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Subject 511-3-2 MASS GATHERINGS

Rule 511-3-2-.01 Definitions

For the purpose of these rules, the term:

(a) "Adequate" means equal to what is required, suitable to the case or occasion, fully sufficient, proportionate, satisfactory;
(b) "Approved" or "approval" means accepted or acceptable by the Department in accordance with applicable regulations;
(c) "Chemical Privy" means a structure and necessary appurtenances for the sanitary disposal or storage of human wastes without the aid of water carriage and which relies upon a chemical such as caustic soda to disintegrate the excreta;
(d) "Department" means the Georgia Department of Public Health;
(e) "Drinking Water" means water provided or used for human consumption or for lavatory or culinary purposes;
(f) "Food Service Establishment" means and includes establishments for the preparation and serving of meals, lunches, short orders, sandwiches, frozen desserts, or other edible products. The term includes but is not limited to restaurants; coffee shops; cafeterias; short order cafes; luncheonettes; taverns; lunch rooms; places manufacturing, wholesaling, or retailing sandwiches or salads; soda fountains; institutions; both public and private; food carts; itinerant restaurants; industrial cafeterias; catering establishments; food vending machines and vehicles and operations connected therewith; and similar facilities by whatever name called;
(g) "Health Authority" means the Georgia Department of Public Health or a County Board of Health;
(h) "Individual Sewage Disposal System" means a sewage disposal system, other than a public or community sewage disposal system, serving a single building, residence or other facility designed or used for human occupancy or congregation. Included within the scope of this definition are septic tank systems and privies;
(i) "Mass Gathering" means any event likely to attract five thousand (5,000) or more persons and to continue for fifteen (15) consecutive or more hours;
(j) "Permit" means written authorization to a person by the Health Authority to operate a mass gathering;
(k) "Person" means the State or any agency or institution therof, any municipality, political subdivision, public or private corporation, individual, partnership, association, or other entity, and includes any officer or governing or managing body of any municipality, political subdivision, or public or private corporation;
(l) "Privy" means a structure and necessary appurtenances for the sanitary disposal or storage of human wastes without the aid of water carriage. Included in the scope of the definition are pit privies, vault privies, chemical privies, pit-type latrines, portable toilets, and other facilities that may be approved by the Department;
(m) "Public or Community Sewerage System" means any sewage treatment works, pipe lines or conduits, pumping stations and force mains and all other constructions, devices, and appliances appurtenant thereto, designed for treating or conducting sewage for ultimate disposal into lakes, streams, or other bodies of surface water;
(n) "Public or Community Water Supply System" means any water supply system regardless of ownership or operation, serving or intended to serve water for domestic use of human consumption to the public or any segment therof, except an individual water supply system serving a single family dwelling. They are classified as follows:
1. Class I. Water Supply Systems supplying water from any surface water sources;
2. Class II. Water Supply Systems supplying finished water from ground water sources to more than twenty-five (25) housing units or mobile units, to schools, to State owned facilities, and to industrial operations employing more than one hundred (100) persons;
3. Class III. All other water supply systems supplying finished water from ground water sources, including but not limited to, tourist accommodations, food service establishments, and commercial establishments.
(o) "Public Swimming Pool" means any swimming pool, other than a private residential swimming pool, for collective use by numbers of persons for swimming or bathing, operated by any person, whether he be owner, operator, lessee, licensee, or concessionaire, regardless of whether a fee is charged, and all facilities incident thereto;
(p) "Sewage" means human, domestic, or animal wastes from residences, building, commercial and industrial establishments, institutions, and other structures and shall include bath and toilet wastes, laundry wastes, kitchen wastes and other similar wastes together with water or other liquid wastes that may be present;
(q) "Sewage Disposal System" means any system, whether publicly or privately owned, used for the collection and disposal of sewage;
(r) "Solid Waste" means putrescible and non-putrescible wastes, except human body wastes, and shall include garbage, rubbish (paper, cartons, boxes, wood, tin, tree branches, yard trimmings, furniture and appliances, metals, tin cans, glass, crockery, or dunnage), ashes, refuse, dead animals, industrial wastes (waste materials generated in industrial operations), residue from incineration, food processing wastes, demolition wastes, construction wastes, and any other waste material in a solid or semi-solid state, not otherwise defined.

Rule 511-3-2-.02 General Provisions

(1) No person shall hold a mass gathering in a location that could constitute an imminent health or safety hazard to persons attending the mass gathering, as may be determined by the Department. No person shall hold or promote, by advertising or otherwise a mass gathering unless he has complied with the permit and application requirements of these rules.
(a) Any person receiving a permit to hold a mass gathering shall have installed all facilities and made such facilities operational, and shall have completed and made ready all services and activities, as provided by law and these rules, not less than 48 hours before the first day of the mass gathering.
(b) Any person applying for a permit to promote or hold a mass gathering shall furnish to the Department such written evidence in the form of contractual agreements, affidavits, plans, reports, specifications, or other legal or technical documents as may be required by the Department to insure that the law and these rules have been or will be complied with before a permit to promote or hold a mass gathering is issued.
(c) A person to whom a permit has been issued to promote or hold a mass gathering, shall notify the Department within forty-eight hours of the time of a postponement or cancellation of a mass gathering and the steps that will be taken to insure that such mass gathering will not be held as scheduled.
(d) A person to whom a permit has been issued shall keep the permit on file and make it available at all times for review by any governmental authority.
(2) Requirements for security; documentary evidence must be submitted for a security force employed by the promoters and/or holders of mass gatherings in the ratio of one security officer per five hundred persons in attendance at the proposed mass gathering.
(3) Failure of any person to comply with the law and these rules shall be prima facie evidence for the Department to deny, suspend, or revoke the permit after written notice of violation and opportunity for hearing.

Rule 511-3-2-.03 Facilities, Services and Activities to be Provided and Maintained at Site of Mass Gathering

Any person promoting or holding a mass gathering shall provide and maintain at the site of the mass gathering, facilities, services, and activities as follows:

(a) A network of interior roads, kept clear at all times, for service and emergency vehicles. The network of interior roads shall be connected with access roads which will permit flow of traffic and insure the free passage of emergency vehicles;
(b) Traffic Control measures that will preclude hazards to vehicular and pedestrian traffic;
(c) Adequate parking facilities off public roadways shall be provided to serve all reasonable anticipated requirements at a rate of not more than 100 passenger cars per acre or 30 buses per acre;
(d) Adequately graded and drained site, not subject to flooding, and located where drainage will not damage private or public water supply;
(e) Grounds maintained in a condition free of accumulation of litter and debris;
(f) Signs conspicuously posted locating all facilities;
(g) All open areas of the site with illumination of at least 0.5 horizontal foot candle (lumens per square foot). Lighting shall be controlled so as not to reflect on any area beyond the boundary of said site;
(h) At least 50 square feet per person on the site of mass gathering;
(i) A water supply system which shall be constructed, operated and maintained in accordance with the Rules of the Department of Natural Resources entitled "Water Quality Control," Chapter 291-3-6, and the rules of this Department entitled "Drinking Water Supply," 511-3-3. In addition, the following provisions shall apply:
1. Drinking water supply shall be capable of delivering at least three (3) gallons of water per person per day, obtained from a source approved by the Department and shall be made readily available to persons attending the mass gathering;
2. Drinking water fountains or outlets shall be of a type and installation acceptable to the Department. Provision shall be made for the disposition of the waste water in a manner not to create a nuisance or public health hazard;
3. Cross connections between drinking water and other waters shall be prohibited;
4. Multi-use or shared drinking utensils shall not be provided;
5. Single service paper or plastic cups made available to persons attending the mass gathering by persons operating a food service establishment shall be used only once and then shall be discarded;
6. Ice shall be manufactured, handled, and stored in a manner satisfactory to the Department;
7. Drinking water outlets shall be protected against backsiphonage.
(j) A sewage disposal system connected to a public or community sewerage system or provide and maintain in accordance with Rules of the Department entitled "Individual Sewage Disposal Systems," Chapter 511-3-1. In addition, the following provisions shall apply:
1. Toilet facilities, separate for each sex, shall be provided at a rate of one toilet fixture for every 100 persons;
2. Toilet facilities shall be conveniently located and shall be constructed and maintained in a manner that they will not be offensive;
3. Privies shall be located and constructed in a manner that they will not, by leakage and seepage, constitute a source of possible contamination to a water supply, surface water, or adjacent ground surface and shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with the requirements of the Department;
4. Chemical toilets may be used in lieu of privies when authorized by the Department, due to adverse conditions that conflict with subparagraph 3 above. Chemical toilets shall be routinely inspected and maintained by qualified personnel by the applicant;
5. When permanent toilet facilities are provided, the following provisions shall apply:
(i) Lavatory facilities shall be provided in addition to toilet facilities at a rate of one (1) lavatory for every 100 persons;
(ii) Connection shall be made to a public or community sewerage system when such connection is available within 500 feet of the proposed mass gathering site; written authorization to connect to such sewerage system shall be obtained from the Department.
6. Where an effluent to a sewage disposal system is designed to discharge into a stream, lake or other bodies of ground or surface waters, plans and specifications shall be submitted to the Georgia Water Quality Control Board for approval before construction begins.
(k) A solid waste collection and disposal system shall be operated in accordance with Rules of the Department entitled "Solid Waste," Chapter 511-3-4. In addition, the following provisions shall apply:
1. Containers which are flytight and watertight shall be provided for the disposal of solid wastes. These containers shall be secured in such a manner as to prevent their being easily turned over or misplaced. All containers shall be emptied at least once a day and as often as is necessary to maintain sanitary conditions;
2. Containers for the storage of solid wastes shall be conveniently located and shall be in sufficient numbers to hold 1 1/2 ft.3 of refuse per person per day;
3. The disposal of solid wastes shall be at sites and by methods approved by the Department. If an incinerator is utilized, it shall meet all requirements of the Rules and Regulations of the Department of Natural Resources.
4. Open burning is prohibited except as provided in the Rules of the Department of Natural Resources entitled "Air Quality Control", Chapter 391-3-1;
5. All solid waste material shall be removed from the mass gathering site within five days after date of the termination of the mass gathering.
(l) Sleeping areas and facilities provided for the public accommodation of people attending mass gathering shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with Rules of the Department entitled "Tourist Accommodations", Chapter 511-6-2;
1. When sleeping facilities are provided, the following shall apply:
(i) A minimum of 40 square feet per person for single bunks and 30 square feet per person when double-deck bunks are used. A minimum ceiling height of seven feet shall be provided;
(ii) Lighting shall be adequate to illuminate the entrances and interiors of structures;
(iii) Ventilation of all sleeping quarters shall be such that the open window area is equal to or greater than 20 percent of the floor area;
(iv) Heaters and cooking facilities shall be properly vented and maintained so that gaseous products of combustion do not escape into the room.
(m) Fire protection, as follows:
1. Install and maintain stoves or other sources of heat in a manner so as to avoid both a fire hazard and a dangerous concentration of fumes or gas and in accordance with Rules of the Department entitled "Tourist Accommodation", Chapter 511-6-2;
2. Tents and tarpaulins used at mass gatherings shall meet the requirements for resistance to fire prescribed in the Standard for Flame-Resistant Textiles and Films, National Fire Protection Association No. 701, 1966;
3. The area enclosed by any tent and for at least 10 feet outside of such structure shall be cleared of all flammable materials and vegetation which will spread fire. The premises shall be kept free of such flammable materials during the period for which the premises are used by the public. Ten pound fire extinguishers which are designed for Class A, B, C fires as classified by the National Fire Protection Association shall be provided and located in conspicuous places so that there is one fire extinguisher for every 3,000 square feet and the travel distance is not greater than 75 feet;
4. Spaces underneath grandstands shall be kept free of extraneous materials and shall not be occupied for other than protective or exit purposes unless exempted in writing by the Department;
5. Flammable, volatile, or otherwise harmful liquids or materials including pesticides and toxic chemicals shall be stored in areas other than where people sleep or congregate; a ten pound ABC type fire extinguisher shall be provided within 50 feet of said storage area;
6. Liquified petroleum appliances shall comply with the requirements of the "Liquified Petroleum Safety Act of Georgia" (Ga. Laws 1949, p. 1128 et seq. as amended);
7. At least one person who has training in fire and panic control shall be provided for every 2,500 persons attending the mass gathering. These persons shall be assigned to strategic locations on the premises and within 50 feet from a fire extinguisher in order to watch for fire hazards;
8. At least one tanker-type fire truck having a capacity of 1,000 gallons or more and one standard pumper-type fire truck together with an adequately trained crew familiar with the operations of the fire fighting equipment provided on the site in fighting fires shall be provided on the premises at all times;
9. A building in which people sleep or eat shall be provided with ready exit in case of fire. If sleeping quarters are provided above the ground floor, at least two exits shall be provided from floors above the ground floor;
10. Fire extinguishers shall be provided in the ratio of one per 2,500 people in attendance at the mass gatherings. These extinguishers shall be strategically located throughout the area as provided in the Life Safety Code and Portable Fire Extinguishers of the National Fire Protection Association.
(n) Medical Services shall be provided to include but not be limited to the following:
1. Adequate physicians, nurses, and support personnel, equipment and supplies, depending upon the number attending, and the characteristics of the attendees. As minimum there shall be one physician and two nurses per 5,000 attendees up to 100,000 and one physician and two nurses for each additional 10,000. The promoter shall designate one physician as professionally responsible for the overall emergency medical services. He shall prepare the medical plan, and determine:
(i) the required number and location of first-aid stations,
(ii) the number of first-aid stations capable of holding patients up to twelve hours before evacuation,
(iii) the required number and planned distribution of ambulances,
(iv) an evacuation plan with a commitment in writing for backup hospital services with provision of adequate communications,
(v) a detailed list of names and addresses of each medical doctor, nurse, etc., who will agree to perform services; and the hours and dates on which they have agreed to work, and
(vi) helicopter arrangements; landing pad area; pilot's name and address shall be provided when it has been determined by the Department that the evacuation plan is inadequate to protect persons attending the mass gathering;
2. Two patient beds shall be provided for each 1,000 attendants at the mass gathering. Patient beds shall be located in suitable first aid stations and shall be in place for inspection forty-eight hours prior to the scheduled mass gathering.
3. Additional medical services shall be provided as the Department may consider necessary after reviewing the applicant's plan for emergency situations as provided in O.C.G.A, Section 31-27-4(a)(6) in order to provide adequate protection of the health of persons attending the mass gathering.
(o) Where public swimming pools are provided they shall be constructed, operated and maintained in accordance with the Rules of the Department entitled "Swimming Pools and Recreational Water Parks", Chapter 511-3-5;
(p) The sound level measured at the boundaries of the mass gathering site shall be in compliance with the following noise exposure criteria:

Duration per Day (hours)

Sound Level (dBA)

















1/4 or less


1. Exposure to impulsive or impact noise shall not exceed 140 dB peak sound pressure level;
2. When daily noise exposure is composed of two or more periods of noise exposure of different levels, the combined effect shall be considered rather than the individual effect of each. If the sum of the following fractions:

C[1]/T[1] + C[2]/T[2] + C[n]/T[n]

exceeds unity, then the noise exposure shall be considered to exceed the limit value. C[n] indicates the total time of exposure at a specified noise level, and T[n] indicates the total time of exposure permitted at that level.

(q) Food service establishments shall be operated and maintained in accordance with the Rules of the Department entitled "Food Service Establishments", Chapter 511-6-1;
(r) Plants which are poisonous or which harbor vermin shall be controlled in areas used for mass gathering by utilizing either mechanical (cutting and mowing) or chemical, or both, or other safe and effective methods approved by the Department;
(s) Insect, Reptile, and Rodent Control. Mosquitoes, flies, ticks, fleas, rats, mice, poisonous snakes and other vermin on the site of mass gathering shall be controlled by methods approved by the Department. Pesticides shall be a type and applied in a manner approved by the Department.