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  • CalEPA Unified Program Surcharges

    The proposed Unified Program Oversight, Underground Storage Tank and Refinery Safety surcharge amounts will become effective in May 2017, and shall be assessed and collected during the 2017/2018 fiscal year.

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  • Low Cost Vaccination and Microchip Clinic

    Monterey County Animal Services is hosting a Low-Cost Vaccine and Microchip Clinic on Sunday, May 14th from 10 am to 2 pm at the North Monterey County Recreation Park Facility in Castroville. This event is a great opportunity to take steps to keep your pet healthy and safe.

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Monterey County Local Agency Management Program (LAMP)


Published on . Last modified on November 16, 2016

Monterey County Local Agency Management Program (LAMP) for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS or Septic Systems)

Common Acronyms
LAMP Overview
Draft LAMP Submittal to Central Coast Water Board
Public Information Meetings
Technical Advisory Committee
OWTS Policy
Current OWTS Regulations

Common Acronyms
EHB means Environmental Health Bureau, Monterey County Health Department

LAMP means Local Agency Management Program (“LAMP”) for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems

OWTS means Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems

TAC means Technical Advisory Committee

LAMP Overview
Monterey County has drafted a Local Agency Management Program (“LAMP”) for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (“OWTS”, also commonly called septic systems).   In June 2012, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted the OWTS Policy, intended to increase protection of water quality and public health in California by establishing uniform regulations for OWTS that apply throughout the state.  The LAMP has been developed in accordance with Tier 2 of the Water Quality Control Policy for Siting, Design, Operation and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (“OWTS Policy”), to provide local designers, installers and regulators more flexibility when designing, installing and permitting OWTS while still ensuring the goals of the OWTS Policy, adopted by the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (“Central Coast Water Board”), can be met.  The LAMP will supplement Monterey County Code, Chapter 15.20, Sewage Disposal, and calls for it to be updated to conform to the LAMP once it is approved by the Board of Supervisors (on or about May 2018). The LAMP does not require changes to existing, properly functioning OWTS.  New OWTS and repairs, expansions or replacement of existing OWTS will be required to meet the requirements of the LAMP.  Here is a list of some of the changes proposed by the LAMP, compared to current County standards:

  • Specifies more comprehensive site evaluation requirements (including groundwater monitoring borings, soil profile analysis and for new systems, percolation testing)
  • Limits the depth of dispersal fields
  • Limits the use of seepage pits
  • Requires septic tank pumpers to submit a report on every septic tank pump out within Monterey County
  • Allows consideration for an alternative OWTS if a property is so constrained (for example, high groundwater, shallow soils or slow-percolating soils) that a conventional OWTS (septic tank and gravity disposal field) cannot be installed

Although a draft LAMP has already been submitted to the Central Coast Water Board, Monterey County is still be able to submit changes and additions to the LAMP based on industry or public input.  These proposals must meet the goals to protect water quality and public health in order for the Central Coast Water Board to consider incorporating them into the final LAMP.  

Draft LAMP Submittal to Central Coast Water Board
In conformance with the timelines specified by the OWTS Policy, Monterey County submitted a draft LAMP to the Central Coast Water Board on May 13, 2106.   The Central Coast Water Board has assured Monterey County that the draft LAMP can be modified up until the time it is adopted by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, on or about May 2017.  Any proposed changes will be required to meet the goals and intent of the policies in Tier 1 of the OWTS Policy.  The Environmental Health Bureau is conducting a series of Technical Advisory Committee meetings throughout the duration of 2016 to discuss the public’s concerns and work to develop standards that are as workable as possible while still providing satisfactory protection of water quality and public health, as required by the OWTS Policy.

Draft LAMP (revision date May 13, 2016)
Cover Letter
Board of Supervisors authorization to submit Draft LAMP (May 10, 2016)

Public Information Meetings
Monterey County Health Department, Environmental Health Bureau held a series of informational meetings in June 2016 to provide the public with an overview of the State OWTS Policy, the LAMP and projected changes to OWTS design, installation and permit requirements.  

Watch a video of the June 22, 2016 meeting: Salinas LAMP Info Meeting (21 minutes)
View the presentation: LAMP Info Meeting PowerPoint slides

Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Meetings
The EHB will conduct Technical Advisory Committee (“TAC”) meetings with OWTS professionals and local residents that want to participate in refining the LAMP.  Each session will be focused on a particular portion of the LAMP and other sections will only be discussed if time permits.   Questions or comments about the LAMP or requests to participate in the TAC should be directed to Nicki Fowler, or (831) 755-4584.

TAC Meeting
Monterey County Health Department (1270 Natividad Road, Salinas 93906)
Date Time Topic
July 20, 2016 4-6 PM    Section 4: Requirements for Existing OWTS
August 17, 2016 4-6 PM    Section 5: Requirements for New OWTS
September 21, 2016 4-6 PM    Section 6: Special Areas of Concern
October 19, 2016 4-6 PM    Other Sections

December 14, 2016 4-6 PM     General LAMP

Draft LAMP (revision date May 13, 2016)

OWTS Policy
Water Quality Control Plan for Siting, Design, Operation and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems by State Water Resources Control Board dated June 19, 2012

OWTS Policy Website

Current OWTS Regulations
Monterey County Code, Chapter 15.20


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