Any OWTS that has pooling effluent, discharges wastewater to the surface, or has wastewater backed up into plumbing fixtures (because the dispersal system is no longer adequately percolating the wastewater) is deemed to be failing. A failing system no longer meets its primary purpose to protect public health, and as such the dispersal system must be replaced, repaired, or modified so as to return to proper function.
Any OWTS septic tank failure, such as a baffle failure or tank structural integrity failure such that either wastewater is exfiltrating or groundwater is infiltrating is deemed to be failing, no longer meeting its primary purpose to protect public health, and requires major repair, and as such shall require the septic tank to be brought into compliance.
Any OWTS that has a failure of one of its components, such as a distribution box or broken piping connection, shall have that component repaired so as to return the OWTS to a proper functioning condition. If the repair/replacement cannot meet the criteria outlined in this document, or involves seepage pits, the applicant must pursue permitting the repair through the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB).