Land Application: Permit Program Definitions

Agricultural waste facility means any collection, treatment, disposal or recycling activity involving livestock (such as cattle, poultry, swine and turkeys), dogs, horses, pigeons, quail, or other birds and animals including any activity with the production of manures, dead birds or litter.

Aquifer means a geologic formation, group of formations, or part of a formation that contains sufficient saturated permeable material to yield usable quantities of groundwater to springs or wells.

Background groundwater analysis means the chemical or biological quality of groundwater  before application of wastewater or sludge; or the groundwater chemistry or biological quality up- gradient to the site of concern.

Basin or lagoon means any in-ground or earthen structure designed to receive, treat, store, temporarily retain and/or allow for the infiltration/evaporation of wastewater.

Best management practices (BMPs) means schedules of activities, prohibitions of practices, maintenance procedures, and other management practices to prevent or reduce the pollution of waters of the State. BMPs also include treatment requirements, operating procedures and practices to control plant site runoff, spillage or leaks, sludge or waste disposal, or drainage from raw material storage.

Down-gradient means the portion of the water table that is down the hydraulic slope of the water table with respect to a specific area or point of reference.

Evaporation basin means a basin designed specifically for the atmospheric or enhanced evaporation of liquid.

Groundwater means water below the land surface found in fractured rock or various soil strata.

Groundwaters of the State" means all sources of groundwater wholly, partially, or bordering the State of South Carolina or within its jurisdiction.

Hydraulic loading means the rate at which liquid is applied to the land per unit area.  The term "application rate" may be used for "hydraulic loading".

Hydrogeologic characteristics means the physical properties of the subsurface and its interaction with the hydraulic properties of groundwater (e.g., migration or infiltration).

Infiltration means the flow of water downward from the land surface into and through the soil.

Land for the purpose of this regulation means the soil and rock above the water table aquifer and the ground surface.

Land Application means use and/or disposal of treated wastewater, sewage sludge, industrial sludge, septage, or additional sources (see R.61-9.505.1(b)(2)) to the land.

Land Application Permit refers to a permit issued by the Department applicable to a treatment system, source or site with no resulting discharge to surface waters of the State.

Land of the State means all land surface which is wholly or partially within the State of South Carolina or within its jurisdiction.

Land slope means the rate of increase or decrease of elevation over a given linear distance.

Land surface means the area of land open to the atmosphere.

New or expansions means a facility or land application site that is: new and has not been permitted (including existing sites such as golf courses that have not been used for effluent disposal); an increase (either in quantity or loading) in pollutant disposal to the facility or land application site;  a change in the pollutant disposal to the facility or land application site (such as the introduction of a new pollutant in the effluent); or expansions (in physical size, or hydraulic loading) of existing permitted facilities or  land application sites.  The term "new or expanding" may also be used.

Monitoring well means any well used to sample groundwater for water quality analysis or to measure groundwater levels.

ND or No Discharge means land application. The terms "ND permit" or "No Discharge permit" may be used for "Land Application permit".

Percolation pond means any lagoon, basin or constructed impoundment having a leakage rate in excess of 500 gallons/day/acre.

Permeability means the capacity of soil, rock, or other material to transmit fluids.


  1. Means filter backwash, sewage, sewage sludge, industrial sludge, septage, or industrial, municipal, agricultural and domestic waste.
  2. Does not mean water, gas, or other material which is injected into a well to facilitate production of oil or gas, or water derived in association with oil and gas production and disposed of in a well, if the well used either to facilitate production or for disposal purposes is approved by authority of the State in which the well is located, and if the State determines that the injection or disposal will not result in the degradation of groundwater or surface water resources.

Potable water well means a well that supplies drinking water for human consumption.

Restrictive soil horizon means the top of the most impermeable soil layer encountered.

Seasonal high water table means the highest water table as determined in the soil profile by the encountered indications of soil mottling or iron concretions or by measuring seasonal fluctuations of the water table in a water table well over a period acceptable to the Department.

Septage means the liquid and solid material pumped from septic tank, cesspool or similar domestic sewage treatment system, or a holding tank when the system is cleaned or maintained.

Spray field means a specified area where properly treated wastes, treated effluent from process, agricultural or domestic wastewater, sewage sludge, industrial sludge or other sources is applied to the land.  The terms "application area", "application site", or "spray disposal area" may also be used.

Soil boring means any hand- or mechanically-powered method by which samples of the subsurface can be retrieved for characterization or description.

Source means any discernible conveyance, including but not limited to, any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, or  mobile equipment (such as sludge application truck or device), from which pollutants are or may be discharged.  This term does not include return flows from irrigated agriculture.

State permit refers to a permit issued by the Department for other sources covered by this regulation (other than Land Application Permits) such as activities covered under R.61-9.505.1(b)(2). The term "State Permit Program" may also be used to describe the entire permit program under R.61-9.505.

Storage or holding basin means any basin designed to retain wastewater before, during or after treatment and would not include waters of the State.

Tile field means a specific area where a network of soil adsorption trenches is installed below the land surface for the purpose of providing final treatment and disposal of wastewater.

Treated wastewater means properly treated effluent from process or domestic wastewater, treated wastes from other sources (see R.61-9.505.1(b)(2))  or treated effluent from a treatment facility.

Up-gradient means the portion of the water table that is up the hydraulic slope of the water table with respect to a specific area or point of reference.

Vadose zone means the zone between the land surface and the water table.

WWTP means wastewater treatment plant.

Water table means the level below the land surface at which all the voids are filled with water at a pressure equal to atmospheric. The depth to the water level in the ground is to be measured at least 24 hours after encountering it in a well.

Water table mound means a high point in the seasonal or normal water table which is artificially created by the infiltration of liquid.

Well means any excavation which is cored, bored, drilled, jetted, dug, or otherwise constructed and has a depth greater than its largest surface diameter.