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Wastewater Outfalls and Septic Systems

Section 26a requests for wastewater outfalls are reviewed based on the requirements of Section 1304.402, which states:

“Applicants for a wastewater outfall shall provide copies of all federal, state, and local permits, licenses, and approvals required for the facility prior to applying for TVA approval, or shall concurrently with the TVA application apply for such approvals. A Section 26a permit shall not be issued until other required water quality approvals are obtained, and TVA reserves the right to impose additional requirements.”

Section 26a requests for septic tanks and sewage disposal systems associated with facilities regulated above are reviewed based on the following considerations:

  1. In accordance with Section 1304.209(b), TVA does not permit the placement of residential septic tank, field lines, or any other part of a waste disposal system on TVA fee-owned, residential access shoreland. On such property where TVA has granted licenses, easements, and leases for commercial or public recreation facilities, TVA will continue to consider septic systems in accordance with the local Health Department rules and regulations provided that a 50-foot horizontal setback and two-foot vertical separation is maintained as described in item six below.
  2. Septic systems on private land do not require a Section 26a permit if they are all buried and backfilled to the original land contours or placed above flood elevations because there is no permanent obstruction that is created.
  3. Septic systems would not be considered as a structure under deeded land rights prohibiting structures if they are all buried and backfilled to original contours as above.
  4. Where TVA has appropriate land rights on private property under flowage easement, TVA could choose to exercise its rights to approve or deny installation of septic tanks or septic tank systems. TVA would exercise its judgment as to whether the system would pose a threat of pollution. TVA would normally choose to exercise this right in coordination with a regulator, such as the state having jurisdiction over placement of septic systems.
  5. TVA would review septic systems proposed on flowage easement property if they are associated with construction of an obstruction which is subject to Section 26a review.
  6. A 50-foot horizontal setback and two-foot vertical separation between all portions of the subsurface disposal field and the June 1 flood guide elevation is required if a system is approved by TVA on flowage easement property. NOTE: When annual flood-frequency elevations are available for the mainstream reservoirs, they will be used instead of the June 1 flood guide elevation. Tributary reservoirs will use the normal maximum pool.
  7. Site approval by the local health department, including suitable soil conditions, percolation rates, slope, and area is a prerequisite to TVA approval.
  8. TVA would review, under Section 26a, septic systems using earth fill mounds or other devices that would create a permanent obstruction.  These fills may also be considered to be structures and additional land rights may be needed under some deeds.