Public Works Department Banner, This link takes you back to home page

Sewer and Water Division

If you see a SEWER SPILL in the street or flowing into a water body please immediately call
the Sewer District at 831-477-3907

Sanitation GIS Maps     District Maps     Sewer Service Availability    Sewer Lateral Resources

The Sewer Division of Santa Cruz Public Works is responsible for the collection of wastewater (sewage) for several sanitation districts and county service areas (CSAs) located within Santa Cruz County, and Environmental Compliance. Please note: This department does not provide service to those residents who reside within the Santa Cruz City Limits, Watsonville City Limits, or Scotts Valley City Limits.
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. 
Guide to What You Can and Can't Flush and Put down the Drain.

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


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.

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.

2013 Sewer System Management Plan Audit

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 Permit Application    Food Service Requirements    Grease Interceptor Design Criteria

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    Dentists    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

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