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TENNESSEE
Population: 5,689,283

Information on the state of Tennessee is available for the following topics. To review this information, click on the links below.

Contacts| Regulations, Statutes & State Codes | Quick Facts | Septic Stats

Onsite Demonstration Programs | Onsite Management Communities

 

 

Contacts:
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Dan E. Hoover, Environmental Program Manager, or
Larry Matthews, Environmental Specialist V
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
Division of Groundwater Protection
10th Floor, L & C Tower
401 Church Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-1540
(615) 532-0772 and (615) 532-0769 (respectively)
(615) 532-0778 (fax)

dhoover@mail.state.tn.us

lmatthews@mail.state.tn.us

http://www.state.tn.us/sos/rules/1200/1200-01/1200-01-06.pdf


Regulations, Statutes & State Codes:
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Tennessee State Regulations

Tennessee Constitutions, Statutes and Codes

Regulations to Govern Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems
Chapter 1200-1-6
March 2001

Onsite regulations for Tennessee are not currently under revision; it is undecided whether revisions will be forthcoming prior to July 31, 2002.

Those technologies approved for use in Tennessee for onsite wastewater treatment and disposal include conventional gravel, large diameter gravelless pipe, chambers, low-pressure pipe, elevated sand mounds, and oxidation lagoons. A new law effective July 2000 allows advanced treatment systems meeting NSF Standard 41 to be used in conjunction with an approved disposal field that is allowed to be reduced in size by up to 40% only in those counties with an approved wastewater authority. Certain maintenance entities and contracts are mandated.

Surface discharge for onsite septic systems is not an option in Tennessee.

State Code allows for drainfield area/size reduction with advanced treatment systems that meet ANSI/NSF Standard 41, i.e., cleaner effluent.

No funding program exists to assist homeowners either replacing an individual failing system or installing a new one, nor are there plans to develop such a mechanism. Questions may be directed to Greg Upham, Environmental Program Manager, at the address above, or at (615) 532-0776, (615) 532-0778 (fax), or gupham@mail.state.tn.us

An onsite training center is being planned for the state. Upham (above) may be contacted for additional information.

Tennessee State Code recognizes/requires management programs/contracts or management districts to monitor/maintain onsite systems or individual septic systems. Maintenance/management contracts are required for advanced treatment systems that meet ANSI/NSF Standard 41. Local agencies have authority to adopt or require maintenance/management programs, e.g., an individual county can elect to establish a water/wastewater authority. The State agency is not involved in a county's decision to establish an authority.

Tennessee tracks the number of permits issued per year, with 35,000 for new construction in the past year, and 5,000 for system replacement/repair. These records are maintained at the regional and state levels.

In Tennessee, a failed system is one where effluent surfaces or it is detected in ground or surface waters. The most common reasons for system failure include approval of unsuitable and marginal sites, poor installation, and excessive water use.

The State conducts a licensing/certification program for installers, pumpers, and soil consultants (site evaluators). Approved soil consultants are required to submit soil maps for subdivision lots (any lot less than five (5) acres). Environmental specialists (local sanitarians) can evaluate non-subdivision lots.

For information about municipal wastewater regulations, one may contact:

Roger Lemasters
Division of Water Pollution Control
(615) 532-0649

 

Quick Facts:
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Total number of onsite systems: From 1990 U.S. census, approximately 780,000.

Number of new systems installed each year: NA

Failure definition: Overt surface discharge, backup into residence, or clear public health hazard.

Number or proportion of systems presently failing: NA

Number or proportion repaired annually: About 6000 repaired or replaced.

Number or proportion replaced annually: See above.

Number or proportion of repairs or replacements that require alternative
technology (e.g.,sand filters, pressure dosing):
A small percentage involve alternatives such as low pressure
pipe, mounds, and gravelless trenches, but most will be replaced by conventional ISDSs.

Number or proportion of repairs or replacements that require advanced technology (e.g.,
disinfection, nutrient removal):
NA

Cost of a conventional septic system installation: About $2000; range $1000-$10,000.

Cost of a centralized sewer tie-in (including fees and cost of the sewer lateral): Estimated at
$1000-$2000(?).

 

Septic Stats:
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TOTAL PERSONS TOTAL HOUSING UNITS PUBLIC SYSTEM DRILLED WELL DUG WELL OTHER PUBLIC SEWER SEPTIC TANK OTHER MEANS
TENNESSEE 4,877,185 2,026,067 1,736,138 215,752 29,191 44,986 1,213,934 781,616 30,517
COUNTIES
ANDERSON 68,250 29,323 26,401 2,219 243 460 17,972 11,048 303
BEDFORD 30,411 12,638 10,680 1,440 166 352 6,622 5,807 209
BENTON 14,524 7,107 3,945 2,308 711 143 1,957 4,753 397
BLEDSOE 9,669 3,771 1,362 2,151 88 170 675 2,964 132
BLOUNT 85,969 36,532 30,529 5,033 441 529 15,374 20,733 425
BRADLEY 73,712 29,562 24,181 4,848 306 227 14,012 15,374 176
CAMPBELL 35,079 14,817 11,312 2,275 197 1,033 5,376 8,703 738
CANNON 10,467 4,368 1,861 1,846 190 471 1,094 3,099 175
CARROLL 27,514 11,783 7,129 4,241 349 64 5,246 6,156 381
CARTER 51,505 21,779 17,932 1,454 273 2,120 6,537 14,490 752
CHEATHAM 27,140 10,297 7,585 2,070 229 413 1,847 8,243 207
CHESTER 12,819 4,944 2,699 2,010 211 24 1,626 3,059 259
CLAIBORNE 26,137 10,711 5,033 3,462 399 1,817 1,551 8,330 830
CLAY 7,238 3,340 2,263 511 159 407 702 2,356 282
COCKE 29,141 12,282 6,122 4,735 408 1,017 3,927 7,691 664
COFFEE 40,339 16,786 12,246 3,798 470 272 9,235 7,376 175
CROCKETT 13,378 5,521 4,872 540 91 18 2,075 3,384 62
CUMBERLAND 34,736 15,864 13,062 2,463 150 189 4,842 10,593 429
DAVIDSON 510,784 229,064 227,659 1,082 105 218 210,892 17,867 305
DECATUR 10,472 5,346 3,736 911 444 255 1,463 3,520 363
DEKALB 14,360 6,694 5,144 1,000 223 327 2,138 4,273 283
DICKSON 35,061 14,149 10,558 2,653 235 703 4,624 9,256 269
DYER 34,854 14,384 13,624 645 76 39 8,968 5,313 103
FAYETTE 25,559 9,115 3,307 5,006 672 130 2,085 6,387 643
FENTRESS 14,669 6,120 4,034 1,571 143 372 744 5,014 362
FRANKLIN 34,725 13,717 11,299 1,903 279 236 4,940 8,555 222
GIBSON 46,315 19,635 15,426 3,780 398 31 12,428 7,005 202
GILES 25,741 10,828 7,431 1,550 421 1,426 3,792 6,737 299
GRAINGER 17,095 7,501 2,055 4,141 520 785 327 6,622 552
GREENE 55,853 23,270 18,718 3,289 463 800 8,117 14,665 488
GRUNDY 13,362 5,155 3,953 948 132 122 406 4,526 223
HAMBLEN 50,480 20,514 18,604 1,629 144 137 9,718 10,589 207
HAMILTON 285,536 122,588 119,020 3,060 239 269 80,846 41,331 411
HANCOCK 6,739 2,890 668 1,005 135 1,082 477 1,846 567
HARDEMAN 23,377 9,174 5,182 3,410 498 84 3,207 5,545 422
HARDIN 22,633 10,275 7,860 859 1,132 424 3,334 6,598 343
HAWKINS 44,565 18,779 12,057 4,628 862 1,232 6,149 11,748 882
HAYWOOD 19,437 7,475 4,706 2,290 411 68 4,181 3,025 269
HENDERSON 21,844 9,278 6,690 2,229 285 74 2,743 6,021 514
HENRY 27,888 13,774 8,379 4,774 524 97 5,112 8,428 234
HICKMAN 16,754 6,662 4,278 1,171 175 1,038 984 5,423 255
HOUSTON 7,018 3,085 2,155 422 146 362 679 2,314 92
HUMPHREYS 15,795 7,136 4,101 2,180 544 311 2,780 4,137 219
JACKSON 9,297 4,219 2,878 601 177 563 590 3,337 292
JEFFERSON 33,016 14,170 8,447 4,743 670 310 3,477 10,347 346
JOHNSON 13,766 6,090 2,959 1,026 203 1,902 1,107 4,666 317
KNOX 335,749 143,582 137,069 5,345 681 487 107,538 35,435 609
LAKE 7,129 2,610 2,397 188 25 0 1,934 612 64
LAUDERDALE 23,491 9,343 8,888 360 78 17 4,315 4,815 213
LAWRENCE 35,303 14,229 9,504 2,993 829 903 4,399 9,493 337
LEWIS 9,247 3,943 2,288 936 139 580 1,634 2,188 121
LINCOLN 28,157 11,902 8,823 1,633 609 837 3,537 8,068 297
LOUDON 31,255 12,995 9,994 2,493 227 281 5,108 7,737 150
MCMINN 42,383 17,616 10,902 5,764 476 474 7,940 9,448 228
MCNAIRY 22,422 9,734 7,817 1,391 386 140 2,519 6,887 328
MACON 15,906 6,879 4,292 1,051 423 1,113 1,583 4,977 319
MADISON 77,982 31,809 26,781 4,483 478 67 21,647 9,868 294
MARION 24,860 10,011 7,097 2,170 194 550 2,652 7,145 214
MARSHALL 21,539 8,909 6,827 1,430 189 463 4,546 4,220 143
MAURY 54,812 22,286 20,250 1,159 164 713 13,604 8,433 249
MEIGS 8,033 3,689 1,249 2,070 144 226 426 3,103 160
MONROE 30,541 12,803 6,074 5,333 611 785 3,040 9,195 568
MONTGOMERY 100,498 37,233 36,274 526 124 309 24,960 12,022 251
MOORE 4,721 1,912 1,099 392 69 352 318 1,556 38
MORGAN 17,300 6,378 4,597 1,614 99 68 602 5,579 197
OBION 31,717 13,359 11,859 1,331 131 38 8,169 5,062 128
OVERTON 17,636 7,388 4,978 1,397 199 814 1,448 5,520 420
PERRY 6,612 3,225 1,376 1,031 198 620 843 2,244 138
PICKETT 4,548 2,253 1,642 208 30 373 407 1,723 123
POLK 13,643 5,659 2,560 2,071 276 752 491 4,952 216
PUTNAM 51,373 21,417 20,193 667 109 448 10,789 10,367 261
RHEA 24,344 10,361 5,789 4,037 302 233 2,833 7,379 149
ROANE 47,227 20,334 15,088 4,322 269 655 8,117 11,990 227
ROBERTSON 41,494 15,823 14,665 720 229 209 6,670 9,006 147
RUTHERFORD 118,570 45,755 41,819 3,356 440 140 26,873 18,508 374
SCOTT 18,358 7,122 5,459 1,395 65 203 1,521 5,179 422
SEQUATCHIE 8,863 3,570 2,045 1,221 93 211 682 2,772 116
SEVIER 51,043 24,166 12,468 10,130 1,040 528 6,710 16,662 794
SHELBY 826,330 327,796 326,676 878 111 131 318,473 8,229 1,094
SMITH 14,143 6,049 4,286 979 159 625 1,563 4,230 256
STEWART 9,479 4,384 2,161 1,599 276 348 572 3,574 238
SULLIVAN 143,596 60,623 56,460 2,957 340 866 26,841 33,194 588
SUMNER 103,281 39,807 36,202 2,529 512 564 20,551 18,864 392
TIPTON 37,568 14,071 11,259 2,358 394 60 4,752 8,919 400
TROUSDALE 5,920 2,537 2,226 196 61 54 1,075 1,383 79
UNICOI 16,549 7,076 5,643 385 93 955 2,505 4,388 183
UNION 13,694 5,696 1,808 2,631 478 779 446 4,799 451
VAN BUREN 4,846 2,001 1,723 175 12 91 102 1,771 128
WARREN 32,992 13,802 12,162 1,344 149 147 5,523 8,014 265
WASHINGTON 92,315 38,378 32,928 4,183 379 888 22,163 15,912 303
WAYNE 13,935 5,741 2,072 2,197 441 1,031 1,037 4,236 468
WEAKLEY 31,972 12,857 7,934 4,630 262 31 6,668 6,058 131
WHITE 20,090 8,369 7,392 632 124 221 1,932 6,165 272
WILLIAMSON 81,021 29,875 25,894 2,592 381 1,008 15,194 14,363 318
WILSON 67,675 26,198 23,007 2,360 356 475 9,704 16,118 376

 

Onsite Demonstration Programs:
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There is no information available on Onsite Demonstration Programs in Tennessee.

Onsite Management Communities:
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On-Site Systems Inc-Nashville