For SSTS product manufacturers

As of 2010, manufactured components of sub-surface sewage treatment systems must be registered with the MPCA to be used in Minnesota. Manufacturers must apply to the agency for registration. The MPCA ensures products will protect public health and the environment while providing long-term performance when properly operated and maintained. If the product meets state requirements, it will be approved for use in Minnesota.

SSTS Distribution Example

PDF icon Product Registration for Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems - For Proprietary Systems and Distribution Media Only

Answers to basic questions about who is affected by this rule change and how end-users will benefit from the product-registration process.

Product lists

Please read this how-to before reviewing the product list:

The product listing does not constitute approval of the manufacturer's marketing, advertising or labeling practices or an endorsement of the products by the MPCA. Information obtained from the manufacturer is the sole responsibility of the manufacturer or other provider.

Residential-strength wastewater:

High-strength wastewater:

Public domain treatment technologies

These documents specify the recommended standards and guidance of both single-pass sand filters and recirculating sand filters. They must be permitted, designed and installed in accordance with Minn. R. 7080.2350 (Type IV Systems).

Proprietary distribution technologies

Proprietary distribution media are those products used to disperse effluent in soil-based treatment systems.  

Public domain distribution technologies

  • PDF icon Drainfield rock distribution media standards and guidance (wq-wwists4-40)

    This document specifies size, durability and cleanliness requirements for drainfield rock used in trenches, beds, at-grades mounds and sand filters. This document was developed with input from the SSTS Product Registration Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) and was reviewed by the SSTS Advisory Committee.

Sewage tanks

Sewage tanks include septic tanks, trash tanks, holding tanks, pump tanks, tanks used for surge storage, recirculation tanks and other processing tanks. See the list of registered SSTS sewage tanks on the Sewage Tanks page.

Public domain vs. proprietary treatment technologies

Public domain treatment technologies are products that were not developed by a specific company. These technologies do not have a patent or a registered trademark. Single pass sand filters and recirculating sand filters are both public domain treatment systems. Unlike the proprietary products listed above, public domain technologies don't require registration.

Operating permit examples

The following documents include: 1) a blank template for operating permits, 2) a list of operating permits, and 3) examples of operating permits for different types of systems and treatment levels. Examples are also provided for holding tanks, systems undergoing remediation, and for sewage tanks permitted by a local unit of government for septage storage.

Management plans

Remediation of subsurface sewage treatment systems

PDF icon Remediation technologies and processes for Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems: Guidance document for practitioner use (wq-wwists4-46)

Guidance on the use of remediation practices for Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems. This document was developed with input from the SSTS Product Registration Technical Advisory Panel (TAP). Direct comments and questions to Cody Robinson.

Distribution media products not currently registered but used before 2008 rule change

Guidance for local SSTS permitting authorities to determine the size (square footage) of gravelless pipe for existing compliant septic systems when a system expansion is planned.

Gravelless pipe is not currently a registered distribution media product. Prior to 2008, gravelless pipe was included in Minnesota Rules Chapter 7080. Now, treatment and distribution media products are not included in the rules. These products are now subject to a registration process. Once a product is registered, it is allowed to be installed in Minnesota.

The manufacturer of gravelless pipe has not submitted an application to the MPCA for registration of their product. For existing systems, gravelless pipe can continue to be used. However, the installation of new gravelless pipe is not allowed.

Sizing of gravelless pipe for existing systems. There is no known data supporting the claim that gravelless pipe can be sized at 3 square feet (3 ft2) for each lineal foot of pipe. Prior to 2008, gravelless pipe was typically 8 to 12 inches wide and sized at three-to-one (3:1) or at 3 ft2 per lineal foot of 12-inch gravelless pipe.

MPCA recommendation for existing compliant systems undergoing an expansion. The sizing of an existing gravelless pipe, when determining the extent of a system expansion, is recommended to be sized at 1 square foot (1 ft2) of infiltrative surface for each lineal foot of 12-inch wide pipe. This is a one-to-one (1:1) sizing recommendation for all existing gravelless pipe when an expansion to an existing compliant system is under consideration. For existing 8-inch gravelless pipe, the pipe should be sized at 0.66 ft2 of infiltrative surface for each lineal foot of 8-inch-wide pipe.

Product renewal

SSTS treatment products and distribution media are initially registered by the MPCA for up to three years. This page provides information related to the renewal of SSTS products after the initial period of product registration.

Forms for treatment and distribution products

Technical advisory panel

The Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) was formed as an adjunct committee to the SSTS State Advisory Committee in June 2008. The purpose of the committee is to provide technical input and recommendations to the MPCA on the Product Registration Process and associated outcomes.


Contacts for more information: