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Proposed OSSF Rules(Two Rule Packages) Harris County On-site Wastewater Seminar May 1, 2012
Rule Package #1 • Texas On-site Wastewater Treatment Research Council • New Tank Safety Rules
Rule Package #1Texas On-site Wastewater Treatment Research Council (TOWTRC) • The Sunset Commission abolished TOWTRC • Transferred the Duties of TOWTRC to the TCEQ
Rule Package #1Tank Safety • The statute requires the TCEQ to adopt rules which: require on-site sewage disposal systems, including risers and covers, installed after September 1, 2012, to be designed to prevent accidental or unintentional access to the system.
Rule Package #1 • September 27, 2011 Stakeholder’s Meeting • Meeting attended by: Installers ATU Manufacturers Riser Manufacturer Designated Representatives
Rule Package #1 • Based on input from stakeholder group, TCEQ staff drafted rules • The rules will be in an entirely new section (285.38) • Rules sent out for public comment
Rule Package #1Applicability • Rules apply to: Pretreatment (trash) tanks Proprietary treatment units (ATUs) Non-standard Treatment Tanks Pump Tanks Holding Tanks
Rule Package #1Inspection and Cleanout Ports • Inspection and cleanout ports shall have risers over the port openings which extend to the ground surface • When a riser is installed, a secondary plug, cap, or other suitable restraint system shall be provided below the riser cap to prevent tank entry if the cap is unknowingly damaged or removed
Rule Package #1Risers • Risers must be permanently fastened to the tank lid or cast into the tank. The connection between the riser and the tank lid must be watertight
Rule Package #1Risers and Riser Caps • Risers must be fitted with removable watertight caps and protected against unauthorized intrusions • Acceptable protective measures include: A padlock; A cover that can be removed only with specialized tools; A cover having a minimum net weight of 29.5 kg (65 lb); or Any other means approved by the executive director
Rule Package #1Who Can Install Risers • Installation of a riser to any component of an OSSF is considered construction under Chapter 285 and can only be performed by a licensed installer
Rule Package #1Installation as Emergency Repair • Installation of risers for OSSF components installed prior to September 1, 2012 may be considered an emergency
Rule Package #1Inspection Reports • All inspection reports sent to Authorized Agents and homeowners must include information that the access to the OSSF inspection and cleanout ports was secure after the maintenance and inspection activities were completed.
Rule Package #1Comments Received • Do the rules apply to septic tanks? • What are specialized tools? • Maintenance personnel need to be able to make repairs on risers • What happens when a homeowner refuses to pay for a repair to a damaged riser?
Rules Package #1 Timeline • Comment Period Closed 03/26/2012 • Adoption at TCEQ Commissioners Agenda 07/25/2012 • Rules published in Texas Register 08/10/2012 • New OSSFs must meet new standards 09/01/2012
Rule Package #2Topics • Remove the drainage easement setbacks from 30 TAC §285.91(10). • Provide technical requirements for crossing drainage easements.
Rule Package #2Topics • Require disinfection equipment to be certified under NSF International (formerly the National Sanitation Foundation) Standard 46 and allow upgrades on existing systems under the emergency repair provision.
Rule Package #2Topics • Provide an option to reduce aerobic treatment unit sizing if an equalization tank is installed. • Provide construction criteria for equalization tanks • Allow existing cluster systems to be repaired under Chapter 285
Rule Package #2Topics • Provide exemptions from the OSSF subdivision review and approval process for certain large tracts • General cleanup and upkeep
Rule Package #2 • April 19, 2012 Stakeholder’s Meeting • Meeting attended by 27 individuals: Installers Designated Representatives ATU Manufacturers Professional OSSF Designers Homeowners
Rules Package #2 Timeline • Anticipated proposal Date06/27/2012 • Anticipated Texas Register Publish Date07/13/2012 • Anticipated Public Hearing Date08/06/2012 • Anticipated End to Public Comment Period08/13/2012 • Anticipated Adoption Date 12/06/2012