MPCA SSTS Bulletin

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SSTS Bulletin

September 2018


Web-based SSTS Annual Report process went well; Here are areas to focus on to make 2018 go even better

By Cody Robinson, MPCA

Thank you to all local governmental units (LGUs) that completed the transition to web-based SSTS reporting for the 2017 permitting season. As reflected in the 2017 SSTS Annual Report, we had a great response rate, and were able to successfully validate and standardize SSTS reporting across the state. With that said, however, we are growing closer to the end of yet another building season and we wanted to share some friendly reminders to help make 2018 annual reporting as smooth as possible.

Operating permits

The first item is regarding the annual reporting of operating permits There will be an update in how operating permits are reported to more accurately align with reporting requirements and to get a better picture of how many systems are regulated under these permits statewide. In the past, we have asked for the number of operating permits (by system type) issued only for that specific reporting year. We would then add that up to get an annual total, and add that number to the past year’s number for each LGU for a grand total. 

Understanding that numbers of operating permits may fluctuate, we may not have an accurate figure of systems regulated under operating permits across the state. The 2018 annual report will now add a block asking LGUs to indicate the total number of systems within the jurisdiction that are regulated under an operating permit. It may be beneficial to browse over your permit file beforehand to determine how you will obtain this figure.

Permits for repairs vs. replacement systems

Next, it appears there may have been some confusion surrounding a few of the questions that were asked. There were a number of LGUs that reported an unusually high volume of repair permits issued in the past, and even some repair permits that matched up directly with the number of replacement systems installed. To fix this, we will do a better job in detailing the definition of repair permits within the questionnaire. Please keep an eye out for this additional instruction to ensure correct numbers are being reported.

Total number of dwellings with septic systems in your jurisdiction

Lastly, we want to encourage LGUs to accurately determine the total number of dwellings served by SSTS within each jurisdiction. This data point is critical because it helps quantify the size of each program as well as the SSTS program statewide. One way to get this information would be to contact the local assessor’s office to get the total number of dwellings within a jurisdiction, then identify how many of those dwellings may be connected to municipal sewer systems. The difference could produce a reasonable estimate of total dwellings served by SSTS.

For any questions, comments, or feedback surrounding the SSTS Annual Report, please contact Cody Robinson or by phone at 651-757-2535.    

You've got questions. We have answers. Give us a call


By Sadie Wunder, MPCA

Which would you rather do? Your SSTS paperwork or your taxes? It’s alright you can tell us, you would rather do your taxes.

SSTS professionals are faced with many challenges. Keeping a business up and running requires hours of equipment care, drumming up business, and every professional’s nightmare, paperwork. This paperwork is a thorn in the side. A confusing and irritating task that seems endless and pointless. We hear you. Unfortunately, the MPCA is not cutting back on paperwork. However, we would like to let you know that MPCA staff is here to help.

Are you a new business? Did you just buy the business from grandpa? Are you wondering where all of grandpa’s records are? Are you thinking, “The University of Minnesota class taught me I need to track a number of things and keep them for five years but, Grandpa only has a few lime receipts”? We can help you!

Our assistance is available not only for the newest members of the septic workforce, it is open to all SSTS professionals. Here are your options:

  • Attend a Mini Pumper class if you are a maintainer, or if you can’t make it to a class near you, call the MPCA regional staff in your area.
  • Not a maintainer? Still give us a call and request help.

Each regional staff member is willing to review records and assist with technical questions. If you think you are missing something, call us. Proactively asking for help will put you in a better position than hoping you won’t get an inspection call from the MPCA.

So what is the catch? You as the SSTS professional must begin the conversation. If the MPCA calls you to set up an inspection, that is exactly what you will get. These inspections can lead to enforcement and penalties when the paperwork is not in accordance to federal and state rules.

In short, call us before we call you. Contact the MPCA regional staff person for your area.

Back by popluar demand, mini pumper courses


Want to get your records on track? Attend a mini pumper class near you. You must register prior to the class date, but space is limited so register now. Attendees will receive three continuing education credits.

The class is open to all specialty areas; however, seats will be open to the maintainer specialty area first.

Email or call the appropriate contact below for the class you would like to attend. Coffee and a snack will be provided.

Nov. 8, 2018
Renville County Government Center
105 5th St. Olivia MN 56277, Room 117
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Email Kristi Kalk, or by phone at  507-344-5261.

Dec. 4, 2018
MPCA, 7678 College Road , Suite 105,
Baxter MN 56425
8 a.m.-noon
Email Sadie Wunder, or by phone at  507-316-3909.

Jan. 23, 2019
Waseca County License Bureau
East Annex conference room
300 North State Street, Waseca MN 56093
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Email Steve Oscarson, or by phone at 507-206-2604.

April 10, 2019
Chisago County Courthouse
313 N. Main St.. Center City, MN 55012
Room 150B
8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Email Ian Harrison, or by phone at 218-302-6670.

April 11, 2019
Beltrami County Environmental Services
Soil & Water Conservation District
701  Minnesota Ave. Suite 113
Bemidji, MN  56601-3177
8:30 a.m. to 12:30
Email Nick Kramer, or by phone at  218-846-8115.

Take care of delinquent 2017 tank fees, prepare for reporting 2018 installations