Alternative System Care

What does the State of Virginia require and why?

Regulations governing the operations and maintenance of Alternative Onsite Sewage Systems became effective December 7, 2011.  Below is a link to the full regulation from the Virginia Department of Health:

Click here to DOWNLOAD Environmental Health PDF

According to this, section 12VAC5-613-20, the Purpose and Authority of the regulation is as follows:

1. Establish a program for regulating the operation and maintenance of alternative onsite sewage systems.

2. Establish performance requirements for alternative onsite sewage systems.

3. Establish horizontal setbacks for alternative onsite sewage systems that are necessary to protect public health and the environment.

4. Discharge the board’s responsibility to supervise and control the safe and sanitary collection, conveyance, transportation, treatment, and disposal of sewage by onsite sewage systems and treatment works as they affect the public health and welfare.

5. Protect the quality of surface water and ground water.

6. Guide the commissioner in determining whether a permit or other authorization for an alternative onsite sewage system shall be issued or denied.

7. Inform owners, applicants, onsite soil evaluators, system designers, and other persons of the requirements for obtaining a permit or other authorization for an AOSS.

In addition, section 12VAC5-613-140 below outlines owner responsibilities regarding the care and maintenance of alternative systems:

1. Have the AOSS operated and maintained by an operator.

2. Have an operator visit the AOSS at the frequency required by this chapter

3. Have an operator collect any samples required by this chapter.

4. Keep a copy of the log provided by the operator on the property where the AOSS is located in electronic or hard copy form, make the log available to the department upon request, and make a reasonable effort to transfer the log to any future owner.

5. Follow the O&M manual and keep a copy of the O&M manual in electronic or hard copy form for the AOSS on the property where the AOSS is located, make the O&M manual available to the department upon request, and make a reasonable effort to transfer the O&M manual to any future owner.

6. Comply with the onsite sewage system requirements contained in local ordinances adopted pursuant to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 10.1-2100 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) and the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations (9VAC10-20) when an AOSS is located within a Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area.

Why is it important to comply with these regulations and have maintenance performed on my system?

Having annual maintenance and inspections performed on your septic system is similar to having an annual inspection on your vehicle. Alternative septic systems generally have mechanical and technical components that require careful maintenance that a DPOR licensed operator is able and trained to provide. Without regular maintenance, equipment failure or malfunctions could arise that may jeopardize your household and the environment. Annual maintenance will ensure that all components of your system are functioning properly and safely, just as an annual vehicle inspection ensures that all parts of the vehicle are operating properly to protect your safety and others on the road.

Why should I choose Miller’s Service as my maintenance provider?

Miller’s Service has been in business for over 40 years. We are a full service septic company, Class A contractor, and a DPOR licensed operator and installer of Alternative Onsite Sewage Systems. We have over 100 years combined experience and knowledge within our team. We will not only provide the required maintenance and inspections through our Annual Service Agreement, but we are able to provide the service necessary to complete any additional troubleshooting, repairs, pumping, and installations in the case of a system failure. With a licensed Master Plumber on staff, we are also able to address and repair any household plumbing issues that may be evident during maintenance or be contributing to a problem in your septic system. We provide quality service, using quality materials, and a personalized experience to educate our customers on the operations of their system.

What does an Annual Service Agreement Include?

Our service agreements include required annual maintenance and inspection for compliance with Virginia Department of Health AOSS regulations. We are also able to provide sampling services if this is required for your system. In addition, you are allotted two diagnostic alarm calls per 12 month period at no additional charge in the event of an alarm or reportable incident.

During a maintenance visit, we will locate and inspect all components of your septic system, verify structural integrity of all tanks, test for proper operation of electrical components and calibrate any pumps if necessary, clean any filters you may have, evaluate the absorption area, and be sure that the entire system is operational. We will provide reporting to the Virginia Department of Health (which each local health department has access to as well) to notify them that maintenance has been completed and your system is operational. As the homeowner, you will also receive a summary of maintenance and copy of inspection report to keep for your records. In addition, we take pictures each year of all components and maintenance provided during these visits. These digital images are available to you at any time, but more importantly, aid in creating a visual history of your system for us should issues arise in the future.

What types of Alternative systems do you provide maintenance for and install?

We are licensed to install and provide maintenance on all types of alternative systems approved in the State of Virginia. Alternative systems most commonly fall into the following categories: Aerobic Treatment (ATU), media filters (peat moss, sand, textiles), or a combination of the two. Most homeowners identify their system by the manufacturer rather than the treatment technology. If you are unsure what type of system you have and think you may have an alternative system, please contact us for more information. Popular manufacturers of these approved treatment technologies in Virginia include, but are not limited to: Orenco Advantex, Biomicrobics FAST (MicroFast, RetroFast), Ecoflo, Clearstream, Delta Ecopod, Puraflo (Anua), Cajun Aire, Multiflo (Consolidated Treatment Systems), Hoot, and Norweco.

Important links with AOSS info:

VDH FAQ about Alternative systems: