MPCA SSTS Bulletin

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SSTS Bulletin

September 2015

Latest info on building sewer regulations now on the web; changes on public notice through September

The August SSTS Bulletin covered pending changes to Minnesota building sewer regulations requested by the 2015 Legislature that are designed to simplify the regulation and administration of work having to do with the pipe that carries sewage between a residence or business and a septic tank (See "Building sewers connected to SSTS: What septic professionals need to know) .

The proposed changes to building sewer regulations are available for review and public comment through September 2015. Visit the MPCA website to sign up to receive updates on the rule-updating process.


Grants again available to help counties raise SSTS compliance rates, assist low-income homeowners


In a continuing effort to assist county SSTS programs, the MPCA works with the Legislature to secure funding to support and enhance the work counties do to promote effective sewage treatment.

In August, the MPCA awarded grants to counties for the following related SSTS activities:

  • administration of local SSTS programs,
  • special projects to improve SSTS compliance rates and
  • assistance to low-income homeowners to upgrade their systems.

The Legislature provided funds for county base grants of $18,600/year and incentive grants for counties that have adopted "triggers" to promote SSTS compliance or are implementing special projects to improve compliance.

Funding was also made available for grants to low-income homeowners to help them bring their septic systems into compliance.

Just over $440,000 was granted to counties that are working to improve compliance by adopting compliance inspection triggers when a property is sold or a property owner applies for any type of permit. Others are improving record-keeping and conducting septic system inventories. Over $840,000 dollars was granted to counties to assist low-income homeowners with SSTS upgrades.

Sixty-two of 86 eligible counties submitted grant applications this year. Of these, 44 qualified by requiring compliance inspections triggered by a property sale and 12 qualified by requiring inspections any time a home owner applies for a permit. Twenty counties received money for having plans to improve compliance and 38 counties received low income fix-up funds.

Another area where the MPCA is able to support county SSTS programs is by providing grants for work done by advanced inspectors on systems designed to handle more than 2,500 gallons per day. These grants reimburse the county for 75 percent of the cost of this work, whether it is done by county staff or licensed Advanced Inspectors hired by the county. Currently, there are 22 counties participating in this grant program. The application period for this grant is currently open. Contact Aaron Jensen for more information as well as the MPCA website.

The advanced inspector grants are distributed by the MPCA. All other grants flow to counties through the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) Natural Resources Block Grants. There will be additional funding available in FY17 for the add-on competitive grants.

Replacement septic systems installed over past 13 years treating 5.33 billion gallons of wastewater