Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0400-48-01-.02 - DEFINITIONS

"Accessible Community Sewer" means a public sewerage system where its utilization by a given piece of property is not limited because of physical or other features as determined by the Commissioner.

"Advanced Treatment System (ATS)" means an approved treatment device in compliance with Rule 0400-48-01-.10 that is separate and distinct from the disposal field and is used to improve the quality of septic tank effluent to secondary levels.

"Agency of Government," in the context of public sewerage systems, means state, county, and municipal government agencies including their subdivisions and utility districts, but does not include entities regulated by the Tennessee Regulatory Authority.

"Air/Vacuum Release Valves" means a device that allows the air in a distribution system to escape during pressurized flow, and allows air to enter the system during depressurized flow.

"Alternative Methods of Disposal" means a subsurface sewage disposal system, the construction, installation, and operation of which varies from that of a conventional subsurface sewage disposal system.

"Blockout" means a potential access hole which is a thin section of concrete preformed in a septic tank which can be removed to allow insertion of a four (4) to six (6) inch diameter pipe.

"Boundary Outline" means a map or chart with lines delineating the boundaries of the proposed area or parcel of land.

"Buffer Zone" means the distance between subsurface sewage disposal systems or subsystems required to alleviate the impact of hydraulic overloading from the adjacent system(s).

"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Environment and Conservation, the commissioner's duly authorized representative, and in the event of the commissioner's absence or a vacancy in the Office of Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioner.

"Conventional Sand Filter" means a filter with two (2) feet or more of medium sand designed to chemically and biologically process septic tank or other treatment unit effluent from a pressure distribution system operated on an intermittent basis.

"Conventional Subsurface Sewage Disposal System" means a disposal system that pre-treats sewage by use of a septic tank and applies effluent to the soil as described in Rule 0400-48-01-.07.

"Department" means the Department of Environment and Conservation.

"Disposal Field" means the part of a subsurface sewage disposal system that utilizes the soil for absorption and treatment of septic tank effluent.

"Domestic Septage" means either liquid or solid material removed from a septic tank, cesspool, portable toilet, Type III marine sanitation device, or similar treatment works that receive only domestic sewage. Domestic septage does not include liquid or solid material removed from a septic tank, cesspool or similar treatment works that receives either commercial wastewater or industrial wastewater and does not include grease removed from a grease trap at a restaurant.

"Dosing Chamber" means a watertight receptacle which houses a sewage effluent pump or siphon and stores sewage effluent from a septic tank until it is pumped or dosed to a disposal field.

"Drip Emitters" means a flow control device that is typically attached to the inside wall of drip line which allows the discharge of water at a predictable rate for a given pressure.

"Drip Line" means polyethylene tubing that has been certified for wastewater use that incorporates uniformly spaced drip emitters along its length.

"Effluent Filter" means an effluent treatment device installed on the outlet of a septic tank or dosing tank, which is designed to prevent the passage of large suspended matter.

"Filled Land" means areas to which more than two (2) feet of soil and/or debris have been added.

"Fragipan" means natural subsurface horizon with high bulk density and/or high mechanical strength relative to the solum above, seemingly cemented when dry, but when moist showing a moderate to weak brittleness.

"Graded Land" means areas from which soil has been removed and the remaining soil cannot be classified in any soil series.

"Grease" means animal fats or vegetable oils (resulting from food preparation) which are discharged to a sewage disposal system or accumulated in collection devices or traps that are associated with sewage disposal systems, conduits, sewers, plumbing fixtures and attachments. However, this definition shall exclude petroleum products, lubricants, silicones and greases of mineral or synthetic origin.

"Grease Trap" means a device designed to intercept and retain grease present in sewage or other wastewater.

"Gullied Land" means areas where gullies occupy nearly all of the surface area. Areas in which gullies occur within spatial intervals of less than one hundred (100) feet shall be classified as a soil gullied land complex. Gullies of more than one hundred (100) feet spatial intervals shall be located on the soil maps with the designated symbols.

"Gully" means a miniature valley (more than one (1) foot in depth) cut by running water and through which water generally runs during and shortly after rainfall.

"Installer of Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems" means a person who contracts or otherwise installs, constructs, alters, or extends a subsurface sewage disposal system.

"Lot" means a part of a subdivision or a parcel of land intended for the building of a single house, building or other development where a subsurface sewage disposal system is to be used.

"Maintenance Providers" means individuals who provide routine or periodic action to ensure proper system performance for systems authorized by these rules.

"Manufacturer" means the company or its authorized representative producing a proprietary product.

"Miscellaneous Land Types" means areas on the earth's surface that are non-soil (rocks, water etc.) and soils that are difficult or impossible to classify in soil series (filled land, graded land, gullied land, paved areas etc.).

"Packaged Subsurface Drip Disposal (SDD)" means a pre-engineered SDD system or ATS/SDD system that has been approved by this Department for a definite set of site criteria.

"Percolation Rate" means the rate at which water moves into the soil as determined by a percolation test.

"Percolation Test" means a method of determining the usability of an area for subsurface sewage disposal by testing for the rate at which the undisturbed soil in a series of test holes of standard size will absorb water per unit of surface area.

"Person" means any and all persons, including individuals, firms, partnerships, associations, public or private institutions, municipalities, or political subdivisions or officers thereof, departments, agencies, or instrumentalities, or public or private corporation or officers thereof, organized or existing under the laws of this or any other state or country.

"Permit" means a written authorization issued by the Commissioner licensing one of the following: the construction, alteration, extension, or repair of a subsurface sewage disposal system, or the removal and disposal of accumulated wastes from subsurface sewage disposal systems, and including those engaged in such businesses.

"Plans" means any documents required by the Commissioner in the process of carrying out these regulations. Plans may include, but not be limited to: applications, boundary outlines, plats, soil, and topographic maps.

"Plat" means a map or other graphic representation drawn to scale, of a piece of land subdivided into lots, showing streets, waterlines, lot lines, etc.

"Positive Drainage Plan" means a plan by which all free water, both surface and subsurface, is removed from an area (lot, subdivision, etc.) by gravity (even acquiring off-site easements where necessary).

"Pressure Compensating Drip Emitters" means drip emitters that discharge water out of an orifice at a constant rate over a range of operating pressures.

"Privy" means a structure and /or excavation for the disposal of human excreta by non-water carriage methods.

"Public Sewerage System" means the conduits, sewers, and all devices and appurtenances by means of which sewage is collected, pumped, treated, and ultimately disposed of at a wastewater treatment plant; all of which are owned and operated by a municipality, utility district, or other legally constituted agency of government. Systems permitted through T.C.A. Title 68, Chapter 221, Part 4 are not public sewerage systems.

"Recirculating Gravel Filter (RGF)" means a type of gravel filter wastewater treatment system that utilizes an effluent recycle system where a portion of the filtered effluent is mixed with septic tank effluent in a recirculation/dilution tank and redistributed to the filter.

"Relief Line" means a closed pipe laid on an undisturbed section of ground that conveys septic tank effluent from one trench to a subsequent trench on a lower elevation.

"Restriction" means a limitation on the use of properties where subsurface sewage disposal systems are proposed.

"Restrictive Covenant" means that document which restricts the use of property by its owner and specifies the obligations and responsibility of the owner regarding the property.

"Rill" means a small shallow, (one (1) foot or less in depth), ephemeral channel that carries water only during and for a few minutes after rainfall. Rills can be obliterated with conventional farm tillage implements.

"Secondary Effluent Treatment Standards" are U.S. Environmental Protection Agency secondary effluent treatment requirements for municipal treatment facilities.

"Septage" means a combination of organic sludge, liquid and scum, which accumulates in septic tanks.

"Septic Tank" means a watertight receptacle, which receives the discharge of sewage and is designed and so constructed so as to permit settling of solids from the liquid, digestion of organic matter by detention, retention of the floating solids and discharge of the liquid portion.

"Septic Tank Effluent" means partially treated sewage, which is discharged from a septic tank.

"Septic Tank Pumping Contractor" means any person engaged in the business of removing or disposing of the sludge and liquid contents of septic tanks or holding tanks.

"Sewage" means human excreta; all water carried wastes, and household wastes from residences, buildings or commercial and industrial establishments.

"Sink" means a closed depression in an area of karst topography, that is formed either by the solution of the surficial limestone or by the collapse of underlying caves. Its form varies from basin-like to funnel shaped and its size varies from only a few feet across to several hundred feet across. The bottom of a sink most commonly consists of soil formed of materials that rolled or washed from the surrounding area and has slopes, which are generally, nearly level to undulating.

"Slope or Grade" means the rate of fall or rise of a pipeline or of the ground surface in reference to the horizontal plane.

"Soil Absorption Rate" means the rate, in minutes per inch, that clean water is absorbed by or drains through a soil during least favorable climatic conditions when soils are at or near field capacity. Estimated absorption rates are established in Appendix I for soil series and phases of soil series that have been recognized in Tennessee. For soil series and phases that have been recognized but not listed in Appendix I, the Department shall establish the absorption rate. Estimated soil absorption rates for variants of soil series and miscellaneous land types may be proposed by an approved soil consultant; however, those rates will be evaluated by the Department.

"Soil Evaluation" means the systematic examination of soils in the field and/or in laboratories, their description and classification, the mapping of kinds of soils or miscellaneous areas showing the distribution of soils in relation to the physical, cultural and special features of the earth's surface and the interpretation of the soils and site characteristics for their suitability for subsurface sewage disposal or to determine if the areas are eligible for percolation tests. The mapping is either general, high intensity or extra-high intensity.

"Soil Incorporation" means the disking or plowing of the soil at a domestic septage disposal site, within six (6) hours of land application of domestic septage, so that no domestic septage is present on the surface of the soil.

"Soil Injection" means the injection of domestic septage below the surface of the soil.

"Soil Map" means a map showing the size, shape and distribution of the various kinds of soil in relation to other physical and cultural features on the earth's surface. There are three (3) kinds of soil maps. They are general, high intensity and extra-high intensity. They are defined as follows:

(a) General - A general soil map is a second order survey as defined in the "Soil Survey Manual," United States Department of Agriculture, October 1993. These surveys are made for intensive land use that requires detailed information. Map units shall be named at a categorical level above the soil series. Miscellaneous land types or interpretative groupings of soils such as those in which percolation tests are allowed for subsurface sewage disposal site evaluation shall be delineated. Map scale shall be one (1) inch equals one hundred (100) feet. Minimum size map unit delineations shall be twenty-five hundred (2500) square feet. The mapping legend shall be provided by the Department.
(b) High Intensity - A first order survey as defined in the "Soil Survey Manual," United States Department of Agriculture, October 1993. These surveys are made for very intensive land use that requires very detailed soils information that requires very precise knowledge of soils and their variability such as individual building sites. Field procedures require observation of soil boundaries throughout their length. Map units are mostly soil series, phases of soil series with some complexes and miscellaneous land areas. Some map units named at categorical level above the series are allowed. Map scale shall be one (1) inch equals one hundred (100) feet. Minimum size delineation shall be six hundred twenty-five (625) square feet.
(c) Extra-High Intensity - A soil map that is the same as a high intensity soil map except the scale may be one (1) inch equals one hundred (100) feet or one (1) inch equals fifty (50) feet. The minimum size delineation shall be one hundred (100) square feet. These maps have more cartographic detail than high intensity maps.

"Soil Map Unit" means an abstract model of a soil taxonomic unit or miscellaneous land type that has a set of distinguishing soil characteristics that set it apart from all other soil map units.

"Soil Map Unit Delineation" means an area on a soil map that represents a kind of soil or miscellaneous land type that occupies an area on the earth's surface. There may be several map unit delineations of one soil map unit.

"Soil Series" means a group of very similar soils that have one or more soil characteristics that distinguishes that soil from all other soil series. As used in these regulations, a soil series is one that has been recognized by the Natural Resource Conservation Service in Tennessee.

"Soil Variant" means a soil that has one or more distinguishing soil characteristics and soil properties that prevent that soil from being classified in any soil series that has been recognized by the Natural Resource Conservation Service in Tennessee. A soil variant requires use and management significantly different from the soil from which the variant is named. Also, behavior different from the soil series for which the variant is named can be expected.

"Spring" means a point where water naturally issues from the ground surface.

"Storage Facility" means a receptacle, which is designed to receive and retain septage prior to disposal, when the disposal site is not accessible.

"Subdivision" means any tract or parcel of land divided into two (2) or more lots, sites or other division for the purpose of immediate or future building of houses, buildings or other development where subsurface sewage disposal systems are to be used. Subdivision does not include a division of any tract or parcel of land into two (2) or more tracts or parcels when such parts are five (5) acres or larger in size. Other development constitutes all other types of habitation or occupation of buildings including, but not limited to, mobile, modular, and prefabricated structures.

"Subsurface Drip Disposal (SDD) System" means a subsurface disposal system that utilizes pressurized drip irrigation line for the uniform application of wastewater.

"Subsurface Sewage Disposal (SSD) System" means a system, other than a public or community system, which receives sewage. Included within the scope of this definition are: septic tank absorption systems, privies, chemical toilets and other similar systems. However, a subsurface sewage disposal system does not include a sewerage system regulated under T.C.A. §§ 68-221-101 et seq. and 68-3-101 et seq.

"Swelling" means a condition caused by the intrusion of water into the individual clay particles.

"Topographic Map" means a map showing existing physical features, with contour lines at sufficient intervals to permit determination of proposed grades and drainage.

"Vicinity Map" means a map, which indicates the region near or about a place and the proximity to prominent and established landmarks.

"Water Table" means that level below which the soil or rock is saturated with water.


Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0400-48-01-.02
Original rule filed June 20, 2013; effective September 18, 2013. Rule renumbered from1200-01-06.

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 68-221-401 et seq. and 4-5-201 et seq.

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