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Engineered and Multi-User Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

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engineered and multiple user subsurface wastewater disposal systems
Engineered and Multiple User Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Background

Maine is a predominantly rural state, and relies heavily on decentralized sewage disposal facilities for disposal of human waste, i.e., on-site sewage disposal systems. The Division of Environmental Health and its predecessors have regulated on-site sewage disposal since 1926.

The Subsurface Wastewater Program provides technical and administrative assistance to local plumbing inspectors who issue both internal and subsurface permits, conduct construction inspections, and perform enforcement actions.

The Subsurface Wastewater Program is responsible for licensing soil site evaluators to insure proper design of sewage systems. Improper design and or installation can cost the homeowner as much as $20,000.

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Engineered and Multiple User Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Program Goals

To oversee the proper design and construction of subsurface sewage disposal systems, and the system of inspection necessary to monitor compliance.

To develop and administer a voluntary certification program for on-site sewage disposal system installers, in conjunction with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

To develop and maintain a database to track causes and rates of on-site sewage disposal system failure.

To increase public awareness of on-site sewage disposal system issues, through increased use of Internet resources, regular printings of a Program newsletter, and increased outreach programs.

engineered and multiple user subsurface wastewater disposal systems4
Engineered and Multiple User Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Program Activities

Maintain copies of all internal plumbing and subsurface waste water permits issued statewide.

Process approximately 30,000 plumbing permits annually, which generate approximately $400,000 in dedicated revenue.

License qualified Soil Site Evaluators to design subsurface waste water disposal systems pursuant to CMR 245.

Review administration of CMR 241 by municipalities and Local Plumbing Inspectors pursuant to 30-A M.R.S.A. § 4212 et. seq.

engineered subsurface wastewater disposal systems
Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Definition

An engineered onsite sewage disposal system is one which is designed to serve either:A design flow of 2,000 gallons per day or more, orA waste flow with a combined BOD5 and TSS greater than 1,400 mg/l.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

BackgroundThe size and/or complexity of engineered systems require that analysis, design construction, operation, and maintenance be undertaken at a level that is higher than the minimum requirements for small residential systems.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Background

There are four responsible parties involved in the engineered system design and review process: the owner, the design engineer, the State, and the LPI.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Background

The owner must accurately describe the intended uses (present and future) for the system. The owner must subsequently operate the system within the design parameters, following the designer’s recommendations for inspection and maintenance, as well as any state or local regulations.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Background

The design engineer is responsible for defining the needs of the client, investigating the site, designing the system, overseeing installation, and recommending operation and maintenance practices.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Background

Design engineers frequently retain the services of subcontractors, such as Project Managers, Site Evaluators and Geologists, to prepare various exhibits for the application.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Background

The Department conducts a desk review of the proposal, checks for completeness of the application, reviews the reasonableness of data and assumptions, spot-checks calculations, checks for compliance with minimum requirements of the Rules, and gives permission to the Local Plumbing Inspector to issue the necessary permits.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Background

The Local Plumbing Inspector issues the necessary permit(s) after receiving permission from the Department to do so and when satisfied that the design pre-construction conditions are representative of the actual site conditions. The LPI shall inspect the site in a timely manner in order to be able to state with reasonable assurance that the system was installed as described in the approved plans.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Application

A preliminary discussion between the Department, the design engineer and any other consultants as appropriate shall take place to identify any specific requirements related to the application, before a final submission for review and approval is made. From the preliminary discussion through acceptance of the design engineer’s statement of compliance, the design engineer shall be the primary point of contact with the Department.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Application

Unlike non-engineered systems, all engineered systems require Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Environmental Health approval. The application consists of an Engineered System Application Form, plans, various exhibits, and any specific requirements identified in the preliminary discussion.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Application

“Exhibit A” is a copy of the relevant section of the USGS 7.5’ topographic map, if available, or 15’ topographic map showing the location of the proposed engineered disposal system.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Application

“Exhibit B” is an analysis of the proposed system design showing that there is adequate vertical separation between the bottom of the disposal field and any mounded water table.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Application

“Exhibit C” is an analysis of the proposed system design showing that there are sufficient suitable soils down-gradient to prevent the effluent from surfacing within 50 feet of the disposal field.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Application

“Exhibit D” is a complete HHE-200 Form, and variance forms if applicable, signed by a Professional Engineer. The design engineer may reference associated plans and soil test pit logs on pages 2 and 3 of the HHE-200 Form.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Application

“Exhibit E” is an operations and maintenance manual for the owner, including inspection schedules, pumping schedules, and record keeping procedures. Manufacturer’s operations and maintenance manuals for devices and/or equipment may be included in this exhibit, but shall not be a substitute for the exhibit.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Application

“Exhibit F” is soil test pit logs prepared by a licensed Site Evaluator. The test pits shall be of sufficient number to accurately describe the site conditions under the proposed disposal area and the down gradient fill extension.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Application

“Exhibit G” is plans for the proposed engineered disposal system meeting provisions of Section 1102 of the Maine Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules, signed and stamped by a Maine licensed Professional Engineer. Two sets of plans are required, or one set of plans and one set of copies no larger than 11” x 17”.

engineered subsurface wastewater disposal systems22
Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Application

A reserve area with suitable soil conditions shall be delineated on the plan for first time systems and reserved for the possible expansion or replacement of the proposed engineered system.

For systems with pumps, the pump-on and pump-off switches shall be set at appropriate levels to provide a dose volume as required by the manufacturer. The pump-off switch shall be set 6 inches above the pump intake. The pump-on switch shall be set at a distance that is calculated by means of Equation 1102.14 of the Rules.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Application

The Department may request additional information from the applicant through the design engineer. If the applicant fails to provide any additional information requested by the Department within 180 days of the request, the application will automatically be denied.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Permitting & Inspection

The plumbing inspector shall not issue a permit for an engineered system without first receiving a letter of approval from the Department.

The Local Plumbing Inspector will inspect engineered disposal systems in accordance with Section 111.0. In addition, the property owner shall retain the design engineer to inspect the construction of the system. The inspection shall be sufficient for the engineer to determine that the system was installed as designed.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Permitting & Inspection

The design engineer shall provide the Local Plumbing Inspector, the owner and Department with a written statement that the system was installed in compliance with this code and the conditions of the permit. Any changes from the approved drawings and specifications shall be noted.

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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Process Summary

  • Owner and design engineer meet.
  • Pre-application discussion between Department and design engineer occurs.
  • Design engineer and/or subcontractors inspect the site and prepare exhibits. This sometimes occurs prior to the pre-application discussion.
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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Process Summary

  • Application is submitted to the Department for review and approval.
  • Department forwards a review copy to MDEP for comments, pursuant to Memorandum of Agreement dated 06/11 & 24/98. Under the MOA, the MDEP has 20 working days to respond.
  • Department reviews the application and writes appropriate final action (approval or denial).
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Engineered Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Process Summary

  • Department sends the original signed final action to the design engineer unless otherwise requested in the application.
  • Copies are sent to the owner, Local Plumbing Inspector, Site Evaluator, MDEP reviewer, and any other interested parties.
multi user subsurface wastewater disposal systems
Multi-User Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Definition

A multi-user (common) system is designed to serve three or more parcels with structures under individual and separate ownerships, and when the disposal system is not owned by one party or entity. All multi-user systems require prior review and approval by the Department.

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Multi-User Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Criteria

  • Multi-user systems have some elements in common with engineered systems, but do not need to be designed by a Professional Engineer if the design flow is less than 2,000 gpd.
  • Ownership of all parts of the multi-user system beyond the building sewer shall be vested in a single and independent, legally established entity under Maine law.
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Multi-User Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Criteria

  • The entity may charge a maintenance or other fee to assure sufficient capitalization to meet its responsibility to maintain the multi-user system.
  • The entity shall be liable for the operation, maintenance, repair, or replacement of all parts of the system beyond the individual building sewers. It shall keep the system free of any nuisance or threat to public health or contamination of the environment.
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Multi-User Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Criteria

  • The entity shall have the right by easement to enter upon properties that are tied to the system for the purpose of servicing, maintaining, repairing, or replacing all parts of the common system.
  • The entity shall also have an access easement recorded against the properties associated with or necessary for the system. This easement shall provide for servicing, repairing, or replacing all parts of the common system.
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Multi-User Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Permitting

  • The Local Plumbing Inspector may not issue a permit for a multi-user disposal system without first receiving a letter of approval from the Department.
  • The Local Plumbing Inspector shall inspect the multi-user disposal system in accordance with Section 111.0 of the Rules. In addition, the property owner shall retain the designer to inspect the construction of the system.
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Multi-User Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Permitting

  • The State shall provide the LPI with a form (HHE-238A) to be given to the homeowner, or the homeowner’s agent, at the time of issuing the permit. This form may be used by the owner or owner’s agent to obtain a written statement from the installer or the designer, if supervising the installation, that the system was installed in compliance with this code and the conditions of the permit. If used, a signed copy of the completed form must be submitted to the municipality.
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Multi-User Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Systems

Contacts

  • Russell Martin, PE, Program Director 287-4735
  • Douglas Coombs, State Site Evaluator 287-5688
  • James Jacobsen, Environmental Specialist IV 287-5695
  • Brent Lawson, State Plumbing Inspector 287-5670
  • Wendy Austin, Office Associate II 287-5672
  • Lorraine Martin, Office Associate I 287-5689
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