Introduced by Representative Smith of New Haven
Subject: Conservation; wastewater permit
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to expand the scope of working systems as the term is applied to wastewater treatment. The proposal is to allow discharge to be exposed to open air or to pool on the ground if advanced wastewater treatment and disinfection have been employed. It also proposes to require the secretary of natural resources to adopt rules to allow the immediate use of new wastewater management technologies that are approved for use in other states with climates and soils that are similar to the climate and soils within the state of Vermont.
AN ACT RELATING TO ON-SITE WASTEWATER SYSTEMS
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. § 1972(5) is amended to read:
(5)(A) “Failed system” means a wastewater system that is functioning in a manner:
(i) that allows wastewater to be exposed to the open air, pool on the surface of the ground, discharge directly to surface water, or back up into a building or structure, unless, in any of these instances, the approved design of the system specifically requires the system to function in such a manner; or
(ii) that results in a potable water supply being contaminated and rendered not potable; or
(iii) that presents a threat to human health.
(B) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (A) of this subdivision (5), a system shall not be a failed system if:
(i) these effects can be and are remedied solely by minor repairs, including the repair of a broken pipe leading from a building or structure to the septic tank, replacement of a cracked or broken septic tank, or replacement of a broken pump or associated valves, switches, and controls; or
(ii) these effects have lasted for only a brief period of time, the cause of the failure has been determined to be an unusual and nonrecurring event, and the system has recovered from the state of failure. Systems which have recurring, continuing, or seasonal failures shall be considered to be failed systems; or
(iii) the system is designed by a registered professional engineer to retain effluent under the wastewater system 18 inches to the water table and six inches below ground surface for a horizontal distance downgradient of the disposal system for a minimum of 50 feet, using natural or imported material and allowing any discharge to then be exposed to the open air or to pool on the surface on the ground, provided that advanced wastewater treatment and disinfection (using ultraviolet light, at a minimum) are employed in the design of the system. The engineer shall sign a statement certifying that the system was inspected in accordance with law.
(C) If a project is served by multiple wastewater systems, the failure of one system will not require the issuance of a permit or permit amendment for any other system that is not in a state of failure.
Sec. 2. RULEMAKING
The secretary of natural resources, under existing rulemaking authority in 10 V.S.A. chapter 64, shall adopt rules necessary to allow the immediate use of new wastewater management technologies that are approved for use in other states with climates and soils that are similar to the climate and soils within the state of Vermont. These new systems must meet the performance standards established by law.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street