Permits and Regulations

Compliance with environmental regulations is a fundamental part of our mission, and we take pride in our outstanding record.


The District is subject to numerous environmental regulations designed to protect our ocean and beaches, the land we live on and the air we breathe. Compliance with environmental regulations is a fundamental part our mission, and we take pride in our outstanding record.

Wastewater Discharge Permit

Carpinteria Sanitary District, along with all wastewater treatment agencies, is regulated by the State and Federal government under a strict set of laws generally established under the Federal Clean Water Act. While first adopted in 1948, amendments were added in 1977 to regulate wastewater treatment. In order to conduct its daily operations, the District must comply with a very detailed and complex set of operating conditions known as a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit.

In our region, this discharge permit is issued and enforced by a state agency known as the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. This agency typically reviews discharge permits every five years and, based on environmental changes or new standards, may change the operating conditions contained in the discharge permit. The Board’s members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state senate.

The District’s NPDES permit contains a very comprehensive set of effluent limitations, operating criteria and detailed monitoring and reporting requirements.

Sewer Collection System Permit

The District is required to comply with State Water Resources Control Board Order No. 2006-0003, Statewide General Waste Discharge Requirements (WDR) for Sanitary Sewer Systems. The goal of this substantial regulatory program is the reduction of sewer overflows and associated impacts to public health and the environment. The WDR requires preparation of a very detailed Sewer System Management Plan (SSMP) and a programmatic approach to sewer system rehabilitation and repair.

The District’s SSMP was first approved in 2010 and has been periodically updated. The document provides an overview of the collection system infrastructure and outlines prior and ongoing efforts to assess the physical condition of the system together with detailed, strategic actions to renew or replace aging or deteriorating facilities. The SSMP also incorporates system operational protocols and practices/procedures for emergency response.

Air Quality Permits

Carpinteria Sanitary District has a number of permits issued by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District that establish requirements for odor control facilities at the treatment plant and govern the quality of emissions from combustion equipment including the emergency generator and other diesel engine driven pumps and generators in the District’s inventory. The District also registers its portable diesel powered pumps and generators with the California Air Resource Board, through their Portable Engine Registration Program (PERP).