Bolinas Community Public Utility District
Ordinance No. 31
Adopting Guidelines Governing Design, Operation and Maintenance of Composting Toilet Recycling Systems outside the geographic jurisdiction of BoIinas Community Public Utility District by contract. ______________________________________________________

WHEREAS householders including the Paradise Valley Produce Association were permitted to use composting toilets as part of their alternative septic systems by County of Marin in 1974; and

WHEREAS Bolinas Community Public Utility District (BCPUD) agreed to monitor those systems at that time; and

WHEREAS those householders have asked BCPUD to activate the composting toilet monitoring program; and

WHEREAS BCPUD agreed on December 15, 1993, to develop and implement such a program; and

WHEREAS, the Composting Toilet Recycling System Program Committee has developed the guidelines set forth hereinafter;

Now, therefore, the Board of Directors of Bolinas Community Public Utility District does enact as follows:


These guidelines are intended to allow for the use of composting toilet recycling systems while protecting public health and water quality.


A Composting Toilet Recycling System (CTRS) is any device designed to store and compost, by aerobic digestion, human waste products and the necessary organic and inorganic additions, which have not come into contact with water, together with the required venting, piping, electrical and/or mechanical components.


A CTRS will be permitted where:

1. a CTRS has been in operation for at least fifteen years with demonstrated responsible maintenance; or

2. there has been a BCPUD review of site suitability and any relevant guidelines which the Board of Directors may have implemented by resolution.


1. The CTRS shall be capable of accommodating full or part-time usage without accumulating excess liquids when operated at the design rated capacity. The CTRS shall be designed such that the blockage of vents or leakage of liquids through other than standard discharge orifices is reasonably avoidable,

2. Continuous forced ventilation of the storage chamber must be provided to the outside. Ventilation components shall be independent of other household venting systems. Venting connections shall not be made to room vents or to chimneys. All vents shall be designed to prevent flies and other insects from entering the treatment chamber. Vent conduits an pipes shall be adequately insulated to prevent the formation of condensation onto their interior.

3. Waste receiving chambers must have tight closing lids, and be closed when not in use to prevent access to insects and other vectors,

4. Biological treatment chambers shall be waterproofed so that there is no interaction of liquid between CTRS interior and exterior and shall promote conditions conducive to aerobic decomposition. Moisture content shall be between 40 and 75%.

5. The CTRS shall allow for the complete separation of stored and fresh waste. The end product, humus, shall be stabilized to meet National Sanitation Foundation criteria when ready for removal.

6. The CTRS shall be of adequate size to allow for stabilization to be reached in the treatment chamber.


I. CTRS Manual. All households with CTRS shall have a copy of the operation and maintenance manual prepared by the CTRS Committee (appendix A) The manual shall contain detailed instructions on proper operation and maintenance procedures, including safety, public health considerations, handling of end product and maintenance of proper carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, temperature and moisture content.

2. Demonstration of knowledge of manual contents. Each participant shall demonstrate sufficient understanding of the contents of the manual by achieving a score of at least 90% in a written examination. The examination will be given at any time upon request.

3. Change of ownership. If a property with a functioning CTRS changes ownership, the new owner must be given a copy of the manual and take the written examination within three months of taking up residence on the property.

4. Malfunctions. The BCPUD shall be notified immediately if a system fails to function properly.


1. Performance monitoring shall be performed on all CTRS permitted under these guidelines. Permits shall include a statement indicating the permitting agency's right of entry and/or right to inspect by appointment.

2. The frequency of monitoring shall be:

A. Upon adoption of the guidelines, within six months;
B. Two years after adoption;
C. Four years after adoption;
D. In response to an owner's request for assistance, or complaint by any other person;
E. Schedule reverts to A, upon change of ownership.

3. The minimum criteria that shall be addressed in performance monitoring are:

A. Age of system; -
B. Type of use;
C. Nuisance, such as flies, odors, or other user complaints;
D. Moisture imbalance (too wet or dry);
E. Mechanical malfunctions; P. Material fatigue or failure;
G. Neglect or improper use;
H. If problem is identified, description of the problem, its frequency and duration.
I. Recommendation for correction as needed.

4. A form for the collection of the above information shall be developed by BCPUD. A member of the BCPUD staff shall be designated to collect, manage and report the data as may be required by any regulatory agency.


A. Inspection - fees for site inspections will be established following the first round of inspections, based on documented costs.

B. Administration - fees for administration, and for compliance with the requirements of other regulatory agencies, will be established following the first round of inspections, based on documented costs.

C. Implementation - initial setup costs will be established following the first round inspections, based on documented costs.

Once inspection and administrative costs are established, the BCPUD Board will adopt a resolution to state the fee schedule. The fee resolution will be subject to periodic revision to reflect actual costs for the program, based on changes in staff compensation and the time required for compliance with the requirements of other regulatory agencies.

VIII. This ordinance shall be and is hereby declared to be in full force and effect from and after 30 days from the date of its passage and is hereby ordered publicly posted at least 7 days prior to the end of said 30 day period.

The foregoing ordinance was passed and adopted on July 16, 1997, by the following vote:

AYES: Amoroso, McClellan, Pfeiffer, Siedman

NOES: None


ABSENT: McNaughton