Starting a dental practice or industrial operations

What you need to know  

The San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility, in partnership with District, regulates dental and industrial wastewater discharges.

The placement and removal of amalgam fillings in dental offices is a process that contains mercury in its discharge that must be separated to prevent mercury from entering the District sanitary sewer system and ultimately polluting the Bay. There are several toxic or poisonous substances generated by industrial processes that can interference with the wastewater treatment process and/or be hazardous to humans or animals; and the substances must be pretreated and monitored to ensure acceptable limits are being discharged into the District sanitary sewer system.

These processes require a Dental/Industrial Wastewater Discharge permit in addition to the District standard permit that determines if your wastewater discharge may be different from the current reserved capacity buy-in where additional capacity buy-in may need to be accommodated in the District's piping transport system and for processing at the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility.

In addition, the District wants to ensure access to your building lower sewer lateral meets standards in order for District Operations staff to perform maintenance activities; your property is protected from backups in the District sanitary sewer system; any disconnection and/or connection to the District sanitary sewer system is properly being made.



Visit Building Department

Visit your local jurisdiction building department first to apply for a building permit.


Apply for a Dental or Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit with City of San José

Your new dental office (PDF) will require applying for a Dental Wastewater Discharge Permit

Your industrial business that discharges toxic pollutants, requires pretreatment, and/or releases large quantities of wastewater each day will require applying for an Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit.


Describe Your Work & District Reviews Your Work

Describe your proposed work and submit any and all plan sets showing your proposed work using the permit non-residential application form below and a determination of a permit will be made.

If no District permit is required, then a “No District Permit Required” letter will be emailed to you typically the next business day (after receiving all required scope of work information) to deliver to the agency building permit staff.

Permit Non-Residential Application Form


  1. 1. Work
  2. 2. Property Information
  3. 3. Permit Applicant Contact Information
  4. 4. Plan Set or Other File(s) Submission
  • Work

    1. (Apply for a building permit if you do not have one.)

    2. Type of Lateral | Cleanout Work*

      (Select all items that apply.)

    3. Type of Building Work*

      (Select all items that apply.)

    4. (Please describe the tenant improvements being proposed.)

    5. (Please specify what "Other" lateral / cleanout work you are performing.)


    District Determines Your Requirements

    If the District determines a District permit is required, your work will be analyzed and a field investigation may need to be performed to outline your District requirements. Typically 10 to 15 business days (after receiving all required scope of work information) are needed to issue a District permit.


    Pay Fee & Issue Permit

    When you are informed a permit is ready for you, make a permit appointment with this form. Pay by check or cash (based on our fees and charges schedule (PDF) and the following examples) and give your issued District permit copy to your agency building permit staff.


    Ensure Your District Requirements Are Met

    Install all required infrastructure per your District issued permit handouts. Required property line cleanout shall meet the District standards. Be sure to have underground utilities located before you dig by contacting USA 811 North and follow their five easy steps (PNG).

    Sample fees to reserve capacity for your business

    Each type of business generates a different quantity of wastewater, and with different characteristics. These different characteristics effect the amount of pollution effect measured by biochemical oxygen demand, number of suspended solids that needs to be removed, and amount of ammonia. As a result, the amount of capacity buy-in varies from one business operation to another and the amount of capacity buy-in credit you will receive from a previous business operation will vary as well. The following is a sampling of approximate fees for changes in business operations.

    A new or changed business wastewater discharge must be accommodated in the District's piping transport system and for processing at the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility. The buy-in capacity approximate fees are:

    Fee TypeDental
    (3,500 sq. ft.)
    (3,500 sq. ft.)
    Difference / Fee Owed
    District Sewer Connection Fee$26,000less  $11,000$15,000
    Treatment Plant Capacity Fee$10,000less  $4,000$6,000
    Total Fee$36,000less  $15,000$21,000

    A permit processing fee will vary depending if there is an existing building sewer lateral serving your property or if a new building sewer lateral needs to be constructed, and can range from $250 to $800 to recover the cost of investigating your field conditions and/or ensuring your construction meets District requirements.

    The rate used to calculate your Sewer Service and Use Charge (billed annually on your property tax bill) may change based on your business operations