MPCA SSTS Bulletin

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SSTS Bulletin

May 2015

New method in place for reporting tank installations

Beginning in 2016, there will be a new method used for installers to submit their tank fees for tanks installed during the 2015 calendar year. This process change is a result of the update to Minn. Stat. 115.551 that was made during the 2014 legislative session.

This new process will include the following steps:

  1. Prior to the end of the calendar year, in November, a reminder letter will be sent to all installers to work with their local governmental units (LGUs) to verify the number of tanks installed during the calendar year. This reminder letter will also contain the SSTS Tank Fee Record/Submission Form that is required to be filled out and submitted to the MPCA.
  2. All installers (even those who did not install any tanks during the year) will need to complete the SSTS Tank Fee Record/Submission Form and send it to the MPCA no later than Jan. 31 following the end of the calendar year. If you did not install any tanks in the calendar year you would report zero on the SSTS Tank Fee Record/Submission Form.
  3. Installers will then receive an invoice in April. This invoice will need to be paid within 30 days of receipt to avoid enforcement. Payments for SSTS tank fees should always accompany an invoice.

The LGUs will still submit tank installation counts in their annual reports to the MPCA. The MPCA will use these reports to audit the number of tanks installed reported by installers. If discrepancies are found, the MPCA will contact the installer to follow up.  Discrepancies could result in an enforcement action.

If you questions about the new method for submitting tank fees, contact Carol Decker.

Total number of estimated SSTS down slightly; reporting issues still linger


A total of 531,821 SSTSs were reported by 236 local governments in 2014. The number of SSTSs reported in 2014 is lower than the 533,924 reported in 2013 due, in part, to a lack of reporting by some local governments. 

In 2014 there were only 19 local governments with SSTS programs out of 255 that did not respond to the MPCA's request for yearly SSTS information about their program. That's an improvement from 2013 when the number was 27; however, even among those that do respond to the request for annual information, a few do not answer the question asking for an estimate of the total number of SSTS within their jurisdiction. "We will continue to strive for more complete reporting and appreciate very much the effort local programs put into responding to our request for information each year," says the MPCA's Aaron Jensen. "This information is very useful in helping to measure progress in our goal of identifying all of the SSTS in the state and making sure they are protective of human health and the environment."

Out of the 531,821 SSTS reported, 433,411 were full time dwellings and 88,693 seasonal dwellings. The number of other establishments reported was 8,676. There were 798 cluster systems; the number of dwellings served by cluster systems was 7,601.

Although the number of septic systems reported remains under-reported and not complete for the state of Minnesota (see chart below), the estimates reported by 236 local SSTS program staff represents the best available yearly data on the number and condition of septic systems in use in Minnesota.


* Number reported as of April 24, 2015 (includes all counties except Ramsey County).  Non-reporting entities included 12 cities and seven townships. Data based on 236 submitted annual reports for 2014. * Other entities include Ottertail Water Management District and the Bemidji Joint Powers Board.

Ecoflo Biofilter absent from updated registered products list

Several SSTS treatment products were renewed in early 2015. Products need to be renewed every three years. One company, Premier Tech Aqua, decided not to renew their Ecoflo Biofilter treatment product in Minnesota. The newly updated lists of registered products are found on the SSTS product registration webpage.