Skip to Content

For Immediate Release

Permit Sonoma announces new septic system rules, educational webinars

SANTA ROSA, CA | June 18, 2024

Following guidance from the Regional Water Board, Permit Sonoma recently updated the rules for septic systems, also known as Onsite Waste Treatment Systems. To help stakeholders better understand these changes, County staff will host three educational webinars via Zoom on June 26, 27 and 28.

State law mandates local jurisdictions apply to the appropriate Regional Water Board by submitting a Local Agency Management Program for their review and approval. In August 2019, the County submitted its program, however, the Regional Water Board required several revisions.

County staff have made the necessary changes and are proposing additional updates, which include clarifications, filling gaps in the regulations, and adding regulations to address stream or river impairments and Total Maximum Daily Loads, or how much of a pollutant a waterway can tolerate.

The updated rules make sure new or additional developments don’t negatively impact water quality or existing septic systems. If you are not planning any new development, the changes won't affect you unless your septic system is failing or needs repairs. The new manual includes more options for fixing or upgrading failing systems.

A few of the updates included in the manual clarify existing reserve areas, reducing the percentage of replacement allowed under a repair permit, and shifting site evaluation tasks to design professionals. More details on changes are included on the County’s website and will be covered during the upcoming webinars.

Webinar Invitation
The public is encouraged to join the webinars to learn more about these changes. The Permit Sonoma team will explain the updates and answer any questions.

June 26, 3 to 5 p.m.
June 27, 6 to 8 p.m.
June 28, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

For technical questions about the OWTS manual update, please contact:

Nathan Quarles, Deputy Director, Engineering and Construction, (707) 565-1146

For more information on the upcoming webinars, please visit the Permit Sonoma Regulations and Initiatives website: 

Media Contact:
Genevieve Bertone, Outreach Manager, Permit Sonoma
(707) 565-1231