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Sunny view looking toward UCSB from Goleta Beach

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I live in the Goleta Sanitary District or Goleta West Sanitary District?

We acknowledge that this issue is confusing. Generally, if you live in the eastern part of Goleta or the unincorporated areas of the Goleta Valley, you probably live in our district.  The Goleta Sanitary District’s western boundary is Aero Camino south of the 101 Freeway and La Patera Lane north of the 101. There is a map under the About Us- Service Area tab. While part of the City of Goleta’s sewer system is collected by the Goleta West Sanitary District all of the City of Goleta's wastewater is treated at Goleta Sanitary District. We have a collaborative partnership with Goleta West as well as the City of Santa Barbara, the County of Santa Barbara, and UCSB.  If you are still not sure, call us at 805-967-4519.

I have wastewater backing up into my house. Who do I call?

Call us at (805) 967-4519, or (805) 564-7259 after hours. We will respond 24/7. If the reason for the backup is within the District sewer main, we will address the concern. If the cause is within the private sewer lateral of the property, we will advise you to contact a licensed plumber; in this case, the property owner is responsible to address and correct the problem.

I haven’t received my sewer bill; when will I get it?

We don’t mail out a bill to most folks; the District does its billing on the property tax roll. Sewer service charges are part of the property tax homeowners pay twice a year. Goleta Sanitary District charges $44.20 a month for a single-family residence. Find more information about our rates and fees.

How do I obtain a sewer lateral repair/replacement permit?

Due to the current COVID 19 restrictions, the GSD public counter is closed. Please call us at (805) 967-4519 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for instructions on sewer lateral repair/replacement permits.

How do I change from a septic system to a sewer hookup?

Please contact District Collection System Manager Luis Astorga at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for questions about conversion from a septic system to a sewer system.

How do I obtain a permit or Intent to Serve letter for my residential project?

Property owners seeking sewer service for new construction, additions, remodels, ADUs, or similar types of projects, please send your name, project address, and a brief description of the project and available PDF drawings of the project to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will review your submittal and contact you with a preliminary determination and a list of required items to complete our review. Your project may require a GSD permit and/or payment of applicable fees.

How do I obtain sewer service for commercial/industrial projects or residential developments?

Please contact District Collection System Manager Luis Astorga at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for questions about commercial/industrial and larger residential projects such as lot splits, developments, and tract/parcel maps.


The property owner is responsible for the maintenance of the sewer lateral from the building to the connection with the sewer mainline in the street. A Goleta Sanitary District permit is required to replace the sewer lateral or to make any repairs outside the property line or within any District easement. Please note that the installation of a sewer lateral liner is not a District approved method of repair. If an installed liner protrudes into the sewer main line, the property owner will be held liable for the repair of the sewer main to eliminate the protrusion and for damages due to a sewer back up caused by the protrusion. For additional information on sewer lateral replacement/repair permits, please contact Collection System Supervisor Shamus O’Donnell at (805) 967-4519.


All residential remodels, improvements, additions, and ADUS are required to obtain proof of sewer service availability before issuance of the County of Santa Barbara/City of Goleta building permit. Generally, residential projects such as remodels, additions, and ADUs can be reviewed and approved within a few days. District permits (separate from the County/City permits) may be required depending on the type of project. Please contact Collection System Supervisor Shamus O’Donnell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for additional information on the approval process for residential projects.


Residential Developments such as lot splits, parcel/tract maps, subdivisions, and residential development projects, require the issuance of a District Sewer Service Availability Letter. This letter will list all the terms and conditions which must be met before the issuance of a sewer connection permit. The permit is the District’s guarantee of sewer service. Typical terms and conditions include the need to annex the project property to the District, an extension of existing sewer facilities to provide sewer service, the submittal of a sewer study which focuses on the impacts of the project to the sewer system, payment of reimbursement charges for previously installed sewer facilities, and payment of applicable capacity fees. Please contact Collection System Manager Luis Astorga at (805) 967-4519 for questions on residential developments.


All commercial/industrial projects are coordinated with the District Industrial Waste Control (IWC) Office to verify that IWC requirements are met along with the permitted capacity for the project. These projects may require IWC permits, installation of discharge pretreatment equipment, discharge meters, or purchase of additional permitted capacity to discharge. Please contact District Industrial Waste Control Officer Teresa Kistner or Collection System Manager Luis Astorga for questions regarding these types of projects at (805) 967-4519.


All connections to the District sewer system are done under a District permit. The permit provides a specified “permitted discharge capacity”. This is the amount of wastewater that the property is entitled to discharge to the sewer system. For a single-family residence, this amount is 74,095 gallons on an annual basis. This amount is also known as an “Equivalent Residential Unit” or ERU. Commercial and industrial connections have varying amounts of permitted capacity depending upon their individual needs. For example, a small office requires much less permitted discharge capacity than a large restaurant. Capacity charges are used to finance the replacement/expansion of capacity-related District facilities. Properties that are discharging more than their permitted discharge capacity are required to either reduce their discharge to permitted levels or purchase additional capacity to meet their discharge requirements. While the vast majority of District connections are discharging within their permitted limits, the District is working to ensure that properties/businesses discharging more than their permitted capacity are responsible for their fair share of capacity costs.

  • Mission:

    We protect public health and the environment through cost-effective wastewater collection, treatment, and resource recovery to meet present and future community needs.

  • Vision:

    To be the Region’s Leader in Water Resource Recovery through Excellence and Innovation.

  • Values:

    We value our Community, the People we Serve, and the Environment we Protect by: Acting with Integrity, Being Dependable, Being Responsible, Being Safe and, Being Innovative.