Sanitary Sewer Systems General Order
Sewage is untreated or partially treated domestic, municipal, commercial and/or industrial waste (including sewage sludge), and any mixture of these wastes with inflow or infiltration of stormwater or groundwater, conveyed in a sanitary sewer system. A spill is a discharge of sewage from any portion of a sanitary sewer system due to a sanitary sewer system overflow, operational failure, and/or infrastructure failure. Sewage and its associated wastewater spilled from a sanitary sewer system may threaten public health, beneficial uses of waters of the State, and the environment.
- New! Sewer System Management Plan and Program Audit Due Dates Look Up (search by WDID number)
- Interactive Sanitary Sewer System Spill Report
- Sewage Spill Incident Maps
- Online CIWQS Sanitary Sewer System Database Access and Use
- Sanitary Sewer System Spill Data
- Sanitary Sewer Systems Waste Discharge Requirements Training
- Sanitary Sewer Systems General Order Contacts
General Order Information
To provide a consistent, statewide regulatory approach to address sanitary sewer spills, the State Water Board adopted Statewide General Waste Discharge Requirements for Sanitary Sewer Systems, Water Quality Order No. 2022-0103-DWQ (Sanitary Sewer Systems General Order) on December 6, 2022. The Sanitary Sewer Systems General Order requires public agencies that own or operate sanitary sewer systems to develop and implement sewer system management plans and report all sanitary sewer spills to the State Water Board’s online California Integrated Water Quality System (CIWQS) Sanitary Sewer System Database.
Sewage Spill Incident Maps
These interactive geographic information system (GIS) maps, updated nightly, plot all certified sanitary sewer overflows sanitary sewer overflows and Private Lateral Sewage Discharges from sanitary sewer collection systems (not including any spills from wastewater (sewage) treatment plants), reported by agencies into the state’s online California Integrated Water Quality System. This includes the spill location, amount, source, and name of the responsible or reporting agency.
A second map allows users to see Private Lateral Sewage Discharges, voluntarily reported from enrollees in the program from pipes which empty into public sewer collection systems. Private lateral spills are caused from failures in pipes that tie private businesses and homes into the public sewer collection system, and are maintained by individual property owners. They often suffer from overflows which can affect public sewer collection systems.
Online Sanitary Sewer Overflow Database Access and Use
The Sanitary Sewer Overflow database is accessed through the California Integrated Water Quality System (CIWQS), which is the State Water Board’s regulatory and water quality information management system.
A Category 1 spill is a spill of any volume of sewage from or caused by a sanitary sewer system regulated under this General Order that results in a discharge to:
Any spill volume not recovered from a drainage conveyance system is considered a discharge to surface water, unless the drainage conveyance system discharges to a dedicated stormwater infiltration basin or facility.
A spill from an Enrollee-owned and/or operated lateral that discharges to a surface water is a Category 1 spill; the Enrollee shall report all Category 1 spills per section 3.1 of Attachment E1 (Notification, Monitoring, Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements) of this General Order
A Category 2 spill is a spill of 1,000 gallons or greater, from or caused by a sanitary sewer system regulated under this General Order that does not discharge to a surface water.
A spill of 1,000 gallons or greater that spills out of a lateral and is caused by a failure or blockage in the sanitary sewer system, is a Category 2 spill.
A Category 3 spill is a spill of equal to or greater than 50 gallons and less than 1,000 gallons, from or caused by a sanitary sewer system regulated under this General Order that does not discharge to a surface water.
A spill of equal to or greater than 50 gallons and less than 1,000 gallons, that spills out of a lateral and is caused by a failure or blockage in the sanitary sewer system is a Category 3 spill.
A Category 4 spill is a spill of less than 50 gallons, from or caused by a sanitary sewer system regulated under this General Order that does not discharge to a surface water.
A spill of less than 50 gallons that spills out of a lateral and is caused by a failure or blockage in the sanitary sewer system is a Category 4 spill.
The no spill certification form can be viewed at the link below:
Sanitary Sewer Systems General Order Enrollee Training
The State Water Board signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with California Water Environment Association (CWEA) to develop a training course for the Sanitary Sewer Systems General Order. CWEA will offer the courses statewide to educate enrollees about the terms of the Sanitary Sewer Systems General Order, use of the online sanitary sewer overflow database, and development of a sewer system management plan Sewer System Management Plan. For details about the course content and schedule, please visit the CWEA Website.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - information on sanitary sewer overflows
- California Water Environment Association – register for training on sanitary sewer overflow reporting and SSMP development
- Southern California Alliance of Publicly Owned Treatment Works – site contains resources for SSMP development and implementation
- CIWQS Help Center – technical support on access (e.g., user ID and password information and login questions) to and use of the sanitary sewer overflow database
Subscribe to our Email Lists
- Walter Mobley
Phone: (916) 323-0878
Reporting/Sewer System Management Plan/Spill Event Requests Information
- For any no-spill certifications, spill event deletions or unlocking, and Sewer System Management Plan inquiries, email: SanitarySewer@waterboards.ca.gov
General Order Compliance Tools
How to Continue Existing Regulatory Coverage
How to Upload Existing Sewer System Management Plan in CIWQS
- Previous State Water Board Staff Workshops
- Order 2006-0003-DWQ Review and Update
- Order 2006-0003-DWQ and 2013 Monitoring and Reporting Program
- Sanitary Sewer Overflow Compliance & Enforcement Information Annual Compliance Report
- Sewer System Management Plan Development/Implementation
- The California Water Board’s Annual Performance Report - Fiscal Year 2014-15
- The California Water Board’s Annual Performance Report - Fiscal Year 2015-16
Wet Wipes Labelling Law
Annual Reports Required by Assembly Bill 818 (2021), Wet Wipes Labelling Law