.1969 EXPERIMENTAL AND INNOVATIVE SYSTEMS, COMPONENTS, OR DEVICES
Experimental and innovative (E & I) systems are any wastewater systems, system components, or devices that are not
specifically described in Rules .1955, .1956, .1957, or .1958 of this Section, including any system for which reductions are proposed in the minimum horizontal or vertical separation requirements or increases are proposed to the maximum long-term acceptance rates of this Section. This Rule shall provide for the approval and permitting of E & I systems.
(1) An application shall be submitted in writing to the State for an E & I system. The application shall include the following, as applicable:
(a) specification of the type of approval requested as either innovative, experimental or both;
(b) description of the system, including materials used in construction, and its proposed use;
(c) summary of pertinent literature, published research, and previous experience and performance with the
(d) results of any available testing, research or monitoring of pilot systems or full-scale operational systems
conducted by a third party research or testing organization;
(e) identity and qualifications of any proposed research or testing organization and the principal
investigators, and an affidavit certifying that the organization and principal investigators have no
conflict of interest and do not stand to gain financially from the sale of the E & I system;
(f) objectives, methodology, and duration of any proposed research or testing;
(g) specification of the number of systems proposed to be installed, the criteria for site selection, and system monitoring and reporting procedures;
(h) operation and maintenance procedures, system classification, proposed management entity and system operator;
(i) procedure to address system malfunction and replacement or premature termination of any proposed research or testing; and
(j) notification of any proprietary information, system, component, or device.
(2) The State shall review all applications submitted and evaluate at least the following:
(a) the completeness of the application, and whether additional information is needed to continue the review;
(b) whether the system meets the standards of an innovative system under Paragraph (3) of this Rule, or whether the system meets the standards of an experimental system under Paragraph (4) of this Rule, as applicable.
(3) INNOVATIVE SYSTEMS: Innovative systems shall be reviewed and approved by the State, and the local health department may permit innovative systems in accordance with the following:
(a) The State shall approve the system as an innovative system if the following standards have been met;
(i) The system, shall have been demonstrated to perform equal or superior to a system, which is
described in Rules .1955, .1956, .1957 or .1958, based upon controlled pilot-scale research
studies or statistically-valid monitoring of full-scale operational systems.
(ii) Materials used in construction shall be equal or superior in physical properties and chemical
durability, compared to materials used for similar proposed systems, specifically described in
Rules .1955, .1956, .1957 or .1958.
(b) When a system is approved as innovative by the State, the applicant shall be notified in writing. Such
notice shall include any conditions for use, monitoring, and operation.
(c) A local health department shall issue an Improvement Permit for any innovative system approved by
the State upon a finding that the provisions of this Rule including any conditions are met. Use of an innovative system and any conditions shall be described on the Improvement Permit and the Certificate of Completion or Operation Permit.
(4) EXPERIMENTAL SYSTEMS: A system may be approved for use as an experimental system as part of a research or testing program which has been approved by the State. The research or testing program shall be conducted by a third party research or testing organization which has knowledge and experience relevant to the proposed research or testing and has no conflict of interest and does not stand to gain financially from the sale of the proposed system.
(a) To be approved by the State, the proposed research or testing program shall include the following:
(i) The research program shall be designed such that, if the objectives are met, the system would
satisfy the standards for approval as an innovative system under Paragraph (3) of this Rule.
(ii) Research design and testing methodology shall have a reasonable likelihood of meeting the
(b) The State shall notify the applicant and the applicable local health departments when the proposed
research or testing program has been approved for an experimental system. Such notice shall include, but not be limited to, conditions for siting, operation, monitoring and maintenance, and number of systems which can installed.
(c) A local health department may issue an Improvement Permit for an experimental system when the
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following conditions are met:
(i) There is an application for an Improvement Permit in accordance with Rule .1937(c) of this
Section, with the proposed use of an experimental system specified.
(ii) The proposed site is included as part of an approved research or testing program and any
conditions specified for use of the system have been met.
(iii) When an experimental system is proposed to serve a residence, place of business or place of
public assembly, there shall be a repair area using a non-experimental backup system in accordance with the provisions of Rule .1945(b) of this Section, except:
(A) When an existing and properly functioning wastewater system is available for immediate
use, including connection to a public or community wastewater system; or
(B) When the experimental system is used as a repair to an existing malfunctioning system;
(C) When the experimental system is to serve a vehicular, portable structure built on a
chassis and designed to be used as a residence, place of business, or place of public assembly without a permanent foundation, in which case sufficient available space shall be reserved for the installation of a replacement system at least equal to the initial experimental system.
(iv) When an experimental system is proposed which shall not serve a residence, place of business, or place of public assembly, a repair area or backup system shall not be required.
(v) The application for an experimental system shall include statements that the property owner is aware of its experimental nature, that the local health department and State do not guarantee or warrant that these systems will function in a satisfactory manner for any period of time, and that use of the system may need to be discontinued if the system malfunctions and is found to be non- repairable, or if the proposed research or testing program is prematurely terminated. Such statements shall be signed by the owner.
(vi) The owner of the site on which an experimental system is proposed shall execute a easement granting rights of access to the system at reasonable hours for monitoring and evaluation to the research or testing organization. This easement shall specify that it is granted for the purposes of researching and testing an experimental wastewater system and shall remain valid as long as the system is to be part of the proposed research or testing program. The easement shall be recorded with the county register of deeds.
(vii) Provisions shall be made for operation and maintenance of the system.
(viii) Any special conditions required for the installation of the experimental system shall be specified
in the Improvement Permit. Use of an experimental system and any conditions shall be described on the Improvement Permit and any subsequent operation permits, with provisions for a repair area and backup system specified. A condition of the Improvement Permit shall be that the installation be under the direct field supervision of the research or testing organization.
(ix) The proposed Improvement Permit and any subsequent operation permits for experimental systems shall be reviewed by the State and found to be consistent with the approved research or testing program prior to issuance by the local health department.
(d) Upon completion of the installation and prior to use, an Experimental System Operation Permit (ESOP) shall be issued by the local health department. The ESOP shall be valid for a specified period of time not to exceed five years. Special maintenance, monitoring and testing requirements shall be specified as permit conditions, in accordance with the approved research or testing program. Failure to carry out these conditions shall be grounds for permit suspension or revocation.
(e) Prior to expiration of the ESOP and based upon satisfactory system performance as determined during the research or testing program, the local health department shall issue an Operation Permit. Premature termination of the research or testing program shall be grounds for ESOP suspension or revocation.
(f) Upon completion of monitoring, research and testing, the research or testing organization shall prepare a final report including recommendations on future use of the system. If the State determines that the results indicate that the standards of Paragraph (3) of this Rule are met, the State shall approve the use as an innovative system.
(5) Any proposed changes or modifications in the E & I system shall be submitted for review and approval by the State.
(6) The State shall suspend or revoke the approval of an E & I system upon a finding as follows:
(a) The information submitted in the application is falsified.
(b) subsequent experience with the system results in altered conclusions about system performance or
(7) Suspension or revocation of an E & I System approval shall not affect systems previously installed pursuant to
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History Note: Authority G. S. 130A-335(e),(f); 130A-343; Eff. April 1, 1993.