Translate this page to any language by choosing a language in the box below.

State Environmental Sewage and Septic Definitions - Georgia DIvision of Public Health - Free to Download Here!

Georgia Rules and Regulations
On-site Sewage Management Systems

ehso horizontal rule


Georgia Department of Human Resources
Division of Public Health
Environmental Health and Injury Control Branch
Environmental Services

II. 290-4-26-.02: Definitions

For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meaning as indicated beside each listing:

(a) "Additive" means an approved commercial product added to an on-site sewage system to enhance the performance of the system.

(b) "Absorption Field" means a configuration of absorption trenches installed in a portion of land and used for the absorption and final treatment of sewage.

(c) "Absorption Line" means a pipe line of perforated pipe laid in an absorption trench to serve as a conduit for sewage effluent.

(d) "Absorption Trench" means an excavation in which an absorption line is laid.

(e) "Absorption Trench Bottom and Side Soil Area" means the total interface of bottom and side soil area with undisturbed soils of all absorption trenches in an absorption field and occurring horizontally and downward from the point of distribution into the soil, expressed in square feet.

(f) "Aggregate" means washed gravel or washed stone meeting the Georgia Department of Transportation standards for hardness or other materials approved by the Department and shall be one-half inch (�") to two inches (2") in diameter.

(g) "Alternative On-site Management System" means any approved on-site sewage management system which differs in design or operation from the conventional or chamber septic tank system or privy.

(h) "Approved" or "Approval" means compliance with applicable specifications or criteria developed or accepted by the Department.

(I) "Auxiliary System" means a system to serve a portion of a residence, a pool house or other adjunct facility.

(j) "Bedroom" means any room that is designed primarily for sleeping purposes, as shown on the building plan.

(k) "Black Water" means wastewater generated by water closets, urinals, bidets, kitchen sinks and garbage disposals.

(l) "Building Drain" means that part of the lowest piping of a building drainage system inside the walls of a building, which receives the discharge from soil, waste or other drainage systems and conveys the discharge to the building sewer.

(m) "Building Sewer" means that part of the horizontal piping of a building drainage system beyond the building drain which receives the discharge from the building drain and conveys it to a public sewer, private sewer, on-site sewage management system, or other disposal.

(n) "Central On-site Sewage Management System" means an on-site sewage management system serving more than one building, business, residence or other facility designed or used for human occupancy or congregation.

(o) "Chamber Septic Tank System" means a septic tank and a chamber system as defined in (p).

(p) "Chamber System" means a system of chambers with each chamber being a molded polyolefin plastic, arch shaped, hollow structure with an exposed bottom area and solid top and louvered sidewall for infiltration of effluent into adjoining bottom and sidewall soil areas. Chambers may be of different sizes and configurations to obtain desired surface areas.

(q) "Community Subsurface Treatment System" means any system which treats primarily domestic wastewater other than those serving single family residences or non-domestic sewage systems.

(r) "Conventional System" means a system traditionally used composed of perforated pipe surrounded by gravel or stone masking for the infiltration of effluent into adjoining bottom and side soil areas.

(s) "Conventional Septic Tank System" means any septic tank, and conventional system as defined in (r), but does not include alternative or experimental systems.

(t) "County Board of Health" means the County Board of Health established by the Georgia Health Code (O.C.G.A. 31-3-1*) or its designee.

(u) "Department" means the Department of Human Resources of the State of Georgia or its designee.

(v) "Distribution Device" means a watertight structure which receives sewage effluent from a septic tank, dosing tank, or other sewage retention device and distributes it in equal portions to two or more absorption lines.

(w) "Dosing Tank" means an approved watertight tank, located after a septic tank or other sewage retention device, to receive and retain sewage effluent, and so equipped as to discharge sewage effluent intermittently to a distribution device, either by pump or by siphon.

(x) "Experimental On-site Sewage Management System" means any on-site sewage management system proposed for testing and observation, and provisionally approved for such purposes by the Department, but which has not been fully proven under field use.

(y) "Failure" means a condition of an on-site sewage system that constitutes a public hazard by inadequate treatment and/or disposal of sewage.

(z) "Filter " means an approved device that removes solids or other materials from the effluent that could cause failure of an on-site sewage management system.

(aa) "Flood Plain" means a generally flat plain or depression susceptible to being flooded from any source, including small and intermittent water courses and coastal areas subject to intermittent tidal action.

(bb) "Gray Water" means wastewater generated by water-using fixtures and appliances, excluding water closets, urinals, bidets, kitchen sinks, and garbage disposals.

(cc) "Grease Trap" means a device in which the grease content of sewage is intercepted and congealed, and from which grease may be skimmed or otherwise removed for proper disposal.

(dd) "Individual Water Supply System" means a system of piping, pumps, tanks, or other facilities, utilizing groundwater to supply a single family dwelling.

(ee) "Lot" means a portion of a subdivision, or any other parcel of land, intended as a unit for transfer of ownership, or for development, or both, and shall not include any part of the right-of-way of a street or road.

(ff) "Manual For On-site Sewage Management Systems" means the technical handbook currently adopted and periodically updated which is used by the Department in the implementation of this Chapter and is available for inspection at the appropriate State Office in Atlanta or at local health departments. Such Manual for On-site Sewage Management Systems and its provisions are herein adopted unless inconsistent with other provisions of law or regulation and is hereafter referred to as the "Manual" or "Manual for On-site Sewage Management Systems."

(gg) "Mobile Home Park" means a parcel of land developed for subsequent rental or lease for placement of two (2) or more mobile homes.

(hh) "On-site Sewage Management System" means a sewage management system other than a public or community sewage treatment system serving one or more buildings, mobile homes, recreational vehicles, residences, or other facilities designed or used for human occupancy or congregation. Such term shall include, without limitation, conventional and chamber septic tank systems, privies, and experimental and alternative on-site management systems which are designed to be physically incapable of a surface discharge of effluent that may be approved by the department.

(ii) "Percolation Coefficient" means the ratio of trench bottom area to percolation time; it is expressed as the allowable rate of sewage application in gallons per square foot per day.

(jj) "Percolation Rate" means the time, expressed in minutes per inch, required for water to seep into saturated soil at a constant rate.

(kk) "Percolation Test" means the method used to measure the percolation rate of water into soil as described in the Department's current Manual for On-site Sewage Management Systems.

(ll) "Person" means any individual, partnership, corporation, or association and may extend and be applied to bodies, political and corporate.

(mm) "Physical Development" means development which includes, but is not limited to site preparation, erection of a structure, road construction, well construction, or installation of on-site sewage management systems.

(nn) "Privy" means a structure (and necessary appurtenances) used for the sanitary disposal or storage of human wastes without the aid of water carriage; the term does not include chemical, composting, portable, or incinerator toilets.

(oo) "Public Water Supply System" means a system for the provision of piped water to the public for human consumption, if such system has at least fifteen service connections, or regularly serves an average of at least twenty-five individuals daily, at least sixty(60) days out of the year.

(pp) "Septage" means a waste that is a fluid mixture of partially treated or untreated sewage solids, liquids and sludge of human or domestic waste, present in or pumped from septic tanks, malfunctioning on-site sewage management systems, grease traps or privies.

(qq) "Sewage Treatment System" is a system that provides primary treatment and disposal, including absorption field components, devices and appurtenances intended to be used for disposal of sewage by soil absorption, but does not include a conventional or chamber septic tank system. The system shall be designed to be physically incapable of a surface discharge of effluent.

(rr) "Septic Tank" means an approved watertight tank designed or used to receive sewage from a building sewer and to affect separation and organic decomposition of sewage solids, and discharging sewage effluent to an absorption field or other management system.

(ss) "Sewage" means and includes human excreta, all water carried wastes, and liquid household waste from residences or commercial and industrial establishments.

(tt) "Sinkhole" means a depression in the land surface, generally in a limestone region, which communicates or has the potential to communicate with a subterranean passage developed by solution; typical sinkholes can be broad, closed basin-like features or steep-sided dropouts, or variants thereof.

(uu) "Site" means the location where the absorption field will be installed to include replacement area.

(vv) "Soil Classifier" means a person who holds at least a Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Agronomy, Soil Science, or related field, as approved by Soil Classifiers Certification Board. Must have completed a minimum of 15 semesters hours or 25 quarter hours in approved soil science courses including a course in pedology and have four years or more of full time experience as a Soil Classifier/Soil Scientist actively mapping, identifying and classifying soil features, and interpreting the influence of soil features on soil uses. Certification shall be in accordance with guidelines published in the Manual for On-site Sewage Management Systems.

(ww) "Subdivision" means any division of a tract or parcel of land into five or more lots, building sites, mobile home sites, or other divisions, resulting in any single lot of less than three acres, for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of sale or legacy, and includes resubdivision and, where appropriate to the context, relates to the process of subdividing or to the land or area subdivided, provided; however; that the following are not included within this definition:

  1. The combination or recombination of previously platted lots or portions thereof where the total number of lots is not increased and the resultant lots conform to the standards of these rules.

  2. The division of land into parcels, all of which is three acres or more in size with minimum width of one hundred and fifty feet (150') for a distance sufficient to provide an adequate area for the placement of structures and improvements including wells and approved installation of approved on-site sewage management systems.

(xx) "Well" means an excavation or opening into the ground by which groundwater is sought or obtained.

Ways to save money AND help the environment:

Eat healthier AND save money: Instant Pot Duo Crisp 11-in-1 Air Fryer and Electric Pressure Cooker Combo with Multicooker Lids that Fries, Steams, Slow Cooks, Sautés, Dehydrates

Save water AND money with this showerhead adapter, it lets the water flow until the water is hot, then shuts off water flow until you restart it, ShowerStart TSV Hot Water Standby Adapter

Protect your health with these:

Mattress Dust mite-Bedbug protector, 100% Waterproof, Hypoallergenic, Zippered

Handheld Allergen Vacuum Cleaner with UV Sanitizing and Heating for Allergies and Pet, Kills Mite, Virus, Molds, True HEPA with Powerful Suction removes Hair, Dander, Pollen, Dust,

Immune Support Supplement with Quercetin, Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D3

GermGuardian Air Purifier with UV-C Light and HEPA 13 Filter, Removes 99.97% of Pollutants

5 Stage Air Purifier, Features Ultraviolet Light (UVC), H13 True Hepa, Carbon, PCO, Smart Wifi, Auto Mode, Quiet, Removes 99.97% of Particles, Smoke, Mold, Pet Dander, Dust, Odors

Interesting Reads:

THE PREPPER'S CANNING & PRESERVING BIBLE: [13 in 1] Your Path to Food Self-Sufficiency. Canning, Dehydrating, Fermenting, Pickling & More, Plus The Food Preservation Calendar for a Sustainable Pantry

The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! Paperback

The Citizens' Guide to Geologic Hazards: A Guide to Understanding Geologic Hazards Including Asbestos, Radon, Swelling Soils, Earthquakes, Volcanoes

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

Book: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History Paperback

See Echo Dot on Amazon