Whether you’re a homeowner, business owner, developer, or contractor who wants to hook up to the sewer system, Central San’s permit counter can help you with the process.
An Applicant’s Guide to Procedures for Side Sewers Permit Process – New Connections
The construction of a new building normally requires a connection to the Central San sewer system. Central San has developed procedures to approve the connection, collect applicable fees, and inspect the construction of any sewer facilities.
Building Plan Review
Central San staff reviews building plans for any construction project for possible encroachments into existing public easements or conflicts with existing Central San facilities. If encroachments exist, plans must be revised to meet Central San requirements. Central San staff will also determine the availability of public sewers in the area to serve any proposed building, as well as the plumbing for a proposed connection.
Central San does not approve the building plans for construction. That function is handled by the local jurisdiction responsible for the building permits. Central San approval on the plans is required prior to obtaining a permit from the local jurisdiction.
- “Side sewer” is the privately owned and maintained sewer which connects the plumbing system of the building to the public sewer. The side sewer begins with and includes the connection to the public sewer and terminates at the point of connection to the building plumbing system. “Side sewer” includes the lateral sewer and the house sewer.
- “Lateral sewer” is that portion of the side sewer which is within the public right-of-way or Central San easement.
- “House sewer’ is that portion of the side sewer from the lateral sewer to its connection to the building plumbing system.
- “Public sewer” is a main sewer which may have one or more side sewers connected to it. These sewers are normally 8 inches or larger in diameter.
Procedures - Construction Project
- Applicant delivers building plans to Central San for review.
- Central San staff reviews construction plans as outlined above. The plans may be required to be revised and resubmitted in order to meet Central San requirements and standards.
- If the construction project is for a property that has a septic system, Central San will only be able to accept the plans once the septic tank has been completely abandoned or the house has been connected to sewer. Central San does not have jurisdiction over a property with a septic tank. Please see the Septic Tank Conversions section below for additional information on septic tank abandonments.
- Once the building plans have been accepted by Central San, staff will then stamp building plans noting any additional specific Central San requirements. These requirements must be met prior to connection of the structure to the public sewer. These requirements can include, but are not limited to, the payment of applicable fees and the construction of necessary public sewers.
- Applicant obtains building permits from appropriate county or city building department.
- For a residential project, prior to final inspection of the building by the county or city, and not earlier than the completion of the foundation, the applicant must return to Central San to pay all applicable connection fees. If paying by check, checks shall be made payable to Central Contra Costa Sanitary District or Central San.
For a commercial project, prior to final inspection of the building by the county or city, and not earlier than the completion of the roof and rough-plumbing, the applicant must return to Central San to pay all applicable connection fees. If paying by check, checks shall be made payable to Central Contra Costa Sanitary District or Central San.
- When the connection fees are paid, Central San will issue a permit for the sewer work to a properly licensed contractor, hired by the applicant, and registered with Central San. No sewer work, including any trenching, may occur prior to pulling the sewer permit. The properly licensed contractor must come to the permit counter in person to sign for and pull the permit. This contractor will be responsible for all necessary side sewer work. If the property owners wish to install their own side sewers, they can perform only that work which is located within their property and that is not deeper than five feet at any point. Specific requirements for “property owner” work are summarized in the “Conditions for Property Owners Permit” handout.
- If a “lateral sewer” has not already been installed to serve the property, connection to the public sewer may require a tap procedure. Taps are required to be installed by prequalified sewer contractors. After appropriate fees are paid, a permit will be issued to a Central San-approved sewer contractor hired by the applicant. Property owners will not be issued permits for sewer taps or lateral installations.
- Central San inspection shall be arranged at least one (1) business day prior to performing any sewer work, including trenching. The Central San inspection hotline can be reached at (925) 229-7373.
- Sewer work may begin on the date of the scheduled Central San inspection. It is the responsibility of the permitee to arrange for the necessary Central San inspections as the work progresses. Work performed without Central San inspection will be subject to removal and reconstruction.
- When the side sewer work is completed, including backfill and compaction, a Central San inspector will provide a final inspection upon request by the permitee.
Septic Tank Conversions
- The applicant applies for a Central San permit to connect to the public sewer. Staff will determine if the property is within Central San boundaries and if annexation is required. If annexation is required, the property owner must obtain and complete an annexation application and petition. Central San must process the petition prior to the start of any sewer work.
- Central San will investigate the availability of public sewers to serve the property. If a public sewer is not adjacent to or within the subject property, the applicant must first extend the public sewer. The “Public Main Extension” handout details this procedure.
- Assuming the public sewer is available and after the applicant pays all appropriate connection fees, Central San will issue a permit for the sewer work to a contractor, hired by the applicant, and registered with Central San. The Central San permit will be issued to the contractor only and the contractor will need to sign for in the permit in person at the Central San permit counter. This contractor will be responsible for all necessary side sewer work.
- If property owners wish to install their own side sewers, they can perform only that work which is located within their property and work that will not require any digging deeper than five feet. Specific requirements for “property owner” work are summarized in the “Conditions for Homeowners Permit” handout.
- Most connections to an existing public sewer will require a tap procedure. Taps are required to be installed by prequalified sewer contractors. After appropriate fees are paid, a permit will be issued to a Central San-approved sewer contractor hired by the applicant. Property owners will not be issued permits for sewer taps or lateral installations.
- The work included in a septic tank conversion consists of the installation of a new side sewer from the building to the public sewer main and the proper abandonment of the existing septic tank. The existing pipeline from the building to the septic tank may be used as part of the new side sewer only if it is a minimum of four inches in diameter and passes inspection by Central San. The test of the existing side sewer as well as the installation of the new side sewer must be completed and accepted before the existing septic tank can be removed from service and abandoned. A septic tank abandonment permit is issued by Contra Costa County Health Services Department Environmental Health Division (CCEH). Specific requirements for abandonments of septic tanks may be obtained from CCEH. If new construction or house remodel will occur as a part of the septic conversion, Central San will only be able to accept the plans once the septic tank has been completely abandoned or the house has been connected to sewer.