Land Use Program - Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems
The Land Use Program works to ensure that proper sewage disposal facilities are provided where public sewer services are not available.
OWTS are the alternative to sanitary sewers. The Land Use Program specialists perform site surveys to determine the feasibility for septic systems, specify the conditions for installation, conduct installation inspections to ensure conformance to the County of Santa Clara ordinance, issue permits for new septic systems and repairs to existing systems, and maintain permit records.
The County of Santa Clara adopted a new ordinance on December 26, 2013 that updates and replaces the previous County regulations governing individual onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) within the unincorporated parts of the County. The modifications allow for a broader range of treatment and dispersal designs (alternative systems that use pre-treatment technologies), and eliminates the 1-acre minimum lot size requirement for installation of OWTS in the Lexington Basin. The project also includes changes to a County General Plan policy and supporting descriptive text that reference use of alternative OWTS as well as a change to the Zoning Ordinance eliminating the minimum lot size requirement for secondary dwelling units in the San Martin Planning Area. All land use projects submitted on or after December 26, 2013 will be reviewed using the new ordinance and OWTS manual.