On Site Wastewater Treatment Systems

Most on-site wastewater systems, especially septic tanks, are regulated by local agencies (e.g., counties), and these agencies are best able to provide permitting information at this time.

The State Water Resources Control Board is developing statewide regulations for on-site wastewater treatment systems. In time, more information regarding on-site wastewater treatment systems will be available here.

For now, information may be obtained by contacting Blair Allen by email at: Blair.Allen@waterboards.ca.gov or by phone at: (510) 622-2305.

General Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges of Winery Waste to Land

The Winery General Order prescribes general waste discharge requirements for facilities that discharge winery waste to land within the San Francisco Bay Region. We look forward to your input so we can make this Order a tool that is both easy to use and effectively protects the environment. You can visit this webpage to track the public engagement process through to when the Order goes before our Board for a vote.

During this process, we will send occasional email updates to our winery mailing list. If you would like to receive those updates, please sign up for the General Waste Discharge Requirements for Wineries email list.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Water Board and why we are developing an Order for wineries, here is a brief orientation document. You can also call us or email us with questions:

Melissa Gunter, Staff Engineer
Telephone:(510) 622-2390
Email: Melissa.Gunter@waterboards.ca.gov

Christine Boschen, Supervisor and Facilitator
Telephone: (510) 622-2346
Email: Christine.Boschen@waterboards.ca.gov

You can access the working draft of the Winery General Order as of July 27, 2017, via the following links:


Overview of how to provide input during the Working Draft Phase (July 27 to September 29, 2017)

The purpose of this working draft public engagement phase is to seek input from members of the wine making community and all other interested parties. This is a collaborative process. We need to hear from you.

There are two ways you can provide input and engage with us:

  1. Attend the meetings outlined in the table below.
  2. Provide written comments via email or mail. When you provide written feedback, please:
    • Make the changes to the document and highlight your changes.
    • Point to a specific section or concept, share your reason for the proposed edit or comment, and provide examples or data to support your comment, if that is applicable.
    • State your support or agreement for a requirement. This tells us which requirements work and should remain in the Order. Provide example language, especially if something was worded in a confusing way.

The Working Draft Phase (July 27 to September 29) is an informal, collaborative period in which we engage with you to improve the Order. We will take the input we receive during the working draft phase and use it to guide our revisions and edits. Please note there will not be a formal response to comments for this phase.

Following the Working Draft Phase, we intend to release a Tentative Order for a 30-day formal public comment period.

Meeting Timeline

Progress Bar Step Purpose and Goals Scheduled Meetings
We will continue to update this table to show where we are in the process. Look for the "We are here" marker. You can follow along as we move through our three-part process:
  1. Working Draft Phase
  2. Official Public Comment Page
  3. board Hearing

Overall, our goal is to have an organized, yet informal and approachable, process for you to be involved as we complete the Order.

We want you to plug in when you are available and know how to catch up if you happen to miss a meeting you wanted to attend.

All meetings scheduled within this time period are (or will be) listed.

Meetings in italics are with a specific sub-group, per the request of the subgroup. Please let us know if you would like to schedule a specific meeting with us.

Meetings in underline are open to anyone who is interested.

After the meeting, we will post links to meeting notes, meeting recordings (if the meeting was a teleconference), and, if applicable, any changes to the working draft.

  Working Draft Phase: Engage, Listen, Change, Explain We invite you to partner with us to modify and finalize the draft Order.    

7/27/17 to  9/18/17
(8 weeks)

(This Phase is organized into 2-week windows as described below.)

In this Phase, we will identify, as much as possible, the areas of concern from the interested public. We will address concerns to the maximum extent possible, and explain if and when we cannot.

Please note: this is not a formal public comment period, and as such, we will not be responding to comments submitted during this phase in writing. Rather, we will keep track of meeting minutes and proposed changes, and we will post those in the far right column of this table a few days after each meeting.

The formal public comment period, in which we release a Tentative Order, will have a formal Response to Comments document. See below, 10/18 to 11/20.

7/27 to 8/4
(1.5 weeks)

Get Oriented and
Get Organized


Get oriented - This is time for you to review the Working Draft.

Get organized – We are arranging specific breakout meetings (during 8/22 to 9/1) by your range of interests. To help us, please fill out this short survey. See also below

8/2 – Water Board staff and The Wine Institute and members

Meeting Summary and Key Outcomes Memo


8/7 to 8/25
(2 weeks)

Introductory Sessions (Plenary)

These meetings are open to all who are interested in this Order. We will have one at the State Building in downtown Oakland, and one at the Napa County offices in downtown Napa.

We will follow the same agenda at each meeting:

  1. Walk through the Order
  2. Lay out potential topics for breakout meetings in the next step, and
  3. Ask for your input

August 8, 2017
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Napa, Napa County

August 11, 2017
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Oakland, Alameda County

August 22, 2017
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Meeting Agenda
Meeting Presentation
Livermore, Alameda County

September 12, 2017 Tuesday
5:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Saratoga, Santa Clara County


8/28 to 9/29
(4 weeks)

Breakout Discussions: Details

All are welcome to attend; attendance at all meetings in not required and is not necessary in order to be a part of the discussion.

These breakout meetings are smaller group discussions that allow us to speak more directly with you, and others who are interested in a similar range of topics, in a manageable group size. There will be some redundancy in what is covered in these meetings in order to allow you the convenience of attending one meeting that covers the topics that interest you (rather than all the meetings).

This is our chance to get into the details with you. Based on survey results, we will schedule meetings (both in person and online) to discuss the following range of topics:

  • Concerns and questions
  • Science and engineering
  • User-friendliness
    1. For wineries
    2. For winery wastewater professionals
    3. For counties
  • Environmental protection
  • Other topics per your input

We will take the information from this Phase and lead into the next Phase in which we will make decisions together that result in specific changes to the draft Order.

We will hold 4 to 6 meetings, details to be determined following your survey input. Meetings will be 1.5 to 2.5 hours long. The goal is to have small enough groups to encourage conversation, which we will be capturing in meeting notes. We will post all meeting minutes here.

Focus Meetings

Topic: Ponds
September 11, 11:00 to 1:00 pm
Location: St. Helena, Napa County

Topic: Making the Order User Friendly
Wednesday, September 20, 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Location: Sonoma, Sonoma County

Topic: Science & Engineering – Limitations, NALs, and Nitrogen
Tuesday September 26, 1:30 to 3:30 pm
Location: St. Helena, Napa County

Topic: Monitoring & Reporting
Wednesday, September 27, 2:30 to 4:30 pm
Location: Glen Ellen, Sonoma County



10/2 - To be Determined

Water Board staff review and redraft period

Water Board staff will compile the input received, and summarize proposed changes to the working draft. No scheduled meetings



We are currently redirecting our efforts to advocate for our regional interests and collaborate with the State Water Resources Control Board on a statewide Winery General Order.


To be Determined

Formal Public Comment Period

Ideally, we will have resolved all concerns with you during the Working Draft Phase. If we have not, this will be your window of time to submit formal written comments for our Board to consider.

We will release the Tentative Order at the beginning of this time period, and you have the full length of time to submit written comments to us.

A formal Response to Comments document will be prepared following the close of this period.
We do not plan to schedule meetings in this time period, but we leave that possibility open if needed.

To be Determined

Water Board Hearing
At this meeting, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board will hold a public hearing on the Tentative Order. Interested parties can speak before the Board on the matter.