Tennessee Groundwater regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Tennessee Groundwater: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Tennessee Water Quality Control Act, Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) 69-3-101

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Subsurface sewage disposal systems: TCA 68-221-401 and Rules and Regulations of the State of Tennessee (Rule) 0400-48-01-.01 to 0400-48-01-.24

Drinking water source protection: Rule 0400-45-01-.34

Regulatory Agency

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Division of Ground Water Protection

TDEC Division of Water Supply

See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.

See national section for basic information and federal regulations.

Comparison: State vs. Federal

Rules. Tennessee's Water Quality Control Act is intended to protect all state waters, including groundwater. Tennessee's Division of Ground Water Protection's regulatory focus is on subsurface sewage disposal systems and shares oversight with the Division of Water Supply on water well and water supply issues. The Division regulates the permitting of new conventional and alternative subsurface sewage disposal systems and the repair of systems that are not functioning properly.

The Water Quality Control Board has established water quality standards and classifications for surface water that typically apply to state groundwater as well. See the state section EFFLUENT LIMITATIONS for more information.

While this section's focus is on septic and well issues relating to groundwater, there are other regulatory areas that include groundwater standards. Regulations that incorporate groundwater standards include solid and hazardous waste permits and investigations that involve groundwater monitoring pertaining to actual or potential releases, underground storage tank monitoring requirements, and underground injection wells, to name a ...


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