San Diego Region – Recycled Water and Subsurface Disposal (Septic Systems) Programs
Waste Discharge Requirements Program
The Site Restoration and Groundwater Protection Branch is an integral part of the Programs regulating discharges of treated wastewater (recycled water) and wastewater subsurface disposal (septic) systems overseen by the San Diego Water Board. The Groundwater Protection Units are responsible for a large portion of the following programs:
- Subsurface Disposal or Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) - Regulation of point source waste discharges from septic systems and sewage treatment / disposal systems discharging to land, which could impact ground waters (WDR program).
Relevant Policies/Documents for Regulation of OWTS:
- County of San Diego Local Agency Management Program for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems
- Water Quality Control Policy for Siting, Design, Operation and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Policy)
Relevant Policies/Documents for Regulation of Recycled Water:
- The State Water Board Division of Drinking Water (DDW) Guidelines for Use of Recycled Water, Guidelines for Use of Recycled Water for Construction
- American Water Works Association (AWWA) California/Nevada Section, Guidelines for the Distribution of Non-Potable Water and Guidelines for Retrofitting to Recycled Water
- General Waste Discharge Requirements for Small Domestic Wastewater Treatment Systems
- Lilac Oaks Campground, Valley Center
- Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church, Ramona, Onsite Wastewater Treatment System
- GSA San Ysidro Land Port of Entry
- Heise Park Water Pollution Control Facility
- Pine Valley Park Water Pollution Control Facility
- Prince of Peace Abbey, Oceanside
- Vail Lake RV Resort, Temecula
- Los Pinos Forestry Camp
- Barrett Lake Mobile Home Park
- Hideaway Lake Mobile Estates
- La Cima Conservation Camp
- Oak Tree Ranch Private Residential Community
- Buckman Springs Rest Stop
- Oakzanita Springs Park
- Warner Springs Estates
- General Waste Discharge Requirements for Recycled Water Use
- Engineering Report for Recycled Water Fill Stations (San Diego)
- Engineering Report for Recycled Water Fill Stations (SOCWA)
In addition to working cooperatively with the regulated community, staff in the Groundwater Protection Branch work closely with other regulatory agencies including the USEPA, local Health Departments, and the State Water Board Division of Drinking Water.
The San Diego Water Board issues Orders (Permits and Enforcement) to facilities that are regulated by the Recycled Water and Subsurface Disposal Programs. Orders are available from the San Diego Water Board web page [Adopted Orders]. Technical and Program documents for Core Regulatory Programs are available on-line [Core Regulatory Documents].
Current information regarding facilities regulated by the Core Regulatory Units is maintained in the on-line California Integrated Water Quality System (CIWQS) database.
Recycled Water Annual Summary Report 2017
The 2017 Recycled Water Annual Summary Report contains detailed information regarding the quantity and quality of recycled water produced in the San Diego Region. In general, 31 regional recycled water facilities reported that they treated approximately 91,000 acre-feet (ac-ft) of wastewater, of which approximately 51,000 ac-ft of recycled water was beneficially reused in 2016. By comparison, in 2016 the total volume of wastewater treated was approximately 96,000 ac-ft. The volume of recycled water that was reported as reused decreased from approximately 51,000 ac-ft in 2017 to 57,000 ac-ft in 2016. The percentage of treated wastewater beneficially reused as recycled water was very similar at 56 percent in 2017 and 2016.
Report of Waste Discharge
California Water Code (CWC) Section 13260 requires that a Report of Waste Discharge (ROWD) be submitted by any person discharging or proposing to discharge waste that could affect the quality of the waters of the state. The ROWD is used to develop waste discharge requirements for adoption by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Diego Region (San Diego Water Board) in accordance with CWC Sections 13263. The ROWD must therefore provide enough technical information for the San Diego Water Board staff to develop tentative Order that includes draft Waste Discharge Requirements (WDR) for the proposed discharge.
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