SSTS rules, regulations, and ordinances

For earlier versions of the state SSTS rules, please visit our Rules and Statutes History section.

Current SSTS rules

Effective Sept. 6, 2016.

  • Chapter 7080: Individual Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems (flows up to 5,000 gallons per day [gpd]) 
  • Chapter 7081: Midsized Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems (flows from 5,001 to 10,000 gpd)
  • Chapter 7082: Administrative Requirements of Local SSTS Programs 
  • Chapter 7083: Certification/Licensing, Product Registration, Advisory Committee 

Changes from 2014

  • Add flexibility to the permit determination process by allowing measured or estimated sewage flow values to be utilized for campgrounds and resorts open 180 days or less.
  • Simplify the regulation and administration of work on building sewers connected to septic systems.
  • Establish a process for septic professionals who have not met their continuing education requirements to apply for a one-year extension of professional certification eligibility.

Minnesota statutes governing SSTS rules

§115.55

  • Local ordinance requirements and alternative local standards
  • MPCA rule requirements
  • Enforcement
  • Inspections, complying criteria, disclosure at property transfer

§115.551

  • The $25 septic tank fee

§115.56

  • Licensing requirements for ISTS professionals
  • MPCA licensing enforcement

Federal requirements

Local regulations

Local government units (LGUs) can have requirements which are stricter than the minimum state requirements. Always check with your LGU first for SSTS requirements:

Ordinance development for local governments

Counties are required by MN Stat. 115.55 to adopt a SSTS ordinance that complies with the MN Rules Chapter 7080-7083. Cities and townships with SSTS ordinances must effectively administer and enforce an ordinance that is administratively and technically as strict as the county ordinance. In some situations, cities and townships may adopt a conventional SSTS program if the county has adopted a performance program.

The 2011 Legislature passed a bill extending the deadline for counties to adopt their SSTS ordinance to February 4, 2014. LGUs have the option of choosing a Conventional or a Performance SSTS Ordinance, or, provided certain criteria are met, an Alternative Local Standards ordinance. Cities and townships have up to one year after their county adoption date to update their SSTS Ordinances.

Legislation

Legislation can occur that can add, supersede or eliminate administrative and technical requirements for septic systems. The two main statutes governing septic systems in Minnesota are MN Stat. 115.55 and 115.56. The MPCA's legislative Web page and periodicals mailed during the legislative session offer avenues for keeping abreast of activities.

Straight-pipe legislation

In 2006, legislation providing local units of government with an additional tool to require upgrades of straight-pipe systems was passed. Chapter 224, the Straight-Pipe Act, requires homeowners who do not correct straight-pipe discharges within ten months of notification to be subject to penalties of $500 per month for each month of subsequent noncompliance.