SSTS for local units of government

Local units of government — including cities, counties, townships, and sewer districts — enforce Minnesota SSTS rules through ordinances and issue permits for systems designed for flows up to 10,000 gallons per day. Local SSTS ordinances vary across the state. Some require SSTS compliance inspections prior to property transfer, require permits for SSTS repair and septic tank maintenance, and may have other requirements which are stricter than the state regulations.

New! SSTS Local Program Requirements questionnaire

This questionnaire was originally developed to help facilitate LGU assessments conducted by MPCA Compliance and Enforcement (C&E) staff. However, we also wanted to provide an opportunity for LGUs to be able to “self-assess” whether local ordinances and procedures are in place and operating in accordance with Minnesota Rules Chapter 7082. If you have any questions regarding this questionnaire, or about scheduling LGU assessments, feel free to reach out to your regionally assigned SSTS C&E staff member (see map):

Local government contacts

Inspection programs

Inspections are required for all new septic system construction and replacement. Existing systems must be inspected when there is a bedroom addition permit request (if the LGU has a permitting program for bedroom additions). Existing systems must also be inspected when any building permit or variance is requested for systems located in a shoreland area. Local ordinances or lending institutions may require inspections at other times, such as at property transfer.

Additional resources

Annual report

All local governments administering a SSTS program are required to submit to MPCA an annual report no later than February 1 for the previous calendar year (Minn. R. 7082.0040 subp. 5). Questions and instructions are sent to each local unit of government annually in December. Data submitted are used to observe statewide SSTS permitting and compliance trends, and help MPCA with long-range planning efforts.

The 2016 data showed there were 219 local governmental units (LGUs) submitting annual reports: 86 counties, 86 cities, 43 townships, and four other permitting authorities. A total of 541,865 SSTS were reported statewide, which represents 37.1 billion gallons of wastewater per year. In 2016, LGUs issued 10,967 construction permits: 10,556 for both new and replacement systems and 411 SSTS repair permits.

There were 14,847 compliance inspections of existing septic systems reported in 2016 (An estimated 2.7% of the total existing systems in Minnesota.)

Since 2002, LGUs have issued 176,860 construction permits. This means approximately 33% of Minnesota's 541,865 septic systems are less than 15 years old. During this time, more than 90,000 of these systems were replacement systems. The number of estimated compliant systems has increased over the years, from 334,500 systems in 2007, to 436,273 systems in 2016. This represents 29.9 billion gallons of wastewater treated by compliant SSTS.

If you have any questions the report, feel free to contact Cody Robinson: 651-757-2535 or


Search for SSTS licensed businesses
and certified individuals

Legislative reports and Clean Water Council

Legislative reports

Clean Water Council

The Clean Water Council formed an ad hoc committee in 2011 to discuss SSTS policy and to develop future SSTS program budget recommendations for the next Clean Water Council Report to the Governor and Legislature. More information is available on the Clean Water Council — SSTS Ad Hoc Committee page.

SSTS maintenance

Proper maintenance of SSTS is critical, especially for complex systems or systems on difficult sites. Databases or spreadsheets can be used to track required maintenance.

Septic systems and flooding

Additional links

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