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MINNESOTA
Population: 4,919,479

Information on the state of Minnesota is available for the following topics. To review this information, click on the links below.

Contacts| Regulations, Statutes & State Codes | Quick Facts | Septic Stats

Onsite Demonstration Programs | Onsite Management Communities

 

 

Contacts:
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Lori Frekot, P.E., Senior Engineer, or
Mark Wespetal, P.S.S., Hydrologist
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Policy and Planning Division
520 Lafayette Road North
St. Paul, Minnesota 55455-4194
(651) 296-8762 or (651) 296-9322 (respectively)
(651) 297-8676 (fax)

lori.frekot@pca.state.mn.us

mark.wespetal@pca.state.mn.us

http://www.pca.state.mn.us/

 

Regulations, Statutes & State Codes:
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Minnesota State Regulations

Minnesota Constitutions, Statutes and Codes

Individual Sewage Treatment Systems Program
Chapter 7080
July 24,2001

Onsite regulations for Minnesota were last updated on January 23, 1996. Regulations are not currently under revision; however, there are plans to do so prior to July 31, 2001, including: 1) Delete 7080.0150, subp. 1 B requirement for Schedule 40 pipe; use exact language from 1996 rule. 2) 7080.010, subp. 5, A, (1) clarification to assure 12 inches of original soil is required to design and install a mound system. Multiple clarification changes and some major changes to meet the present priorities of the MPCA may also occur.

Onsite wastewater regulations are split between one or more agencies in Minnesota, thus:
MPCA: Writes and interprets rules, administers state licensing program, reviews and approves septic designs with average design flows greater than 10,000 gpd.
MDH: Reviews and approves plumbing systems, including the septic system, for facilities serving the public and are designed for less than10,000 gpd. MDH reviews and approves well setback infringements.

DNR: Responsible for the shoreland management act that requires septic systems to be inspected when any permit or variance is requested for the property. Implementation is done locally; DNR is involved for setback infringement approvals.

Contacts for these agencies are:

Randy Ellingboe, P.E., Supervisor
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)
Metro Square Building
121 East 7th Place
St. Paul, MN 55164
(651) 215-0838
(651) 215-0977 (fax)
Randy.Ellingboe@sunny.health.state.mn.us
randy.ellingboe@health.mn.us


Russ Schultz
State Shoreland Coordinator
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
MN DNR, DNR Waters
1601 Minnesota Drive
Brainerd, MN 56401
(218) 828-6172
(218) 828-6043 (fax)
russ.schultz@dnr.state.mn.us

No new technologies were added to Minnesota regulations within the past year; however, two processes for allowing new technologies to enter the state were added. First, (7080.0179) performance standards now allow any technology to be used if the local government specifically adopts that portion of the rule, issues renewable operating permits on the system, and reviews and approves monitoring and mitigation plans. Second, (7080.0400) MPCA can now designate a new technology as an "alternative" (has research data) or "standard" (proves itself over time and location) system.

In addition (7080.0450) technologies may enter the state as "warranted" systems; submittal includes a minimum five-year warranty, performance data, and financial assurance. New technologies may also be used under the conditions of (7080.0178) maximum 1.2 gpd/ft2 loading rate, medium sand or finer, pressure distribution, monitoring, and mitigation plan.

Surface discharge for onsite systems is not an option in the state. Septic systems are by definition subsurface disposal/dispersal systems in Minnesota. However, surface discharges are allowed for any technology that can meet the water discharge standards through the NPDES program. An NPDES permit is required for all surface discharges; the MPCA is the permitting authority.

Minnesota State Code allows for drainfield area/size reductions through the performance Code (7080.0179). Designs are approved site-by-site and managed locally. Considerations must be made for vertical separation to seasonally high water table or bedrock, effluent quality, loading rates, loading methods, soil conditions, and other site-specific considerations as established in the operating permit. There must be an unsaturated zone during system operation, monitoring and mitigation plan and local renewable operating permit. System designs with size reductions may also be designated as alternative or standard if research and field data allow.

A funding program exists to assist homeowners replacing failing systems or installing new systems. Information is available from:

Markell Lanpher, 319 Coordinator
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)
Policy & Planning Division
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 297-2810
(651) 297-8676 (fax)
markell.lanpher@pca.state.mn.us

For information about ongoing onsite wastewater demonstration, research, or testing projects in Minnesota, contact:

Dr. James L. Anderson, P.S.S., Director
University of Minnesota
Water Resources Center
1518 Cleveland Avenue North, Suite 302
St. Paul, MN 55108-6001
(612) 624-9282
(612) 625-1263 (fax)
jandersn@soils.umn.edu

Minnesota State Code recognizes or requires management programs or management districts to monitor and maintain aerobic tanks and holding tanks. Aerobic treatment units must have a service contract for the life of the system; 7080.0178 ("other") and 7080.0179 (performance) systems require monitoring and mitigation plans approved by local government; 7080.0179 (performance) systems require local renewable operating permits; holding tanks must have a service contract approved and managed by the local government; and all septic system owners are responsible for evaluating their own tanks, and, if needed, have them pumped at least once every three years.

There are many management and maintenance requirements that are not part of the State Rule, but are administered locally. For example, the Metropolitan Council is responsible for all counties within the potential sewer extension perimeter and requires a system evaluation and tank pumpout every three years. Many lake associations, homeowner associations, sanitary sewer districts, etc., have created and implemented effective management programs. Additional management/maintenance information may be obtained from Frekot (above).

Minnesota has formed a public utility type company or entity for operation, management, and maintenance (OM&M), but there is work with rural electrical cooperatives to create responsible management entities for OM&M.

In Minnesota, each local unit of government with jurisdiction (county, city, or township) has information regarding the number of onsite systems currently in use. A mailing list is available upon request. In general, there are about 600,000 individual systems in Minnesota, increasing by about 15,000 each year.

The State does not currently track the number of permits issued per year, but is scheduled to begin tracking in 2001.

Minnesota Rule does not recognize repair; local ordinances often single out items such as pump or baffle replacement as repair items that do not require a permit. An existing system is NOT in compliance if it is:
· A seepage pit, cesspool, drywell, leaching pit, other pit, a tank that obviously leaks below the designed operating depth or any system with less than the required vertical separation. Three (3) feet is required except for systems built before April 1, 1996, AND not in shoreland, or not a wellhead protection area or not serving a food, beverage, and lodging establishment, then it is 2 feet).
· Any situation with the potential to immediately and adversely affect or threaten public health or safety, including ground surface or surface water discharges and sewage backups.
· Any system required to have a monitoring and mitigation plan must meet the monitoring requirements of the plan.

 

Quick Facts:
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Total number of onsite systems: About 500,000; 1990 U.S. Census reports about
468,000—about 27% of housing units; this includes residential systems of all kinds, including
cesspools.

Number of new systems installed each year: Approximately 16,000.

Failure definition: Any cesspool or seepage pit; any surfacing sewage; any system with less
than 2 feet separation (3 feet in some circumstances) from saturated soil or bedrock; any tank
leaking to groundwater.

Number or proportion of systems presently failing: Approximately 50%.

Number or proportion repaired annually: About 3000.

Number or proportion replaced annually: About 3000.

Number or proportion of repairs or replacements that require alternative technology (e.g.,
sand filters, pressure dosing):
40-50% as the question is worded; however, mounds, pressure
dosing and aerobic systems are classified as standard systems; mounds may account for 30-35%
of new systems.

Number or proportion of repairs or replacements that require advanced technology (e.g.,
disinfection, nutrient removal):
Only systems that discharge to surface waters; not many.

Cost of a conventional septic system installation: $5000, mid-range; $3000-$7000, wide-range
$1800-$15,000.

Cost of a centralized sewer tie-in (including fees and cost of the sewer lateral): $7650-$12,000.

 

Septic Stats:
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TOTAL PERSONS TOTAL HOUSING UNITS PUBLIC SYSTEM DRILLED WELL DUG WELL OTHER PUBLIC SEWER SEPTIC TANK OTHER MEANS
MINNESOTA 4,375,099 1,848,445 1,348,611 442,662 41,356 15,816 1,356,520 467,936 23,989
COUNTIES
AITKIN 12,425 12,934 1,443 10,036 1,099 356 1,658 10,462 814
ANOKA 243,641 85,519 64,053 20,484 941 41 66,282 18,954 283
BECKER 27,881 15,563 4,745 10,028 544 246 4,702 10,440 421
BELTRAMI 34,384 14,670 4,858 9,076 377 359 4,742 9,345 583
BENTON 30,185 11,521 7,309 3,198 1,000 14 7,514 3,889 118
BIG STONE 6,285 3,192 2,032 1,023 68 69 1,925 1,226 41
BLUE EARTH 54,044 20,358 15,306 4,618 369 65 15,034 5,166 158
BROWN 26,984 10,814 8,280 2,193 304 37 8,255 2,484 75
CARLTON 29,259 12,342 5,510 5,608 944 280 5,931 5,955 456
CARVER 47,915 17,449 12,576 4,630 221 22 13,250 4,078 121
CASS 21,791 18,863 2,145 15,186 1,219 313 2,453 15,600 810
CHIPPEWA 13,228 5,755 3,924 1,548 264 19 3,863 1,821 71
CHISAGO 30,521 11,946 5,223 6,256 411 56 5,301 6,474 171
CLAY 50,422 18,546 15,298 3,047 171 30 15,206 3,276 64
CLEARWATER 8,309 4,008 961 2,779 183 85 992 2,821 195
COOK 3,868 4,312 853 2,159 142 1,158 795 2,680 837
COTTONWOOD 12,694 5,495 3,769 1,420 258 48 3,434 2,017 44
CROW WING 44,249 29,916 8,973 17,758 2,843 342 8,771 20,284 861
DAKOTA 275,227 102,707 94,288 8,047 356 16 94,424 8,124 159
DODGE 15,731 5,771 3,368 2,272 125 6 3,329 2,389 53
DOUGLAS 28,674 14,590 5,205 9,060 245 80 8,264 6,218 108
FARIBAULT 16,937 7,416 5,053 2,198 145 20 4,836 2,520 60
FILLMORE 20,777 8,356 4,735 3,400 131 90 4,608 3,509 239
FREEBORN 33,060 13,783 9,767 3,686 275 55 9,654 4,008 121
GOODHUE 40,690 15,936 10,499 5,147 254 36 10,468 5,311 157
GRANT 6,246 3,178 1,755 1,321 27 75 1,676 1,434 68
HENNEPIN 1,032,431 443,583 425,797 16,997 546 243 432,844 10,297 442
HOUSTON 18,497 7,257 4,300 2,685 151 121 4,350 2,793 114
HUBBARD 14,939 10,042 1,721 7,887 364 70 1,583 8,203 256
ISANTI 25,921 9,693 2,575 6,442 627 49 2,663 6,841 189
ITASCA 40,863 22,494 6,842 13,768 1,199 685 7,009 13,851 1,634
JACKSON 11,677 5,121 2,913 1,640 471 97 2,792 2,227 102
KANABEC 12,802 6,098 1,480 4,047 463 108 1,505 4,397 196
KANDIYOHI 38,761 16,669 9,575 6,476 487 131 9,867 6,594 208
KITTSON 5,767 2,865 2,244 323 252 46 1,497 1,319 49
KOOCHICHING 16,299 7,825 4,433 1,833 303 1,256 4,528 2,480 817
LAC QUI PARLE 8,924 3,955 2,077 1,666 192 20 1,932 1,957 66
LAKE 10,415 6,776 2,832 2,562 362 1,020 2,941 2,970 865
LAKE OF THE WOODS 4,076 3,050 788 2,023 72 167 667 2,189 194
LE SUEUR 23,239 9,785 5,388 4,091 208 98 5,143 4,473 169
LINCOLN 6,890 3,050 2,261 542 142 105 1,647 1,336 67
LYON 24,789 9,675 7,628 1,870 137 40 7,432 2,193 50
MCLEOD 32,030 12,391 8,722 3,407 256 6 8,656 3,631 104
MAHNOMEN 5,044 2,505 873 1,466 34 132 772 1,607 126
MARSHALL 10,993 5,049 2,772 1,637 276 364 2,234 2,491 324
MARTIN 22,914 9,847 7,357 2,269 202 19 7,241 2,532 74
MEEKER 20,846 9,139 4,191 4,543 354 51 4,220 4,777 142
MILLE LACS 18,670 9,065 3,342 5,019 686 18 3,621 5,266 178
MORRISON 29,604 12,434 4,240 6,459 1,591 144 4,473 7,623 338
MOWER 37,385 15,831 12,024 3,509 261 37 12,023 3,739 69
MURRAY 9,660 4,611 2,474 1,559 490 88 2,106 2,443 62
NICOLLET 28,076 9,963 7,624 2,129 165 45 7,456 2,427 80
NOBLES 20,098 8,094 5,942 1,003 1,008 141 5,758 2,293 43
NORMAN 7,975 3,648 2,073 1,440 93 42 1,904 1,673 71
OLMSTED 106,470 41,603 33,352 7,871 349 31 32,722 8,715 166
OTTER TAIL 50,714 29,295 9,412 18,403 982 498 9,669 18,369 1,257
PENNINGTON 13,306 5,682 3,796 1,783 87 16 3,799 1,821 62
PINE 21,264 12,738 2,920 8,686 758 374 2,671 9,508 559
PIPESTONE 10,491 4,387 3,541 497 335 14 2,994 1,345 48
POLK 32,498 14,275 9,565 4,257 148 305 8,831 5,297 147
POPE 10,745 5,836 2,238 3,162 389 47 2,275 3,310 251
RAMSEY 485,765 201,016 195,283 5,520 152 61 198,315 2,475 226
RED LAKE 4,525 1,899 984 864 25 26 752 1,117 30
REDWOOD 17,254 7,144 4,762 1,847 499 36 4,494 2,575 75
RENVILLE 17,673 7,442 4,686 2,243 470 43 4,552 2,794 96
RICE 49,183 17,520 12,019 5,131 268 102 11,602 5,797 121
ROCK 9,806 3,963 3,156 491 286 30 2,604 1,321 38
ROSEAU 15,026 6,236 2,555 3,386 199 96 2,166 3,901 169
ST. LOUIS 198,213 95,403 64,381 22,076 5,429 3,517 62,360 29,412 3,631
SCOTT 57,846 20,302 14,086 5,879 295 42 14,057 6,161 84
SHERBURNE 41,945 14,964 5,722 8,400 755 87 5,832 8,910 222
SIBLEY 14,366 5,625 3,159 2,224 235 7 2,997 2,521 107
STEARNS 118,791 43,806 25,912 16,056 1,704 134 26,212 17,170 424
STEELE 30,729 11,840 8,959 2,705 157 19 8,934 2,798 108
STEVENS 10,634 4,108 2,834 1,222 32 20 2,817 1,254 37
SWIFT 10,724 4,795 2,848 1,733 104 110 2,777 1,955 63
TODD 23,363 11,234 3,452 6,926 598 258 3,603 7,219 412
TRAVERSE 4,463 2,220 1,304 814 64 38 1,179 991 50
WABASHA 19,744 8,205 4,697 3,278 179 51 4,246 3,845 114
WADENA 13,154 5,801 2,744 2,462 512 83 2,858 2,628 315
WASECA 18,079 7,011 4,776 2,112 104 19 4,692 2,250 69
WASHINGTON 145,896 51,648 36,294 14,862 442 50 37,739 13,734 175
WATONWAN 11,682 4,886 3,341 1,279 261 5 3,196 1,652 38
WILKIN 7,516 3,140 2,007 1,010 106 17 1,932 1,131 77
WINONA 47,828 17,630 12,618 4,647 230 135 12,928 4,520 182
WRIGHT 68,710 26,353 11,699 13,795 644 215 11,522 14,376 455
YELLOW MEDICINE 11,684 4,983 3,093 1,571 250 69 2,962 1,957 64

 

Onsite Demonstration Programs:
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University of Minnesota, including a cold regions project.
Contact:
David Gustafsen, Extension Specialist, O.W.T.

Univ Minnesota Biosystems Engineering
1390 Eckles Ave

St. Paul, MN 55108
Telephone 612-625-1774
Fax 612-624-3005

Onsite Management Communities:
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Hunt Technologies
Laketown Township Wastewater Management Approach
Moose lake
Ten Mile, Otter Tail County
Pequot Lakes, Crow Wing County
Pokegama Lake sanitary District
Shingobee Island Sanitary District
St. Louis County
Wabedo Township, Cass County
Western Lake superior Sanitary Sewer District
Windemere Sanitary sewer District