Formed in 1924, the Garden Grove Sanitary District was formed to provide sewer services to the unincorporated areas of Garden Grove. During the 1950's and 1960's, like the rest of western Orange County, the City of Garden Grove underwent a transition from rural agricultural land use to an urban environment of predominantly single family homes and neighborhood commercial centers. The Sanitary District has played a significant role in the dramatic development of the region, providing vital sanitary services to the residents of Garden Grove.

In 1993, the City began the process to consolidate sanitation services of two special districts, the Garden Grove Sanitary and Midway City Sanitary District, into one provider, the City of Garden Grove. In May of 1997, the City officially consolidated its sewer maintenance, refuse collection, and recycling efforts under one organization, the Garden Grove Sanitary District. The Garden Grove City Council acts as the Board of Directors of the Garden Grove Sanitary District.