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.
80% of local septic programs require inspections when a property is sold or transferred (MPCA: 2018).
Periodic or ongoing tracking, inspections, report review, and/or outreach to system owners.
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.
Provide financial assistance for bringing systems into compliance; bring all remaining septic owners voluntarily into central sewer system; require properties to connect to City services whenever a property requests to be annexed into the City.
Who's doing it
Albert Lea - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
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.
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.
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.
Hutchinson requires the inspection of septic systems when the building permit is pulled for the property. The city also requires properties requesting to be annexed to connect to City services where available. This allows for connection to City services for properties that can be accessed with current city central sewer system, this however excludes people to connect if current city services do not come near their property, and in this case they could be annexed without the connection to city services.
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.
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.
The City Building Inspections division requires annual inspections of septic tanks. Failing tank systems are required to connect to City sewer. Several connections and septic tank removals have occurred since this inspection program began.
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/money saved:
City utilizes County database of 250-300 residential units that are required to have septic systems inspected every two years
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.
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.
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.
By County Ordinance and City Code, any septic systems with the City of South St. Paul are required to have periodic maintenance. In South St. Paul there are 14 septic systems and 29 holding tanks at the airport, all of which are governed by City and County Ordinance.
In 2016, South St. Paul entered into a joint powers agreement with Dakota County. Under this agreement, owners are notified that they need to pump their septic system every 3 years. The City provides the County with addresses that have septic systems while the County maintains a database of owners that have a septic system and maintain a database of all pumping maintenance. During this time, South St. Paul updated their City Code related to septic systems to reflect the joint powers agreement
. 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.
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.