Septic systems for homeowners
On this page
- Seasonal care
- How a septic system works
- Septic system types
- Cost and funding
- Locating licensed professionals
- Starting a septic system in the spring
- Protecting systems against flooding
- Preparing a system for winter
- How to avoid freezing problems
- What to look for before buying a cabin with a septic system
- Understanding septic systems
- Compliance issues (PDF 223K)
- System design and construction (PDF 162K)
- Safety around systems
- Odor issues
- Systems on small lots or poor soils
Three kinds of costs are associated with septic systems: the original installation costs, the maintenance and repair costs, and the replacement costs if things go wrong. Proper steps taken in installation and maintenance will prevent many of these replacement costs. Some funding assistance is available at the local, state, and federal levels, especially for those with low incomes.
Professionals must be licensed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to pump, design or install onsite septic systems. Counties and the State of Minnesota can help you with a list of professionals in your area.
Order your own copy of Extension’s “Septic System Owners Guide”
Five short videos related to septic system design and maintenance; tank pumping; household tips to prolong the life of your system; and why it is important to properly treat wastewater.