Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 21.4

GreenStep City Best Practices: Environmental Management
Septic Systems No. 21

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

Best Practice Action 4

Adopt a subsurface sewage treatment system ordinance based on the Association of Minnesota Counties' model ordinance.

  • Model Ordinances for Local SSTS [Subsurface Sewage Treatment System] Regulatory Programs (Association of Minnesota Counties: 2008).
  • Also see the MN Pollution Control Agency SSTS page that provides assistance to cities on development and implementation of their SSTS program, a training video for SSTS program administrators, and an audit questionaire to be done with MPCA - or done as a self-assessment - to determine compliance with SSTS program requirements and program viability.   
1 star The County implements the septic system ordinance for the City.
2 star The city modifies, adopts and enforces an ordinance.
3 star Include a provision that requires yearly monitoring reports on the effectiveness of indentified septic systems, as needed; conduct audit with MPCA, or self-assessment, to determine compliance with SSTS program requirements and program viability.

Who's doing it

Coon Rapids - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
The City has revised and updated it's ordinance based on the sewage treatment ordinance of Anoka County. That ordinance is the minimum standard in the County.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Gregory Brady (City staff) | GBrady@coonrapidsmn.gov | 763-767-6475
Partners:
Maplewood - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Maplewood has an ordinance based on the Association of Minnesota Counties model ordinance that adopts the subsurface sewage treatment program outlined by the MPCA.

The ordinance was recently updated by staff to reflect new changes required by the MPCA that all cities must completed an update to Minnesota rules governing Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems (SSTS) in 2008.

Major changes to the ordinance include:

1.Management Plans: Management plans are required for all new or replaced SSTS. A management plan describes operational and maintenance requirements and the frequency of each to ensure system performance, including a planned course of action to prevent an illegal discharge.
2.Operating Permit: An operating permit is required for SSTS with a pretreatment device, custom engineered design, design flow of more than 5,000 gallons per day. Operating permits specify system performance, operating, and maintenance requirements and schedules, monitoring locations, procedures and recording requirements.
3.Compliance Inspections: Compliance inspections are required for construction of a new system; modification, upgrade, or repair of existing systems; prior to issuance of building permits for bedroom additions; expansion or change in use of the building or property being served by the system that might impact performance of the system; and at time of property transfer. Compliance inspections ensure that an SSTS is working properly.
4.Maintenance: SSTS are required to be inspected and if needed be emptied every three years. The owner must submit the required MPCA Septic Tank Maintenance Reporting Form to the City. This will allow the City to create a system of tracking the required maintenance inspections.
5.Abandonment: Requires the abandonment of SSTS no longer in use.

On September 23, 2013, the City Council adopted a new SSTS ordinance which complies with those new rules.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Shann Finwall (City staff) | shann.finwall@maplewoodmn.gov | 651-249-2304
Partners:
Wyoming - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2011
Implementation details:
The City of Wyoming adopted the SSTS standards established by statute on January 18th, 2011
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Frances Duncanson (City staff) | fduncanson@wyomingmn.org | 651-272-5504
Partners:
Austin - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Mower County has a current SSTS ordinance and is ºinprocessº of writing and reviewing a new ordinance based on the Assn ofMN Counties model ordinance. This ordinance will be adopted on orbefore Feb 4, 2014, as required by the legislature.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Janet Anderson (Community volunteer) | janetanderson2840@gmail.com | 5072190680
Partners:
Bemidji - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2007
Implementation details:
Article VIII: Sanitation Standards

The JPB enforces its own ordinance regarding SSTS within the geographical area of the JPB.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Cory Boushee (City staff) | cory.boushee@ci.bemidji.mn.us | 2187593582
Partners:
Bloomington - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
City’s ordinance, section 11.26 also required all households connect to the City’s wastewater system within two (2) years of availability. The City took an active role in bringing these systems into current compliance. Each household was evaluated on a case to case basis, but there were no additional funding track or sources dedicated to help homeowners connect to the City’s system.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Steve Gurney (City staff) | sgurney@BloomingtonMN.gov | 952-563-4606
Partners:
Fergus Falls - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Fergus Falls has an ordinance in place that refers to state statutes.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Len Taylor (City staff) | len.taylor@ci.fergus-falls.mn.us | 218-332-5418
Partners:
Hastings - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
We have an ordinance addressing septic’s that was approved by the State MPCA
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Tom Bakken (City staff) | tbakken@hastingsmn.gov | 651-480-2375
Partners:
Isanti - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Isanti requires the use of sewers within city limits where infrastructure is available. The City recently turned over inspections of subsurface treatment systems to the County. Isanti County updated their ordinance in 2014 based on the Association of Minnesota Counties model ordinance.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Sheila Sellman (City staff) | ssellman@cityofisanti.us | 763-444-5512
Partners: Isanti County
Lakeville - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2010
Implementation details:
The City has adopted the Dakota County subsurface sewage treatment ordinance No. 113 and amended it through its own ordinance.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Ann Messerschmidt (City Staff) | amesserschmidt@lakevillemn.gov | 952-985-4528
Partners:
Stillwater - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2015
Implementation details:
Stillwater has adopted the County's septic system ordinance, as stated in Sec. 29-9:
"Washington County's subsurface sewage treatment system regulations, as set forth in Ordinance No. 179 (Washington County Development Code Chapter 4) as in effect on August 18, 2015 is hereby adopted by reference in its entirety, except as specifically modified by this chapter."
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Cindy Shilts (City staff) | cshilts@ci.stillwater.mn.us | 651-430-8825
Partners:
Burnsville - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City adopted an updated SSTS Ordinance February 8, 2011 that complies with MPCA and Dakota County Ordinances/Rules
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Sue Bast (City staff) | basts@ci.burnsville.mn.us | 952-895-4524
Partners:
Eagan - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
have own Subsurface Sewage Treatment System (SSTS). See ordinances (currently being updated) at: http://library1.municode.com/default-test/home.htm?infobase=13070&doc_action=whatsnew
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dale Schoeppner (City staff) | dschoeppner@cityofeagan.com | 651/675-5699
Partners:
Hermantown - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Hermantown seeks to require the use of sewers within its limits, whether it be public, building, or private. Policies, procedures, and ordinances are to be consistent with WLSSD policies.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Adam Fulton (City staff) | afulton@hermantownmn.com | 218-729-3618
Partners:
Mayer - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Carver County implements the septic system compliance for the City of Mayer.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Luayn Ruch-Hammond (City staff) | cityadmin@frontiernet.net | 952-657-1502
Partners:
Newport - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2011
Implementation details:
The City contracts with Washington County for Subsurface Sewage Treatment System inspections and has also adopted the County's Subsurface Sewage Treatment System Regulations.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Deb Schulz (City staff) | dschulz@newportmn.com | 651-459-5677
Partners: Washington County
Rosemount - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Rosemount's subsurface sewer treatment system standards are detailed in Section 9-6 of the City Code.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Anthony Nemcek (City staff) | anthony.nemcek@ci.rosemount.mn.us | 651-322-2090
Partners:
Saint Paul - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Chapter 50 of the City's Ordinance addresses individual Sewage Treatment Systems – It is in compliance with MN Rules Ch 7080.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Kurt Schultz (City staff) | kurt.schultz@ci.stpaul.mn.us | 651-266-6590
Partners:
Savage - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 1971
Implementation details:
Over 8,700 homes in Scott County rely on a septic system for their on-site wastewater treatment. A septic system is a large and important investment. It is vital that homeowners understand how their system works, and that they do what they can to extend the life of their Septic System. The positive benefits of a properly functioning and long-lasting septic system are both financial and environmental.

All ISTS system installed in Scott County requires a permit/license through Scott County. Inspection/enforcement of failing systems in Scott County are inspected by the County and not by the City of Savage.

This is enforced through the Scott County Ordinance No. 4.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The number of compliant septic systems.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jesse Carlson (City Staff) | jcarlson@cityofsavage.com | 9528822686
Partners: Scott County
West Saint Paul - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2018 plan published
Implementation details:
Sanitary Sewer Policy; 2040 Plan Chapter 11; Sanitary Sewer Policy
1. The City of West St. Paul is in agreement with the Metropolitan Council’s
population, housing, employment, and wastewater flow projections
through the year 2040.
2. The City of West St. Paul will implement the inflow and infiltration (I/I)
reduction activities outlined in the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding
between the City and the Metropolitan Council.
3. No new development will be permitted in the City unless connection to
the central sewer system is available and utilized.
4. All existing on‐site sewer systems will be converted to connection to the
central sewer system when the need for reconstruction arises.
5. The City has adopted MN Rules 7080 and Dakota County Ordinance 113
by reference to regulate the City’s remaining on‐site septic systems.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152
Partners: Metro Council