6.7.102 Definitions.

As used in this section:

a.    Sewage shall mean liquid or solid waste substance, together with any groundwater, surface water, or storm waters that may be present, which is associated with human or animal habitation or activity, or which contains or may be contaminated with human or animal excrement or offal, and includes wastewater, wastewater effluent, sewage sludge, and/or supernatant liquid.

6.7.104 Permit Required.

No person shall collect, discharge or deposit, or cause or suffer to be collected, discharged or deposited, any sewage, sewage effluent or garbage from more than one building in the City or into streams or bodies of water where the same is or may be carried through or upon areas of the City, or make use of City roads or highways therefor, without first securing in the manner hereinafter provided a permit from the City Council so to do, and at all times having an unrevoked permit therefor. No person shall collect, discharge or deposit any such sewage which creates a public nuisance in the City.

6.7.106 Permit Application Procedure.

a.    Application. Every person seeking a permit to do any of the acts described in Section 6.7.104 shall file with the City Council a written application therefor.

b.    Content. The application shall contain a complete and detailed plan, description and history of the existing or proposed lines, works, system, procedures, or purification plant through which such waste matter is proposed to be collected and discharged.

c.    Investigation. The Council may direct the County Health Officer and/or the City Engineer to investigate the existing or proposed system or plant, and report to the Council.

d.    Findings; Permit. If the Council determines as a fact that the waste matter being or to be so collected, discharged or deposited does not or will not constitute a public nuisance, and does not or will not emit disagreeable odors or fumes offensive to the public in the vicinity of such place of collection or deposit or passing over and along public highways adjacent thereto, it may grant a permit authorizing the petitioner to collect, deposit or discharge or to continue to collect, deposit or discharge such substance.

e.    Revocation; Suspension. All permits are revocable by the Council at any time, and also may be suspended by the Council if it finds as a fact that the substance collected, discharged or deposited by virtue thereof constitutes a public nuisance or emits disagreeable odors or smells offensive to the public in the vicinity thereof or passing over and along public highways adjacent thereto or any permit term, limitation or condition has been violated.

6.7.108 Official Inspections.

Every person engaged in, or applying for a permit to engage in, any activity regulated by this chapter shall allow the County Health Officer and/or City Engineer and/or any of their therefor-designated subordinates to enter and inspect the place, facilities and activities, for compliance with this chapter, during reasonable hours, upon demand identifying the official and his/her purpose hereunder.

6.7.110 Exception.

This section does not apply to a septic tank-chemical toilet cleaner as defined in Section " target="_blank">413-3.420 of the Contra Costa County Code, having a valid, unrevoked, unsuspended public health license issued therefor pursuant to the provisions of contraCosta(Chapter 4.13 of the Contra Costa County Code).


6.7.202 Persons Subject to Regulations; Actions Required.

All persons, firms, corporations and political subdivisions organized under the laws of this State and empowered to install sewer lines or to construct or erect sewage processing plants, prior to doing any work of sewer line installation or erection of sewage processing plants in the City, shall file with the City Engineer plans and specifications of the proposed work.

6.7.204 Approval By City Engineer.

Within 15 days after plans and specifications are filed with him/her, the City Engineer may approve the plans and specify the amount of cash deposit required by him/her to cover the estimated cost of inspecting the work during its progress to insure compliance with the submitted plans and specifications. If additional time is required by the City Engineer to review the plans and specifications in order to determine that the proposed work meets accepted sanitary engineering standards, he/she shall notify the applicant of the amount of additional time required.

6.7.205 Reimbursement for City Improvements.

From time to time, the City may install improvements to prevent future damage to sidewalk, curbs, gutters, landscaping, irrigation, lighting, conduit and similar facilities. Such improvement may include, but not be limited to, providing pipe for future lateral connections to the sewer main line. In such instances, the City Engineer shall collect from the persons or entities described in Section 6.7.202 funds sufficient to reimburse the City for its cost of installing such improvements when an application is made to connect to the improvement provided by the City.

(Sec. 1, Ordinance No. 21-16, adopted October 25, 2016)

6.7.206 Work Commencement; Fee Deposit.

On approval of plans and specifications and deposit of the required fee, work may begin. The applicant shall carry forward the work without unreasonable delays and shall keep the City Engineer advised of times when work is to be performed so that inspection may be scheduled.

6.7.208 Work Suspension; Additional Fees.

If inspection fees deposited are expended before the work is completed, the City Engineer may order the work suspended until sufficient additional fees are deposited with him/her to cover the cost of inspection.

6.7.210 Appeals.

Any applicant whose plans and specifications are disapproved, who complains of delay in the review of submitted plans and specifications, who asserts that inspection fees are excessive, or who contends that inspection by the City Engineer is unreasonable, may appeal in writing to the City Council. The appeal shall set forth in reasonable detail the ruling or action complained of. At its first regular meeting which follows by more than five days the filing of the appeal, the Council shall hear and decide the appeal. The Council may continue the hearing from time to time, but no single extension shall be longer than the time until the Council’s next regular meeting. The decision of the City Council shall be final.


6.7.302 Definitions.

Unless otherwise specially provided, or required by the context, the following terms have these meanings in this section:

a.    "Community sewer collection" system shall mean the structures, devices, equipment, and appurtenances intended for the collection, transportation, and pumping of sewage from two or more structures to a treatment or disposal facility.

b.    "Domestic water supply reservoir" shall mean an existing or proposed open uncovered reservoir used or intended to impound water for human consumption or domestic purposes, including a planned reservoir where the water impounder states in writing to the City Council his/her intent to install or construct it, and satisfies the Council that he/she has appropriate rights in the land and the ability to finish and maintain it.

c.    "Drainage area of a domestic water supply reservoir" shall mean all the land that can or may drain into the reservoir, whether or not the topographical configuration is artificially or naturally caused.

d.    "Health Officer" shall mean and include any subordinate(s) that the Health Officer designates from time to time to perform any or all of the Health Officer’s functions hereunder.

e.    "Improper functioning individual system" shall mean a system which allows sewage to escape to the surface of the ground or prevents plumbing fixtures from draining.

f.    "Individual system" shall mean a system which consists of:

1)    The drainage pipes of a structure and the septic tank and subsurface absorption system to which they are connected; or

2)    Any alternative system designed for the disposal of sewage and acceptable to the County Health Officer.

g.    "Sanitary sewer" shall mean a system for collecting residential or municipal wastewater and directing the collected wastewater to a treatment works prior to disposal.

h.    "Sewage" shall mean liquid or solid waste substance, which is associated with human habitation or which contains or may be contaminated with human or animal excrement or offal.

i.    "Sewer availability" shall mean a sanitary sewer is available for connection to a structure requiring sewage disposal because:

1)    The entity operating the sanitary sewer indicates in writing that the proposed structure can be connected to the sanitary sewer; and

2)    The cost of providing sanitary sewer service, exclusive of all annexation fees, connection fees, and the sewer pipe installation costs between the structure and the publicly owned sewer in the street or right-of-way, is less than $5,000, or 10% of the full market value of all existing and proposed improvements, whichever is greater; and

3)    The area of the property to be served is less than 40,000 square feet and the sanitary sewer is less than 300 feet, measured horizontally, from the nearest property boundary; or

4)    The area of the property is more than 40,000 square feet and the structure requiring the disposal of sewage is located less than 300 feet measured horizontally to the nearest property boundary adjacent to the sanitary sewer.

j.    "Site evaluation" shall mean the investigation of a subdivision or a lot to determine the feasibility of installing an individual system. It shall include a determination of compliance with all applicable sanitation requirements and a sanitary survey of the area. Should the sanitary survey disclose failing individual systems in the immediate vicinity of the site evaluated, this shall be cause for denial of the feasibility of installing an individual system.

k.    "Subdivision" shall mean a division or any use of real property that does or may reasonably be expected to generate sewage or require sewage disposal; and, subdivider shall mean the owner of or applicant for a subdivision.

6.7.304 Sewer Connection Required; Exception.

Every structure in which plumbing fixtures have been or are proposed to be installed shall be connected to a sanitary sewer and all such plumbing fixtures and sanitary drainage systems or parts thereof shall be connected to the sanitary sewer except:

a.    If the County Health Officer determines that connection to a sanitary sewer is unavailable under the provisions of Section 6.7.302, an application may be filed for a permit to install an individual system.

b.    Upon written application to the County Health Officer and in only those cases in which an existing individual system is found to be functioning improperly, the requirement for connection to the sanitary sewer may be waived by the County Health Officer if the County Health Officer finds:

1)    That such waiver shall be limited to minor repair of the improperly functioning existing individual system, provided no nuisance will be created, continued or maintained by such waiver, and

2)    That all requirements of this section and regulations can be met.

6.7.306 Prohibitions.

a.    No person shall build or alter any structure or building on or improve any land, requiring sewage disposal, without having a currently valid permit for an approved individual system or connecting to an approved sanitary sewer.

b.    No person shall discharge or deposit sewage to the surface of the ground.

c.    No person shall have or permit an improperly functioning individual system.

d.    No person shall install, construct, repair, reconstruct, relocate, destroy, alter, or abandon any individual system, cesspool, pit privy, sewage holding tank, or seepage pit without the County Health Officer’s advance written approval.

e.    No person shall have or maintain an improperly functioning building sewer or lateral that conducts sewage from the building to a community sewer collection system.

f.    No person shall engage in the business of cleaning septic tanks and subsurface leaching devices, sewage holding tanks, cesspools, or seepage pits or of providing or cleaning chemical toilets without having a valid permit, license, and/or registration issued by the County Health Officer.

g.    No person shall change any approved plan or work without the County Health Officer’s advance written approval.

6.7.308 Building Permit Restrictions.

Applications for building permits or certificates of occupancy for structures and/or to build on any premises requiring disposal of sewage shall, prior to their issuance, be submitted to the County Health Officer for his/her review and written approval of the proposed sewage disposal system. When the City Engineer is advised that it has not been demonstrated that an adequate sewage disposal system complying with this section exists or is assured that such lack is a danger to or likely to cause public health problems, he/she may withhold the issuance of the requested permit or certificate.

6.7.310 Publication of Regulations.

The County Health Officer may make and publish regulations to make more detailed or specific the provisions of the section. These regulations shall become effective two weeks after filing with the City Clerk and posting in the County Health Department. The County Health Officer shall be responsible for the enforcement of this section.

6.7.312 Investigations.

To enforce this section, the County Health Officer may enter and inspect any premises operations or work regulated hereby, at reasonable times and with such notice to the owner, occupant, operator, applicant, licensee, or permittee, as is reasonable and practicable under the circumstances. In conducting such inspections the County Health Officer is authorized to proceed pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure Sections 1822.50 and following.

6.7.314 Nuisance Abatement.

a.    Notice; Hearing. Except in instances of necessity or emergency, when the County Health Officer declares an individual system to be a public nuisance, he/she shall promptly so notify the owner of the property by certified mail to the owner’s address on the assessment roll. The notice shall state why the system is a nuisance, and shall also state that the owner of the property has 30 days after mailing of the notice within which to abate the nuisance, failing which the County Health Officer may have the nuisance abated and the owner shall be liable for the cost thereof. The notice shall also state that if the owner objects to the County Health Officer’s declaration, the owner may request a hearing before the County Health Officer to determine whether a public nuisance exists. The notice shall further indicate that the request for the hearing must be received by the County Health Officer prior to the expiration of the time set for abatement, and the hearing shall be held within 30 days after the request is received by the County Health Officer. Abatement is suspended by the filing of a request for hearing, pending the final decision of the County Health Officer.

b.    Costs. If the County Health Officer has a nuisance abated, he/she shall promptly so notify the property owner, including a statement of costs and of the owner’s rights to a hearing thereon. The notice mailing and the time periods for hearing request and hearing shall be those describe in subsection (a) of this section. Upon fixing the costs (after hearing or in the absence of request therefor), the County Health Officer shall proceed according to law to impose the costs on and collect them from the property owner and/or the property. These procedures do not affect the City’s right to collect these costs from any other person responsible therefor under law.

6.7.316 Individual Permits.

a.    General. Every person shall obtain a permit as provided for by this section to repair, relocate, install or construct an individual system unless connection to a sanitary sewer is required. When Health Officer approval is required, a currently valid permit issued pursuant to this chapter constitutes such approval.

b.    Permit Procedure.

1)    An application for a permit shall be made to the County Health Officer, and it shall expire after 120 days.

2)    The County Health Officer shall approve, conditionally approve, or deny the application, and issue or withhold the permit accordingly, on the basis of compliance with this section and the County Health Officer’s regulations. Permits expire 180 days after issuance if the approved work is not started and diligently pursued.

6.7.318 Lot Area; Variances.

a.    Lot Area. The lot area, exclusive of underground and surface easements, shall be 15,000 square feet or more for a single-family dwelling or other structure requiring an individual system. When both an individual system and private water supply are required, the total lot area, exclusive of underground and surface easements, shall be 40,000 square feet or more. These lot area requirements are prospective only and do not apply to the maintenance or repair of an existing system.

b.    Variances. The County Health Officer may grant variances to the provisions of this subsection when the County Health Officer finds the following conditions to be met:

1)    The lot in all other respects will comply with the requirements of this chapter and the regulations issued by the County Health Officer; and

2)    The variance would not create nor contribute to the creation of a public health nuisance.

6.7.320 Individual System Near a Reservoir; Variances.

a.    Location. If the parcel or lot is located within a drainage area of a domestic water supply reservoir, any structure requiring disposal of sewage shall be connected to a community sewer collection system.

b.    Variances. If a community sewer collection system is not available the County Health Officer may grant a variance subject to the following:

1)    If the parcel or lot is between 50 and 1,000 feet from the reservoir or tributary stream, a watertight sewage holding tank system, or equal will be required. Such system must be owned or operated by a presently existing public agency having statutory authority to provide such service.

2)    Beyond 1,000 feet from a reservoir or tributary stream an individual system or other similar acceptable system may be permitted subject to all the conditions specified in Section 6.7.318.

c.    Variance Temporary. It is the intent of this section to provide maximum protection to the water quality of the waters stored in these reservoirs and any variance granted must be considered as an interim method of sewage disposal which shall not create situations that may become a menace to the public health.

6.7.322 Alternative Individual System.

The County Health Officer may approve, conditionally approve, or deny an application to use an alternative individual system. No alternative system will be approved for installation in a septic tank moratorium area, a Water Quality Control Board prohibition zone, or sanitary or sanitation district without approval by the City or district. The County Health Officer shall not consider or approve of a proposal to use an alternative sewage disposal system for a subdivision, or sanitary or sanitation district. An alternative system must meet all applicable provisions of this section and:

a.    All local, State, and Federal laws and regulations; and

b.    Certification and testing requirements of an appropriate governmental agency; and

c.    Approval requirements of N.S.F. (National Sanitation Foundation) or I.A.P.M.O. (International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials).

6.7.324 Subdivision Maps.

a.    Tentative Maps. A copy of any submitted tentative subdivision map shall be forwarded to and filed with the County Health Officer for investigation of the sewage disposal system. The tentative map shall show proposed provisions for sewage disposal, source of approved water supply, number of lots, the size of each lot, and contour lines at intervals of five feet or less.

b.    County Health Officer Approval. The County Health Officer shall review the filed tentative map for compliance with this section (and any adopted regulations) and in a timely manner report his/her conclusions thereon, together with any conditions recommended to insure such compliance, to the Planning Department and advisory agency.

c.    Final Map. Final maps shall not be recorded unless the conditions recommended by the County Health Officer and established by the advisory agency on approval of the tentative map have been satisfied.

6.7.326 Appeals.

Except for determinations made pursuant to Section 6.7.314, a person objecting to or disagreeing with any decision made pursuant to this section, and/or the pertinent regulations thereto, may appeal the decision to the County Health Officer, or the County Health Officer’s designated subordinate(s). Any request for an appeal hearing shall be in writing and must be received by the County Health Officer within 10 days after notice of the decision was mailed. Any request for an appeal hearing must be accompanied by the appropriate fee. A hearing on the appeal shall be held within 15 days after the request for appeal is received by the County Health Officer.

6.7.328 Fees.

Every person required by this chapter to obtain a permit, shall pay to the County Health Officer any fees required by the County for such permit.

6.7.330 Penalties.

Any person violating this section or regulations issued hereunder, by failing to submit plans, obtain necessary inspections and approvals, or pay fees, or by commencing or continuing construction or remodeling in violation hereof, shall pay triple the appropriate fee as a penalty and remain subject to other applicable penalties and enforcement procedures authorized by the State Law and/or this Code.