General Provisions


       50.001   Purpose

       50.002   Authority

       50.003   Rules of construction

       50.004   Definitions

       50.005   Administration

       50.006   Inspection

       50.007   Existing systems

       50.008   New construction





       50.020   Discharge prohibited

       50.021   Individual sewage treatment systems

       50.022   Permits

       50.023   Public sewage treatment system availability





       50.035   Application form

       50.036   Plan

       50.037   Conditions data

       50.038   System design data

       50.039   Other data

       50.040   Failure to comply

       50.041   Application procedure

       50.042   Technical review

       50.043   City Council review

       50.044   Reapplication



                                                             Sewage Treatment Systems


       50.055   State standards

       50.056   County standards


       50.057    Conflict between state and county

       50.058   Variance


                                                                       Pumping Code


       50.070   Other laws affecting septic systems

       50.071   Individual and cluster septic system maintenance

       50.072   Septage

       50.073   Regular septic system pumping required

       50.074   Septic system additives

       50.075   Hazardous substances

       50.076   Limitation on maintenance which increases effluent

       50.077   Record keeping

       50.078   Abandonment of septic systems

       50.079   Enforcement

       50.080   Variances





                                                             GENERAL PROVISIONS



§ 50.001  PURPOSE.


       This chapter is adopted to provide safe and adequate sanitation standards and methods of sewage disposal in order to prevent contamination of future and existing water supplies, to prevent pollution of lakes, streams, and ditches, and to avoid the creation of a public nuisance.

(Prior Code, § 401.2)



§ 50.002  AUTHORITY.


       This chapter is adopted pursuant to the authority of M.S. §§ 462.351 through 462.365, as they may be amended from time to time, commonly referred to as the Municipal Planning Law.

(Prior Code, § 401.3)





       (A)  For purposes of this chapter, words used in the singular shall include the plural; words used in the plural shall include the singular; words in the present tense shall include the future; and the word “shall” is mandatory and not discretionary.


       (B)  If there are differences in requirements between this chapter and other states, federal, or local codes or regulations, the most restrictive requirements shall apply.

(Prior Code, § 401.4)



§ 50.004  DEFINITIONS.


       For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.


       BUILDING DRAIN. The part of the lowest horizontal piping of a building drainage system which receives the discharge from soil, waste, and other drainage pipes inside the walls of any building and conveys the discharge to the building sewer.


       BUILDING SEWER. The part of the horizontal portion of the building drainage system extending from the building drain to the septic tank, public sewer, or other place of disposal.


       DEPARTMENT. The County Health Department.


       INDIVIDUAL SEWER TREATMENT SYSTEM. A sewage treatment system, other than a public or community system, which receives sewage from an individual establishment, often but not always including a septic tank and soil absorption system.


       NATURAL OUTLET. Any outlet into a watercourse, pond, ditch, lake, or other body of surface or groundwater.


       PERSON. Any and all persons, natural and artificial, including any individual, corporation, association, partnership, any combination thereof, or any other entity.


       PUBLIC SEWAGE TREATMENT SYSTEM. A sewage treatment system in which all owners of all abutting properties have equal rights and which is controlled by public authority.


       SEPTIC TANK. A tank of water-tight construction, provided with an inlet and outlet, the capacity of which shall be sufficient to provide adequate detention time for sedimentation and initial decomposition and purification of sewage by anaerobic bacteria.


       SEWAGE. Any water-carried domestic waste, exclusive of footing and roof drainage, of any residence, industry, or commercial establishment, including, but not limited to, liquid wastes produced by bathing, laundry, and culinary operations, and from toilets and floor drains.


       SEWER. A pipe or conduit or combination thereof for carrying sewage.

       SOIL ABSORPTION SYSTEM. A system of trenches, beds, or pits which accepts the effluent discharged from the septic tank and distributes it to the soil, providing for the effective filtration and aerobic treatment of the effluent.

(Prior Code, § 401.5)





       The Department shall enforce the provisions of this chapter.

(Prior Code, § 401.9)



§ 50.006  INSPECTION.


       The Department shall conduct such inspections as are necessary to determine compliance with this chapter.


       (A)  Access to premises. The Department shall be given free access to all property at reasonable times for any inspections necessary to determine compliance with this chapter.


       (B)  Repair and construction. Final approval of all repair and reconstruction of existing individual sewage treatment systems and construction of new systems shall be made by the Department. No part of the system shall be covered until the Department has inspected and approved the repair or construction. The Department shall inspect the repair and construction within 48 hours of a request for inspection by the applicant.


       (C)  Notice of defects. If the Department finds that the system is not constructed in accordance with the standards of this chapter, it shall give the applicant written notice describing the defects. The applicant shall correct or eliminate all defects and no system shall be placed in service until all defects have been corrected or eliminated.


       (D)  Certificate of approval. Upon satisfactory completion and final inspection of the system, the Department shall issue a certificate of approval on a form provided by the city. Only upon receipt of the certificate of approval may the system be placed (or replaced) in operation.

(Prior Code, § 401.10)





       (A)  (1)   All individual sewage treatment systems in existence on the effective date of this chapter shall conform to the requirements of this chapter by the earlier of:


                      (a)   The failure or substantial revision of the system; or


                      (b)   The initial transfer of the premises served by the system after the effective date of this chapter.


               (2)   It shall be the responsibility of the owners of properties with existing systems to ensure timely compliance with this chapter.


       (B)  (1)   If property with an existing system is not brought into compliance with this chapter within the above-specified time, the city shall have the right to conduct or contract for an inspection of the system.


               (2)   If the system fails to comply with this chapter, the city shall have the power to order and contract for a revision, remodeling, or reconstruction of the system in order to establish compliance.


               (3)   Any costs incurred by the city in conducting or contracting for any inspection, revision, remodeling, or reconstruction shall be borne by the owner of the property and shall be assessed as a lien against the property in the nature of a special assessment.

(Prior Code, § 401.12)





       All individual sewage treatment systems constructed or completed after the effective date of this chapter shall comply with the provisions of this chapter.

(Prior Code, § 401.13)









       No person shall discharge any sewage, industrial waste, or other polluted waters into any natural outlet within the city or in any area under its jurisdiction.

(Prior Code, § 401.6)  Penalty, see § 10.99





       No person shall construct, nor maintain any privy, privy vault, septic tank, cesspool, or other facility intended for the disposal of sewage except as provided in the chapter.

(Prior Code, § 401.6)  Penalty, see § 10.99



§ 50.022  PERMITS.


       No person shall install, alter, nor extend any individual sewage treatment system within the city or in any area under its jurisdiction without first obtaining a permit from the Department for work.

(Prior Code, § 401.6)  Penalty, see § 10.99





       No individual sewage treatment system shall be constructed on any property within the city or in any area under its jurisdiction if a public sewage treatment system is available to the property. No individual sewage treatment system shall be maintained nor operated on any property within the city or in any area within its jurisdiction for more than nine months after a public sewage treatment system becomes available to the property.

(Prior Code, § 401.6)  Penalty, see § 10.99









       Applications for permits shall be made in writing upon printed forms available from the Department and shall be signed by the applicant.

(Prior Code, § 401.7)



§ 50.036  PLAN.


       Each application for a permit shall be accompanied by a plan showing:


       (A)  The location of any proposed or existing buildings on the subject property;


       (B)  The boundary lines of the property;


       (C)  The locations of water supply facilities;


       (D)  The location and ordinary high water mark of bodies of water within 150 feet of the proposed structure;


       (E)  All legal setback requirements from existing and proposed buildings, property lines, sewage tanks, soil treatment systems, water supply wells, and buried pipes and utility lines, as according to local zoning regulations, the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area regulations, and applicable state, special district, and federal regulations, to the extent required by the Department;


       (F)   The existence of lowlands and local surface depressions;


       (G)  The location and distance from the surface of bedrock formations;


       (H)  Topographic contours at two-foot intervals; and


       (I)   The locations of all sewage treatment systems and water supply wells on adjoining property within 150 feet of the proposed sewage treatment system.

(Prior Code, § 401.7)





       Each application for a permit shall also include information on:


       (A)  Soil conditions, properties, and permeability;


       (B)  Depth to the highest known or calculated groundwater table or bedrock; and


       (C)  Surface water flooding probability.

(Prior Code, § 401.7)





       Each application for a permit shall include a complete plan showing the design, size, and location of all parts of the individual sewage treatment system.

(Prior Code, § 401.7)



§ 50.039  OTHER DATA.


       The applicant shall be required to submit any other data requested by the Department or required by any other regulations which apply.

(Prior Code, § 401.7)





       Failure by the applicant to supply all required information shall constitute grounds for denial of the permit.

(Prior Code, § 401.7)





       The applicant shall file, in duplicate, a request for a permit with the City Clerk/Treasurer, along with fee for processing the request as may be established by City Council resolution. Upon receipt of the request and any required fee, the Clerk/Treasurer shall note the fact on the request and return one copy to the applicant, retaining one copy for the city records. The applicant shall then submit that copy along with two copies of all materials and information required by § 50.036 to the Department, accompanied by any fee required by the Department.

(Prior Code, § 401.7)





       Upon receipt of the request for a permit, application on Department form, and any required fee, the Department shall review the information. The Department may require a field evaluation. Within ten days of receipt by the Department of all required information and fees, the Department shall make a written report and recommendation to the City Council.

(Prior Code, § 401.7)





       At the next regular meeting following receipt of the Department’s report, the City Council shall make a final decision on the application. Upon a simple majority vote in favor of the application, the Department shall issue the permit to the applicant. If a simple majority denies the application, no permit shall be issued, and a written statement from the Council or its representative stating the reasons for denial shall be forwarded to the applicant by the Clerk/Treasurer.

(Prior Code, § 401.7)





       The applicant may reapply for a permit or appeal to or request a variance from the City Council.

(Prior Code, § 401.7)








       All individual sewage treatment systems shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with Minn. Rules Ch. 7080, Individual Sewage Treatment System Standards, as amended and recommended by the State Pollution Control Agency pursuant to M.S. Ch. 103F, 115, and 116, as they may be amended from time to time, which standards are hereby adopted by the city as amended by this chapter.

(Prior Code, § 401.8)





       All individual sewage treatment systems shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with the County Health Department Requirements for Individual Sewage Treatment Systems, as currently in effect and as they may be amended, which requirements are hereby adopted by the city.

(Prior Code, § 401.8)





       In cases of conflict between Minn. Rules Ch. 7080 and the County Health Department Requirements for Individual Sewage Treatment Systems, the more restrictive rule shall apply.

(Prior Code, § 401.8)



§ 50.058  VARIANCE.


       (A)  If exceptional circumstances would make enforcement of the standards of this chapter unnecessary, unreasonable, impractical, or not feasible, the City Council may permit a variance from these standards upon the conditions it determines.


       (B)  Any variance and any conditions attached thereto shall be consistent with the general provisions and intent of this chapter and other applicable state and local regulations.


       (C)  A variance shall only be permitted upon proof that:


               (1)   The variance is necessary to secure rights for the applicant that are enjoyed by other owners in the area;


               (2)   The condition causing the hardship is unique to that property;


               (3)   The variance will not be contrary to the public interest and damaging to the rights of others; and


               (4)   The variance has been approved by the County Board of Health.

(Prior Code, § 401.8)




                                                                    PUMPING CODE





       The city at no time shall have sewage and wastewater treatment regulations that are less restrictive than the Minn. Rules Ch. 7080 or County Public Health Regulation #41.

(Prior Code, § 401.17)





       All individual and cluster sewage treatment systems, both currently existing as well as those installed in the future, and all components must be maintained in compliance with this subchapter, other manufacturer requirements, or state pollution control regulations and permit requirements.

(Prior Code, § 401.17)



§ 50.072  SEPTAGE.


       Any accumulation of solids in pump stations, distribution devices, valve boxes, or drop boxes shall be considered SEPTAGE. Whenever inspection of pump stations, distribution devices, and valve or drop boxes indicates accumulation of solids, the device shall be promptly cleaned.

(Prior Code, § 401.17)





       (A)  The owner of an individual and cluster sewage treatment system or the owner’s agent shall regularly, but in no case less frequently than every three years, have the tank or tanks pumped by a licensed pumper. 


       (B)  If the following conditions exist, the system may have to be pumped more frequently than every three years:


               (1)   The top of the sludge layer is less than 12 inches below the bottom of the outlet baffle; or


               (2)   Whenever the bottom of the scum layer is less than three inches above the bottom of the outlet baffle.


       (C)  The accumulations of sludge, scum, and liquids must be removed through the maintenance hole.  The owner or the owner’s agent shall install maintenance holes to allow for maintenance to take place through the maintenance hole.

(Prior Code, § 401.17)




       Individual sewage additives must not be used as a means to reduce the frequency of proper maintenance and removal of septage from the septic tank.

(Prior Code, § 401.17)





       Hazardous substances must not be dumped in individual or cluster sewage treatment systems.

(Prior Code, § 401.17)





       Any maintenance activity used to increase the acceptance of effluent to a soil treatment system must:


       (A)  Not be used on failing systems;


       (B)  Not decrease the separation to the saturated soil or bedrock;


       (C)  Not cause preferential flow from the system bottom to the saturated soil or bedrock; and


       (D)  Be conducted by a qualified employee or under an installer license.

(Prior Code, § 401.17)





       All licensed pumping contractors who perform septic system repairs or maintenance in the city shall maintain accurate records of pumping activity and shall report the data annually to the city on forms provided.

(Prior Code, § 401.17)





       Tank abandonment procedures for sewage tanks, cesspools, leaching pits, dry well, seepage pits, privies, and distribution devices are as follows.


       (A)  All solids and liquids shall be removed and disposed of in accordance with Minn. Rules part 7080.0175 and abandoned chambers shall be removed or filled with soil materials.


       (B)  Access for future discharge to the system shall be permanently denied.


       (C)  If soil treatment systems are removed, contaminated materials shall be properly handled to prevent human contact and shall be disposed of in a manner assuring that public health and the environment are protected.

(Prior Code, § 401.17)



§ 50.079  ENFORCEMENT.


       (A)  It is hereby declared unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to violate any term or provision of this chapter. Violation thereof shall be a misdemeanor offense. Each day that a violation is allowed to continue shall constitute a separate offense.


       (B)  In the event of a violation or threatened violation of this chapter, the city, in addition to other remedies, may request appropriate actions or proceedings to prevent, restrain, correct, or abate the violations or threatened violations. In addition, written notice in the form of a license complaint may be made to the Commissioner of the State Pollution Control Agency.


       (C)  In cases where a public health nuisance has been determined to exist, the city may institute an enforcement action.

(Prior Code, § 401.17)  Penalty, see § 10.99



§ 50.080  VARIANCES.


       See § 151.401 of this code of ordinances.

(Prior Code, § 401.17)