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Title: 14 - Buildings and Constructions

Chapter: 12 - On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems

Section: 105 - System Inspections

A. Regulation.

1.   The owners of all property utilizing an alternative system or other non-standard system constructed after the adoption of this section are required to have their system inspected and a report prepared within six months but not less than three months of the final construction inspection or occupancy (whichever is the later) and at least once every two years thereafter. The contents of these reports shall be on a form provided by the health officer.

2.   The owners of all property utilizing alternative systems, including those constructed prior to the adoption of this policy, are required to have their system inspected and a report prepared and submitted to the health officer at the time of a real estate transfer and every two years thereafter. When the real estate transfer involves no change in ownership as defined in this Section 14.12.105, subdivision D, "Exceptions," no inspection or report is required.

3.   The owners of commercial property utilizing an alternative system are required to have their alternative system inspected if a change of use is proposed. The inspection may be waived if the applicant can demonstrate that the wastewater generation for the subject property will be equal to or less than previous flows.


B. Inspection.

1.   The inspection shall be performed by a California Registered Professional Engineer, California Registered Environmental Health Specialist, California Registered Geologist or Soil Scientist, or a system inspector approved by the health officer who: (a) in the opinion of the health officer is qualified to perform such inspections and (b) has one year documented experience in satisfactorily performing such inspections and (c) has used or gained skills that demonstrate sufficient competence to perform such inspections.

2.   In the event that the inspection finds evidence that the system is not operating as it was designed to operate, is failing, causing a nuisance or is in need of repair or replacement, the property owner shall take immediate steps to cease surface discharge of sewage if occurring (by pumping the septic tank or ceasing discharge to the system or by other means) and shall apply for a sewage disposal system repair permit.

3.     If the inspection reveals evidence of sewage on the surface of the ground or other indications of obvious failure, the health officer shall be notified by the system inspector within twenty-four (24) hours.

4.     Unless otherwise provided, on-site sewage disposal systems that are failing or causing a nuisance shall be abated using the nuisance abatement procedure set forth in this code.


C. Report.

1. Inspection reports submitted to meet the requirements of this section shall include the following information:

a.      The inspection procedure.

b.      Inspection observations.

c.      A plot plan showing the components and location of the system.

d.      A determination that the system is or is not operating as it was designed to operate.

e.      Other information deemed necessary by the health officer.

2. The health officer shall prepare and submit an annual report regarding alternative systems to the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. The report shall meet the requirements of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Basin Plan.


D. Exceptions.

1. An inspection shall not be required for the following:

a. Transfers ordered by a court including but not limited to the administration of an estate, foreclosure, bankruptcy, eminent domain, divorce, decree of specific performance, or property settlement agreements.

b. Transfers by mortgagee or for financing or refinancing.

c. Transfers by a fiduciary in the course of administration of the decedent\'s estate, guardianship, conservatorship, or trust.

d. Transfers from at least one co-owner to at least one other co-owner.

e. Transfers made solely to any combination of a spouse or an individual in the lineal line of consanguinity of at least one of the transferors.

f. Transfers made due to the recorded owner\'s failure to pay any federal, state, or local taxes.

        g. Transfers to or from a governmental agency.

        h. Transfers to a living trust.

2. Real estate transfer inspections shall not be required for on-site systems that were installed, repaired or replaced and which received a satisfactory final inspection by the health officer within 24 months of the real estate transaction provided additional living space has not been added and/or there has been no change in use.

3. Routine alternative system inspection reports of alternative on-site systems may be used to meet the requirement of sale or transfer inspection when a copy of the inspection is provided as part of the sale and the report meets the requirements of this section. 


(Ord. 2005-25B § 15, 2005.)