Permit and Resource Management Department Banner

WLS-002 Septic Tank Destruction Permits

Version 12/09/2019

A septic tank destruction permit is required whenever a septic tank is to be destroyed. The only exception is if another septic system is being installed under a separate permit.

This document provides information and procedures for obtaining a septic tank destruction permit. If the septic tank is being destroyed because the parcel is being connected to public sewer, the applicant must submit documentation from the public sewer agency authorizing connection to the public sewer.

Procedure

The applicant is directed to the Well & Septic cubicle where staff will determine the reason for destroying a septic tank(s). If the property is being connected to public sewer, staff will review the city utility certificate or letter authorizing connection to public sewer and maintain a copy for the department file. A payment receipt for sewer connection fees may be acceptable. The permit application will be processed, the applicant will be advised of the septic tank destruction requirements (see below) and reminded that a receipt from the septic tank pumper will be required to verify that the septic tank has been pumped.

  1. The applicant is then directed to the cashier for payment of fees. All fees are charged based upon the then current Permit Sonoma fee schedule approved by the Board of Supervisors.
    1. For properties that will be connected to public sewer within a county sanitation district and/or in unincorporated Sonoma County, the applicant will be charged an office clearance fee for the septic tank destruction permit.
    2. For properties that will be connected to public sewer within a city sanitation system and for all other septic tank destructions or abandonments, the applicant will be charged a septic tank destruction fee for the septic tank destruction permit.
  2. After the septic tank has been pumped and items 2a and 2b of the Septic Tank Destruction Requirements below are completed, the applicant contacts Permit Sonoma staff to schedule an inspection.
    1. The septic tank destruction inspection should be scheduled at the same time as the sewer connection inspection. If a separate inspection is scheduled the applicant will be charged an additional fee.
    2. Permit Sonoma staff will conduct an inspection of the septic tank to verify that it was destroyed in compliance with the requirements listed below. The applicant will be required to provide the inspector with a receipt from the septic tank pumper. One copy of the inspection form with the attached septic tank pumper receipt will be routed to Permit Sonoma’s Well and Septic Division where  staff will review the inspection form, and if complete, attach the inspection form and pumper receipt to the septic tank destruction permit and final the permit.
    3. A copy of the finaled septic tank destruction permit will be provided to the appropriate connecting sanitation agency.
  3. Required Application Materials
    1. Application Form WSS-013, signed by the property owner, licensed contractor or licensed septic tank pumper.
    2. Site plan, in addition to the requirements of the Minimum Standard Site Plan Requirements CSS-019 also include the following:
      1. Location of septic tank(s) to be destroyed;
      2. Location of any wells within 100 feet of the septic system; and
      3. Location of existing or proposed sewer line(s).
    3. If connecting to public sewer, a city utility certificate or letter authorizing connection to the public sewer.
    4. Written description of the method by which the septic tank is being destroyed.
  4. Septic Tank Destruction Requirements
    1. The tank shall be pumped by a licensed septic tank pumper.
    2. The property owner or contractor shall complete the following:
      1. Remove the lid from the site or dispose of as in c below;
      2. Break a hole in the bottom of each section of the tank to provide for drainage. After this work has been completed, call for an inspection by Permit Sonoma staff;
      3. Backfill the tank with earth, sand or gravel material to a depth of approximately one foot below finish grade. The tank lid may be broken into small pieces and placed into the tank with the gravel, being careful not to create any hollow voids. The remaining fill to surface level may be of any approved material and should be graded to drain; or

        as an option to filling the tank, the applicant may be able to remove the entire tank and haul it to a landfill site. The applicant should contact the landfill ahead of time to verify that disposal of the tank is currently allowed. Prior to backfilling, call for an inspection by Permit Sonoma staff. The hole shall then be filled and compacted.
      4. If the septic tank destruction was not inspected, certification by a licensed civil or geotechnical engineer that the tank has been properly removed and the tank hole adequately compacted with soil, must be provided to Permit Sonoma Well and Septic Division.

Contact Information

Contact Well & Septic by Phone
Address
2550 Ventura Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.465074, -122.723705

Well & Septic Maps

Well & Septic Districts Map

Well and Septic Districts Map

Map of Well & Septic's environmental health districts within Sonoma County.