Subsurface Wastewater Team

Variances

Variances to the Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules

If your system design does not meet the minimum requirements of the Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules it may be possible to obtain a variance to the Rules. There are two types of variances, First Time System and Replacement System. There are also two levels of approval: Local and State.

First Time System Variances

An application for a first time system variance consists of a completed application for a permit to install a system or part of a system. It must include complete plans and specifications for the proposed system and other pertinent information as required on the HHE-200 (design and application) and HHE-204 Form (Variance Request Form), along with the signatures of the owner/applicant, and the Local Plumbing Inspector.

If the variance being requested is to waive the minimum soil suitability criteria, additional measures such as, but not limited to, enlarging the disposal area or raising it with extra fill are needed. These measures get points from a series of tables in the Rules. If a system is inside the shoreland zone (250 feet from a major water body) or in a regulated subdivision, the minimum acceptable point score is 65. Otherwise, the minimum acceptable score is 50. Designs that can not make these minimum scores are not approvable.

Replacement System Variances

Replacement System Variances do not require a point score. Otherwise, they are very similar to First Time System Variances. An application for a Replacement System Variance consists of a completed application for a permit to install a system or part of a system. It must include complete plans and specifications for the proposed system and other pertinent information as required on the HHE-200 and HHE-204 Forms, along with the signatures of the owner/applicant and Local Plumbing Inspector.

Local versus State Approval

Most variances can be approved at the Local level by the Local Plumbing Inspector . In those cases where the Local Plumbing Inspector’s authority is exceeded, the Department of Health and Human Services will review the application, and issue an approval if appropriate.

Before submitting a variance to the Department for review, the applicant must obtain the signature of the Local Plumbing Inspector on the variance request forms. There is no review fee for State-level variance review.

03/07/12