Sanitary Sewer Permits

Sanitary sewer extension permit guidance

The sanitary sewer, or collection system, collects and transports wastewater to a treatment facility. Extensions, additions, or other modifications to the sanitary sewer collection system may require a Sanitary Sewer Modification Permit from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) before construction can begin.

In addition to what is required by the MPCA, any project located within the seven-county metropolitan area (including the counties of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington) must be reviewed by the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) to ensure that the project is consistent with the MCES-approved Comprehensive Plan for the respective communit(ies).

This site provides guidance on completing the application form to obtain a Sanitary Sewer Extension Permit from the MPCA and obtaining MCES approval for projects affecting the Metropolitan Council collection system or treatment plant.

For additional information, contact Anna Bessel at 651.602.1125 or anna.bessel@metc.state.mn.us

Do I need a permit?

Extensions, additions, or other modifications to the sanitary sewer collection system may require a Sanitary Sewer Modification Permit from the MPCA before construction can begin. Minn. Stat. 115.07, Subd. 3, states that it is unlawful for any person to make any change in, addition to or extension of an existing disposal system (includes sewer system) or point source, or part thereof, to effect any facility expansion, production increase (change in influent flow), or process modification which results in a new or increased discharge of pollutants until plans and specifications have been approved by the agency.

Generally, a permit is required if the change results in:

  • Facility expansion
  • Production increase or
  • New or increased pollutants in the collection system
Additional guidance:

Applying for a permit

To obtain a permit, complete the new MPCA permit application form (MS Word.

Beginning January 1, 2010, permit applications must be on the new MPCA permit application form. Applications that are not on the new form will be returned.

Changes from the previous forms:

  • Application and design certification forms have been combined into a single application
  • A location map is required to be submitted with all applications
  • Plant-specific capacity information must be provided on the application form (see Plant Specific Data below)
  • Application form has new questions regarding bypass/overflows in the collection and treatment system
  • For projects in the seven-county metropolitan area, Regional Review and MCES approval must be obtained before submitting the permit application to the MPCA

Plant specific data

The permit application form requires plant specific flow/capacity information to be provided. For projects involving the Metropolitan Council collection system or treatment plant, the following information may helpful in completing the permit application.

Question 6a. Where will wastewater be treated?

The following resources can be used to determine which MCES facility will receive and treat wastewater as a result of your project.

Question 6b. Design Average Wet Weather Flow (AWW), in MGD

The Average Wet Weather (AWW) flow is the maximum capacity of the treatment facility, which is limited by the NPDES/SDS permit. This value generally does not change, but could change with a facility expansion. Refer to column 6b in the Plant Data document for the currently permitted AWW flow for the plant affected by your project.

Question 6c. Actual current annual average daily flow received in the past 12 months.

Column 6c of the Plant Data document contains the average influent flow values for the most recently completed 12-month period. This data is updated monthly when Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) are submitted to the MPCA. This information is also publicly available from the MPCA upon request.

Question 6d. Actual current annual average daily CBOD5 loading in the past 12 months.

Column 6d of the Plant Data document contains the average influent CBOD5 values for the most recently completed 12 month period. This data is updated monthly when Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) are submitted to the MPCA. This information is also publicly available from the MPCA upon request.

Question 6f. Do the downstream collection facilities and WWTF have sufficient capacity to treat current flow and the flow from this and other approved connections not yet constructed?
 
MCES staff reviews any affected community's Comprehensive Plan to ensure that the project is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan(s). After MCES completes their review process, a notification letter will be sent to the applicant/project proposer, the community in which the project is located, and the MPCA. This process provides assurance to the MPCA, from a regional and plant perspective, that adequate capacity exists in the MCES collection and treatment systems. It does not however, evaluate local conveyance system or facilities capacity.

In addition to the MCES review, this question must be addressed from a local collection system/facilities perspective to ensure capacity.

Question 7. Bypasses/Overflows in the collection and treatment facilities.

Question 7 has three parts. Complete parts a through c from a local perspective. In addition, for 7c, include the following language in the space for Question 7c: "Information on MCES collection system and treatment plant has been previously provided to the MPCA, and is not repeated here. Information provided is for local conveyances and facilities, if applicable."

Because the MCES collection and treatment systems have very few--if any--overflows or bypasses and are immediately reported to the MPCA, the MPCA has agreed to forego getting this information again on the permit application.

Certification and Signature

The MPCA permit application form requires several certifications and signatures to be completed. Certification 4 is for the "Sanitary Sewer or WWTF Approval," except when the treatment authority provides for approval using a separate process. As indicated on this page, MCES uses a process of evaluating consistency of the project with prior approved Comprehensive Plans for the affected communities.

For projects involving the MCES collection system or plant, do not send the permit application to the MCES plant or other facility for signature. Instead, for projects in the seven-county metropolitan area, follow the Regional Review process (see below) described below.
 

Regional Review

In addition to what is required by the MPCA, any project located within the seven-county metropolitan area (including the counties of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington) must be reviewed by Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) to ensure that the project is consistent with the MCES-approved Comprehensive Plan for the respective community.

Before sending a permit application to the MPCA, send the following information to the address below:
  • Completed MPCA Sanitary Sewer Extension Permit Application Form and Design Certification, including the signature of an Authorized Municipal Official.
  • Project location map and site plan illustrating the area that will be served by the sewer extension.
Metropolitan Council Environmental Services
Attn: Anna Bessel
390 N. Robert Street
St. Paul, MN 55101-1805

Note: Do not send the MPCA required permit application fee to MCES with the above materials; no additional fee required for the Regional Review of the project


How long will Regional Review take?

Within 2-4 weeks, MCES will complete its review process and send a notification letter to the applicant/project proposer, the community in which the project is located and the MPCA.

Approval could extend beyond this review period however, if the materials submitted are not complete, or if the proposed project is not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan for the respective community.

If you have any questions about the progress of the MCES Regional Review, contact:

Anna Bessel
Phone: 651.602.1125
Fax:     651.602.1083
E-mail: anna.bessel@metc.state.mn.us

Contacts