Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

legality of outhouse construction

I undersand that in the '70's the state agreed to allow property owners in rural areas, because of drought years, to build outhoses on land that exceeded 10 acres. Is this provision still in effect?

Asked on 4/06/03, 9:40 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Re: legality of outhouse construction

State law has some very general provisions making it unlawful to discharge or contain sewage in any way that is unhealthful or a nuisance (i.e. smelly). There is also a law requiring connection of residential plumbing to the local sewer system in areas that have one. See Health and Safety Code sections 5411 and 5412.

Beyond that, I believe regulation of septic tanks and related apparatus, and by extension their non-use, is regulated at the county level for the most part. The person to contact locally would be the 'County Sanitarian' at least in most counties.

My guess is that outhouses are not allowed, at least in the more developed counties, even in rural areas. There could be exceptions.

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Answered on 4/07/03, 1:17 pm

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