Commercial Sewage Permit

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Mac Webb

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3 years ago when we began our venture we met with the local health department and were told since we wouldn't be preparing or serving food that there was nothing they required from us. Now that we've began bottling wine, there are issues. We were served a certified letter declaring we should apply for a commercial On Site Septic permit. There is already a septic on the property. This building has housed many things (including a business that was granted $48,000 from the county for capital projects) and under the guidance of the letter would have already required the same type of permit that's being requested from us. My question is, has anyone encountered something similar or know if there are any intricacies in the application we should be aware of considering we're a winery and not a "regular" business. Additional information: our hours are limited (currently pick up only, will only be weekends when opened) no kitchen prep or washer and we're zoned agriculture because our permit is a farm-winery permit.
 
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3 years ago when we began our venture we met with the local health department and were told since we wouldn't be preparing or serving food that there was nothing they required from us. Now that we've began bottling wine, there are issues. We were served a certified letter declaring we should apply for a commercial On Site Septic permit. There is already a septic on the property. This building has housed many things (including a business that was granted $48,000 from the county for capital projects) and under the guidance of the letter would have already required the same type of permit that's being requested from us. My question is, has anyone encountered something similar or know if there are any intricacies in the application we should be aware of considering we're a winery and not a "regular" business. Additional information: our hours are limited (currently pick up only, will only be weekends when opened) no kitchen prep or washer and we're zoned agriculture because our permit is a farm-winery permit.

It's all dependent on your local health department, the design of the original drain field, and the anticipated amount of people per week. I believe serving food has more to do with a well than a septic system. My company recently built a winery and production facility. Had the project been built a few years earlier the requirements would have been much less stringent.

In my area (Northern Virginia) there is no difference between a residential and commercial septic system except for the size. Being zoned agricultural and licensed as a farm winery you still have to follow the guidelines of the health department.

Could it be possible the operation as you initially described to the health department has changed
 

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