PALMDALE — The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance that amends the city’s municipal code to comply with state law relating to septic tanks.
The change was in response to new septic tank policies by the State Water Resources Control Board. It adopts the Los Angeles County septic tank ordinance.
“It should allow us to expand the use of septic in some of the areas of the city that aren’t served by sewer,” City Manager James Purtee said prior to the meeting.
In conjunction with the new ordinance, the city also approved a memorandum of understanding between the city and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health that allows the city to turn over its septic system inspections to the county. This is a process used by other entities, including the city of Lancaster, within the county, Public Works Director Chuck Heffernan said.
With this Local Agency Management Plan, the county handles the design, operation and maintenance requirements of septic systems for both the unincorporated areas of the county and cities with an agreement with the Department of Public Health.
The city is still in control of permitting septic tanks, but the permit applicant goes directly to the county for approval before returning to the city for the actual permit, he said.
This is the process that has been in place previously under an agreement that has expired with the new state law and corresponding changes to the county ordinance, so a new memorandum of understanding was required, according to the staff report. That memorandum was approved as part of the City Council’s consent agenda, in which non-controversial items are voted on in a block.
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