Welcome to RMA

The Resource Management Agency strives to ensure that its customer service standards are consistent with the Agency’s Mission Statement:

The mission of the Resource Management Agency, in cooperation with the public and our partner agencies, is to protect the consumer and community’s health, safety and environment by carrying out adopted laws and policies, and educating, assisting and empowering Ventura County residents and businesses to be good stewards of the land and our resources.

Values

In addition, RMA has identified those core values which will guide us in carrying out our mission. These values are directly related to our customer service and include:

  • Honesty, hard work and ethical behavior

  • Transparency and accountability

  • Equitable treatment and respect of all constituents

  • Excellence in service delivery

sptic tank

An onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS), also referred to as a septic system, is used for the disposal of wastewater from structures that do not have access to a public sewer / wastewater treatment utility. The Environmental Health Division (Division) Liquid Waste Program is tasked with protecting public health and the environment from the potential adverse health and environmental impacts associated with OWTS. 

The Division is the authority with jurisdiciton for OWTS in unincorporated Ventura County only. If your system is located within city limits, please contact the city for information on OWTS permits or to report a complaint related to an OWTS. The Division also does not have jurisdiction for OWTS serving mobile homes parks; contact the California Department of Housing and Community Development Southern Area Office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (800) 952-8356.

Liquid Waste Program staff review OWTS design proposals and design criteria, and inspect both new OWTS construction and repairs of existing systems to ensure conformance with all applicable codes. There are three basic permits for OWTS in Ventura County: 1) construction or repair permits for conventional systems, 2) construction or repair permits for alternative systems, and 3) certifications of existing systems.

Please note, Liquid Waste Program staff do not perform OWTS assessments for real estate transfers.

Please click the link below to view document imaged information on OWTS in the County:


"WILL MY SEPTIC SYSTEM TREAT COVID-19?" - (U.S. EPA Website)


Do you have OWTS technical questions and want to meet with Liquid Waste Program staff in person?

Contact the Liquid Waste Program staff to schedule an appointment! Please see the information below to contact the Liquid Waste Program staff assigned to your project area:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.       (805) 662 - 6520                                                       

  • Casitas Springs, El Rio, Fillmore, Frazier Park, La Conchita, Lockwood Valley, Malibu, Ojai, Oxnard, Piru, Saticoy, Santa Paula, Ventura

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.      (805) 654 - 2802

  • Bell Canyon, Camarillo, Chatsworth, Hidden Valley, Moorpark, Newbury Park, Santa Rosa Valley, Santa Susana, Simi Valley, Somis, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village

Please note that although the EHD Counter Technicians are available to process your permit applications Monday - Friday, 8am to 5pm, the Liquid Waste Program staff may not be available to answer technical questions at the EHD Public Counter if you have not scheduled an appointment.

Need to schedule an inspection?

Call the OWTS Inspection Hotline at (805) 477-7136.
Due to the high volume of requests, inspection appointments make take up to two business days to schedule. 


OWTS Applications Quick Find

New OWTS require site and design approval prior to the issuance of a Permit to Construct. Complete this application for evaluation of your OWTS location and design:

A Permit to Construct is required prior to the installation and/or repair of an OWTS. Complete this application for a Permit to Construct an OWTS:

An existing OWTS may require certification to evaluate capacity, setbacks, or other concerns. Complete this application to certify an existing OWTS:

Instructions for Submitting Your OWTS Application:

  1. Complete the appropriate application and ensure all associated documents have been completed (i.e., soils report, site plan, legal declarations, etc.). Please read applicant instructions printed at top of the application carefully for a complete list of required documentation for each application. Incomplete applications will not be processed. Scroll down this webpage to find the additional forms required for your submittal.

  2. There are two options to submit an OWTS application:
    • Option 1 –  Submit by Mail: Submit application, all required documents, and applicable review/permit fee to the Ventura County Environmental Health Division 800 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura, CA 93009-1730. Applications submitted via mail without review/permit fee payment will not be processed and will be returned to the applicant.

    • Option 2 – Electronic Submittal: Submit application and all required documents to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . There is a 10MB size limit on emailed documents. Larger files may need to be compressed or shared in a Dropbox / SharePoint link, or, you may need to mail/deliver hard copies of plans or lengthy reports. Once received, your application will be processed, and, an invoice will be generated. Liquid Waste staff will contact you with the invoice number so you can pay online. There is no option to pay online without an invoice number at this time.

  3. Once the application, all required documentation, and the review/permit fee has been received, the Liquid Waste staff specialist assigned to the project will contact you.

Click here for the Current OWTS Fee Schedule

Please scroll down this page to the section titled "I WANT TO..." for more information on OWTS permits and additional forms or documents you may need.


2019 Ventura County Building Code Revisions 

The 2019 Ventura County Building Code will be effective beginning January 1, 2020. Revisions pertaining to OWTS include editorial and formatting changes, as well as substantive amendments which will affect the plan review, design, and installation of OWTS in unincorporated Ventura County. Please review the following documents for more information or contact one of the Liquid Waste Program staff specialists:


Rebuilding After a Wildfire

The County of Ventura has set up a process to assist survivors of the 2017 Thomas Fire and 2018 Woolsey-Hill Fires in their rebuilding efforts. Please review the following to help answer questions you may have on where to begin:


New OWTS Standards (Ventura County Local Agency Management Program)

In June 2012, new standards pertaining to OWTS were adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board and become effective in 2013. The Ventura County Board of Supervisors directed the Environmental Health Division to review current policies and regulations, and prepare proposed changes to the existing local OWTS regulatory program to implement the new State standards.

The Ventura County Local Agency Management Program, or LAMP, was approved by the Board on August 7, 2018. Please click on the following link to review the LAMP

Please click on the following links for more information the State OWTS Policy:

Areas of Special Concern

Ventura River Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load Special Study

Areas of the Ventura River Watershed have been placed on the Clean Water Act, Section 303(d) list of impaired water bodies, including parts the City of Ojai, the City of Ventura, and unincorporated Ventura County. Resolution No. R12-011 was added to the Los Angeles Region Water Quality Control Basin Plan in 2013, and incorporates the Total Maximum Daily Load for Algae, Eutrophic Conditions, and Nutrients in the Ventura River and its Tributaries (Algae TMDL). The Environmental Health Division conducted a "Special Study" designed to investigate the influence of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) on surface water quality and identify OWTS areas that are contributing substantive nutrient loads to the Ventura River and its tributaries as assigned by the Algae TMDL. Please click on the links below for more information on the Algae TMDL and the Special Study:


Taking Care of Your OWTS

Wastewater from an OWTS contain many types of contaminants such as nitrates, bacteria, chemicals, and viruses. If an OWTS is designed incorrectly or is not constructed in conformance with applicable building codes and construction practices, contaminants can enter the groundwater supply or streams and may result in the ponding of sewage above ground causing direct exposure to people and animals. Click on the links below for more information on how a septic system works and how to keep your septic system in good working order. 


I WANT TO…

Install a Conventional OWTS A conventional Septic System Diagramonsite wastewater treatment system consists of a septic tank, distribution box, and disposal field (leach lines or seepage pits).

NOTE: If your home or business requires a conventional OWTS, but is located within 200 feet of an available public sewer utility line, you will be required to connect to public sewer.

Conventional Leach Line Systems

Leach lines distribute the septic tank effluent into the surrounding soil at a depth generally not more than six feet. They are typically long and narrow. This shallow dispersal system provides effluent disposal under aerobic conditions at a maximum distance from underlying bedrock or groundwater.

Conventional Seepage Pit Systems 

seepage pitSeepage pits consist of a drilled pit filled with drain rock through which the septic tank effluent is distributed via a central perforated pipe extending the full effective depth of the pit. Seepage pits should have a diameter of 4 to 6 feet, and the depth should extend no greater than 60 feet. Seepage pits are used when soil conditions near the ground surface are unsatisfactory for leach fields or when there is insufficient land area to install a leach field.

These are the reports and forms you will need to submit for your conventional OWTS:


Install an Alternative OWTS –
An alternative onsite wastewater treatment system contains the same basic components as a conventional OWTS (septic tank, distribution box, and leach lines or seepage pits), however, site conditions require you to install additional wastewater treatment features.

NOTE: If your home or business requires an alternative OWTS, but is located within ½ mile of an available public sewer utility line, you will be required to connect to public sewer.

The three types of alternative systems currently approved in Ventura County are mound systems, subsurface sand filtration systems, and OWTS which require supplemental treatment units for mound septic systemnitrogen and pathogen reduction.

  1. Mound Systems are typically used in areas with high groundwater. Mound System components include a lift pump and wet well, pressurized effluent piping, a sand fill mound, a distribution bed composed of gravel filter material and perforated distribution piping, and a cover of topsoil over the top and sloped sides of the mound.

  2. A Subsurface Sand Filtration System is used in areas where the character of the soil is fractured rock. Typical subsurface sand filtration systems include effluent piping, a subsurface distribution bed, a sand filtration bed, and a leach line, leaching bed, or seepage pit as the final dispersal field component.

  3. A Supplemental or Advanced Treatment Unit (ATU) is used where site advanced treatmentconditions or applicable effluent quality standards necessitate additional treatment. Supplemental treatment components for nitrogen reductions must meet NSF/ANSI Standard 245, and, must be inspected for proper operation by a qualified provider. Supplemental treatment components for pathogen reduction must meet NSF/ANSI Standard 245 or 40, and, must be inspected for proper operation by a qualified provider. Proof of a maintenance agreement by a qualified provider must be submitted annually to the Environmental Health Division.

These are the reports and forms you will need to submit for your alternative OWTS:


Certify My Existing OWTS –
There are three types of Certifications for existing OWTS, a full certification, a setback certification, or a mini certification.

Full Certifications are required when the applicant is proposing to increase the volume of home additionswaste water entering the system, for example, by adding bedroom equivalents and/or plumbing fixtures. Review of the information will determine if the system is adequately sized for the proposed addition. 

Setback Certifications are required when the applicant is proposing to expand the footprint of an existing structure and/or the addition of other structures that do not contain bedroom equivalents and/or plumbing fixtures. An on-site inspection is required to verify the location of an existing system and to insure the additional construction conforms to applicable setback requirements. 

Similar to Setback Certifications, Mini Certifications are required when the property owner is proposing to expand the footprint of an existing structure and/or the addition of other structures that do not contain bedroom equivalents and/or plumbing fixtures. However, with a Mini Certification, the location of an existing system can be determined by reviewing as-built plot plans and may not require an on-site inspection.

The following information is required when certifying your existing OWTS:


Legal Declarations and Authorization Forms

In accordance with California Assembly Bill No. 2335, certain legal declarations and agent authorization forms are required prior to issuance of a Permit to Construct. These forms may differ depending on who is signing for the Permit (Owner, Agent, or, Licensed Contractor). Call the Division's Public Counter at (805) 654-2813 with questions regarding these forms.

Please complete the appropriate legal declaration packet and submit with your application:


Additional Forms You May Need


Helpful OWTS Information and Guidance Documents


Individual Sewage Disposal System (ISDS) Construction

Concrete and Steel Tanks



Distribution Box and Piping


 

Abandonment


Conventional ISDS



Alternative ISDS