Wastewater additional guidance and information


Controlling phosphorus is an important part of protecting Minnesota waters. Phosphorus promotes growth of suspended algae, particularly in lakes and larger rivers, turning them green and in serious cases suffocating fish and other aquatic life. Phosphorus is released from both regulated and non-regulated sources. Learn more on the Phosphorus in wastewater page.



Some NPDES permits will require that you submit a Mercury Minimization Plan. These documents may helpful in preparing your plan.

Mercury Minimization Plan Guide and sector worksheets

Salty discharge


Compliance schedules & Protection of Water Quality Investment Act

MPCA must consider a municipality’s current debt load when developing a compliance schedule to meet a new effluent limitation (Minn. Stat. § 115.456). As a result, some basic financial information must be submitted as part of the municipality’s justification for a proposed schedule. Use the current debt load worksheet to submit this information to the MPCA: Office spreadsheet icon Current Debt Load Worksheet (wq-wwprm7-70b)

Under the Protection of Water Quality Investment Act (Minn. Stat. § 115.455) a municipality that constructs a POTW to comply with a new or modified effluent limit, to the extent allowable under federal law, could be given a 16-year compliance schedule to comply with a new or modified effluent limit. Learn more: PDF icon Protection of Water Quality Investment Act fact sheet (wq-wwprm7-70a)

Chemical additive approvals

Federal and Minnesota law prohibit chemical additive use in amounts that compromise aquatic life or waters protected for human health. If you use chemical additives, you must get approval from the MPCA and follow the procedures in the guidance and calculator documents. Information regarding banned or pre-approved chemical additives can be found in the Chemical additive review guidance. Get helpful tips and see a demonstration of the calculator in the videos linked below.

Please send all additive requests to additives.pca@state.mn.us. Contact Dann White (651-757-2820) with questions.

Water quality trading

Water quality trading is a market-based approach to the protection and restoration of surface waters, another tool to be used in conjunction with existing voluntary, regulatory, and financial assistance programs. Such market-based approaches offer flexibility to regulated entities. Learn more on the Water quality trading page.

Spray irrigation

Municipal wastewater reuse

Water treatment plants

Wastewater from drilling

PDF icon Management of drilling wastewater (wq-wwprm2-83)