Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems (SSTS)
2023 Septic Inspection Communication
Apply for a Septic Permit
A septic permit is required in Washington County to:
- Install new septic tanks and/or soil treatment areas.
- Repair and modify existing systems and components.
- Change the facility served by the system. Contact Public Health and Environment at 651-430-6655 or via email.
Complete a septic application using the online permitting portal. (Not compatible with Internet Explorer.) A "how to" guide is available on the online permitting portal when applying for a septic permit.
If you prefer, download and print a paper application (PDF), and mail to:
Washington County Government Center
Public Health and Environment - Licenses
14949 62nd Street North
P.O. Box 6
Stillwater, MN 55082
View the Fee schedule (PDF).
Compliance inspections must be performed when a property with septic system is sold. A compliance inspection would not be required by Washington County if:
- A compliance inspection has been done and filed with Washington County in the last three years.
- A new or replacement system has been installed and has a certificate of compliance completed in the last five years.
Compliance inspections need to be scheduled with a licensed compliance inspector. Find a licensed inspector through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
Operating permits need to be obtained when a Type IV or V system is installed. The operating permit is to monitor data and the operation of the system installed.
- Upon completion, submit an operating permit application to email: Septic@co.washington.mn.us.
- Residential Renewal Application
- Commercial/MSTS Operating Permit Renewal Application
- Submit operating reports to Septic@co.washington.mn.us.
A permit to land apply septage is required for every parcel that it will be applied to. Contiguous parcels will be permitted together.
View Information on Your Septic System
Search for information on your septic system using our online portal by hovering over the reports tab at the top and then clicking on search. You will need to create an account through the online portal to view records.
Other Forms & Resources
The county has financial assistance options available for residents, in the form of low-interest loans and/or grants for low-income households.
To apply for a loan, grant or both, please log into our Financial Assistance Application Portal.
Applicants will need to set up a new user account before they can start an application. Once logged in, applicants complete online form then upload all the required documentation to apply.
Contact the Washington County Community Development Agency (CDA) with application questions at 651-458-0936.
Contact the Department of Public Health and Environment with questions about the subsurface sewage treatment system (SSTS) at 651-430-6655.
See a list of Frequently Asked Questions (PDF).
- Property must be located in Washington County.
- Property owner must apply for funds. Renters cannot apply for loans or grants.
- Septic system must be noncompliant, i.e., the project must result in a water quality improvement. The county will verify subsurface sewage treatment system (SSTS) eligibility. If you do not know the status of your system, contact the county. You may need to get an inspection completed by a licensed inspector.
- Funds cannot be used for new homes, or for remodeling or upgrading of a currently compliant septic system.
- Funds can be used for municipal sewer hookup. In the case of hookup, the old SSTS must be properly abandoned. If well replacement or water hookup is being funded, current or existing well must be sealed in accordance with the MN Well Code.
- Funds can be used for well improvements or replacements when relocating a well to meet setback requirements, repair broken casings, replacement of contaminated well or the well is at risk of flooding, and abandoned/seal open well.
- The county cannot fund completed or underway projects.
Washington County SSTS and Well Low Interest Loan Program
The County joined the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's (MDA) Agricultural Best Management Practices (AgBMP) loan program as a local lender. The county is partnering with the Washington County Community Development Agency (CDA) to administer the program. Loans are available to all "rural landowners" (i.e., not connected to city sewer). Businesses and residences are eligible. Detailed information on the program is available in the SSTS and Well Loan Guidance (PDF).
- Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Loans are awarded while funds are available.
- An application fee of $225 is due with application.
- No income or asset restrictions.
- Choose from three different term lengths and interest rates: 5 years (1.5%), 8 years (2%), and 10 years (3%).
- Payment is set up as a special assessment on property taxes due twice a year.
- The loan is secured by a lien on the property.
- $46 recording fee, and a MN Revenue Mortgage Tax fee are due at time of signing of the lien agreement.
- Before the property can be sold or transferred, the loan must be paid off.
- Loans must be repaid by the landowner.
SSTS Fix Up Grants for Low-Income Residents
For 2023, the county has SSTS fix up grants available to qualified low-income households.
These funds are available via the Clean Water Fund. Detailed information about SSTS fix-up grants is available in the SSTS Grant Guidance (PDF).
- Applicant must meet income guidelines (see grant guidance).
- No fee for grant application (if you are applying for a loan, fees will apply; see above).
- A limited amount of funds is available.
- Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Previous Results for SSTS fix up grants:
- In 2022, 6 grants were awarded to property owners, for a total of $43,188.
- From 2016-2021, 27 grants were awarded to property owners, for a total of $166,315. Funding sources include Clean Water Fund from the MPCA.