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Access the Final Public Notice for DR-4683-CA

Posted: 2/29/2024

Sewer and Water Division

The Sewer (Sanitation) Division of Santa Cruz County Public Works is responsible for Environmental Compliance and the collection of wastewater (sewage) within 3 Sanitation Districts & 5 County Service Areas.
View the locations and service areas of these Districts and CSAs here: Sanitation Districts & CSAs
Sanitary sewer system agencies covered under Statewide General Waste Discharge Requirements (WQO No. 2006-0003-DWQ) for Sanitary Sewer Systems, are required to report all sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) for which their agency has responsibility into the State Water Resources Control Board's SSO database. The data is available to the public, agencies and interested stakeholders. Interested parties may be the reports here: California Integrated Water Quality System (CIWQS).
Do you have questions about connecting to sewer OR converting from an existing septic treatment system? Start by viewing our interactive map to identify which Sanitation District or CSA you reside in, how close your parcel is to a sewer main, and which local agency to contact for guidance on next steps. 
Please note: This department does not provide sewer service to those residents who reside within the Santa Cruz City Limits, Watsonville City Limits, or Scotts Valley City Limits. Questions on sewer or water service in these city limits should be directed to their respective Public Works Department.
Drinking water and recycled water services are only provided for the Davenport area. If you reside within the City of Santa Cruz or the surrounding unincorporated areas not located in the mountains, your water is likely to be provided by City of Santa Cruz or Soquel Water. There are some smaller water companies who service rural areas within Santa Cruz County. 

Public Outreach

Three P's


Guide to What You Can and Can't Flush and Put down the Drain.


(copia en español de: Piense antes de vacear el inodor)


Avoid Sewage Spills and Unnecessary Damage

Pursuant to District Code Section 7.04.100, it is the property owner's responsibility to install & maintain an overflow or backflow protective device on your sewer lateral when any building's lowest floor elevation is less than one foot above the rim elevation of the nearest upstream manhole. For further information please contact (831) 454-2160.


Residential Customers

By paying your sewer service charges, you are paying for maintenance and improvement of your public sewer system and for proper treatment of wastewater before it is released to the ocean. Anything you put down the household drain must make its way through a series of pipes and pumps to the treatment plant and then out to the ocean outfall. Take proper care to ensure that what you put down your drain won’t result in additional maintenance costs, sanitary sewer spills, or even significant reconstruction costs for damages.


Business Customers

Food Service Facilities

All food facilities in the County of Santa Cruz are required to have grease interceptors or traps to remove grease from their sewer lines before it reaches public sewer mains. Any new food service facility or a current facility that wants to make changes in its operations or capacity must complete a Food Service Permit Application prior to beginning any new operations. The information will be used to determine the size of the grease interceptor or trap that must be installed. New grease interceptors must be approved by Environmental Compliance staff prior to operation.

Food Service Facility Questionaire    Food Service Requirements    Grease Interceptor Design Criteria

Dental Facilities

All dental facilities in Santa Cruz County and Freedom County Sanitation Districts, which meet the specified requirements in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 403 & 441 must install an approved amalgam separator and abide by Best Management Practices. Amalgam separators prevent mercury from entering the sanitary sewer system and ultimately the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. For additional information on this requirement, please visit the EPA Dental Amalgam Rule Effluent Guidelines at: In response to these EPA requirements, all dental practices within the service areas of Santa Cruz County and Freedom County Sanitation Districts are required to fill out and submit this One-Time Compliance Report by March 31, 2020. If a dental practice transfers ownership of the facility, the new owner must submit a new, one-time compliance report no later than 90 days after the official transfer date. 

Best Management Practices   SCCSD One Time Certification Form   FCSD One Time Certification Form

Mobile Cleaners

Monterey Bay Area Mobile Cleaner Resources

Industrial Wastewater Permits

The first step to obtaining a permit is to submit a Wastewater Survey. Based on the information obtained in the survey and a site visit, your business may be required to submit a Baseline Monitoring Report, which will require analyzing wastewater for certain contaminants. To obtain and complete a survey, please download one of the following:

Brewery    General Industrial    Machine Shops Survey    Photo Processing/X-Ray

Remediation Sites    Self Monitoring Report    Federal Regulations    Local Regulations

Change of Ownership: Wastewater permits are non-transferable. If your business has recently undergone a change of ownership or relocation, you must reapply for a wastewater permit by submitting a Wastewater Survey. Indicate on the survey that the reason for submittal is a change of ownership.

Vehicle Service Facilities

All commercial car wash wastewater must be collected, treated, and then discharged to the sanitary sewer. Environmental Compliance staff require a minimum 1500-gallon clarifier to treat car wash wastewater. However, a larger size may be required depending on the number of cars being washed. Clarifiers must be completely pumped out at least once a year, sometimes more frequently if there is evidence of excessive oil and solids. For instructions on maintaining a clarifier and a list of pumpers known to work in the area, please refer to Best Environmental Management Practices for Vehicle Service Facilities.

Automotive Permit Application    Clarifier Design Criteria

Best Management Practices

Carpet Cleaning     Dry Cleaners    Machine Shops     Medical Facilities     Paint Contractors     Photo Processing     Printers     Responsible Car Washing     Restaurants    Restaurants (Spanish)    Surf Board Shapers     Vehicle Service Facilities    


Pretreatment Program

Pretreatment Program

The Pretreatment Program is a Federal program that was designed to protect the municipal sewer system from industrial wastewater discharges that may harm the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) and damage the environment. The Santa Cruz County Sanitation District is required to implement the program locally.

The Santa Cruz County Sanitation District Environmental Compliance Unit (ECU) manages the Pretreatment Program within the County of Santa Cruz. The ECU issues wastewater discharge permits, conducts commercial industrial inspections, and performs environmental sampling. The Environmental Compliance Unit has also developed a pollution prevention program that provides services to businesses, homeowners, and the public to help with issues pertaining to the sanitary sewer. The ECU is committed to protecting our public sewer system and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. If you need assistance with environmental regulations or have any concerns you can contact the ECU.

Federal     Local     Pretreatement Annual Report     Wastewater Discharge Limitations


Sewer System Management Plan

Sewer System Management Plan

Santa Cruz County has developed and is implementing a Sewer System Management Plan (SSMP) pursuant to State Water Resources Control Board Order 2006‐003, Statewide General Discharge Requirements of Sanitary Sewer Systems. The goal of the SSMP is to minimize the frequency and severity of sanitary sewer overflows (SSO's). The SSMP covers the management, planning, design, and operation and maintenance of the County's sanitary sewer systems. Interested parties can contact the sanitation operations manager, Beatriz Barranco at 831‐477‐3907 for additional information.

2021 Sewer System Management Plan Audit

2019 Sewer System Management Plan Audit - Revised April 2020

2017 Sewer System Management Plan

2022 Sewer System Management Plan













Counter Hours
Tuesday and Thursdays
8AM-5PM (Closed 12-1PM)
701 Ocean St. Room 401, Santa Cruz CA 95060
Call Us (831) 454-2160
Email Us


Sewer Inspections & Permits

Please call (831) 454-2895 with 48-Hour advance notice to schedule an inspection with our team


More Information on Permits & Fees Here


Report Sewer Spills
Your diligence is appreciated. Notify Us at (831) 477-3907 if you smell or observe sewage in the road or waterways.

Report Issue or Submit Request