The Stinson Beach County Water District (SBCWD) was formed in 1962 and encompasses an approximate 10.0 square mile jurisdictional boundary along Marin County’s western shoreline. Governance is provided by a five-member board with members directly elected by registered voters to serve staggered four year terms. Access to SBCWD’s jurisdictional boundary is primarily tied to Shoreline Highway (State Highway 1). The community is approximately 11 miles from the nearest incorporated town, Mill Valley, and lies within the Bolinas-Stinson Beach Elementary and Tamalpais Union High School Districts.

SBCWD is organized as a multi-purpose agency and provides three distinct services: (a) domestic water; (b) onsite wastewater management; and (c) solid waste. Development within SBCWD exists within approximately one-fifth of the District’s jurisdictional boundary and is anchored by a series of contiguous residential subdivisions highlighted by Seadrift and Highlands. A mixed commercial/residential district known as “Old Town” lies along the portion of State Highway 1, used as the main arterial for the community. The rest of SBCWD’s jurisdictional boundary – approximately four-fifths of the total area – is the undeveloped part of the Mt. Tamalpais State Park and the Golden Gate National Recreational Area.

SBCWD’s service area (link to Service Area Map) – collectively referenced to as “Stinson Beach” – is one of 20 formally defined unincorporated communities in Marin County. The current estimated resident total within SBCWD, counting both fulltime (608) and part-time (1,359), is 1, 967; a number that represents an increase of 0.7% over the preceding five years and closely aligns with the countywide growth rate average of 0.6% over the same period. The estimated future build-out resident population, based on current zoning and lot allowances, is 2,103. Registered voters within SBCWD currently total 451 and represents 23.0% of the estimated population.

SBCWD’s operating expense budget for 2015-2016 was set at $1.560 million with funding for the equivalent of 8.0 employees. The unrestricted fund balance as of December 2015 was $500,000, deemed sufficient to cover over 6 months of general operating expenses.


The mission of this agency is to implement the provisions of Article 10, Chapter 1, Part 5, Division 12 of the “Water Code of the State of California” (Section 31145 et seq.) and more specifically to establish regulations to control and enhance the quality of the ground and surface waters of the District by regulating, prohibiting, or controlling the discharge of pollutants, waste, or any other materials into the ground or surface waters or the contiguous water bodies of the District.


The District’s agreement with the California State Regional Water Quality Control Board requires a Wastewater Management Program. The District’s responsibilities include: the onsite wastewater system design review program, enforcement actions, water quality monitoring, inspection program, Board and staff actions, sampling schedules, maps, variances, permits, laboratory reports, and public outreach for 706 septic systems. District staff monitors the existing 706 residential and commercial on-site septic systems. Monitoring frequency for individual systems is based upon type, age, performance and varies monthly, quarterly, annually, or biennially based upon the judgment of staff. The types of septic systems include standard, alternative, or other (seepage pit, gray water or holding tank). The majority of the District’s systems are standard systems. Standard systems include gravity or pressure distribution dispersal fields which may or may not have an intermittent sand filter pretreatment device. Alternative systems include subsurface drip, bottomless sand filter dispersal fields, ultra-violet disinfection systems, aerobic treatment units (ATU), and recirculating filter pretreatment devices. Holding tanks are not approved for new construction; however, they are temporarily approved when use of a malfunctioning dispersal system would endanger public health.


The District provides potable water for 730 homes and businesses in Stinson Beach. The District serves a population of about 608 permanent residents and up to 15,000 residents on weekends and many holidays. The District obtains the water from groundwater wells and to a much lesser extent, from local creeks. In 2010, District staff completed construction of a new surface Water Treatment Plant. The District has 8 different pressure zones and about 1.25 million gallons of storage. Both raw water and treated water are of excellent quality. The District produces an annual report to its customers titled “Water Quality/Consumer Confidence Report.”

The Stinson Beach County Water District (SBCWD) tests the drinking water for its consumers as required by State and Federal Regulations. The District delivers a safe and reliable supply of high quality drinking water, which meets or exceeds all EPA and CDPH standards for water quality monitoring requirements. The water quality is ensured through a series of chemical and bacteriological tests performed on over 200 samples collected annually.

Replacing older, inefficient waterlines with new ones to provide for greater flow of water will improve fire protection and domestic water service. Beginning 2014, the District began a program to replace all the pipelines in the Calles and Patios.

The District continues to make improvements to its operations and maintenance in an effort to reduce costs, enforce policies and enhance water quality. The District allocates hundreds of thousands of dollars every year for water quality and water distribution improvements. The most important achievement this last year is the successful application for a $1,249,000 grant from the State of California Department of Water Resources. The grant will fund the replacement of older water mains and pipelines, the analysis of our ground water supplies, the creation of a new well, and replacement of all water meters without the District having to raise rates.

Our five-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) provides a detailed plan for ensuring the reliability and quality of our District’s operations, and for meeting more stringent drinking water requirements during the next five years.


The community of Stinson Beach is located on the California coast approximately 15 miles northwest of San Francisco. The service area covers the base of the west slope of Mt. Tamalpais, which rises approximately 2,000 feet in elevation from mean sea level to the Bolinas Ridge, separating the coastal community from the interior communities of Marin County. (link to Service Area Map).


The formation date of the Stinson Beach County Water District was 1962 with service categories of Domestic Water, Solid Waste and Onsite Wastewater Management. Enabling Legislation is from the State of California Water Code, Section 30000 et seq. About 2,000 residents and 450 registered voters.

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