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25 Pa. Code § 73.72. Alternate sewage systems.

§ 73.72. Alternate sewage systems.

 (a)  Alternate systems shall be considered for individual onlot or community onlot systems in any of the following cases:

   (1)  To solve an existing pollution or public health problem.

   (2)  To overcome specific site suitability deficiencies, or as a substitute for systems described in this chapter on suitable lots.

   (3)  To overcome specific engineering problems related to the site or its proposed use.

   (4)  To utilize under varying site conditions an experimental design, either in whole or in part, which has been deemed successful by the Department.

 (b)  A person desiring to install an alternate sewage system shall submit complete preliminary design plans and specifications to the sewage enforcement officer and the Department for review and comment prior to submitting an application for a permit. The Department will determine if classification as an alternate system is appropriate and provide review comments to the sewage enforcement officer.

 (c)  The following criteria shall be considered in the design of alternate systems:

   (1)  The volume and rate of sewage flow, including reductions attributed to water conservation devices and recycling devices.

   (2)  The chemical and bacteriological characteristics of the flow, including the varying nature, if any, of the contributing sources.

   (3)  The treatment of the sewage flow, including, if appropriate:

     (i)   The type of treatment—that is, aerobic, anaerobic, chemical or other.

     (ii)   The degree and extent of treatment afforded, including the chemical and biological characteristics of the effluent.

     (iii)   The hydraulic design, including flow rates, retention time, settling rates and sludge and scum storage.

   (4)  Materials of construction, including durability and chemical resistance of all system components.

   (5)  The characteristics and limitations of the disposal site, including, if appropriate:

     (i)   The depth, composition and projected effects of any limiting zone identified through extensive onsite evaluation of the soils present.

     (ii)   Determination of the soil permeability through percolation tests, hydraulic conductivity tests or other acceptable testing procedures conducted on the site.

     (iii)   The chemical and bacteriological characteristics of the subsurface or other waters.

     (iv)   The natural and modified slope of the disposal site and contiguous areas, with particular attention to downslope areas.

     (v)   The relationship of the disposal site to existing and proposed drainage patterns, including surface and subsurface flows.

     (vi)   The stability and renovative abilities of controlled fill areas.

   (6)  The design of the absorption area including:

     (i)   Dimensions.

     (ii)   Method of distribution and hydraulic design considerations of the distribution system.

     (iii)   Rate of application.

     (iv)   Relationship to other sewage disposal systems or features, water supply sources, surface waters, recharge areas, rock outcrops and other site improvements.

     (v)   Determination of hydraulic loading limitations—that is, interface acceptance rate or hydraulic conductivity of receiving soils in accordance with accepted principles of hydraulic flow.

   (7)  The effect upon the groundwater, including the following:

     (i)   Fecal coliform.

     (ii)   Chlorides.

     (iii)   Nitrates.

     (iv)   Nutrients.

     (v)   Other degrading material.

   (8)  Other considerations as may be appropriate to comply with the act.

 (d)  An application for an alternative system shall include the following:

   (1)  Detailed plans and specifications sufficient to comply with this section.

   (2)  A description of the system, device or process; its capabilities; and scheduled maintenance, if any, which is necessary for continued function.

   (3)  The identity of the person responsible for the design of the system and performance of scheduled maintenance, if required.

 (e)  Each application for an alternative system shall be accompanied by a statement acknowledging the requirement that the sewage enforcement officer be notified of any malfunction or modification of the original system design.

 (f)  Prior to issuing a permit for an alternative sewage system, the sewage enforcement officer shall consider the comments of the Department.


   The provisions of this §  73.72 amended under section 9 of the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act (35 P. S. §  750.9); The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. § §  691.1—691.1001); and section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §  510-20).


   The provisions of this §  73.72 adopted August 2, 1971, effective August 14, 1971, 1 Pa.B. 1649; amended April 26, 1974, effective May 13, 1974, 4 Pa.B. 817; amended August 30, 1974, effective September 16, 1974, 4 Pa.B. 1805; amended January 21, 1983, effective January 22, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 508; amended November 7, 1997, effective November 8, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 5877. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (217341) to (217342) and (221917).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  73.3 (relating to policy).

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