An analysis of the existing wastewater system is required prior to a conversion (see NYS DOH Fact Sheet here
). The WPA has wastewater system records for nearly all homes in Schuyler County, therefore an initial phone call should be made to the WPA as soon as possible in the planning stage for any conversion.
All aspects of NYS DOH Appendix 75-A
must be adhered to for conversions. A waiver from the minimum requirements may only be granted by NYS DOH and only if detailed plans completed by a privately retained design professional have been submitted and approved by both the WPA and NYS DOH Hornell District Office.
For all intents and purposes, the regulations for conversions are identical with the regulations for new construction. The only difference being minimum lot size requirements need not be met. While the regulations may be similar, the existing infrastructure and useable area on a lot can certainly pose a challenge for upgrading a system and can, in some rare cases, negate the possibility for total home replacement. For instance, the wastewater treatment system must maintain a 100 ft minimum separation distance to surface bodies of water, wells and all neighboring wells. If the separation distance cannot be achieved as currently installed, mitigation measures must be sought.
The procedure for a conversion is highly variable depending on several factors and will be determined at the discretion of the WPA based on the realities of the land and its infrastructure (wastewater system, well(s), lot size, surface water, etc) and the proposed changes.
A conversion at a minimum will require a site evaluation with the applicant, an inspection of the septic tank during a mandatory tank pumping, and requires a Compliance Certificate to be issued to the Town prior to the issuance of a Building Permit.
A majority of conversions require more modifications and will require anything from a tank upgrade, to additional trench lines, to a whole new system, even a replacement well.
Contact the WPA for more information.