MPCA's compliance and enforcement program tracks how well wastewater treatment facilities are complying with their permits and takes enforcement actions when necessary. The agency provides information, tools, and incentives to assist municipalities and businesses in complying with the law.
Guidance for flooding or wastewater release
Facility signage: Response steps for unauthorized wastewater release
When to report a discharge/release to the MN Duty officer (651-649-5451, 800-422-0798)
- When your permit requires it. Even if MPCA compliance staff are aware of the discharge, call the MN Duty Officer to ensure compliance with your permit.
- Whenever there is a discharge, accidental or otherwise, of any substance or material that may cause pollution of waters of the state. When in doubt, call.
- When there is a petroleum discharge over five gallons, though any petroleum discharge that causes a nuisance condition to waters of the state should be reported to the Duty Officer.
Facility operations guidance and manual
- See page 8 for approved herbicides to control vegetation
Worksheets and spreadsheet for operators
The following worksheets and spreadsheets are designed to help operators do various required calculations, such as the amount of water pond operators need to discharge for winter or summer storage and calculations needed to calibrate lift station pumps. Some of the calculations are required in your NPDES permit. Remember to keep records for at least three years.
Frequently asked questions
Pretreatment annual report
Priority Pollutant monitoring
Priority Pollutant monitoring is required as part of some National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)/ State Disposal System (SDS) permits. These reports have historically been submitted as PDF lab reports, the MPCA is now requiring that this data also be submitted in an electronic data deliverable (EDD) using EQuIS Lab_MN format. Use the following instructions to obtain the EDD in the LAB_MN format from your laboratory for submittal.
Common violations and ways to avoid them
|Violation||Examples of violation||Preventative measures|
|Incomplete, incorrect, or late DMR-related reporting or missed monitoring events||Submitted incomplete or incorrect report or DMR, failed to submit required sampling or monitoring results on the correct form, or failed to complete a monitoring event|
|Limit exceedance||Any monitoring result over the permit limit (see Limits and Monitoring section of permit)||Properly maintain your equipment|
|Late or missing DMR||DMRs not submitted or not submitted on time as required in permit|
|Records not maintained||Records of equipment calibration, sampling, training, inspection or required lab records are missing|
|Unauthorized release||A wastewater overflow or spill is released to the environment (e.g., sanitary sewer overflow from plugged collection system, pump or electrical failures, or overwhelming rain or snow melt)|
|Inadequate equipment calibration or calibration frequency||Flow, pH, or dissolved oxygen meter is not calibrated to required specifications||Properly train staff on equipment calibration, procedures, and frequency|
|Proper sample preservation procedures not followed||A sample was not tested for pH within 15 minutes of being collected or a sample temperature was not maintained at 4 - 6 degrees Celsius||Properly train staff on sample preservation procedures|
|Late reports or permit application||Not submitting reports (e.g., bio-solids, spray irrigation, industrial byproduct) or applying for a permit reissuance in a timely manner|
A discharge to surface water causes
|Failure to notify and avoid water pollution|
Concerns at non-regulated facilities
- MnWARN is a statewide water/wastewater agency response network of “utilities helping utilities.” Members assist each other with emergency response and resources.
- Minnesota Rural Water Association offers professional on-site technical assistance and training to water and wastewater system personnel
- League of Minnesota Cities provides sanitary sewer resources, including an incentive program and a guide for sanitary sewer maintenance policies and procedures.