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 2017 data showed there were 211 local governmental units (LGUs) submitting annual reports: 86 counties, 83 cities, 39 townships, and three other permitting authorities. A total of 537,354 SSTS were reported statewide, which represents 36.8 billion gallons of wastewater per year. In 2017, LGUs issued 11,676 SSTS related permits: 10,906 for both new and replacement systems and 770 SSTS repair permits.

There were 15,250 compliance inspections of existing septic systems reported in 2017 (An estimated 2.8% of the total existing systems in Minnesota.)

Since 2002, LGUs have issued 187,766 construction permits. This means approximately 35% of Minnesota's 537,354 septic systems are less than 16 years old. During this time, more than 96,000 of these systems were replacement systems. The number of estimated compliant systems has increased over the years, from 334,500 systems in 2007, to 434,068 systems in 2017. This represents 29.7 billion gallons of wastewater treated by compliant SSTS in 2017.

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


Search for SSTS licensed businesses
and certified individuals

Legislative reports

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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