The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted the Water Quality Control Policy for Siting, Design, Operation and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems, dated June 19, 2012, also referred to as the "OWTS Policy" (SWRCB, 2012). The State Water Board’s Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) Policy provides a multi-tiered strategy for management of OWTS in California.
On May 13, 2016, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) submitted a proposed Local Agency Management Program (LAMP) for oversight of septic systems within the unincorporated areas of the County of Los Angeles to the local Water Board. This LAMP has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the OWTS Policy.
The purpose of the LAMP is to authorize DPH to implement alternate standards from the OWTS Policy Low Risk standards, including the conditions that allow DPH to issue operating permits for Non-Conventional Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (NOWTS). Without the adoption of the LAMP, residents whose property does not meet the requirements for the installation of a low risk system would be required to apply for a Waste Discharge Requirements (WDR) permit from the local Water Board, pay annual fees to the Water Board of $1044, and comply with quarterly monitoring requirements. Upon obtaining a WDR, the resident would still be required to obtain a permit for the siting and design of the NOWTS from DPH.
Since 2016, DPH has prepared a revised draft of the LAMP that was submitted to the local Water Board on February 6, 2018. A copy of this revised LAMP is available below. A summary of the changes will be provided shortly.
A public hearing is scheduled before the local Water Board on May 10, 2018 at the Metropolitan Water District Building Main Board Room located at 700 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles. At a later date this item will be placed on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ agenda for consideration of adoption. Additional details will be provided as they are available.
Applicability of the LAMP to Cities within Los Angeles County
Cities currently with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with DPH for septic system review and those desirous of having DPH’s Land Use Program review proposed septic systems must enter into a MOU with DPH. In addition, cities will need to adopt the appropriate sections of the Los Angeles County Health and Safety Code (Title 11) and the Los Angeles County Plumbing Code (Title 28) to provide for the County’s enforcement of the LAMP’s provisions and restrictions, once these codes have been revised.
Cities that are interested in entering a MOU may contact the Land Use Program at (626) 430-5380 for more information and to be added to a mailing list.