W.V. 64 C.S.R. 9 Sewer Systems, Sewage Treatment Systems & Sewage Tank Cleaners, effective May 1, 1998, defines a subdivision as a tract of land which has been divided into two (2) or more lots, tracts, parcels, plats, sites, areas, units, interests, or other division for the purpose of dwelling or establishment development, and includes the division of land by deed, metes and bounds description, lease, map, plat or other instrument, or by any act of construction. This definition includes the addition of a dwelling(s) to a tract of land which may or may not already have an existing dwelling on it; regardless of whether a “new” lot is created by the act of surveying.
Division of land not proposed for development requiring onsite sewage disposal systems shall not require subdivision approval. Buyers of such properties should be informed that no approved onsite system installation areas have been established and that W.V. 64 C.S.R 9.3.1 requires that a permit be obtained prior to construction of a dwelling or establishment on any site.
Prior to establishing a subdivision in Gilmer County where an individual onsite sewage system(s) will be used, property owners or developers must obtain written approval from Gilmer County Health Department before any improvements, construction, installation or development is initiated on any lot, and before any water well or sewage installation permits can be issued.
To ensure there is adequate area for the installation and repair of individual onsite sewage systems, W.V. 64 C.S.R. 9 requires that each dwelling or establishment served by an individual onsite sewage system must have a 10,000 square foot sewage system reserve area. This reserve area includes space for the original onsite sewage system plus replacement area for any future repairs. The reserve area shall not be disturbed during construction and no development or structures are permissible on this area. A Subdivision Approval Application Form, the required accompanying information and appropriate fees must be submitted to Gilmer County Health Department to begin the approval process.
After written approval is granted by Gilmer County Health Department, the developer or each individual lot owner must obtain a Gilmer County Health Department permit for the construction of any water well or individual onsite sewage system. Any changes proposed after written approval has been given must be submitted, re-evaluated, and approved by Gilmer County Health Department.
On lots less than two (2) acres in size, the 10,000 square foot reserve area for each lot must meet the requirements for the installation of a standard onsite sewage system. There must be a minimum of three (3) feet of suitable soil under any portion of the soil absorption system, and the average percolation rate must be between 5-90 min/inch.
On lots two (2) acres in size and over, standard or alternative onsite sewage systems may be proposed for the 10,000 square foot reserve area. Soil and site requirements for alternative systems require an average percolation rate less than 120 min/inch; require a minimum of three (3) feet of soil between the soil absorption system and limestone rock strata; and require two (2) feet of soil between the soil absorption system and non-limestone bedrock and/or seasonal high water table if additional treatment precedes the system or the proposed design is a low pressure system.
Where multiple reserve areas are proposed, each reserve area shall not be less than 3,000 square feet.
All onsite sewage disposal reserve areas shall be staked in the field and shown on the submitted plat.
A minimum of four (4) percolation test holes and one (1) six foot soils observation trench must be excavated on each lot. All testing must be done in the proposed onsite sewage system reserve area and must be conducted by a WV certified onsite sewer system installer. Six foot deep slit trenches may be required in limestone geology to determine soil depth over limestone rock strata.
Gilmer County Health Department must visit each site prior to issuing written approval, and must view all test holes prior to backfilling.
The effect of the location of driveways, underground utilities, and stormwater management structures must be considered in planning reserve area locations. Developers should be aware of any additional local requirements which may apply to land development.
Minimum distances must be maintained between sewer system components and drinking water supplies and lines. Refer to the W.V. 64 C.S.R. 46 Water Well Design Standards, W.V. 64 C.S.R. 47 Sewage Treatment & Collection System Design Standards, and excerpts from W.V 64 C.S.R. 47 for Individual & Onsite Sewage Systems.