Town of Paradise Septic System Guidelines

Town of Paradise

Development Services

5555 Skyway Paradise CA 95969

(530) 872-6291   Fax (530) 877-5059


 1)  SEPTIC EVALUATION -After debris removal is complete, and a certificate of completion issued by Butte County Environmental Health, have the septic inspected by a town-licensed septic evaluator (list on the Town’s website or pick one up at town hall).

  • IF GOOD – Move forward to designing house/site plans.
  • IF FAILED – Repair permit will need to be issued (requires septic repair plans to be drawn) before the rebuild permit can be


  • HOW MANY BEDROOMS IS THE EXISTING SYSTEM APPROVED FOR? – Check your property file for the original septic installation certificate.
  • Each house has a max square footage: o  1-bedroom house is 1,500 sq ft;
  • 2-bedroom house is 2,200 sq ft;
  • 3-bedroom house is 2,900 sq ft;
  • 4-bedroom house and larger are counted solely on


2) SEPTIC AS-BUilTS – In most property files are the installation maps showing where the tank and field were installed. If no “as-built” exists for your property, contact a town-licensed septic evaluator to camera or probe your lines and mark them on the The location of your septic system must be accurately depicted on your rebuild site plan.

3) SETBACKS FROM SEPTIC – Tanks and fields have 5′ setbacks from all structures as well as side and rear property There is a 20′ setback from edge of road for the front property line setback. If there are water wells, easements, or drainage ways on your property, those setbacks may be larger.

4) TANKS & FIELDS IN A DRIVEWAY – If you have to replace your septic and install portions of it in an existing or proposed driveway, or your rebuilt residence is relocated in a way that will move your driveway over your existing system, make sure that you have a traffic rated tank installed and percolation tests completed to show that the driveway area drains fast enough to compensate for the soils compaction caused by driving over

5) WHAT IF YOU EXCEED YOUR MAXIMUM SQUARE FOOTAGES OR WANT MORE BEDROOMS? – Exceeding your maximum square footage (for a 1, 2, or 3-bedroom residence) will automatically put you into the next higher bedroom count. Or, perhaps you already know you want to rebuild with more bedrooms than before. Either way, there’s a review process through the Onsite Wastewater Division, called a “Land Use Review”, required before submitting for septic or building permits. There are minimum acreage sizes required, in order to discharge and treat the  amount of wastewater proposed, for each bedroom


6) LOFTS & DENS (Paradise Municipal Code Section 04.112)

    • Lofts are counted as bedrooms;
    • Dens are counted as bedrooms if:
      • They are enclosed on all sides, except for doorways, and large enough to be legally used as a bedroom (70 sq ft).
      • The room opens on to a hallway off of which there is a bathroom or the room is open to a
    • How to make it not a bedroom:
      • 4′ wide opening, with no door, that opens in to a main entry way or activity area (living room, dining room, kitchen,etc).
      • Install built-ins such as a desk, filing cabinet, bookcases,
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