New rules for alternative sewage systems explained at meeting

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Feb 08, 2012 - 03:07 PM

David Fridley, environmental health manager with the Three Rivers Health District, talked to Mathews County Supervisors during the Jan. 24 meeting about new rules for alternative sewage treatment systems.

Supervisor Janine Burns, who has long held an interest in regulations governing on-site alternative systems, had asked Fridley to offer the board some guidance on changes that took effect on Dec. 7.

Fridley said that there are many alternative septic systems in Mathews, so the changes will affect many homeowners in the county.

The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation licenses all operators of onsite sewage systems, said Fridley. Under their regulations, only licensed operators may operate such systems, including providing routine scheduled maintenance and pumping out the tank.

Once a system is in place, said Fridley, the Virginia Department of Health is in charge of making sure the owner properly maintains the system so it doesn’t pose a threat to the environment. VDH regulations require that owners of all such systems provide a maintenance report within the first six months of operation and then at least annually after that.