New MN Septic Compliance Requirement

New Time of Sale Requirement for Minnesota Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems 

Does your home have a septic system? Thinking about buying a home with a septic system? Read this.

Septic systems usually require a compliance inspection prior to changing ownership. The state of Minnesota recently expanded on their requirements. Minnesota does not have a state-wide septic inspection point-of-sale requirement and this rule amendment does not create one. This rule modification only impacts properties in counties that have a point-of-sale compliance inspection requirement or any property where the owner/seller is completing an SSTS compliance inspection. For those properties, septic tanks will need to be pumped empty prior to completing the compliance inspection.   An existing tank integrity assessment from the previous three years is allowed to be used to make a determination of system compliance.

From Minnesota Realtors Association:

On November 1, 2019, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) published a dual notice of intent to adopt changes to MN Rules governing subsurface sewage treatment systems (SSTS) – septic systems. This means it’s now a Minnesota requirement for septic tanks to be pumped empty in order to complete a compliance inspection before a sale.

The MPCA amendments to rules governing subsurface sewage treatment systems (Minn. R chapters 7081 and 7082) regarding situations in which a state disposal system (SDS) permit is required rather than a local permit, and in which tank pumping is required for completing a compliance inspection on an existing SSTS.

The changes became effective Jan. 11, 2021.

Anyone who lists, or plans to list a property for sale, can initiate a compliance inspection on their system even before a signed purchase agreement is in place. Furthermore, because compliance inspections are valid for up to three years, this process can occur well before the property is listed for sale.


Rulemaking status: Katie Izzo, 651-757-2595
Technical/policy questions: Brandon Montgomery, 651-757-2230


A resource to help facilities with large subsurface treatment systems (LSTS) determine the appropriate permit for their operation based on the 2021 rule change.

MN PCA Checklist for determining appropriate permit for LSTS facilities based on 2021 rule change.

If you have any questions, please reach out to your assigned MPCA review engineer, permit writer, or compliance and enforcement staff.


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