September 27, 2020
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       Florida Senate - 2010                                    SB 1738
       
       
       
       By Senator Oelrich
       
       
       
       
       14-01556-10                                           20101738__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to onsite sewage treatment and
    3         disposal systems; amending s. 381.0065, F.S.;
    4         requiring owners of onsite sewage treatment and
    5         disposal systems to have such systems periodically
    6         inspected; providing an exception; directing the
    7         Department of Health to administer an onsite sewage
    8         treatment and disposal system inspection program;
    9         requiring the department to adopt rules implementing
   10         program standards, procedures, and requirements;
   11         requiring system owners to pay the costs of required
   12         inspections and pump-outs; requiring inspections and
   13         pump-outs to be performed by registered septic tank or
   14         master septic tank contractors; providing notice
   15         requirements; providing definitions; creating s.
   16         381.00656, F.S.; requiring the department to
   17         administer a grant program to assist owners in the
   18         repair of specified onsite sewage treatment and
   19         disposal systems; providing eligibility and program
   20         requirements; authorizing the department to prioritize
   21         applications; requiring the department to adopt rules;
   22         requiring the department to seek to award grants in
   23         each fiscal year to the extent of funds available and
   24         to carry forward excess funds; amending s. 381.0066,
   25         F.S.; revising the fees for application review, permit
   26         issuance, or system inspection of onsite sewage
   27         treatment and disposal systems; establishing fees for
   28         the filing of onsite sewage treatment and disposal
   29         system inspection reports; providing for deposit and
   30         use of the fees collected; amending s. 489.557, F.S.;
   31         revising the fees for septic tank contractor and
   32         master septic tank contractor registrations; providing
   33         for deposit and use of the fees collected; providing
   34         an effective date.
   35  
   36  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   37  
   38         Section 1. Subsection (5) of section 381.0065, Florida
   39  Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (6), and a new
   40  subsection (5) is added to that section, to read:
   41         381.0065 Onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems;
   42  regulation.—
   43         (5) PERIODIC INSPECTIONS.—
   44         (a) Effective July 1, 2013, the owner of an onsite sewage
   45  treatment and disposal system, excluding a system that is
   46  required to obtain an operating permit, shall have the system
   47  inspected at least once every 5 years to assess the fundamental
   48  operational condition of the system, prolong the life of the
   49  system, and identify any failure within the system. The
   50  department shall administer an onsite sewage treatment and
   51  disposal system inspection program for that purpose and shall
   52  adopt rules implementing the program standards, procedures, and
   53  requirements, including, but not limited to, a schedule for a 5
   54  year inspection cycle; a county-by-county implementation plan
   55  phased in over a 10-year period with first priority given to
   56  those areas within a springshed protection area identified by
   57  the Department of Environmental Protection; minimum standards
   58  for a functioning system; requirements for the pump-out or
   59  repair of a failing system; and enforcement procedures for
   60  failure of a system owner to obtain an inspection of the system
   61  and failure of a contractor to timely report inspection results
   62  to the department and the system owner.
   63         (b) The department’s Procedure for Voluntary Inspection and
   64  Assessment of Existing Systems shall be applied to inspections
   65  under this subsection, except as otherwise provided. All
   66  inspection procedures used by an inspector must be documented
   67  and nothing in this subsection limits the amount of detail an
   68  inspector may provide at his or her professional discretion. The
   69  inspection must include a tank inspection, a drainfield
   70  inspection, and a written assessment of the condition of the
   71  system, and, if necessary, a disclosure statement pursuant to
   72  the department’s procedure.
   73         (c) If documentation of a tank pump-out or a permitted new
   74  installation, repair, or modification of the system within the
   75  previous 3 years is provided, which states the capacity of the
   76  tank and indicates that the condition of the tank is not a
   77  sanitary or public health nuisance pursuant to department rule,
   78  a pump-out of the system is not required.
   79         (d) Owners are responsible for paying the cost of the
   80  inspection and any required pump-out pursuant to department rule
   81  and may not request partial inspections or the omission of
   82  portions of the inspection.
   83         (e) Each inspection or pump-out required under this
   84  subsection must be performed by a septic tank contractor or
   85  master septic tank contractor registered under part III of
   86  chapter 489.
   87         (f) Prior to any inspection deadline, the department must
   88  provide a minimum of 60 days’ notice to owners that their
   89  systems must be inspected by that deadline. The notice must
   90  include a provision which states that the purpose of the
   91  inspection is to assess the fundamental operational condition of
   92  the system, prolong the life of the system, and identify any
   93  failure within the system, and not to determine code compliance,
   94  require a complete upgrade or overhaul of a system to meet
   95  current code requirements, or demonstrate that the system will
   96  adequately serve the use to be placed upon it by the current or
   97  any subsequent owner. The department must include a copy of the
   98  Procedure for Voluntary Inspection and Assessment of Existing
   99  Systems and information about the grant program established
  100  pursuant to s. 381.00656 with the notice.
  101         (g) As used in this subsection:
  102         1. “Failure” or “failing” means a condition that exists
  103  within an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system that
  104  prohibits the system from functioning in a sanitary manner and
  105  results in the discharge of untreated or partially treated
  106  wastewater onto the surface of the ground or into surface waters
  107  or groundwaters or results in the failure of building plumbing
  108  to discharge properly. For the purposes of this subsection, a
  109  system may not be deemed in failure solely because the system
  110  does not have the minimum separation distance between the
  111  drainfield and groundwater table.
  112         2. “Repair” means any replacement of or modification or
  113  addition to a failing system which is necessary to allow the
  114  system to function in accordance with its design or is necessary
  115  to eliminate a public health or pollution hazard, including the
  116  use of any treatment method that is intended to improve the
  117  functioning of any part of the system or to prolong or sustain
  118  the length of time the system functions, excluding:
  119         a. The service or replacement of mechanical or electrical
  120  parts of an approved onsite sewage treatment and disposal system
  121  with like kind and quality parts.
  122         b. Any minor structural corrections to a tank or
  123  distribution box.
  124         c. The use of an authorized additive in indoor building
  125  plumbing by the system owner.
  126         d. The removal of the contents of any tank or the
  127  installation of an approved outlet filter device without
  128  disturbing the drainfield.
  129         e. The replacement of any broken tank lid.
  130         f. The splicing of a drip emitter line, provided the
  131  emitter is not eliminated.
  132         Section 2. Section 381.00656, Florida Statutes, is created
  133  to read:
  134         381.00656 Grant program for repair of onsite sewage
  135  treatment and disposal systems.—Effective July 1, 2013, the
  136  department shall administer a grant program to assist owners of
  137  failing onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems identified
  138  pursuant to s. 381.0065 or the rules adopted thereunder. A grant
  139  under the program may be awarded to an owner only for the
  140  purpose of repairing a failing system serving a single-family
  141  residence occupied by an owner with a family income of less than
  142  or equal to 200 percent of the federal poverty level at the time
  143  of application. When possible, program grants shall be used to
  144  install or modify nongravity onsite sewage treatment and
  145  disposal systems. The department may prioritize applications for
  146  an award of grant funds based upon the severity of a system’s
  147  failure, its relative environmental impact, the income of the
  148  family, or any combination thereof. The department shall adopt
  149  rules establishing the grant application and award process,
  150  including an application form. The department shall seek to make
  151  grants in each fiscal year equal to the total amount of grant
  152  funds available, with any excess funds used for grant awards in
  153  subsequent fiscal years.
  154         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section
  155  381.0066, Florida Statutes, is amended, and paragraph (m) is
  156  added to that subsection, to read:
  157         381.0066 Onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems;
  158  fees.—
  159         (2) The minimum fees in the following fee schedule apply
  160  until changed by rule by the department within the following
  161  limits:
  162         (a) Application review, permit issuance, or system
  163  inspection, including repair of a subsurface, mound, filled, or
  164  other alternative system or permitting of an abandoned system: a
  165  fee of not less than $25, or more than $125, plus an additional
  166  $5. The additional $5 collected pursuant to this paragraph shall
  167  be used to fund the grant program established under s.
  168  381.00656.
  169         (m) Filing an inspection report under s. 381.0065(5): a fee
  170  of not less than $75, or more than $150. Twenty-five percent of
  171  the fee collected pursuant to this paragraph shall be used to
  172  fund the grant program established under s. 381.00656.
  173  
  174  The funds collected pursuant to this subsection must be
  175  deposited in a trust fund administered by the department, to be
  176  used for the purposes stated in this section and ss. 381.0065
  177  and 381.00655.
  178         Section 4. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1) of
  179  section 489.557, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  180         489.557 Fees, establishment.—
  181         (1) The department shall, by rule, establish fees as
  182  follows:
  183         (a) For septic tank contractor registration:
  184         1. Application and examination fee: not less than $25 or
  185  more than $75.
  186         2. Initial registration fee: not less than $50 or more than
  187  $100, plus an additional $50. The additional $50 collected
  188  pursuant to this subparagraph shall be used to fund the grant
  189  program established under s. 381.00656.
  190         3. Renewal of registration fee: not less than $50 or more
  191  than $100, plus an additional $50. The additional $50 collected
  192  pursuant to this subparagraph shall be used to fund the grant
  193  program established under s. 381.00656.
  194         (b) For master septic tank contractor registration:
  195         1. Application and examination fee: not less than $25 or
  196  more than $75.
  197         2. Initial registration fee: not less than $50 or more than
  198  $100, plus an additional $50. The additional $50 collected
  199  pursuant to this subparagraph shall be used to fund the grant
  200  program established under s. 381.00656.
  201         3. Renewal of registration fee: not less than $50 or more
  202  than $100, plus an additional $50. The additional $50 collected
  203  pursuant to this subparagraph shall be used to fund the grant
  204  program established under s. 381.00656.
  205         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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