Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC


  ( Division 6 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )


  ( Part 2 added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 990. )

CHAPTER 3. On-Site Wastewater Disposal Zones [6950 - 6982]

  ( Chapter 3 added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1125. )

ARTICLE 3. Powers [6975 - 6982]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1125. )


An on-site wastewater disposal zone may be formed to achieve water quality objectives set by regional water quality control boards, to protect existing and future beneficial water uses, protect public health, and to prevent and abate nuisances. Whenever an on-site wastewater disposal zone has been formed pursuant to this chapter, the public agency shall have the powers set forth in this article, which powers shall be in addition to any other powers provided by law. A public agency shall exercise its powers on behalf of a zone.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1125.)


An on-site waste water disposal zone shall have the following powers:

(a)  To collect, treat, reclaim, or dispose of waste water without the use of communitywide sanitary sewers or sewage systems and without degrading water quality within or outside the zone.

(b)  To acquire, design, own, construct, install, operate, monitor, inspect, and maintain on-site wastewater disposal systems, not to exceed the number of systems specified pursuant to either Section 6960 or Section 6960.1, within the zone in a manner which will promote water quality, prevent the pollution, waste, and contamination of water, and abate nuisances.

(c)  To conduct investigations, make analyses, and monitor conditions with regard to water quality within the zone.

(d)  To adopt and enforce reasonable rules and regulations necessary to implement the purposes of the zone. Such rules and regulations may be adopted only after the board conducts a public hearing after giving public notice pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 445.)


The public agency shall do all such acts as are reasonably necessary to secure compliance with any federal, state, regional, or local law, order, regulation, or rule relating to water pollution or the discharge of pollutants, waste, or any other material within the zone. For such purpose, any authorized representative of the public agency, upon presentation of his credentials, or, if necessary under the circumstances, after obtaining an inspection warrant pursuant to Title 13 (commencing with Section 1822.50) of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure, shall have the right of entry to any premises on which a water pollution, waste, or contamination source, including, but not limited to, septic tanks, is located for the purpose of inspecting such source, including securing samples of discharges therefrom, or any records required to be maintained in connection therewith by federal, state, or local law, order, regulation, or rule.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 445.)


(a)  Violation of any of the provisions of a rule or regulation adopted pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 6976 may be abated as a public nuisance by the board. The board may by regulation establish a procedure for the abatement of such a nuisance and to assess the cost of such abatement to the violator. If the violator maintains the nuisance upon real property in which he has a fee title interest, the assessment shall constitute a lien upon such real property in the manner provided in subdivision (b).

(b)  The amount of any costs, which are incurred by the zone in abating such a nuisance upon real property, shall be assessed to such real property and shall be added to, and become part of, the annual taxes next levied upon the real property subject to abatement and shall constitute a lien upon that real property as of the same time and in the same manner as does the tax lien securing such annual taxes. All laws applicable to the collection and enforcement of county ad valorem taxes shall be applicable to such assessment, except that if any real property to which such lien would attach has been transferred or conveyed to a bona fide purchaser for value, or if a lien of a bona fide encumbrancer for value has been created and attached thereon, prior to the date on which such delinquent charges appear on the assessment roll, then a lien which would otherwise be imposed by this section shall not attach to such real property and the delinquent and unpaid charges relating to such property shall be transferred to the unsecured roll for collection. Any amounts of such assessments collected are to be credited to the funds of the zone from which the costs of abatement were expended.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1125.)


(a)  The owner of any real property upon which is located an on-site wastewater disposal system, which system is subject to abatement as a public nuisance by the public agency, may request the public agency to replace or repair, as necessary, such system. If replacement or repair is feasible, the board may provide for the necessary replacement or repair work.

(b)  The person or persons employed by the board to do the work shall have a lien, subject to the provisions of subdivision (b) of Section 6978, for work done and materials furnished, and the work done and materials furnished shall be deemed to have been done and furnished at the request of the owner. The zone, in the discretion of the board, may pay all, or any part, of the cost or price of the work done and materials furnished; and, to the extent that the zone pays the cost or price of the work done and materials furnished, the zone shall succeed to and have all the rights, including, but not limited to, the lien, of such person or persons employed to do the work against the real property and the owner.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 445.)


A board may exercise all of the public agency’s existing financial powers on behalf of a zone, excepting that any assessment or tax levied upon the real property of a zone shall be subject to the provisions of Sections 6978 and 6981.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1125.)


Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a public agency may levy an assessment reasonably proportional to the benefits derived from the zone, as determined by the board, and subject to the approval of the voters pursuant to the provisions of Article 6 (commencing with Section 2285) of Chapter 3 of Part 4 of Division 1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code. Such benefit assessment shall be in addition to any other charges, assessments, or taxes otherwise levied by the public agency upon the property in the zone.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 445.)


(a) Notwithstanding Section 6952, the West Bay Sanitary District may use the procedures in this chapter to provide alternative or innovative wastewater technologies in the district’s jurisdiction.

(b) The determination of a public health officer pursuant to Section 6955.1 shall include written findings, adopted by the district board of directors, regarding the existing or potential public health hazard.

(c) “Alternative or innovative wastewater technologies” means either (1) an onsite wastewater disposal system, as defined in Section 6952, or (2) such a system in conjunction with communitywide sewer or sewage systems, if one or more of the components of the system is located on or in close proximity to the real property and employs innovative or alternative wastewater technologies, including, but not limited to, grinder pump pressure sewer systems, septic tank effluent pump pressure sewer systems, vacuum sewer systems, or small-diameter gravity septic tank systems.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 193, Sec. 78. Effective January 1, 2005.)

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