Article 4. District Powers of California Health And Safety Code >> Division 5. >> Part 3. >> Chapter 3. >> Article 4.
A county sanitation district may sue and be sued by its own
A county sanitation district may employ such sanitation
experts, surveyors, counsel, and other persons as are needed to carry
into effect any powers of the district.
By resolution, the board may change the name of the
district. The change of name shall be effective upon recording a
certified copy in the office of the county recorder of the county or
counties in which the district is situated.
The district may acquire by gift, purchase, condemnation, or
otherwise, in the name of the district, and own, control, manage, and
dispose of any interest in real or personal property necessary or
convenient for the construction, maintenance, and operation of a
sewerage system and sewage disposal or treatment plant, or a refuse
transfer or disposal system, or both. As used in this article "refuse"
shall include all of the following: (a) animal, fruit and vegetable
refuse; (b) offal; (c) leaves and cuttings, trimmings from trees,
shrubs and grass; (d) inorganic refuse and rubbish; (e) garbage; (f)
anything thrown away as worthless.
A district may acquire, construct, and complete within or
without the district, sewage collection, treatment and disposal
works, including sewage treatment plants, outfalls, intercepting,
collecting and lateral sewers, pipes, pumps, machinery, easements,
rights-of-way, and other works, property or structures necessary or
convenient for sewage collection, treatment, and disposal. No
sewerage system shall be constructed, maintained, or operated in any
city not in the district except by consent granted by an affirmative
vote by a majority of the full membership of the governing body of
the city; provided, however, that the district may construct,
operate, and maintain intercepting, trunk and outfall sewerlines,
other than ocean outfall lines and other terminal outfall lines,
together with pumps and like machinery necessary for sewage
transportation, in a city pursuant to Section 4759.1. For the
purposes of this section, the term "terminal outfall lines" means any
outfall sewerlines that discharge within the city any effluent from
a sewer treatment plant or any sewage.
It may also acquire lands and acquire and construct refuse
transfer or disposal facilities, or both, within or without the
district, and it may maintain and operate within the district
boundaries a system for transfer or disposal of refuse, or both;
provided, however, that the system shall not include "refuse
collection" which is defined as the house-to-house pickup of refuse
or any part thereof.
A district shall not acquire land for, or establish and operate, a
refuse transfer or disposal facility within either a city or the
unincorporated area of a county until the city council, if the
facility is proposed to be located in the city, or the board of
supervisors of the county, if it is proposed to be located in the
unincorporated area of the county, has by resolution, consented to
the use of the proposed site for that purpose.
If 90 percent or more of the total area of the district is
unincorporated territory and the land proposed to be acquired for a
refuse transfer or disposal facility is located in the unincorporated
territory of the county, the board of supervisors, before adopting
any resolution consenting to the use of land for that purpose, shall
hold a public hearing upon the question of the adoption of the
resolution. Notice of the hearing shall be given by publication in
the area pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code, not more
than 30 nor less than 10 days prior to the hearing. If at any time
before the hearing, there is filed with the board of supervisors a
written objection to the use of the proposed site for a refuse
transfer or disposal facility, signed by 2 percent or more of the
registered voters of the district, the board shall submit the matter
of the proposed use to the voters of the district at an election. The
proposition shall be submitted to the voters in the manner and under
the procedure prescribed in Article 5 (commencing with Section 4780)
of Chapter 3 of this part for submission of the proposition of
incurring a bonded indebtedness. If a majority of the votes cast in
an election are in favor of the proposed use, the board shall adopt
the resolution consenting thereto, but if a majority of the votes
cast are against the proposed use, the board shall dismiss the
proceedings, and no resolution consenting to the use of any of such
land shall be adopted by the board for at least one year from the
date of the election.
A district board desiring to construct, maintain and
operate a refuse transfer or disposal system, or both, within or
without the district in addition to its sewage collection, treatment
and disposal system shall adopt a resolution of its intention to do
so. The resolution shall contain the following:
(a) A statement of the intention to construct, maintain and
operate a refuse transfer or disposal system, or both;
(b) A statement that in the absence of any exclusion as provided
in Section 4741.2, the boundaries of the proposed refuse transfer or
disposal system, or both, shall coincide with the existing district
(c) The name of the county sanitation district proposing to
construct, maintain and operate said system;
(d) Instructions to the secretary of the district board to deliver
within 10 days after the passage of said resolution of intention a
certified copy thereof to the governing body of each political
subdivision having representation on said district board;
(e) A statement that any political subdivision having
representation on the district board may be excluded from said system
and relieved of all liability in connection therewith upon complying
with the provisions of Section 4741.2.
That portion of a political subdivision lying within a
district and having representation on the district board of
directors, shall be excluded from the proposed refuse transfer or
disposal system, or both, and shall not be liable for any cost
incurred by said district in acquiring, constructing, operating and
maintaining such system; provided, that the governing body of said
political subdivision within 90 days after passage of the resolution
of intention by the district to form such system, delivers to said
district a certified copy of its resolution requesting exclusion from
the proposed refuse transfer or disposal system, or both.
At the expiration of not less than 90 days after adoption
of the resolution of intention to construct, maintain and operate a
refuse transfer or disposal system, or both, the district board may,
in its discretion, adopt a resolution declaring the system formed or
may rescind its resolution of intention to form said system and
declare all prior proceedings in connection therewith void.
Any existing refuse collection and disposal system of a district
shall be dissolved without further action by the board upon the
adoption by the same district board of a resolution declaring a
refuse transfer or disposal system, or both, formed.
The board of directors of a county sanitation district
shall be the same for all district purposes, activities, and
objectives, whether for collection, treatment and disposal of sewage
or the acquisition and operation of a refuse transfer or disposal
system, or both, and no director shall be excluded from the board of
directors because the political subdivision which he represents on
the board has excluded itself from the said refuse transfer or
disposal system, or both.
When a refuse transfer or disposal system, or both, is
established by a district pursuant to the provisions of this article,
the district shall comply with the provisions of Sections 54900 to
54903, inclusive, of the Government Code, by furnishing a statement
and map or plat to each assessor whose roll is used for the levy as
provided in Section 4815 of this code and to the State Board of
Equalization, showing the boundaries of said refuse transfer or
disposal system or both.
The provisions of Sections 4741.1 through 4741.5 shall not
apply to any district whose resolution of intention pursuant to
Section 4710 discloses that the district was formed for the purposes
of constructing, maintaining and operating both sewage collection and
disposal systems and refuse collection and disposal systems. Also
nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to preclude any
district from using its sewerage system to dispose of ground garbage
or other acceptable material which is ground into the form of slurry.
Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this chapter, or
of Article 4 (commencing with Section 5470) to the contrary, a
district may fix and collect a fee or charge in connection with its
refuse transfer or disposal system only pursuant to the provisions of
Section 5471, and for these purposes "sanitation or sewerage system"
includes a refuse transfer or disposal system. Any entity which
collects such a fee or charge for a district pursuant to the
provisions of Section 5471 may deduct the administrative costs of
these collections from the revenue produced from such fee or charge.
The revenues of these charges shall not be used for acquisition,
construction, maintenance, or operation of any refuse transfer or
disposal system, whether by the district, jointly, by contract, or
otherwise, unless the system is either a facility for the conversion
of solid waste into energy, synthetic fuels, or reusable materials or
is open for use by all persons in the district. For the purposes of
this section, "person" includes an individual, company, public or
private corporation, or public entity.
It may join with any other district, city or other
governmental agency in the purchase, ownership, use, construction,
maintenance, or operation of a sewerage system or sewage disposal or
treatment plant, or a refuse transfer or disposal system, or both,
either within or without the district, or so join for any combination
of these purposes, but no sewage disposal or treatment plan shall be
constructed or maintained in any city not in the district, except by
consent granted by the unanimous vote of the governing body of the
It may contract with any district, city, governmental
agency, or person, for the handling, treatment or disposal by the
district of refuse, sewage, or industrial wastes originating within
the district or county or within areas outside of the district or
county when, in the judgment of the district board, it is for the
best interest of the district to do so, upon such terms and
conditions as may be agreed upon; provided, that the contract shall
be for such term as agreed upon, but in no event for a term in excess
of 50 years, or for such time as in the judgment of the district
board the district shall have the capacity for handling, treatment or
disposal of such refuse, sewage, or industrial wastes.
Whenever a person installs sewers or other facilities for
sewers and the district board determines that it is necessary that
such sewers or other facilities be constructed so that they can be or
will be used for the benefit of property other than that of the
person making the installation and such sewers or other facilities
are dedicated to the public or become the property of the district,
the district board may by contract agree to reimburse such person for
such sewers or other facilities. Such contract may provide that the
district may collect from any person using such sewer or other
facility for the benefit of property not owned by the person making
the installation a reasonable fee or charge.
Any county sanitation district and any county may enter
into a contract agreeing to pay and apportion between them the costs
of locating, removing, repairing, or relocating any facilities owned
or to be owned by either party on the roads or other property of the
other in such proportion and upon such terms as the governing boards
of the parties shall determine to be equitable.
It may make provision for street-cleaning and
streetsweeping services upon the roads and streets within the
boundaries of the district. It may contract with any district, city,
governmental agency or person for the operation of a street-cleaning
and streetsweeping service upon the roads and streets within the
boundaries of the district, when, in the judgment of the district
board, it is for the best interest of the district to do so, upon
such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon.
It may sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of any property of
the district or any interest therein whenever it is no longer
required for the purposes of the district, or when its use may be
permitted without interfering with its use by the district.
It may sell, or otherwise dispose of, any water, sewage
effluent, fertilizer, or other by-product resulting from the
operation of a sewerage system, sewage disposal plant, refuse
disposal plant or process, or treatment plant, and construct,
maintain, and operate such pipe lines and other works as may be
necessary for that purpose.
It may construct, maintain, and operate such pipe lines or
other works as may be necessary to conserve and put to beneficial use
any water or sewage effluent recovered from the operation of the
sewerage system, plant, or works, by sale or disposition for
agricultural or industrial purposes, or by discharging or spreading
the water or sewage effluent in such a manner as to percolate into
the underground gravels and replenish the natural water resources.
If funds are needed to meet current expenses of maintenance
and operation, a district may incur indebtedness by the issuance of
negotiable promissory notes pursuant to this section, without an
election. The notes shall be general obligations of the district
payable in the same manner as bonds of the district, shall mature not
later than two years from the date thereof, and shall bear interest
at a rate not to exceed 7 percent per annum, payable as provided
therein. The aggregate amount of the notes outstanding at any one
time shall not exceed an amount equal to seven cents ($0.07) on each
one hundred dollars ($100) of the assessed valuation of the taxable
real property within the district as shown on the last equalized
assessment roll of the county. If such assessed valuation is not
obtainable, the county auditor's estimate of the assessed valuation
of the taxable real property within the district for the fiscal year
in which the indebtedness is to be incurred shall be used.
All such notes shall be issued after the adoption of a resolution
by a four-fifths vote of the district board setting forth the
(a) The necessity for such borrowing.
(b) The assessed valuation of the taxable real property within the
district, or the auditor's estimate thereof.
(c) The amount of funds to be borrowed.
(d) The date, maturity, denomination, and form of such notes.
The notes shall be signed by the chairman of the district board
and countersigned by the county treasurer and the seal of the
district board shall be affixed.
The district board shall cause the board of supervisors to levy
and collect taxes to pay the interest on and the principal of the
notes as the same comes due and, if the maturity of the notes begins
more than one year after the date thereof, to constitute a sinking
fund for the payment of the principal thereof at maturity.
Before selling such notes, the district board shall give notice
inviting sealed bids in such manner as the board may prescribe. If
satisfactory bids are received, the notes offered for sale shall be
awarded to the highest responsible bidder. If no bids are received,
or if the district board determines that the bids received are not
satisfactory as to price or responsibility of the bidders, the
district board may reject all bids received, if any, and either
readvertise or sell the notes at private sale.
(a) If the district board determines by resolution that
funds are needed to meet current expenses of maintenance and repair
of damage caused by disaster, a district may borrow and repay county
funds not to exceed 85 percent of the district's anticipated revenue
for the fiscal year in which they are borrowed or for the next
ensuing fiscal year. In levying taxes as authorized by this article
the district may raise sufficient revenues to repay such loans.
(b) The district may also borrow funds from another sanitation
district and may lend available district funds to another sanitation
district, subject to the same terms and conditions as apply to loans
of county funds.
(c) At no time shall a district borrow funds pursuant to this
section in an amount exceeding 85 percent of the district's
anticipated revenue for the fiscal year in which the funds are
borrowed or for the next ensuing fiscal year.
(d) As used in this section, "disaster" includes any fire,
earthquake, landslide, mudslide, flood, or tidal wave.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the funds,
when borrowed by a sanitation district pursuant to Section 4746.2,
shall forthwith increase the appropriations of the district for which
they are needed. The board of supervisors may specify the date and
manner in which the funds shall be repaid. In no case shall repayment
of the loan be deferred longer than 10 calendar years.
The district shall pay interest to the county on all funds
borrowed pursuant to Section 4746.2 at the same rate that the county
applies to funds of the district on deposit with the county.
It may cause to be levied and collected taxes upon all the
taxable real property in the district sufficient to meet the
obligations evidenced by its bonds, to maintain the works of the
district, and to defray all other expenses incidental to the exercise
of the district powers.
The district board shall, by resolution, employ one or more
sanitation engineers to make a survey of the problems of the district
concerning sanitation especially with reference to the matters of
sewage collection, treatment, and disposal, and refuse transfer or
disposal, or both, the resolution shall direct the engineer or
engineers to prepare and file with the district board of the district
a report setting forth:
(a) A general description of existing facilities for sewage
collection, treatment, and disposal, or a general description of
existing facilities for refuse transfer or disposal, or both.
(b) A general description of the work proposed to be done to carry
out the objects of the district.
(c) A general plan and general specifications of the work.
(d) A general description of the property proposed to be acquired
or damaged in carrying out the work.
(e) A map showing the boundaries of the district and in general
the location of the work proposed to be done, property taken or
damaged, and any other information useful to an understanding of the
(f) An estimate of the cost of the proposed work.
The engineer or engineers may, subject to the direction of
the district board, employ such surveyors and others as may be
necessary to prepare the report. The district board at any time may
remove any or all engineers or other persons employed, and may fill
When the engineers' report is filed the district board shall
examine it and may thereupon (a) reject it and direct that a new
report be prepared; (b) direct that changes be made in it; or (c) if
it complies with the provisions of this chapter and is satisfactory
to the board it shall fix a time and place for hearing objections to
the report and to doing all or any part of the work referred to in
Notice of the hearing shall be given by the district board by
publishing the notice for at least five times in a daily, or twice
in a weekly, newspaper circulated in the district, as the district
board may direct. At the time and place so fixed, or at the time and
place to which the hearing may be from time to time continued, the
board shall hear all objections.
At the conclusion of the hearing the district board shall
either order the report changed to conform to some or all the
objections made or shall approve and adopt the report as made. If
changes in the report are ordered a further hearing shall be had upon
it as amended and further hearings shall be had until the district
board approves and adopts the report.
The district board may, thereafter, have such portions of the
report as are adapted to publication, or a resume, published for
free public distribution.
The engineers employed by the district board to make the
report required by this chapter, or other engineers, shall be
directed by the district board to superintend the doing of the work
recommended to be done in the report as approved and adopted.
Any work recommended to be done in the report approved and
adopted by the district board shall be done in conformity with the
general plans and specifications contained in the report unless the
district board, by a four-fifths vote, adopts a resolution declaring
that the public interest requires a modification of or departure from
the plans and specifications, which resolution shall contain a
statement of the manner in which the modification is required or
departure is to be made.
A right of way in or across any public highway, street, or
property in the district is hereby granted to the district wherever
the right of way is found by the district board to be necessary or
convenient for doing any of the work.
(a) There is granted to every district the right to
construct, operate and maintain outfall, intercepting and trunk
sewerlines, other than ocean outfall lines and other terminal outfall
lines, together with pumps and like machinery necessary for sewage
transportation, across, along, in, under, over or upon any road,
street, alley, avenue or highway within any city, in such a manner as
to afford security for life and property. For the purposes of this
section the term "terminal outfall lines" means any outfall
sewerlines that discharge within the city any effluent from a sewage
treatment plant or any sewage. Any use, under this section, of a
public highway now or hereafter constituted a state highway shall be
subject to the provisions of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 660)
of Division 1 of the Streets and Highways Code.
(b) A district exercising its rights under this section shall
restore the road, street, alley, avenue or highway so used to its
former state of usefulness as nearly as may be, and shall locate such
sewerlines and machinery so as to interfere as little as possible
with other existing uses of such road, street, alley, avenue or
(c) Before any district uses any street, alley, avenue or highway
within any city, it shall request the city in which the street,
alley, avenue or highway is situated to agree with it upon the
location of such sewerlines and machinery and the terms and
conditions to which the construction, operation and maintenance of
such sewerlines shall be subject.
(d) If the district and the city are unable to agree on the terms
and conditions and location of such sewerlines and machinery within
three months after a proposal to do so, the district may bring an
action in the superior court of the county in which the street,
alley, avenue or highway is situated against the city to have the
terms and conditions and location determined. The superior court may
determine and adjudicate the terms and conditions to which the use of
the street, alley, avenue or highway shall be subject, and the
location thereof, and upon the making of the final judgment the
district may enter and use the street, alley, avenue or highway upon
the terms and conditions and at the location specified in the
The district board may, by agreement with any city or other
public agency, take possession of, or acquire by condemnation or in
any other manner any sewerage system, or any sewage or refuse
disposal or treatment plant, or any combination of the foregoing
necessary or convenient to carry out any of the objects of the
district, or may acquire by agreement or in any manner the right to
use them, and any city or other public agency may enter into such an
agreement with a county sanitation district.
A compliance with this chapter is sufficient to authorize such an
agreement by either a county sanitation district, city, or other
public agency entering into such a contract with a county sanitation
Whenever any sewerage or refuse disposal system, or sewage or
refuse disposal or treatment plant so taken possession of or
otherwise acquired was built from the proceeds of a bond issue, the
district may assume and pay out of its funds the outstanding bonds of
the city or public agency according to their terms, and in that case
the principal sum remaining unpaid shall be credited to it and
deducted from any sum to be paid by it to the city or public agency.
Funds may be obtained by the county sanitation districts to pay
the principal and interest on the assumed bonds in the manner as is
provided for paying the principal and interest on its own bonds.
Any city or public agency in the district may enter into an
agreement with the district for the use, or entire possession and
operation, by the county sanitation district of any sewerage or
refuse disposal system, or sewage or refuse disposal or treatment
plant owned or operated by the city or public agency.
Whenever any area in the district is provided with a sewerage
system the governing body of the city in which the area lies may
declare the further maintenance or use of cesspools or other local
means of sewage disposal to be a public nuisance, and may require all
buildings inhabited or used by human beings to be connected with the
sewerage system. The board of supervisors may prohibit the use of
cesspools or other local means of sewage disposal and declare the
same to be a public nuisance in any area in the district which is
outside of any incorporated city, and may require all buildings
inhabited or used by human beings to be connected with the sewerage
All connections of lateral or other sewerlines to the
sewerage system of the district, whether within or without any city,
shall be made at points and in the manner to be directed by the
engineers of the district under instructions from the district board,
subject to such terms and conditions as the district board may
prescribe. The district board may prescribe standards for
installation and maintenance of laterals or sewerlines connecting to
the sewerage system of the district, including, but not limited to,
installation and maintenance by property owners of cleanouts and
backflow protective devices.
All powers of the district shall be exercised by the district
board unless otherwise specified.
It may borrow money and incur indebtedness and guarantee the
performance of its legal or contractual obligations whether
heretofore or hereafter incurred; and also refund or retire any
public indebtedness or lien that may exist against the district or
any property therein which shall have arisen out of the transaction
of the affairs of the district. It shall not, however, incur any
bonded indebtedness unless it submits the proposition for incurring
the bonded indebtedness to the voters of the district, or if the
bonded indebtedness is for an improvement district, to the voters of
the improvement district, at a regular election or a special election
called for that purpose and at least two-thirds of the votes cast at
the election are in favor of incurring the bonded indebtedness as
Any district, directly or through a representative, may
attend the Legislature and any committees thereof and present
information to aid the passage of legislation which the district
deems beneficial to the district or to prevent the passage of
legislation which the governing board of the district deems
detrimental to the district. The cost and expense incident thereto
are proper charges against the district. Such districts may enter
into and provide for participation in the business of associations
and through a representative of the associations attend the
Legislature, and any committees thereof, and present information to
aid the passage of legislation which the association deems beneficial
to the districts in the association, or to prevent the passage of
legislation which the association deems detrimental to the districts
in the association. The cost and expense incident thereto are proper
charges against the districts comprising the association.
Each member of the district board engaging in such activities on
behalf of the district shall be allowed eleven cents ($0.11) per
mile, without any constructive mileage, for his expenses of traveling
necessarily done by automobile, and his actual traveling expenses
when he travels by public conveyance.
The district board may adopt ordinances to carry out the
provisions of Sections 5473 to 5473.11, inclusive, of the Health and
Safety Code and this chapter; the procedure for the adoption of said
ordinances shall be the same as is provided for in Article 7
(commencing with Section 25120), Chapter 1, Part 2, Division 2, Title
3 of the Government Code for counties. In the absence of county or
city regulation, the district board may also adopt ordinances for the
purpose of exercise and effect of any of it powers, or for the
purposes for which it was formed. Any ordinance adopted by the
district board shall impose restrictions equal to or greater than
those imposed by the State Housing Law, Part 1.5 (commencing with
Section 17910), Division 13 of this code, and the rules and
regulations promulgated pursuant thereto by the Commission of Housing
and Community Development. A violation of a regulation or ordinance
of a district is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed
one thousand dollars ($1,000), imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, or
The board of supervisors of any county may adopt a model
county sanitation district ordinance. The procedure for the adoption
of said ordinance shall be the same as is provided for in Article 7
(commencing with Section 25120) of Chapter 1, Part 2, Division 2,
Title 3 of the Government Code for the adoption of county ordinances.
The ordinance may be amended by the same procedure used for the
adoption of the ordinance. The ordinance and amendments thereto shall
be effective only as to districts which have adopted it by reference
as hereinafter provided.
The district board is hereby authorized to enact an
ordinance which adopts by reference all or any part of a model county
sanitation district ordinance. The adopting ordinance may also enact
provisions to add to or amend the model sanitation district
ordinance as it is applied to that district.
Prior to adoption of any ordinance which adopts by
reference all or any part of a model county sanitation district
ordinance, the district board shall give notice that copies of the
model ordinance being considered for adoption are on file with the
clerk of the district and are open to public inspection. Such notice
shall be published pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code in
a newspaper of general circulation in the district. If there is no
newspaper of general circulation in the district, the notice shall be
posted in the manner as provided for the posting of any proposed
Nothing contained in this article shall be deemed to
relieve any district from the requirement of publishing in full the
ordinance which adopts by reference the model sanitation district
ordinance; and all provisions applicable to such publication shall be
fully carried out. Such publication shall contain notice that copies
of the model county sanitation district ordinance are on file with
the clerk of the district and are open to public inspection.
If at any time the model sanitation district ordinance is
amended by the county board of supervisors, then the district board
may adopt such amendment or amended model sanitation district
ordinance by reference as provided in this article; or an ordinance
may be enacted in the regular manner, setting forth the entire text
of such amendment.
If the board of directors of the district is the board of
supervisors, the district may adopt the model county sanitation
district ordinance and any amendments thereto by reference without
following the procedures contained in Section 4766.3.
A district may destroy a record pursuant to Chapter 7
(commencing with Section 60200) of Division 1 of Title 6 of the
Any county sanitation district may, in addition to its other
powers, acquire, construct, control, operate, and maintain
waterworks, conduits, reservoirs, storage sites, and other works and
facilities for the production, treatment, storage and distribution of
a water supply for domestic and other uses. The district may also
purchase water from any other utility district, public agency,
person, or private company, and distribute it.
The district may only distribute and sell to retail customers
domestic water supplies outside the district by means of facilities
designed primarily to serve inside the district. Before a district
may so distribute and sell to retail customers domestic water
supplies within the boundaries of another district or municipality
which has the same or similar powers with respect to domestic water
supplies, it shall secure the consent of the governing body of such
other district or municipality to do so.
A district may contract with any state agency to finance
any district improvement authorized by Section 4767. The terms of the
contract shall be consistent with this chapter. Notwithstanding any
other provision in this chapter, the term of the contract may extend
up to 30 years.