AB885 was introduced to the California State Assembly in February 1999 and approved in September 2000. On June 19, 2012, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted the Water Quality Control Policy for Siting, Design, Operation, and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Policy), which subsequently became effective on May 13, 2013. For a copy of OWTS Policy, click here. For a copy of Fact Sheet for the OWTS Policy, click here.
The policy requires that local agencies adopt the Tier 1 Standards or create a Tier 2 Local Agency Management Program (LAMP). The LAMP provides an alternate method from Tier 1 programs to achieve the same policy purpose which is to protect water quality and public health.
Yolo County Environmental Health Division has developed a Tier 2 LAMP which consists of two parts, an updated local ordinance (Chapter 19 to Title 6 of the Yolo County Code) and a new Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) Manual. Yolo County Board of Supervisors adopted the Ordinance, which adopted by reference the OWTS. These documents can be accessed by the following links.
Part 1: Ordinance Chapter 19, Yolo County Onsite Wastewater Treatment System. For a copy of the Chapter, click here.
Part 2: Yolo County Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual. For a copy of the Manual, click here. For a copy of the Appendices for the Manual, click here.
Improper human sewage disposal can cause ground water contamination, pollute streams and rivers, create breeding of nuisance insects, create noxious odors, and contribute to the spread of disease.
Environmental Health specialist issues permits for the installation, repair, and abandonment of domestic sewage disposal systems in order to prevent these problems.
Environmental Health specialist also investigates improper sewage disposal practices as reported by the public. The main enforcement code used by Environmental Health is ordinance 765 the Water Quality Law of the County of Yolo.
A permit to construct is required from Environmental Health whenever a septic tank is replaced or abandoned, or if leach lines are replaced or repaired.
Permits can be obtained at Yolo County Environmental Health.
To process the permit, the Environmental Health Specialist will need to know several items regarding the project:The assessor’s parcel number, the location of the house on the parcel, and site soils information (to help determine the leach field size and suitability for septic system installation).
Contractors with either a general engineering (A), or plumbing contractor (C-36), or a general building contractor (Class B) or sanitation system (C-42) license are qualified to repair or install septic systems under the regulations of the contractor’s licensing board. Environmental Health Division cannot endorse contractors, however, a list of septic system installers that regularly do business in Yolo County is available by contacting our office.
What Can I Do To Properly Maintain The Septic System?
Use minimal amounts of water to avoid overloading the leach field.
Don’t dispose of pesticides, solvents, waste oil, anti-freeze or other hazardous chemical into the septic system. Improper disposal of these items can result in fines and expensive clean-up measures.
Limit the amounts of grease, food scraps, garbage, and non-biodegradable items going into the septic system.
Keep record of the location of the septic tank for future service pumping and have the septic tank pumped routinely by a licensed septage hauler.
If your system is failing, please call a septic system contractor immediately. The non-inclusive list of septic contractors is available by clicking here.
If sewage has backed up to the house or has surfaced on the ground, avoid allowing people or animal near the area. Avoid using plumbing fixtures until the repair has been made. For useful tips on how to clean up a sewage spill, please click here.
How Do I Abandon A Septic Tank?
Septic tanks are abandoned when they are no longer needed, such as a home connecting to a public sewer system, or when the tank has failed. To abandon a septic tank you must do the following:
A permit from Environmental Health must be obtained prior to starting work.
All liquid wastes, scum and sludge shall be pumped from all septic tank compartments and properly disposed of by a permitted Yolo County Septage Hauler.
The top of the septic tank must be removed or sufficiently opened up to allow all of the compartments to be filled.
The compartments shall be completely filled with soil, sand, gravel, concrete or other approved inert material. All voids are to be filled to prevent future soil settling.
The environmental health specialist will inspect the filled tank prior to final backfill. A copy of the septic tank pumping receipt will be required for final sign off of the permit.