Septic Information

The Individual Sewage Treatment System (septic) program is administered by Hennepin County. Visit www.hennepin.us/septic for more information.

Hennepin County provides consistent regulation across city boundaries through issuing septic permits, managing inspections, and enforcement to protect ground surface waters, and prevent waterbourne illness. 

Please contact:
Hennepin County Public Health
1011 First Street South, Suite 215
Hopkins, MN 55343
Bus: (612) 543-5200 Option 3
Email: matthew.bolterman@hennepin.mn.us

FREQUENCY OF PUMPING
The septic tank MUST be periodically cleaned (pumped) to remove floating scum and sludge that accumulate. If either floating scum or sludge is allowed to enter the soil treatment system (drainfield) it will cause expensive and often irreparable damage. How often to clean a septic tank depends on its size, use and operating condition.

Not paying attention to sludge buildup in the tank or putting off having a tank pumped could cause toilet backups and possibly damage the septic system drain field, resulting in expensive repairs. Not pumping the tank when needed can also cause the entire system to fail, and it would need to be replaced.

  • New Home Installations - the tank should be cleaned after 6 - 12 months of use as a precautionary measure to ensure good bacterial activity and proper functioning. In new homes, wastewater from painting, varnishing, staining, and other construction functions can reduce the initial levels of bacterial activity causing damage to the soil treatment system. If finishing work is still being completed, the tank should be cleaned before it is used for sewage.
  • A Typical Household - will calculate a cleaning frequency (using the guideline worksheet) of 18 - 30 months. If there is a smell of sewer gases in your home, immediately call a plumber or other reliable sources.

For more information on septic systems you may also visit the University of Minnesota Onsite Sewage Treatment Program website at www.septic.umn.edu/.   Here you will find information about how septic systems work and educational videos, brochures, and tips on maintaining and managing your system as well as a link to search MPCA licensed installers. 

Hennepin County

Hennepin County Septic Brochure
Septic Handbook

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