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RULE §285.38Prevention of Unauthorized Access to On-Site Sewage Facilities (OSSFs)

(a) Applicability.

  (1) The construction criteria under this subsection applies to:

    (A) pretreatment (trash) tanks referenced in §285.32(b)(1)(G) of this title (relating to Criteria for Sewage Treatment Systems);

    (B) proprietary treatment units referenced in §285.32(c) of this title;

    (C) non-standard treatment units referenced in §285.32(d) of this title;

    (D) pump tanks referenced in §285.34(b) of this title (relating to Other Requirements);

    (E) holding tanks referenced in §285.34(e) of this title; and

    (F) septic tanks referenced in §285.32(b)(1) of this title.

  (2) The construction criteria found in this subsection is in addition to the construction criteria in §285.32 of this title.

(b) All tanks must have inspection or cleanout ports located on the tank top over all inlet and outlet devices. Each inspection or cleanout port must be offset to allow for pumping of the tank. The ports may be configured in any manner as long as the smallest dimension of the opening is at least 12 inches, and is large enough to provide for maintenance and equipment removal.

(c) For all OSSF"s permitted on or after September 1, 2023, inspection and cleanout ports shall have risers over the port openings which extend to a minimum of two inches above grade. A secondary plug, cap, or other suitable restraint system shall be provided below the riser cap to prevent tank entry if the cap is unknowingly damaged or removed.

(d) Risers.

  (1) The risers shall have inside diameters which are equal to or larger than the inspection or cleanout ports.

  (2) Risers must be permanently fastened to the tank lid or cast into the tank. The connection between the riser and the tank lid must be watertight.

  (3) Risers must be fitted with removable watertight caps and protected against unauthorized intrusions. Acceptable protective measures include:

    (A) a padlock;

    (B) a cover that can be removed with tools;

    (C) a cover having a minimum net weight of 29.5 kilograms (65 pounds) set into a recess of the tank lid; or

    (D) any other means approved by the executive director.

  (4) Risers and riser caps exposed to sunlight must have ultraviolet light protection.

  (5) Risers must be able to withstand the pressures created by the surrounding soil.

(e) Installation of a riser to any component of a new OSSF is considered construction under this chapter and must be performed by a licensed installer.

(f) Installation of risers for OSSF components installed on or after September 1, 2012, are considered an emergency repair as described in §285.35 of this title (relating to Emergency Repairs) and may be performed by either a licensed Installer, licensed maintenance provider, or registered maintenance technician.

(g) Any person who accesses any secured lid(s) or cover(s) on an OSSF shall secure the lid(s) or cover(s) when access is complete.

(h) All inspection reports sent to Authorized Agents, Regional Offices, and homeowners must document that the access to the OSSF inspection and cleanout ports was secured after the maintenance or inspection activities were completed or that the OSSF system owner refused to pay for repairs that were needed to secure the OSSF inspection and cleanout ports.

Source Note: The provisions of this §285.38 adopted to be effective August 16, 2012, 37 TexReg 6055; amended to be effective July 6, 2023, 48 TexReg 3508

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