Overview - Satellite Sewer System Program

Regulation 61-9.610 outlines a rule for operation and maintenance of satellite sewer systems.This rule set up a operating permit program as a means to implement these requirements. DHEC reissued a General Permit for Satellite Systems on January 4, 2012. Upon notification of coverage under this general permit owners of satellite sewer systems are required to:

  • Provide DHEC basic company/owner information
  • Properly operate and maintain their systems
  • Report sewer system releases(overflows)

What is a satellite system?

The regulatory definition states: "A sewer system that is owned or operated by one person that discharges to a system that is owned or operated by a different person. Satellite sewer systems depend on a separate person for final wastewater treatment and discharge and include systems approved under R.61-9.505.8."

A satellite sewer system in this context does not mean a system that is monitored by a satellite; e.g., supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.

Basically, every wastewater system that is not covered by either a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit or a State Land Application Permit is a satellite system. The group of systems that are covered by this regulation and the general permit are those that would require a construction permit under Regulation 61-67, Standards for Wastewater Facility Construction,  (see section.300.A.1) if built today. There are two basic situations that would normally apply:

  1. Sewers serving more than one building (apartments, subdivisions, industrial complex, etc.)
  2. Pretreatment systems at industries

There are some exemptions for a construction permit if the system is defined as a service connection in R.61-67.

What is the relationship between the regulation and the general permit?

The governing regulation is R.61-9.610. This rule went into effect in June 2003. This regulation addressed a permitting program (i.e., an operating permit for the satellite system). While DHEC may issue individual permits, most systems will be covered by the general permit issued October 27, 2003. Coverage under the general permit would be effective for an individual system upon notification by DHEC. For systems that have not been notified by DHEC, they must still comply with the requirements of R.61-9.610.

More information? The Bureau of Water has developed a short PowerPoint presentation on the Satellite Sewer System Operating Permit Program. View the Satellite Sewer System Operation Permit Program presentation . Also, you may contact Bridget Clarke at DHEC's Water Facilities Permitting Division by either:


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