Update from the Georgia Onsite Wastewater Association

The Georgia legislature has passed legislation delaying the effective date of the new land disposal regulations by two years until July 1, 2014. It is awaiting the governor’s signature. The regulations pertained to land disposal sites that receive septic tank waste. According to GOWA, it’s members said that the new rules were “extremely expensive and harsh” and that they “could not afford to comply with these rules” and would be forced out of business.

After a roller coaster ride, the legislation passed as an amendment to HB 1102, Section 1A and 1B. GOWA encourages you to call your state representative and thank them for their support on this important legislation. Representative Kim Smith and Representative Lynn Smith were helpful in getting this passed as was Senator Jeff Mullis, Jim Ussery, DNR, EPD and GOWA president Dart Kendall. “If this bill had not passed it would have further complicated the problem pumpers have in finding a reasonable place to dump their septage,” says Bruce Widener, GOWA.

SB 467 Septage Disposal
This bill allows pumpers to pump out tanks, dewater it, remove solids and place the solids in a land disposal facility.

The bill was introduced too late in the session to get it passed, but it did garner some attention. Ussery sent GOWA an email saying that he is not opposed to this bill and the new version of the bill contains language that Ussery suggested. This bill has been rewritten and has garnered interest from various legislators who are interested in helping. Two versions of the bill have been written.

Contains language by Ussery: http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1104240592605-349/SB+467+DNR+amendments.pdf

Contains language suggested by the Department of Public Health: http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1104240592605351/SB467+DPH+Amendments.pdf

GOWA is looking for your input on the bills.

SB 524 Septic Tank Owners’ Protection Act
A bill was introduced by Senator Ross Telleson that says that if you have a well and the city or county puts a water line on your street, they cannot force you to pay to connect to the water line and pay the monthly fees. GOWA’s version says the same for septic tanks. This bill will be acted on next year. GOWA anticipates strong opposition from cities and counties next year, but feel confident that if they can get members to contact their legislators, then they can get it passed.


GOWA encourages you to stay in contact with your legislators about these bills and to tell them that Bruce Widener represents you at the Capitol. They can call Bruce at 678-296-2130 if they have any questions about the bills.

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