Sanitary sewer extension permit guidance
The sanitary sewer, or wastewater 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 extension 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 metro area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties) 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 or communities.
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 regional collection system or a treatment plants.
For additional information, contact Emma de Villa at 651-602-1068 or Emma.Devilla@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 extension 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. MPCA makes the determination about whether or not a permit is needed.
Generally, a sanitary sewer extension permit is required if the change results in one or more of the following:
- Facility expansion
- Production increase
- New or increased pollutants in the collection system
Other permit considerations
Developers and communities who will be making a direct connection to MCES interceptor facilities must complete a connection application in addition to any required sanitary sewer extension permits. In addition, work over and in MCES easements is only allowed with our permission. Encroachment agreements may be required for projects that impact MCES easements, even if no direct connection to MCES sewers is involved.
Additional information about connection applications and MCES easements is available on the Interceptor Conveyance page.
Applying for a permit
To obtain a permit, complete the MPCA permit application form (Microsoft Word).
The permit application form requires applicants to provide plant-specific flow/capacity information. For projects involving the MCES 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 (PDF) 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 (PDF) 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 (PDF) 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 wastewater treatment plants 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 we complete our review process, we will send a notification letter to the applicant/project proposer, the community where 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 the capacity of local conveyance systems or facilities.
In addition to the MCES review, this question must be addressed from a local perspective to ensure capacity of local collection system and facilities.
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 metro area, follow the regional review process.
In addition to what is required by the MPCA, any project located within the seven-county metro area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties) must be reviewed by 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 by mail or electronically (preferred) to the contact listed below:
- Completed MPCA Sanitary Sewer Extension Permit Application Form and Design Certification, including the signature of an authorized municipal official
- Project location map, site plan illustrating the area that will be served by the sewer extension, and sanitary plan depicting the connection to the sanitary sewer system
Note: Do not send the MPCA-required permit application fee to MCES with the above materials; no additional fee is required for the regional review of the project.
How long will Regional Review take?
Within 2-4 weeks, we will complete our review and send a notification letter to the applicant/project proposer, the community where 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: