Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems



Olmsted County Inspections Division administers the Septic System Ordinance through the SSTS Ordinance (Chapter 3400 of the Code of Ordinances) and MN Rules Chapter 7080-7083. Olmsted County regulations pertaining to septic systems are coordinated with the requirements of the Minnesota's Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems Program (SSTS) and provides the following program services:

• Permitting of new systems and repairs and modifications to existing on-site wastewater treatment systems
• Installation inspections of onsite wastewater treatment systems
• Maintain SSTS records
• Respond to citizen complaints of failing onsite wastewater treatment systems
• Provide coordinated review with other agencies for projects that require Environmental Quality Reviews

The purposes of regulating the design, installation, and maintenance of septic systems (subsurface sewage treatment systems) is:

• To establish minimum requirements for the regulation of ISTS and MSTS for the treatment and dispersal of sewage within the applicable jurisdiction of the County;
• To protect public health and safety, groundwater quality, and prevent or eliminate the development of public nuisances;
• To serve the best interests of the County’s citizens by protecting the County’s health, safety, general welfare, and natural resources.
• To protect lakes, rivers and streams, wetlands, and groundwater in Olmsted County essential to the promotion of public health, safety, welfare, socioeconomic growth and development of the County .
• To regulate proper SSTS construction, reconstruction, repair and maintenance.
• To prevent the entry and migration of contaminants, thereby protecting the degradation of surface water and groundwater quality.
• To establish minimum standards for SSTS placement, design, construction, reconstruction, repair and maintenance.
• To prevent contamination and, if contamination is discovered, to identify and control its consequences and to abate its source and migration.
• To provide for appropriate utilization of privy vaults and other non-water carried sewage collection and storage facilities.
• To provide for the proper management and disposal of septage and other products of SSTS maintenance.
• To provide for technical assistance and education, plan review, inspections, SSTS surveys and complaint investigations to prevent and control water-borne diseases, lake degradation, groundwater related hazards, and public nuisance conditions.

The department administers the program for Eyota, Marion, Oronoco and Quincy Townships and the cities within Olmsted County that do not administer an SSTS ordinance. For other townships contact the township clerk or the Township Cooperative Planning Association at 507 529-0774.

See Building, Well & Septic Permit Application & Fees for more information.


Need to replace your Subsurface Sewage Treatment System (SSTS)


There are five funding sources available to homeowners within Olmsted County, that may assist with the cost of septic system replacement.  The programs have different eligibility requirements but all are loans/grant that can be secured through different agencies.  None of the programs listed apply to SSTS for new housing. 

To obtain additional information regarding the

·         Olmsted County Septic System Loan Program

·         Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Program

Contact:  Olmsted County Planning Department  or phone:  507 328-7100

  •      MHFA Rehabilitation Loan Program

Contact:  Olmsted County Housing & Redevelopment Administration: 507 328-7150

·         Agricultural Best Management Practices Loan Program

Contact: Olmsted Soil and Water Conservation District   or phone:  507 280-2850

Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Loans and Grants:

Contact:  USDA Rural Development, St. Paul MN or phone:  651 602-7800

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency provides an abundance of information on septic systems, how they work, and care and maintenance.  The MPCA requires that all businesses associated with the design, inspection, installation, operation, and care and maintenance be licensed.  A list of licensed businesses can be found on the MPCA website.  With the authorization of the MPCA, Olmsted County provides this link to assist the citizens of Olmsted County in the search for licensed SSTS businesses.

What to do with your Septic System During a Flood (2 KB)

Soil Base Sewage Treatment Systems  (2 KB)

Compliance Inspections for Existing SSTS (1 KB)

Guide to Septic System Disclosure at Property Transfer (1 KB)

Septic Tank Maintenance (1 KB)

EPA's Septic Smart Hot Link

Minnesota Rules 7080-7083