10 A permit shall be issued only to the owner or easement holder of the land on which the system is to be installed.
5.4.11 The Department shall either issue or deny the permit within twenty (20) working days after receipt of the completed application. However, if conditions prevent the Department from acting to either issue or deny the permit within twenty (20) working days, the applicant shall be notified. The Department shall either issue or return the permit within thirty (30) working days after the mailing date of such notification.
5.4.12 All permits issued for on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems pursuant to these Regulations shall be effective for two (2) years from the date of issuance. If the system has been started the Department may issue a limited time period extension. A one year extension will, if requested, be granted by the Department upon demonstration by the applicant that no changes have occurred in system design, siting, or regulations applicable to the permit since the permit was issued and written certification to such factual findings is provided and all appropriate fees are paid.
5.4.13 If any portion of the approved disposal area is disturbed during site construction activities, through grubbing, tree removal or other activities utilizing heavy equipment, a Class E System Contractor must submit a certification document, if necessary, prepared by a Class D Soil Scientist on a form provided by the Department which states whether the area is suitable for installation or not. If not suitable, additional soil borings or test pits shall be performed within the disturbed area(s) to substantiate the initial site evaluation.
5.5 Permit Denial Review
5.5.1 The Department shall make a decision on the application which it determines will best implement the purposes of 7 Del.C. Ch. 60 and these Regulations. Providing of the requisite information in the application procedure by the applicant shall not be construed as a mandatory prerequisite for the issuance of the permit by the Department.
5.5.2 Permit denials for systems and denial reviews may be appealed to the Environmental Appeals Board in accordance with 7 Del.C. Ch. 60, §6008.
5.5.3 If the Department intends to deny a permit for a parcel of ten (10) acres or larger in size, the Department shall:
5.5.3.1 Provide the applicant with a Notice of Intent to Deny;
5.5.3.2 Specify reasons for the intended denial; and
5.5.3.3 Offer an appeals process in accordance with 7 Del.C. Ch. 60, §6008.
5.6 Inspections
5.6.1 Construction Inspections
5.6.2 The Class E System Contractor shall contact the Department 24 hours prior to system construction to obtain a startup number to authorize the construction.
5.6.3 Changes to a permit which result in only a relocation of the system can be done by submitting a pre-inspection as-built, which requires a minimal check against the site evaluation to ensure the system is still located within approved soils and that all required isolation distances are met. These “as-builts” are to be submitted to the Department by the Class E System Contractor prior to installation. The Class E System Contractor must obtain permission from the designer prior to submittal.
5.6.4 When construction, alteration or repair of a system is complete, except for backfill (cover), or as required by permit, the Class E System Contractor shall notify the Department. The inspector shall inspect the installation to determine if it complies with these Regulations and the terms and conditions of the permit, unless the inspection is waived by the Department in accordance with §5.6.7.
5.6.5 It is the responsibility of the Class E System Contractor to confirm the results of the pre-cover inspection prior to backfilling the system.
5.6.6 An inspector shall be either:
5.6.6.1 An employee of the GWDS;
5.6.6.2 A Class C Designer or his/her designee. The Class C designer must submit a list of authorized personnel, on company letterhead, to the Department for review and approval.
5.6.6.3 Any person officially authorized by the Department to perform inspections of on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems.
5.6.7 The Department may waive the precover inspection, provided:
5.6.7.1 The installation is an on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system installed by a licensed Class E System Contractor pursuant to these Regulations; and
5.6.7.2 After system completion the Class E System Contractor provides a construction report which certifies in writing that the system complies with the Department's Regulations. If any changes were made to the system the Class E System Contractor must provide a detailed “asbuilt” plan (drawn to scale).
5.6.8 Failure to comply with Departmental Regulations and the conditions of the permit will result in verbal notification to the Class E System Contractor. Failure to correct deficiencies within ten (10) calendar days (weather permitting) will result in written notification of such to both the Class E System Contractor and permittee. Additional inspections may be required by the Department.
5.6.9 Once a system has received a satisfactory pre-cover inspection or authorization to cover without a Departmental inspection, the system may be covered as specified in the approved permit. Backfilling must be completed within ten (10) calendar days of a satisfactory pre-cover inspection, weather permitting.
5.6.10 Systems requiring earthen caps and all mound systems shall require a final cover inspection pursuant to §5.6.4 or 5.6.7. Capping of systems must be completed within ten (10) calendar days of a satisfactory pre-cover inspection or authorization to cover without Departmental inspection, weather permitting.
5.6.11 Inspections performed by Class C Designers shall conform to guidelines established by the Department.
5.6.12 In situations where the Class C Designer is not comfortable approving a system, he/she is to contact the Department immediately.
5.6.13 Existing System Inspections
5.6.14 An existing system inspector shall be either:
5.6.14.1 An employee of the GWDS; or
5.6.14.2 A Class H system inspector; or
5.6.14.3 Any person officially authorized by the Department to perform inspections of on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems.
5.7 Certificate of Satisfactory Completion
5.7.1 The Department shall issue a Certificate of Satisfactory Completion, if, upon inspection of the installation, the system complies with the Department's Regulations, the conditions of the permit, and a construction report is submitted to the Department.
5.7.2 A system shall be backfilled (covered) when:
5.7.2.1 The Class E System Contractor is notified by the Department that inspection has been waived; or
5.7.2.2 The inspection has been done and authorization has been granted to cover the system
5.7.3 Corrections necessary to meet requirements for satisfactory completion shall be made within seven (7) calendar days after written notification by the Department, unless otherwise required.
5.7.4 A Certificate of Satisfactory Completion shall be valid for a period of two (2) years from the date of issuance. After the two (2) year period, the Regulations for Authorization to Use an Existing System Permit or Alteration Permit apply.
5.7.5 Denial of a Certificate of Satisfactory Completion may be appealed in accordance with 7 Del.C. Ch. 60, §6008.
5.7.6 If the system has been placed into operation without the required Certificate of Satisfactory Completion, a Notice of Non-Compliance shall be issued to the owner and must be corrected within ten (10) calendar days or system must be abandoned in accordance with §5.8.3.
5.8 Abandonment of Systems
5.8.1 General Requirements
5.8.1.1 All systems shall be abandoned by a Class E System Contractor or other governmental appointee.
5.8.1.2 Within ten (10) calendar days of abandonment, the Class E System Contractor shall submit a System Abandonment Report on a form provided by the Department (see Exhibit Z). The report shall be filled out completely and signed by the contractor.
5.8.2 The system shall be properly abandoned when:
5.8.2.1 A central wastewater system becomes available and the building sewer has been connected thereto; or
5.8.2.2 The source of wastewater has been permanently eliminated; or
5.8.2.3 The system has been operated in violation of these Regulations, until a repair permit and Certificate of Satisfactory Completion are subsequently issued; or
5.8.2.4 The system has been constructed, installed, altered, or repaired without a required permit authorizing same, unless, and until a permit is subsequently issued
5.8.3 Procedures for Abandonment:
5.8.3.1 The septic tank, cesspool or other treatment unit shall be pumped by a Class F Liquid Waste Hauler to remove all of the contents;
5.8.3.2 The septic tank, cesspool or other treatment unit shall be removed or filled with sand, bank run gravel, or other material approved by the Department;
5.8.3.3 The system building sewer shall be permanently capped
5.9 Authorization to Use an Existing System Permit
5.9.1 Application for an Authorization to Use an Existing System Permit shall be made on forms provided by the Department and shall be accepted only when the forms are complete.
5.9.2 No person shall place into service, change the use of or increase the projected daily wastewater flow above design standards into an existing system without first obtaining an Authorization to Use an Existing System Permit or Alteration, Repair or Replacement Permit as appropriate.
5.9.3 An Authorization to Use an Existing System Permit is not required:
5.9.3.1 Where there is a replacement of a manufactured home with similar units in manufactured home communities with onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems when an annual inspection has taken place by the Department or an authorized designee certifying that the existing system(s) is/are not malfunctioning.
5.9.3.2 For use of a previously unused system for which a Certificate of Satisfactory Completion has been issued within one (l) year of the date that such system is placed into service, provided the projected daily wastewater flow does not exceed the design flow.
5.9.4 For changes in the use of an existing system where no increase in wastewater flow above design standards is projected, or where the design flow is not exceeded an Authorization to Use an Existing System Permit shall be issued if:
5.9.4.1 The existing system is not malfunctioning; and
5.9.4.2 All isolation distances from the existing system can be maintained; and
5.9.4.3 The proposed use would not create a public health hazard; and
5.9.4.4 If the Department has no record of an existing on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system, no connection to that system shall be permitted until an inspection has been performed provided the following are uncovered and left uncovered prior to the inspection:
5.9.4.4.1 Septic tank
5.9.4.4.2 Distribution box
5.9.4.4.3 Corners of each trench or the bed (additional area may be required upon inspection)
5.9.5 If the conditions of §5.9.4 cannot be met, an Authorization to Use an Existing System Permit shall be withheld until such time as alterations and/or repairs to the system are made.
5.9.6 For changes in the use of a system where projected daily wastewater flows would be increased above design criteria an Alteration, Repair or Replacement permit must be obtained.
5.9.7 The Department may allow a manufactured home to use an existing system serving another dwelling, in order to provide temporary housing for a family member suffering hardship, by issuing an Authorization to Use an Existing System Permit, if:
5.9.7.1 The Department receives satisfactory evidence which indicates the family member is suffering physical or mental impairment, infirmity, or is otherwise disabled and is in need of temporary housing; and
5.9.7.2 The system is not malfunctioning; and
5.9.7.3 The application is for a manufactured home; and
5.9.7.4 Evidence is provided that a hardship manufactured home placement is allowed on the subject property by the governmental agency that regulates zoning, land use planning, and/or building; and
5.9.7.5 A full system replacement area is available according to an approved site evaluation
5.9.8 An Authorization to Use an Existing System Permit issued for personal hardship shall remain in effect for a specified period, not to exceed cessation of the hardship. The Department shall impose conditions in the Authorization to Use an Existing System Permit that are necessary to ensure protection of public health. If the system fails and additional replacement area is no longer available, the manufactured home must be removed from the property.
5.10 Alteration of Existing Systems:
5.10.1 No person shall alter or increase the design capacity of an existing system without first obtaining an Alteration Permit.
5.10.2 No person shall increase the projected daily wastewater flow into an existing system beyond the design capacity of the system until an Alteration Permit is obtained.
5.10.3 The Department may issue an Alteration Permit if:
5.10.3.1 The existing system is not malfunctioning; and
5.10.3.2 An approved site evaluation report has been obtained; and
5.10.3.3 The proposed installation will be in compliance with these Regulations
5.10.4 Upon completion of installation of that part of a system for which an Alteration Permit has been issued, the permittee shall obtain a Certificate of Satisfactory Completion from the Department.
5.11 Repair and Replacement of Existing Systems
5.11.1 Steps to repair a malfunctioning system shall be initiated immediately and continued until system repair is completed. However, if, at the sole discretion of the Department, it is determined that adverse soil conditions exist due to climatic conditions that would likely preclude a successful repair, the Department may allow a delay in commencing repairs until the soil conditions improve. If this allowance is made, a compliance date and interim system maintenance requirements shall be specified in system construction deficiencies to the system owner.
5.11.2 No person shall repair a malfunctioning system without first obtaining a Repair Permit. Emergency repairs of broken system components, as specifically defined in these Regulations (see §2.0), may be made without first obtaining a permit provided a permit is applied for within three (3) working days after the emergency repairs are begun. Such a delayed application submittal does not relieve any person from complying with subsequent requirements or conditions of approval as may be imposed by the Department.
5.11.3 Upon completion of installation of that part of a system for which a Repair Permit has been issued, the permittee shall obtain a Certificate of Satisfactory Completion from the Department.
5.11.4 The following criteria for a Repair or Replacement Permit shall apply:
5.11.4.1 If the site characteristics and standards described in these Regulations can be met, then the repair installation shall conform to them.
5.11.4.2 If the site characteristics or standards described in these Regulations cannot be met, the Department may allow a reasonable repair or replacement installation in order to eliminate a public health hazard. Reasonable repairs or replacements may require the installation of an alternative system in order to eliminate a public health hazard. In such cases the Department shall use its best professional judgment in approving repairs or replacements that will reasonably enable the system to function properly.
5.11.5 Malfunctioning systems that cannot be repaired shall be abandoned in accordance with these Regulations.
5.12 Alternative Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems
5.12.1 Alternative technology onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems may be appropriate for areas where site constraints limit the suitability for conventional system types. The Department shall consider applications for alternative wastewater treatment and disposal systems on a casebycase basis. It is the policy of the Department to pursue a program of experimentation for the purpose of obtaining sufficient data for the development of alternative wastewater treatment and disposal systems, which may benefit the people of Delaware. For the purposes of this section, applications for community systems that employ advanced treatment units which are in conformance with standard engineering practice as determined by the Department shall not be considered alternative.
5.12.2 Applications for alternative on-sitewastewater treatment and disposal systems shall provide documentation of the capabilities of the proposed system. Such documentation shall be in the form of proven data of long term usage of facilities similar to those specified in these Regulations, or short term documentation from controlled projects from reliable sources such as Universities or the National Sanitation Foundation. The Department shall approve only treatment and disposal system applications that provide thorough documentation of proven technology. Alternative on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems shall provide, at a minimum, an equivalent level of treatment and disposal as a conventional wastewater system. Alternative wastewater products will require the same documentation as above however, these will not require a Class C designer to incorporate into a design.
5.12.3 No person shall construct an alternative onsite wastewater treatment and disposal system without obtaining a permit from the Department.
5.12.4 Applications for alternative systems shall be made to the Department. The application shall be complete, signed by the owner and accompanied by the required fee. The application shall include detailed system design specifications, plans and any additional information requested by the Department.
5.12.5 Applications for alternative on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
5.12.5.1 Volume and rate of wastewater flow
5.12.5.2 Characteristics of the wastewater
5.12.5.3 The degree and extent of treatment expected
5.12.5.4 Design criteria, specifications, and drawings including a description of the system, its capabilities, operation and maintenance requirements, unique technical features and system advantages for treatment systems
5.12.5.5 Construction materials
5.12.5.6 Operational and maintenance details along with their requirements
5.12.5.7 The seal of a Professional Engineer having a Class C license may be required
5.12.5.8 Any other information required by the Department
5.12.6 Sites may be considered for Alternative System Permits where:
5.12.6.1 Soils, climate, ground water, or topographical conditions are indicating the seasonal high water table or a limiting condition is encountered deeper than ten (10) inches below the soil surface or observation well data determines the seasonal high water table is deeper than ten (10) inches; and
5.12.6.2 A specific acceptable backup alternative is available in the event of system failure; and
5.12.6.3 Installation of a particular system is necessary to provide a sufficient sampling data base; and
5.12.6.4 Zoning, planning, and building requirements allow system installation; and
5.12.6.5 The system will be used on a continuous basis during the life of the project
5.12.7 The permit shall:
5.12.7.1 Specify method and manner of system installation, operation and maintenance;
5.12.7.2 Specify method, manner and duration of system testing and monitoring, at the Department’s discretion;
5.12.7.3 Identify when and where the system is to be inspected;
5.12.7.4 Require system construction and use within two (2) years of permit issuance
5.12.8 Inspection of all installed systems shall be performed by a Class C Designer and the Department. Upon completion of each phase requiring inspection by the permit, the Class E System Contractor shall notify the Department and the Class C Designer.
5.12.9 The Department may inspect construction at any time to determine whether it complies with permit conditions and requirements.
5.12.10 After system installation is complete and the Department has determined that it complies with permit conditions, a Certificate of Satisfactory Completion shall be issued.
5.12.11 If the Department finds the operation of the system is unsatisfactory, the owner, upon written notification by the Department shall promptly repair or modify the system, replace it with another acceptable system, or abandon the system.
5.12.12 The system will be monitored by the Department and/or the Department’s designee in accordance with a schedule contained in the permit.
5.12.13 Should any additional guidelines be developed by the Department, the permitee would be responsible for meeting these guidelines.
5.13 Community Systems
5.13.1 Without first applying for and obtaining a construction permit, no person shall install a community onsite wastewater treatment and disposal system.
5.13.2 A community on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system shall be required when any of the following conditions exist:
5.13.2.1 Proposed number of lots is one hundred (100); or
5.13.2.2 Where overall density of the subdivision or planned unit development is more than one dwelling unit per ½ acre.
5.13.3 Applications for permits to construct community on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems shall provide documentation which addresses ownership, transfer of ownership, maintenance, repairs, operation, performance and funding of the on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system through the design life of the system. This documentation shall be in the form of a Binding Agreement between the applicant for the construction permit, the "permittee", and an operator or owner/operator. The Binding Agreement must:
5.13.3.1 Identify an Operator or Operator and Owner (Operator) that will assume the operation, management, maintenance and repairs of the community on-site wastewater and disposal system, "the wastewater system", upon satisfactory completion of the construction, by providing:
5.13.3.1.1 Full name and business address of the Operator;
5.13.3.1.2 A description of the Operator’s experience, training and education in the wastewater treatment and disposal industry, together with any supporting data regarding the Operator’s qualifications in the industry;
5.13.3.1.3 Proof of the Operator’s financial solvency by providing a business financial statement (including balance sheet) that is not more than six (6) months old, and a statement of financial encumbrances;
5.13.3.1.4 A list of licensed wastewater treatment facility operators employed by the Operator
5.13.3.2 Identify the terms and conditions under which the Operator shall assume operational responsibility or ownership of the wastewater system.
5.13.3.3 Provide a detailed description of the wastewater system.
5.13.3.4 Disclose any existing encumbrances, liens or other indebtedness to the title of the wastewater system.
5.13.3.5 Provide an operating budget with sufficient funds for the proper operation and maintenance of the wastewater system, including the accumulation of funds necessary to provide for repair or replacement of mechanical components of the wastewater system based on manufacturer recommendation. The operating budget shall include the establishment of an escrow account to be used exclusively for repair and replacement of failed or failing components of the wastewater system. The escrow account may not be used for phasing construction or the expansion of the wastewater system to accommodate additional residential units.
5.13.3.5.1 The value of the escrow account shall be equivalent to 25% of the cost of all mechanical equipment (e.g., pumps, flow meters, aerators, blowers, gear boxes, etc.) plus 50% of the cost of construction of the wastewater treatment and disposal system (e.g., infiltration beds, trenches, etc.).
5.13.3.5.2 Funds shall be deposited into the escrow account as residential units are connected to the wastewater system. The amount of funds deposited shall be equivalent to the percentage of units connected to the wastewater system (i.e., at 50% of build-out, the balance of the escrow account shall equal 50% of the amount established in 1, above).
5.13.3.5.3 The escrow account shall be transferred to either the owner/operator or an established Homeowners Association upon satisfactory completion of construction of the wastewater system.
5.13.3.5.4 The owner of the wastewater system shall notify the Department, in writing, of intent to access funds from the escrow account. The escrow funds may not be used without prior approval of the Department. When escrow funds are used for the repair and/or replacement of mechanical equipment, the owner must submit a plan for the reestablishment of the escrow fund balance through the use of user fees or other sources.
5.13.3.5.5 The escrow account established for a community or a development can only be used for the community or development for which it was established. Accounts for non-contiguous communities or developments may not be co-mingled.
5.13.3.5.6 If the community wastewater system for which the escrow account was established is abandoned, and the community development connects to a regional or municipal wastewater treatment facility, the escrow account may be reduced to cover 25% of the replacement cost of all mechanical equipment associated with the transmission and conveyance sewer lines. If the transmission and conveyance sewer lines are all gravity lines, with no lift stations, pumps, or other mechanical equipment, the escrow account may be terminated and the funds returned to the wastewater system owner.
5.13.3.6 Be approved by the Department and fully executed before a construction permit is issued by the Department.
5.13.3.7 The Department shall have the right to inspect and review the financial records of the owner of the wastewater system, to include the operating budget, escrow account, and financial statements.
5.13.4 Prior to initiation of construction of any part or component of the community system the permittee shall provide the Department with an executed performance bond, irrevocable letter of credit, or other security, as approved by the Department, for every wastewater system they are constructing. The performance bond shall be made payable to the Department and the obligation of the performance bond shall be conditioned upon the fulfillment of all requirements related to the construction permit. Terms of the performance bond shall be:
5.13.4.1 The amount shall be equivalent to 50% of the construction cost of the wastewater system (excluding the conveyance system and its appurtenances), but in no case shall it be less than $25,000 nor more than $100,000 for any single community system.
5.13.4.2 A performance bond is not required for any local, municipal, county, state, federal government agency, non-profit association representing property owners, political subdivision, or utility that is regulated by the Public Service Commission.
5.13.4.3 Liability under the performance bond shall run to the State for a continuous period. The Department shall release the bond only after the wastewater system has been constructed in accordance with approved plans and has been turned over to an established homeowners association, their designee, or exempted trustee identified in §5.13.4.2 above, provided the requirements of §5.13.4.7 are met.
5.13.4.4 The performance bond shall be executed by the permittee through a corporate surety licensed to do business in the State of Delaware. In lieu of a performance bond, the permittee may elect to provide an original irrevocable letter of credit equal to the required sum of the performance bond.
5.13.4.5 The obligation of the permittee under the performance bond shall become due and payable for the purposes of properly fulfilling the requirements of the permit when the Department has:
5.13.4.5.1 Notified the permittee that the conditions of the permit have not been fulfilled and specified the specific deficiencies in the fulfillment of the permit conditions;
5.13.4.5.2 Given the permittee a reasonable opportunity to correct the deficiencies and to fulfill all the conditions of the permit; and
5.13.4.5.3 Determined that, at the end of a reasonable length of time, some or all of the deficiencies specified under §5.13.4.5.1 above remain uncorrected.
5.13.4.6 The Department has the authority to designate a new Operator in the event that the provisions of §5.13.4.5 have been implemented. Upon formal transfer of ownership of a community wastewater system to an entity identified in §5.13.4.2, the performance bond requirement shall cease, provided the Department has determined that the wastewater system has been constructed in accordance with approved plans and is operating properly.
5.13.4.7 Once the Department has verified that the wastewater system has been constructed in accordance with approved plans, the owner may apply for a permit to operate the system.
5.13.5 The permit application shall also include the following documents for legal review by the Department;
5.13.5.1 A Purchase and Sale Agreement which specifies that the purchaser or a dwelling unit has an encumbrance on the title for wastewater treatment and disposal system operation fees, easements, and other assessments related to the community system.
5.13.5.2 An Acknowledgment of Buyer which is appended to the Purchase and Sale Agreement and signed by the buyer after being furnished copies of appropriate agreements, covenants, restrictions, Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the Owners’ Association, and indicates understanding that the buyer is obligated to pay assessments for maintaining the community system.
5.13.5.3 The Articles of Incorporation which establishes the owner's association as a statechartered, nonprofit corporation and gives the owners' association specific authority to operate, maintain, and repair the community system; to collect fees and special assessments; and to enforce any covenants, restrictions, or agreements.
5.13.5.4