Other States:
CALIFORNIA
Population: 33,871,648

Information on the state of California is available for the following topics. To review this information, click on the links below.

Contacts| Regulations, Statutes & State Codes | Quick Facts | Septic Stats

Onsite Demonstration Programs | Onsite Management Communities

 

 

Contacts:
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Todd Thompson, P.E., or
Chris Chaloupka, Engineering Associate
Water Resource Control Engineer
PO Box 100
Sacramento, California 95812-0100
(916) 341-5518
(916) 341-5463 (fax)

thomt@dwq.swrcb.ca.gov

chalc@dwq.swrcb.ca.gov

http://www.ccdeh.com/

Although the State of California has no statewide regulations or standards at this time, statewide regulations for onsite sewage treatment systems are being developed, with a projected completion by January 2004. Thus, there is, of yet, no statewide approved list of technologies, nor have drainfield area/size reductions been addressed statewide.

Surface discharge is an option for onsite systems in California, and is allowed for any discharge that can meet the required standard. Where required by Federal law, the State Water Resources Control Board issues an NPDES Permit.

In California, a funding program/mechanism is available to assist homeowners replacing failing systems or installing new systems. Interested parties may contact Paul Marshall, Senior Water Resource Control Engineer, at the address or fax number above, by phoning (916) 323-4201, or by emailing marsp@dwq.swrcb.ca.gov

Onsite wastewater demonstration, research, and/or testing projects are ongoing in the state. Further information is available from:

Dr. George Tchobanoglous
Professor Emeritus
University of California-Davis
Civil & Environmental Engineering
2001 Engineering III
1 Shields Ave.
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 752-1440 (phone)
gtchobanoglous@ucdavis.edu

 

Regulations, Statutes & State Codes:
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California Constitutions, Statutes and Codes

Local jurisdictions have complete authority to enact requirements necessary to protect public health and the environment, an action occurring sporadically at "difficult sites."

The State does not track the number of permits issued annually, either for new construction or for system repair or replacement; however, this kind of information is recorded at the local levels.

Because California does not currently have statewide regulations or Code, a failed system has not been defined at that level; however, poor siting is identified as the most common reason for system failure.

Although California does not have a state licensing/certification program for onsite wastewater professionals, registered sanitarians, registered engineers, and general contractors are licensed/certified to perform site evaluations/inspections.

Information pertinent to municipal wastewater may be obtained by contacting Todd Thompson, P.E. (see above).

California Constitutions, Statutes and Codes

 

Quick Facts:
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Total number of onsite systems: 1.2 to 1.3 million, estimated; 1990 U.S. census reports
approximately 1.1 million.
Number of new systems installed each year: 5000-10,000, estimated.
Failure definition: Varies by county; but typically, the surfacing of effluent.
Number or proportion of systems presently failing: 10,000-50,000, estimated.
Number or proportion repaired annually: Approximately 3000-4000 are repaired or replaced
annually.
Number or proportion replaced annually: See above.
Number or proportion of repairs or replacements that require alternative technology (e.g.,
sand filters, pressure dosing):
It is estimated that 20-30% of repairs and replacements are
alternative in some sense. Pressure dosing accounts for an estimated 16%, sand filters 8%,
mounds, 5%, aerobic treatment, <2%.
Number or proportion of repairs or replacements that require advanced technology (e.g.,
disinfection, nutrient removal):
Less than 1%.

Cost of a conventional septic system installation: Average, $3000-$5000; range $2000 to
$30,000.
Cost of a centralized sewer tie-in (including fees and cost of the sewer lateral): $2500-$8500,
estimated.

 

Septic Stats:
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TOTAL PERSONS TOTAL HOUSING UNITS PUBLIC SYSTEM DRILLED WELL DUG WELL OTHER PUBLIC SEWER SEPTIC TANK OTHER MEANS
CALIFORNIA 29,760,021 11,182,882 10,668,942 432,689 31,932 49,319 10,022,843 1,092,174 67,865
COUNTIES
ALAMEDA 1,279,182 504,109 501,778 1,837 254 240 498,274 4,264 1,571
ALPINE 1,113 1,319 1,018 164 10 127 773 451 95
AMADOR 30,039 12,814 8,196 4,078 282 258 5,042 7,642 130
BUTTE 182,120 76,115 60,985 13,711 856 563 34,437 41,142 536
CALAVERAS 31,998 19,153 13,709 4,789 156 499 5,757 12,978 418
COLUSA 16,275 6,295 4,505 1,586 204 0 3,968 2,213 114
CONTRA COSTA 803,732 316,170 310,086 5,267 402 415 305,780 9,422 968
DEL NORTE 23,460 9,091 5,820 2,435 379 457 4,401 4,582 108
EL DORADO 125,995 61,451 51,898 8,399 454 700 35,089 25,859 503
FRESNO 667,490 235,563 201,216 31,485 1,873 989 195,227 38,361 1,975
GLENN 24,798 9,329 5,410 3,682 154 83 4,950 4,310 69
HUMBOLDT 119,118 51,134 41,271 4,315 954 4,594 34,472 15,365 1,297
IMPERIAL 109,303 36,559 32,455 1,098 253 2,753 29,282 6,431 846
INYO 18,281 8,712 6,220 2,022 111 359 6,642 1,951 119
KERN 543,477 198,636 185,438 11,790 556 852 150,316 46,939 1,381
KINGS 101,469 30,843 25,901 4,606 235 101 25,575 5,074 194
LAKE 50,631 28,822 22,142 4,828 545 1,307 16,209 12,452 161
LASSEN 27,598 10,358 5,796 4,214 211 137 5,150 4,943 265
LOS ANGELES 8,863,164 3,163,343 3,150,256 9,212 753 3,122 3,059,150 77,839 26,354
MADERA 88,090 30,831 19,774 10,305 519 233 15,125 15,342 364
MARIN 230,096 99,757 97,913 1,028 200 616 92,001 7,476 280
MARIPOSA 14,302 7,700 2,350 4,638 292 420 1,889 5,617 194
MENDOCINO 80,345 33,649 20,103 7,496 2,845 3,205 15,407 16,949 1,293
MERCED 178,403 58,410 45,062 12,442 819 87 43,722 13,975 713
MODOC 9,678 4,672 2,167 2,266 119 120 1,844 2,773 55
MONO 9,956 10,664 8,850 1,282 39 493 8,650 1,882 132
MONTEREY 355,660 121,224 109,797 10,011 452 964 100,933 19,230 1,061
NAPA 110,765 44,199 37,285 5,788 383 743 35,484 8,566 149
NEVADA 78,510 37,352 25,861 9,891 566 1,034 17,449 19,588 315
ORANGE 2,410,556 875,072 873,706 859 103 404 865,083 6,708 3,281
PLACER 172,796 77,879 64,235 11,197 887 1,560 56,162 21,395 322
PLUMAS 19,739 11,942 7,992 3,115 190 645 4,324 7,416 202
RIVERSIDE 1,170,413 483,847 465,072 16,246 1,593 936 385,268 96,738 1,841
SACRAMENTO 1,041,219 417,574 404,060 12,404 764 346 399,560 16,637 1,377
SAN BENITO 36,697 12,230 9,474 2,396 227 133 7,967 4,193 70
SAN BERNARDINO 1,418,380 542,332 524,833 13,404 1,162 2,933 414,464 124,684 3,184
SAN DIEGO 2,498,016 946,240 933,684 10,864 925 767 881,492 61,603 3,145
SAN FRANCISCO 723,959 328,471 328,247 172 10 42 326,623 624 1,224
SAN JOAQUIN 480,628 166,274 142,992 21,417 1,511 354 139,355 25,897 1,022
SAN LUIS OBISPO 217,162 90,200 78,497 10,866 279 558 64,995 24,677 528
SAN MATEO 649,623 251,782 249,577 1,483 63 659 244,730 6,080 972
SANTA BARBARA 369,608 138,149 134,158 3,251 133 607 127,680 9,814 655
SANTA CLARA 1,497,577 540,240 531,924 6,928 437 951 520,021 18,132 2,087
SANTA CRUZ 229,734 91,878 81,614 8,088 567 1,609 65,937 25,563 378
SHASTA 147,036 60,552 46,532 11,909 584 1,527 33,520 26,596 436
SIERRA 3,318 2,166 1,592 167 36 371 754 1,396 16
SISKIYOU 43,531 20,141 11,984 6,624 439 1,094 11,028 8,712 401
SOLANO 340,421 119,533 114,833 4,228 301 171 113,608 5,618 307
SONOMA 388,222 161,062 125,312 31,181 2,084 2,485 119,333 40,980 749
STANISLAUS 370,522 132,027 114,036 16,895 929 167 105,727 25,714 586
SUTTER 64,415 24,163 15,746 7,974 406 37 13,389 10,671 103
TEHAMA 49,625 20,403 10,032 9,486 388 497 8,406 11,813 184
TRINITY 13,063 7,540 3,321 1,375 288 2,556 1,617 5,364 559
TULARE 311,921 105,013 83,253 19,232 1,511 1,017 72,992 31,338 683
TUOLUMNE 48,456 25,175 19,141 4,864 404 766 10,034 14,709 432
VENTURA 669,016 228,478 225,570 2,260 264 384 212,620 14,809 1,049
YOLO 141,092 53,000 48,564 4,178 215 43 48,174 4,564 262
YUBA 58,228 21,245 15,699 4,961 356 229 14,982 6,113 150

 

 

 

Onsite Demonstration Programs:
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No information is available on Onsite Demonstration Programs in California.

Onsite Management Communities:
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Auburn Trails - Georgetown divide PUD
Bolinas Community PUD
Nevada County
Paradise
Santa Cruz County
Sea Ranch
Stinson Beach Water District
Greenstone