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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Septic Systems | Environmental Health | County of Riverside

Department of Environmental Health, County of Riverside, Septic Systems

Septic Systems

Repair or Modification of Septic System

To obtain a construction permit to repair or modify an existing septic system, you will need the following:

  1. A certification of the existing septic system, signed by a Qualified Service Provider (QSP) registered with this Department. Here is a list of registered QSPs
  2. A plot plan, drawn to scale, showing:
    1. The location of the existing system
    2. The location of the proposed replacement components
    3. Any other information, such as nearby water wells, structures, and property lines that my affect where the septic system components can be located
  3. If the septic system is being modified due to construction, a floor plan drawn to scale of the dwellings or structures that the septic system will service.

New Septic System

In order to obtain a construction permit for the installation of a new septic system, a building permit is required from the local building and safety agency. You will also need:

  1. A percolation report, including 3 sets of detailed plans, signed by a Professional of Record (PR) registered with this Department. Here is a list of registered PRs.
  2. A floor plan, drawn to scale, of the dwellings or structures that the septic system will service.
  3. Documentation of water service, such as a will-serve letter or water bill. If an existing water well will be used to supply potable water, a well evaluation may be required. If a new well will be constructed, visit our Water Well page.

Submit a Land Use Application (OWTS Construction Application) along with supporting documentation and fees at the Downtown Riverside or Indio Office, depending on the location of your project. After submission and evaluation, additional information may be required.

In order to install a new septic system in Riverside County, a building permit is required from Building and Safety. You will also need:

  1. Contact Building and Safety for a building permit.
  2. Submit a Land Use Application along with supporting documentation and fees. Contact this Department for fees specific to your project.
    Learn more about the exemptions to the Quail Valley Onsite Septic Tank-subsurface disposal system prohibition here

Alternative Treatment Systems

Alternative treatment systems can be used to address specific soil conditions that prevent conventional septic systems from being installed. However, they can be more expensive to construct and maintain. A registered PR will know when an ATU is appropriate for your project. ATUs installed in Riverside County require an annual operating permit through this department. 

Percolation reports and OWTS certifications

Percolation reports and OWTS certifications submitted to this Department must be performed in compliance with the Local Agency Management Program (LAMP). Percolation reports must be performed by a registered PR. OWTS certifications must be performed by a registered QSP or PR.

Professional of Record (PR) and Qualified Service Provider (QSP)

Only those individuals trained and educated to perform, understand, and evaluate the field conditions and tests, as they relate to OWTS may perform percolation tests. This would include those with experience in OWTS design and hold one of the following State of California credentials and registrations:
Professional Engineer (PE)
Professional Geologist (PG)
Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS)

No person shall perform percolation tests or submit a percolation report within the unincorporated areas of Riverside County and its contracted cities unless registered with this Department as a PR.

To obtain registration as a PR or QSP, submit the following as a complete package:

  1. Completed QSP/PR Registration Application.
  2. Copy of current C-42, C-36 and/or Class A General Contractor’s License issued by the State of California, or provide proof of licensing or registration as a Professional Engineer, Registered Civil Engineer, Geologist, or Registered Environmental Health Specialist. The license must be in good standing with the issuing agency.
  3. Copy of California Driver’s License.

Methods for submittal:

  1. Email completed package.
  2. Submit completed package to the Downtown Riverside or Indio Office.


Small septic TankSmall Septic Tank
Tank with Seepage Pits


Riverside Office
  3880 Lemon St, Suite 200
     Riverside, CA 92501
 In person: Monday-Friday
   7:30am - 12pm and 1pm - 4:30pm
  47-950 Arabia St, Suite A
     Indio, CA 92201
 In person: Monday & Wednesday
   7:30am - 12pm and 1pm - 4:30pm
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