SSTS FAQs

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  • Contact a state-licensed septic system designer to determine the appropriate system size and location for your property.
  • After working with you, the designer will submit a design to Pope County Land and Resource Management for review.
  • Once a design has been received and reviewed a Sewage Treatment System Permit Application may be completed and brought in to the Pope County Land & Resource Management office to finish the application.
  • The Pope County Land and Resource Management Director will then review the application and pending approval, you will receive your permit in the mail.
  • It is required that the owner or contractor contact Pope County Land and Resource Management for a Septic System Inspection 24 hours prior to covering the system.
  • Once the inspection is approved, a certificate of compliance will be issued.
  • A compliance inspection is used to determine if a septic system meets local and state requirements.
  • The inspection must be conducted by a state-licensed inspector.
  • The inspector looks at the septic tank(s) to determine if they are watertight.
  • The inspector reviews the drainfield to ensure it has the minimum required vertical separation between the bottom of the drainfield and the periodically saturated soil or bedrock.
  • Additionally, the inspector checks to see if the system is functioning properly overall.
  • If the inspection passes, a certificate of compliance is issued.
  • Often times we hear of systems “working” or that homeowners have never had a problem with the system despite the fact that an inspector just failed it.
  • A septic system is not only considered failing if it is discharging to the ground surface or backing up into the dwelling, but it can also be failing if the bottom of the drainfield has less than the required vertical separation distance from the water table or any other restricting layer.
  • It is important to remember that properly maintaining your septic system will help optimize the lifespan and performance of the system which is both environmentally and financially beneficial.
  • For more information regarding your septic system and its management requirements go to: University of Minnesota: Understanding Your Septic System.