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Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (Septic System) Permits

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Information about OWTS (Septic Systems)

Document Description

Frequently Asked Questions

List of Frequently asked questions

Local Agency Management Plan (LAMP) Development

Information about the Local Agency Management Program (“LAMP”) for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems in Monterey County

Carmel Highlands Onsite Wastewater Management Plan

The Environmental Health Bureau is currently evaluating onsite wastewater in the Carmel Highlands based on the intent of the OWMP and plans to return to the Board of Supervisors to recommend approval of amendments to County code as prescribed by the OWMP. See this page for supporting documents.

OWTS Maintenance Tips: Food Facilities

This is a brief overview of septic systems and what is needed for them to work for a long time.

OWTS Homeowner’s Guide

Your septic tank and/or drainfield was a substantial investment that should last for decades if it is used properly and maintained regularly. Its life can be extended significantly if you follow a few simple guidelines

Wet Weather Soils Testing

Information about Wet Weather Soil Testing in Monterey County -Measuring Depth to Groundwater

Local OWTS Regulations (Monterey County Code)

Link to online Local OWTS Regulations (Monterey County Code)

Online Contractor Notification For Start of OWTS Installation

Notify the Environmental Health Department when starting an OWTS Installation

OWTS Fees

List of Fees in regards to OWTS

OWTS Flooding Information

General Information about what to do after a flood concerning your OWTS

OWTS Evaluation After Fire

This document contains scenarios that attempt to summarize what actions will likely need to be taken before the Environmental Health Bureau can approve construction permits after a fire

Qualified Professionals

Information about the minimum professional qualifications necessary for an individual or entity to complete each phase of the OWTS design and installation process.

Soils and Percolation Testing for New Development

A comprehensive site and soil evaluation is an essential piece of information to design an onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS, or septic system) that will function for years to come and ensure that groundwater and nearby surface waterways are protected from potential contamination.

Conventional & Alternative OWTS (Septic Systems)

Conventional OWTS (Septic System)

A conventional gravity flow septic system consists of a series of tanks or a compartmented tank followed by a drainfield. The septic tanks are used to settle out solids and partially treat wastewater before it reaches the subsurface drainfield. Certain areas may not be suitable for conventional systems; for example, areas with nearby nutrient-sensitive waters, high densities of existing conventional systems, highly permeable or shallow soils, shallow water tables, large rocks or confining layers, and poorly drained soils.

Alternative OWTS (Supplemental Treatment System)

Alternative OWTS are used in areas where conventional OWTS cannot provide adequate treatment of wastewater effluent due to site constraints. Supplemental systems feature components and processes designed to promote degradation and/or treatment of wastes through biological processes, oxidation/reduction reactions, filtration, evapotranspiration, and other processes. Some examples of Alternative (supplemental) OWTS include mound systems, fixed-film contact units, wetlands, aerobic treatment units, and low-pressure drip applications.

Currently, Monterey County does not have authority to issue permits for new Alternative Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems, only for repairs to existing OWTS. Monterey County is in the process of drafting a Local Agency Management Program for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (LAMP) that will subsequently allow Alternative OWTS to be utilized for new construction. The use of Alternative OWTS as the basis for demonstrating onsite wastewater disposal feasibility will not be allowed.


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