Septic systems protect human health and the environment. Regular maintenance and attention is needed to keep your septic system operating efficiently.

Septic permits are required for new, replacement or for repair of a septic system. In order to receive a septic permit to construct an application, fee and design must be submitted to St. Louis County staff for review.

A property owner may need a:

  • Designer/Advanced Designer: to conduct a site visit on your property, evaluate soil conditions and design a septic system for your needs
  • Installer: To install the septic system as designed; St. Louis County needs to be notified 48 hours in advance of the installation
  • Maintainer: to pump, clean and evaluate a septic tank or holding tank
  • Inspector/Advanced Inspector: To inspect, evaluate your septic system for a point of sale or increase of use on the property which may be needed for building
  • Service Provider: SSTS operational assessment, adjustment, sampling and interpretation of operational performance, repair, groundwater monitoring, or collection system maintenance

Documents for Property Owners

See All Septic FAQs



The county offers different forms of financial assistance for septic owners. Contact the St. Louis County Planning and Community Development, On-Site Wastewater, in Duluth at 218-725-5200 or Virginia 218-749-0625 for more information.


Subsurface Sewage Treatment System Abatement Program – The program provides qualified low-and moderate-income homeowners with a five year deferred loan at zero percent interest to correct or replace failing septic systems identified as Imminent Threat to Public Health or Non-compliant. The deferred loan does not require repayment as long as the recipient of the loan lives in the home for at least five years. Funding for this program is provided by Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, St. Louis County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, and the St. Louis County Environmental Trust Fund. This program is administered by the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency. Call AEOA at (218) 735-6827 for additional information.

Contact Us

On-Site Wastewater

Virginia Office

Fax: 218-749-7194

Duluth Office
Fax: 218-725-5029


All contacts