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Section 26a of the TVA Act

Septic Systems

Section 26a approvals of septic tank and sewage disposal systems are reviewed based on the requirements of § 1304.402 and the following considerations:

  1. In accordance with § 1304.209(b), TVA does not permit the placement of residential septic tank, field lines, or any other part of a waste disposal system on TVA fee-owned property. On such property where TVA has granted licenses, easements, and leases, for commercial or public recreation facilities, TVA will continue to consider septic systems in accordance with the local Health Department rules and regulations provided that a 50 foot horizontal and 2-foot vertical separation is maintained as described in item 6 below.
  2. Septic systems on private land do not require a Section26a permit if they are all buried and backfilled to the original land contours, or placed above flood elevations, because there is no permanent obstruction that is created.
  3. Septic systems would not be considered as a structure under deeded landrights prohibiting structures if they are all buried and backfilled to original contours as above.
  4. Where TVA has appropriate landrights on private property under flowage easement documents, TVA could choose to exercise its rights to approve or deny installation of septic tanks or septic tank systems. TVA would exercise its judgment as to whether the system would pose a threat of pollution. TVA would normally choose to exercise this right in coordination with a regulator such as the state having jurisdiction over placement of septic systems.
  5. TVA would review septic systems proposed on flowage easement property if they are associated with construction of an obstruction which is subject to Section 26a review.
  6. A 2-foot vertical separation and a 50-foot horizontal setback between all portions of the subsurface disposal field and the normal summer pool is required if a system is approved by TVA on Flowage Easement property. (Note: When annual flood-frequency elevations are available for the mainstream reservoirs, they will be used instead of the normal summer pool elevation. Tributary reservoirs will use the normal maximum pool.)
  7. Site approval by the local health department, including suitable soil conditions, percolation rates, slope, and area is a prerequisite to TVA approval.
  8. TVA would review, under section 26a, septic systems using earth fill mounds or other devices which would create a permanent obstruction.  These fills may also be considered to be structures and additional landrights may be needed under some deeds.

Note: Site specific conditions may impact the review and approval of your application. Applying does not guarantee approval. Contact your local regional watershed office for more information and clarification.


Quick Index to Regulations


Subpart A: Procedures for Approval

Subpart B: Nonnavigable Houseboats

Subpart C: TVA Residential Shoreland

Subpart D: Flowage Easement Shoreland

Subpart E: Miscellaneous



Main Index


Index to additional guidance for implementing TVA's Section 26a Regulations


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