|(a) Permit required. A person shall hold a permit and
an approved plan to construct, alter, repair, extend, or operate an
on-site sewage facility (OSSF) unless the OSSF meets one of the exceptions
in subsection (f) of this section.
(1) All aspects of the permitting, planning, construction,
operation, and maintenance of OSSFs shall be conducted according to
this chapter, or according to an order, ordinance, or resolution of
an authorized agent.
(2) The executive director is the permitting authority
unless a local governmental entity has an OSSF order, ordinance, or
resolution approved by the executive director. In areas where the
executive director is the permitting authority, the staff from the
appropriate regional office shall be responsible for the proper implementation
of this chapter.
(3) Permits shall be transferred to a new owner automatically
upon sale or other legal transfer of an OSSF.
(4) Conditioning of Permits. The permitting authority
may require conditions to a permit in order to ensure that the permitted
OSSF system will operate in accordance with the planning materials
and system approval. Failure to comply with these conditions is a
violation of the permit and this chapter. Any violation of a condition
of a permit that would be considered an alteration as defined in §285.2(2)
of this title (relating to Definitions) would require a new permit.
(b) General Application Requirements.
(1) The owner or owner's agent must obtain an authorization
to construct from the permitting authority before construction may
begin on an OSSF. Before an authorization to construct can be issued,
the permitting authority shall require submittal of the following
from the owner or owner's agent:
(A) an application, on the form provided by the permitting
(B) all planning materials, according to §285.5
of this title (relating to Submittal Requirements for Planning Materials);
(C) the results of a site evaluation, conducted according
to §285.30 of this title (relating to Site Evaluation); and
(D) the appropriate fee.
(2) Variance requests shall be submitted with the application
and shall be reviewed by the permitting authority according to subsection
(h) of this section.
(3) Before the permitting authority issues an authorization
to construct, the owner of OSSFs identified in §285.91(12) of
this title (relating to Tables) or the owner's agent, must record
an affidavit in the county deed records of the county or counties
where the OSSF is located. Additionally, the owner or the owner's
agent must submit, to the permitting authority, an affidavit affirming
the recording. An example of the affidavit is located in §285.90(2)
of this title (relating to Figures). The affidavit must include:
(A) the owner's full name;
(B) the legal description of the property;
(C) that an OSSF requiring continuous maintenance is
located on the property;
(D) that the permit for the OSSF is transferred to
the new owner upon transfer of the property; and
(E) that at any time after the initial two-year service
policy, the owner of an aerobic treatment system for a single family
residence shall either obtain a maintenance contract within 30 days
of the transfer or maintain the system personally.
(c) Action on Applications. The permitting authority
shall either approve or deny an application within 30 days of receiving
an application. If the application and planning materials are approved,
the permitting authority shall issue an authorization to construct.
If the application and planning materials are denied, the permitting
authority shall explain the reasons for the denial in writing to the
owner, and the owner's agent.
(d) Construction and Inspection.
(1) An authorization to construct is valid for one
calendar year from the date of its issuance. If the installer does
not request a construction inspection by the permitting authority
within one year of the issuance of the authorization to construct,
the authorization to construct expires, and the owner will be required
to submit a new application and application fee before an OSSF can
be installed. A new application and application fee are not required
if the owner decides not to install an OSSF.
(2) The installer shall notify the permitting authority
at least five working days (Monday through Friday, excluding holidays)
before the date the OSSF will be ready for inspection.
(3) The permitting authority shall conduct a construction
(4) If the OSSF does not pass the construction inspection,
the permitting authority shall:
(A) at the close of the inspection, advise the owner
and the owner's agent, if present, of the deficiencies identified
and that the OSSF cannot be used until it passes inspection; and
(B) within seven calendar days after the inspection,
issue a letter to the owner and the owner's agent listing the deficiencies
identified and stating that the OSSF cannot be used until it passes
(5) If a reinspection is necessary, a reinspection
fee may be assessed by the permitting authority.
(6) The reinspection fee must be paid before the reinspection
(e) Notice of Approval.
(1) Within seven calendar days after the OSSF has passed
the construction inspection, the permitting authority shall issue,
to the owner or owner's agent, a written notice of approval for the
(2) The notice of approval shall have a unique identification
number, and shall be issued in the name of the owner.
(1) An owner of an OSSF will not be required to comply
with the permitting, operation, and installation requirements of this
chapter if the OSSF is not creating a nuisance and:
(A) the OSSF was installed before September 1, 1989,
provided the system has not been altered, and is not in need of repair;
(B) the OSSF was installed before the effective date
of the order, ordinance, or resolution in areas where the local governmental
entity had an approved order, ordinance, or resolution dated before
September 1, 1989, provided the system has not been altered and is
not in need of repair; or
(C) the owner received authorization to construct from
a permitting authority before the effective date of this chapter.
(2) No planning materials, permit, or inspection are
required for an OSSF for a single family dwelling located on a tract
of land that is ten acres or larger and:
(A) the OSSF is not causing a nuisance or polluting
(B) all parts of the OSSF are at least 100 feet from
the property line;
(C) the effluent is disposed of on the property; and
(D) the single family dwelling is the only dwelling
located on that tract of land.
(3) Connecting recreational vehicles or manufactured
homes to rental spaces is not considered construction if the existing
OSSF system is not altered.
(g) Exclusions. The following systems are not authorized
by this subchapter and may require a permit under Chapter 205 or Chapter
305 of this title (relating to General Permits for Waste Discharges
or Consolidated Permits, respectively):
(1) one or more systems that cumulatively treat and
dispose of more than 5,000 gallons of sewage per day on one piece
(2) any system that accepts waste that is either municipal,
agricultural, industrial, or other waste as defined in Texas Water
Code, Chapter 26;
(3) any system that will discharge into or adjacent
to waters in the state; or
(4) any new cluster systems.
(h) Variances. Requests for variances from provisions
of this chapter may be considered by the appropriate permitting authority
on a case-by-case basis.
(1) A variance may be granted if the owner, or a professional
sanitarian or professional engineer representing the owner, demonstrates
to the satisfaction of the permitting authority that conditions are
such that equivalent or greater protection of the public health and
the environment can be provided by alternate means. Variances for
separation distances shall not be granted unless the provisions of
this chapter cannot be met.
(2) Any request for a variance under this subsection
must contain planning materials prepared by either a professional
sanitarian or a professional engineer (with appropriate seal, date,
(i) Unauthorized systems. Boreholes, cesspools, and
seepage pits are prohibited for installation or use. Boreholes, cesspools,
and seepage pits that treat or dispose of less than 5,000 gallons
of sewage per day shall be closed according to §285.36 of this
title (relating to Abandoned Tanks, Boreholes, Cesspools, and Seepage
Pits). Boreholes, cesspools, and seepage pits that exceed 5,000 gallons
of sewage per day must be closed as a Class V injection well under
Chapter 331 of this title (relating to Underground Injection Control).