Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 21.1

GreenStep City Best Practices Environmental Management
Septic Systems No. 21

Implement an environmentally sound management program for decentralized wastewater treatment systems.

Best Practice Action 1

Report to landowners suspected noncompliant or failing septic systems as part of an educational, informational and financial assistance and outreach program designed to trigger voluntary landowner action to improve septic systems.

  • Cass County in central Minnesota has used visual inspection to identify possible septic failures.
1 star Periodic or ongoing tracking, inspections, report review, and/or outreach to system owners.
2 star Require inspections on a set timetable, at time of sale or when a building permit is pulled; require failing systems to be upgraded within 12 or fewer months.
3 star Provide financial assistance for bringing systems into compliance; bring all remaining septic owners voluntarily into central sewer system.

Who's doing it

Albert Lea - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Freeborn County performs compliance inspections when property is transferred or building permits are issued. If there are compliance issues the property owner has a varying window of time to bring the septic system into compliance. Property owners are eligible for three low interest loan programs to upgrade their septic system - through the USDA, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and Freeborn County.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jerry Gabrielatos (City staff) | jgabrielatos@ci.albertlea.mn.us | 507-377-4316
Partners: Freeborn County
Fridley - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In the early 2000's the City of Fridley's community development department, utility department, and public works department coordinated to with property owners with septic systems to voluntarily connect to the sewer system. All properties in Fridley are now connected to the sanitary sewer system.


Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Rachel Workin (City staff) | rachel.workin@fridleymn.gov | 763-572-3594
Partners:
Hastings - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Dakota County has assistance programs for people that qualify. We have a joint agreement where the county reminds the homeowners of the need to pump every 3 years and the report of compliance and non-compliance comes to us yearly. We handle the enforcement end.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Tom Bakken (City staff) | tbakken@hastingsmn.gov | 651-480-2375
Partners:
Austin - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Austin cooperates with Mower County's Imminent Public Health Threat Inventory, which is a countywide program identifying systems that are directly discharging into water resources. These systems are required to be upgraded within 10 months of written notice. In addition, any time a failing systems is found or reported it is investigated and required to be updated if non-compliant.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Janet Anderson (Community volunteer) | janetanderson2840@gmail.com | 5072190680
Partners: City, County
Burnsville - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City coordinated with Minnesota Extension Service to provide a presentation and information for property owners on how to maintain septic systems. The city maintains records of pumping of septic tanks, and reviews SSTS at time of building and/or plumbing permit application for new construction, bed room additions, change in occupancy, and for any repair or replacement components that will latr the original function of the system. The City has a listing of all SSTS in the city and a management plan is required at the time of new SSTS installation or replacement. Systems that are not operated under a management plan need to submit inspection reports every three years. The City maintains the records and contacts owners if inspections are not done at the three year intervals. The City also provides inspections and assistance for disclosure statements and certificates of compliance prior to the slae or transfer of real property in the city. The city works with licensed maintenance businesses to ensure all written reports are provided to the homeowner and city any time SSTS maintenance work is performed.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Sue Bast (City staff) | basts@ci.burnsville.mn.us | 952-895-4524
Partners:
Eagan - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
City utilizes County database of 250-300 residential units that are required to have septic systems inspected every two years, and pumped when needed. Private inspectors and pumpers are contacted by residents on their own after getting noticed from County. The City contracts with Dakota County, who manages septic program.
Outcome measures/metrics:
City utilizes County database of 250-300 residential units that are required to have septic systems inspected every two years
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dale Schoeppner (City staff) | dschoeppner@cityofeagan.com | 651/675-5699
Partners:
Elk River - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The citys quarterly newsletter, The Current, and Sherburne Countys Environmental Educator frequently features articles about septic maintenance and other septic-related issues, the purpose of which is to trigger landowner action to improve their systems. When properties are being sold the County requires septic compliance inspections. If systems are failing, they must be brought into compliance. In the city, if a permit is pulled along a shoreland area, a septic system compliance inspection is required and if the system is failing, it must be brought into compliance.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
Partners:
Rosemount - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Rosemount reports to property owners suspected noncompliant or failing septic systems as part of a point of sale inspection, complaint or pump log report. The City either mails a notice or conducts a site inspection depending on the severity of the situation.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Anthony Nemcek (City staff) | anthony.nemcek@ci.rosemount.mn.us | 651-322-2090
Partners:
Apple Valley - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
On November 23, 2010, the City adopted an ordinance amending Chapter 51, Regarding Individual Sewage Treatment Systems. The ordinance governs the process addressed in this action.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Charless Grawe (City staff) | CGrawe@ci.apple-valley.mn.us | 952-953-2508
Partners:
Bloomington - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
. As part of our outreach, the homesteads on private systems were notified of the requirements for compliance with the Minnesota Administrative Rules, Chapter 7080. In order to be in compliance with the Rules, their systems must be pumped by a licensed pumping service, repair or replace the system to meet the current rules, or hook up to a municipal sewage system.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Steve Gurney (City staff) | sgurney@BloomingtonMN.gov | 952-563-4606
Partners:
Ely - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
City speaks with landowners about existing septic systems outside of town. If septic systems fail it becomes a community process to address the failing system.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Harold Langowski (City staff) | elyod@ely.mn.us | 218-226-5474
Partners:
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Leech Lake has an Individual Sewage Treatment System program in which personnel go to homes, locate septic and check for compliance. An educational booklet/stewardship guide from the University of Minnesota Extension program was created.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Brandy Toft (City staff) | air@lldrm.org | 218-335-7429
Partners:
Shoreview - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Yes, we have only 12 left in the City, and we are working on switching them to City sewer.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Ellen Brenna (City staff) | ebrenna@shoreviewmn.gov | 651-490-4665
Partners:
Fergus Falls - Pending
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Fergus Falls does not allow voluntary action by the landowners if there are problems with septic systems. If homeowners have a failing system we require the landowners upgrade or connect into the city sewer system.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Len Taylor (City staff) | len.taylor@ci.fergus-falls.mn.us | 218-332-5418
Partners:
Sartell - Pending
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
City requires properties to connect to City services whenever an property requests to be annexed into the City (and if City services are readily available).
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Nate Keller (City staff) | nate.keller@sartellmn.com | 320-258-7316
Partners: