Amendments to subsurface sewage treatment systems inspection and permit requirements

This rulemaking project will amend subsurface sewage treatment system (SSTS)-related rules regarding situations where:

  • A state disposal system (SDS) permit is required rather than a local permit

Under existing rules, a facility can measure its actual wastewater flows or use “table values” — values stated in rule for various types and sizes of facilities — to design a new SSTS. But in situations where measurements show a flow less than the 10,000-gallon-per-day (gpd) permit threshold, but table values indicate a flow greater than 10,000 gpd, an SDS permit is required rather than a local permit. The MPCA is considering rule revisions to allow an existing facility to use measured values to determine permit requirements. The revisions would also include a few other modifications that capture actual wastewater flows into the environment more accurately.

  • Tank pumping is required for completing a compliance inspection on an existing SSTS

The MPCA is also considering rule changes to require that a septic tank be pumped empty before an official inspection to determine its integrity. The revisions under consideration will require the tank to be inspected through a maintenance hole while empty, with the following exceptions:

  1. If an inspector already knows a particular septic tank will not pass inspection for any reason, pumping the tank won't be required. However, a tank can only pass inspection if it was inspected while empty.
  2. A tank integrity inspection report shows the tank has passed inspection (with the tank empty) within the past three years.

Register at GovDelivery to be notified when a rule draft is published or regarding other rulemaking activities.

Schedule/public participation opportunities

Rulemaking stage Time period
Request for comments Published in Dec, 11, 2017 State Register (42 SR 672); taking comments until 4:30 p.m., February 20, 2018
Rule language and SONAR drafted  
Pre-proposal public engagement  
Public comment period/Notice of hearing (if applicable)  
Hearing (if applicable)/Administrative law judge review  
Rule adoption  
U.S. EPA review and approval  

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