Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems

The Modern Septic System

Some residents are connected to the sewer system, and thus rarely consider their wastewater disposal. Those using septic systems/onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) know that an improperly designed, installed, or maintained system can lead to a costly failure. However, a properly maintained system (tank and drainfield or seepage pits) can work safely and efficiently for years, helping to maintain a healthy watershed.


10 Steps to a Happy OWTS

  1. Conserve water to reduce the amount of wastewater to be treated. Low-flow toilets, showerheads, and other plumbing fixtures can substantially reduce your water consumption.
  2. Have your system inspected by a qualified maintenance provider on a routine basis.
  3. Be sure to pump your system at the appropriate frequency, usually 4-7 years depending on the size of your family.
  4. Add a low cost effluent filter to the outlet of the tank to extend the life of your drainfield or seepage pits for years.
  5. Place food waste and scraps into the compost pile or trash to minimize the use of your garbage disposal. Excessive food waste, including kitchen grease, can easily overwhelm your system.
  6. Don’t overload the commode: Only put things in the drain or toilet that belong there. For example, coffee grounds, dental floss, disposable diapers and wipes, feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts, latex gloves, and cat litter can all clog and potentially damage septic systems.
  7. Keep bleach, anti-bacterial soap, paints, solvents, pesticides and other harmful chemicals out of the system. Toxic chemicals destroy the bacteria that keep the system working and can leach into the environment.
  8. Shield Your Field: Don’t park or drive on a drainfield where the vehicle’s weight could damage buried pipes or disrupt underground flow.
  9. Contact your local City or County to find out about permits and regulations.
  10. Learn more about the care and maintenance of your septic system/OWTS at epa.gov/septicsmart.

Malibu Registered Practitioner Program

These lists were compiled by the City of Malibu as an informational list only and not as an endorsement; names are listed alphabetically. Although reasonable steps have been taken to provide correct information, we do not guarantee the above information is, in all circumstances, complete and correct and do not assume any liability for any errors, inclusions or omissions in this list.


Pumping Companies

This list was compiled by the project partners as an informational list only; names are listed alphabetically. Although reasonable steps have been taken to provide correct information, we do not guarantee the above information is, in all circumstances, complete and correct and do not assume any liability for any errors, inclusions or omissions in this list. The project partners do not endorse any of these companies.