On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Legislation and Guidelines

Margaret Keegan Public Authority Enforcement

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Presentation Outline
Introduction to On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems European Legislation which control On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems Irish Legislation Irish Guidelines for Single Houses Irish Guidelines Large-Scale On-Site Wastewater Systems

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Introduction Small Scale Treatment Systems for Single Houses (PE < 10)
Conventional Septic Tanks discharging to groundwaters. Secondary Treatment: Intermittent Filter Systems including constructed wetlands and Mechanical Aeration Systems discharging to groundwater via polishing filters and more recently to surface waters in a limited number of cases.

Treatment Systems for Small Communities (PE 10 - 500)
Secondary Treatment Systems discharging to surface waters in general with an increase in the numbers discharging to groundwater in the last few years.

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: European Legislation European Legislation which control On-Site Wastewater Treatment Discharges
Council Directive 78/659/EEC of 18 July 1978 on the quality of fresh waters needing protection or improvement in order to support fish life Council Directive 79/923/EEC of 30 October 1979 on the quality required of shellfish waters as amended by Council Directive 91/692/EEC (further amended by Council Regulation 1882/2003/EC). Council Directive of 8 December 1975 concerning the Quality of Bathing Water (76/160/EEC). Council Directive 75/440/EEC of 16 June 1975 concerning the quality required of surface water intended for the abstraction of drinking water in the Member States.

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: European Legislation cont. European Legislation which control On-Site Wastewater Treatment Discharges
Council Directive on the protection of groundwater against pollution caused by certain dangerous substances (80/68/EEC). Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and Council establishing a framework for communicty action in the field of water policy (2000/60/EC) (commonly referred to as the Water Framework Directive). Directive 2006/118/EC of the European Parliament and Council on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration (2006/118/EC) (commonly known as the New Groundwater Directive).

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Irish Legislation Discharge Control
Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977 (SI No.1 of 1977). Local Government (Water Pollution)(amendment) Act 1990 (SI No.21 of 1990). Local Government (Water Pollution) Regulations 1978 (SI No.108 of 1978). Local Government (Water Pollution) Regulations 1992 (SI No.271 of 1992). Local Government (Water Pollution) (amendment) Regulations 1996 (SI No.184 of 1996). Local Government (Water Pollution) (amendment) Regulations 1999 (SI No.42 of 1999). Protection of Groundwater Regulations, 1999 (SI No. 41 of 1999). European Communities (Water Policy) Regulations, 2003 (SI No 722 of 2003).

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Irish Legislation Discharge Control continued. Section 4 licensing
Discharges of treated wastewater to waters (surface and groundwater) require a licence under Section 4 of the Water Pollution Act. EXEMPTIONS - First Schedule 1978 Regulations
Class I: Domestic sewage not exceeding in volume 5 cubic metres in any period of 24 hours which is discharged to an aquifer from a septic tank or other disposal unit by means of a percolation area, soakage pit or other method. Class II: Trade effluent discharged by a sanitary authority in the course of the performance of its powers and duties, other than from a sewer.

Prior investigations as required by the Groundwater Directive which is transposed by the Water Pollution regulations.

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Irish Legislation Planning and Building Control Planning and Development Acts 2000- 2002 and Regulations Building Regulations 1991 –2002
Technical Guidance Document H (Drainage and Wastewater Disposal) calls up Irish Standard Recommendations SR6 of 1991 for domestic effluent treatment and disposal from single dwellings. BS 6297:1983 (incorporating amendment No. 1 of 1990) A Code of Practice for the Design and Installation of Small Sewage Treatment Works.

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Guidelines Single Houses
Standard Regulations No 6 (SR6) 1991. EPA Wastewater Treatment Manual: Treatment Systems for Single Houses 2000. DoEHLG Circulars (SP5/03 and BC16/06) CEN 12566 : Small Wastewater Treatment Systems for up to PT 50 – Parts 1-7. EPA Code of Practice: Wastewater Treatment Systems for Single Houses (PE <10) 2007.

Small Communities (i.e 10 – 500 PE)
BS 6297: 1983 (incorporating Amendment No. 1 of 1990). EPA Wastewater Treatment Manual: Treatment Systems for Small Communities, Business, Leisure Centres and Hotels 1999.

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Guidelines for Single Houses Standard Regulations No 6 (SR6) 1991
SR6:1991 is the standard currently referred to in the Building Regulations relating to septic tank systems.

Irish Agrement Board certifies all the secondary treatment wastewater systems in Ireland
If system doesn’t have an Agrement certificate it may not be acceptable under the Building Regulations.

http://www.irishagrementboard.com/

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Guidelines for Single Houses EPA Wastewater Treatment Manual: Treatment Systems for Single Houses 2000
Section 60 ‘specify and publish criteria and procedures…... for the purposes of environmental protection, in relation to the management, maintenance, supervision,operation or use of all or specified classes of plant, sewers, drainage pipes………for the treatment or disposal of any sewage or other effluent to any waters’ Purpose of manual is to provide guidance on the design, operation and maintenance of on-site wastewater treatment systems for single houses. It is not a Draft Manual. Local authorities shall have regard to the guidance published under Section 60. Currently being updated and revision to be published in 2007 as a Code of Practice.

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Guidelines for Single Houses DoEHLG Circulars (SP5/03 and BC16/06)
SP5/03 - Dealt with groundwater quality in the context of planning decisions, attention was drawn to good siting and design of wastewater treatment sytems and to the EPA manual 2000. It outlined the DoEHLG intention to amend the TGD H to call up the revised EPA manual (CoP 2007), while the NSAI will withdraw SR6. BC16/06 - Provides interim advice to local authorities in relation to packaged wastewater treatment plants in light of the adoption of EN 12566:3. It also advises that the 2nd edition of the EPA manual will provide performance levels that can be generally applied to these systems. In the interim it refers to the wastewater treatment standards of the IAB of BOD 20; SS 30;NH4 20

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Guidelines for Single Houses CEN European Standard 12566
On-going work on the development of a European standard for small wastewater treatment systems (1-50 P.T.): Part 1:Pre-fabricated septic tanks (published by NSAI as an Irish standard July 2004) Part 2:Soil infiltration systems (published by the NSAI as a Code of Practice August 2005) Part 3:Packaged and/or site assembled WWTP (published by the NSAI as an Irish Standard in October 2005) Part 4:Septic Tanks built in-situ from kits Part 5:Filtration Systems for pre-treated effluent Part 6:Packaged and/or site assembled secondary treatment units Part 7: Prefabricated Tertiary Treatment Units

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Guidelines for Single Houses Code of Practice : Wastewater Treatment Systems for Single Houses (P.E. <10) 2007
The Agency is authorised under Section 76 of the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992 (as amended) to prepare and publish codes of practice for the purpose of providing practical guidance. A document under the seal of the Agency purporting to be a code of practice published under Section 76 shall be received in evidence without further proof. The Agency asked the Minister in February to allow the Treatment Systems for Single Houses guidance document 2007 to be published as a Code of Practice. Following receipt of a positive reply from the Minister, a period of public consultation will commence for one month, expected to be in April May 2007. It is the DoEHLG intention to call up the CoP WWT for Single Houses into the Building Regulations and that the NSAI will withdraw SR6.

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Guidelines for Single Houses Code of Practice : Wastewater Treatment Systems for Single Houses 2007
EPA Wastewater Treatment Manual Treatment Systems for Single Houses 2000 document has been amended to take account of the requirements of the new CEN standard EN12566; DoEHLG Circulars; results from further reseach, which results in clarifications, improvements and corrections; and input from practitioners on the workability and clarity of the manual.

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Guidelines for Single Houses Code of Practice : Wastewater Treatment Systems for Single Houses 2007
It will include Performance standards for packaged domestic wastewater treatment systems. A modified percolation test to be use for high T sites. An upper percolation test result limit for discharges to ground to take account of impervious soils. Proposed change to the acceptable range of percolation values. Improved design details for intermittent filters and polishing filters. A new chapter on maintenance. More emphasis on installation. Site improvements defined. Improved Site Characterisation Form.

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Guidelines for Small Communities….. British Standard BS 66297:1983, Design and installation of small sewage treatment works and cesspools. Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual: Treatment Systems for Small Communites, Business, Leisure Centers and Hotels 1999.
Guidance Manual published in 1999 under Section 60 of the EPA Act 1992. It provides guidance to those involved in WWT plant selection, operation, use, management, maintenance and supervision. It refers to other guidance manuals on primary, secondary and tertiary treatment which discusses in more detail the different treatment systems. However, it does not provide specific guidance in relation to site selection and for discharges to groundwater the reader is referred to the WWT Manual Treatment Systems for Single Houses.

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Guidelines for Small Communities….. Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual: Treatment Systems for Small Communites, Business, Leisure Centers and Hotels 1999.
In 1999 there were few, if any, discharges from these larger systems to groundwater, however, that trend is changing and it is apparent that significant additional guidance is required on the assessment of such discharges to groundwater. The Framework document being prepared by the OSWTS Working Group is welcome. In addition, more guidance is necessary on the siting of these systems in respect to vulnerable receptors and in the assessment of these systems discharging to surface waters, particularly in relation to Phosphorous. The EPA intends to carry out an assessment of the WWT Manual for Small Communities in light of the introduction of the EN 12566 which applies to systems up to 50 PE and also due to the increase in the number of discharges from systems >10 PE discharging to groundwater and other issues arising from discussions.

On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems: Review of Presentation

Introduction to Wastewater Treatment Systems Legislation – discharge control Guidelines for Single Houses and Small Communities