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Released by: Permit Sonoma
For Immediate Release

Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Approves Updated Septic System Regulations

Santa Rosa, CA  –  June 13, 2019  –  On June 11, 2019, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors took action to meet State mandated septic system regulations that protect water quality and public health. The Board authorized the submittal of a revised Sonoma County Local Agency Management Program to the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board.

“Our Local Agency Management Program balances new state regulation with local septic policy,” said Board Chair David Rabbitt. “In some areas we are providing more flexibility to homeowners. For example, the new policy no longer requires septic system review for certain building improvements to existing structures.”

Community education and engagement was a central component of the regulation update process. Staff hosted six community meetings, met with numerous community associations, welcomed comments in person and online, and provided materials to educate the public on the process and technical details. “The County remains committed to continuing to educate and work with the community to meet these State mandated septic regulations,” stated 5th District Supervisor Lynda Hopkins.

A central component of Sonoma County’s Local Agency Management Program is the County’s updated Onsite Waste Treatment Systems (OWTS) Manual. This manual provides the regulations, procedural and technical details governing individual onsite wastewater treatment systems (also referred to as septic systems). The three main changes to local septic requirements relate to:

  • Repairs, replacement systems and new systems;
  • Qualified consultants and OWTS designers; and
  • Building permit thresholds for septic system review.

The approved changes to the OWTS Manual are anticipated to take effect July 22, 2019. For more information regarding the County’s septic policy please visit:


Contact Information

Maggie Fleming
Communications Manager
Permit and Resource Management Department
County of Sonoma
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