Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Program


Sewage Disposal Requirements Are Changing

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. The LAMP must be submitted to Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board for review and approval by May 13, 2016.

Yolo County Environmental Health Division is developing a Tier 2 LAMP which consists of two parts, an updated local ordinance and a new technical manual. These are currently drafted and can be accessed at the following links.

Part 1: DRAFT Ordinance Chapter 18, Yolo County Onsite Wastewater Treatment System. For a copy of the updated Chapter, click here.

Part 2: Yolo County Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual. For a copy of the DRAFT manual, click here. For a copy of the Appendices for the Manual, click here.

Both Chapter 18 and the manual are DRAFT and a work in progress. Please review the documents and we are interested in your input. You may send your comments to Environmental.Health@yolocounty.org. Thank you.

AB 885 - Onsite Waste Water Treatment System FAQ

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 Contact Us

Environmental Health Department
137 N. Cottonwood St. Suite 2400
Woodland, CA 95695

8am-12pm & 1pm-4pm

Phone: (530) 666-8646
Fax: (530) 669-1448

Email: Environmental Health

Sewage Disposal/Liquid Waste

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.


 Permit Information

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).

Please check the Environmental Health Fee Schedule for the current permit fees. For more information Contact Us.

For our document titled: Guidelines to the Planning, Installation, and Maintenance of Septic Systems in Yolo County.  

Septic Pumper Trucks

Vehicles that pump and haul septage in Yolo County must have a valid permit from Yolo County Environmental Health to do so. Vehicles are permitted and inspected on an annual basis.

Application for Septic Cleaning/Romoval Registration


 Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can I Contact To Work On My Septic System?

Contractors with either a general engineering (A), or plumbing contractor (C-36), 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.

 Click the Link for a copy of EPA's A Homeowner's Guide to Septic Systems for more important tips.

 Click the Link for an article titled "American Spreading Septic Threat" discussing the public health   concerns of failing septic systems.

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.