Septic Systems

More than 600,000 Minnesota homes and businesses use septic systems, which treat an estimated 45 billion gallons of wastewater per year. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) rules govern how septic systems are designed, installed, and managed. The rules are implemented and enforced through local ordinances by counties, cities, and townships (MPCA website, 2023).

Local Standards

Morrison County adopts the 2006 (“Yellow Book”) version of MN Rules Chapter 7080.0010 through 7080.0600 for most septic systems. Otherwise, the County adopts the 2011 (“Blue Book”) version of MN Rules Chapters 7080-7083. For more information, refer to section 1300 of the Morrison County Land Use Control Ordinance (PDF).


A Certificate of Compliance is valid for three years from the date of inspection, and a Certificate of Installation is valid for five years from the date of installation.

A current Certificate of Compliance or a Certificate of Installation for a septic system is required:

  • Upon transfer of property
  • Before applying for a permit to build or expand any dwelling 
  • Before applying for a permit to construct a commercial building or addition 
  • Before applying for any structure permit on a property zoned as Shoreland 

A system that is deemed noncompliant will have a limited window in which to bring the system back into compliance. 

New Systems

A new septic system requires an MPCA Licensed Designer to conduct a site visit and determine what is appropriate for your property. Their design will include homeowner responsibilities and management tasks. 

Once a design has been submitted to our office, you or your contractor needs to apply for a permit to install before the installation can take place. 

On the day of installation, a Certified Employee from Morrison County will inspect the system. Shortly after the inspection is approved, the record will be kept on file with the County and you will be sent a Certificate of Installation.

Resources for Septic System Owners

Resources for Septic Professionals