To help you navigate the complexities of SSTS licensing and certification, here’s a list of some commonly asked questions.
Who needs a Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems (SSTS) license?
All private businesses in Minnesota that design, install, maintain, inspect and service subsurface sewage treatment systems must be licensed with the MPCA. Licenses must be renewed every year and proof of insurance, proof of an SSTS Surety Bond and an annual fee are required.
Who must be certified?
Minnesota law requires that at least one employee with each MPCA-licensed subsurface sewage treatment system business be certified in each of the business’ areas of specialty. Certain job tasks for each of the specialty areas can only be completed by the certified individual that has been designated by the licensed business. Additionally, individuals who conduct certain SSTS job tasks for state, county, township or city government must be certified in the specialty area(s) specific to the work they complete.
What kind of certification do I need?
|To do this type of work...||You need this type of training and examination**||Certification in the specialty area|
|Install SSTS||Introduction, Installing||Installer|
|Sewage tank evaluation, cleaning, and repairs, portable toilets & septage management||Introduction, Maintaining||Maintainer|
|SSTS operational assessment, adjustment, sampling and interpretation of operational performance, repair, groundwater monitoring, or collection system maintenance||Introduction, Service Provider||Service provider|
|Design of Type I – Type III systems < 2,500 gpd||Introduction, Installing, Basic Design, Soils||Basic Designer|
|Design of Type I – V* systems < 2,500 gpd||Introduction, Installing, Basic Design, Soils, Intermediate Design and Inspection||Intermediate Designer|
|Design of Type I – Type V* systems < 10,000 gpd||Introduction, Installing, Basic Design, Soils, Intermediate Design and Inspection, Advanced Design and Inspection||Advanced Designer|
|Inspection of Type I – Type III systems < 2,500 gpd||Introduction, Installing, Basic Design, Inspecting, Soils||Basic Inspector|
|Inspection of Type I – V* systems < 2,500 gpd||Introduction, Installing, Basic Design, Inspecting, Soils, Service Provider, Intermediate Design and Inspection||Intermediate Inspector|
|Inspection of Type I – Type V* systems < 10,000 gpd||Introduction, Installing, Basic Design, Inspecting, Soils, Service Provider, Intermediate Design and Inspection, Advanced Design and Inspection||Advanced Inspector|
*Type V SSTS require the expertise of an appropriately licensed AELSLAGID professional
**Accommodations or special arrangements to take an examination must be made with the MPCA at least 10 days prior to the examination date.
What's involved in certification and licensing?
Depending on the septic system work you’re doing, the state’s certification and licensing process requires a combination of training, examination, observation, hands-on mentored experience, continuing education and periodic SSTS Business License renewal. OSTP offers multiple workshops each year to help you meet the training and continuing education requirements of each certification level. Details about the entire process and a certification application are available on the MPCA website. For customized support, use SSTS quick tips.
|Qualifying exams completed||Required Continuing Education|
|Introduction to Onsite Systems, Installing Onsite Systems, Service Provider||12 credit hours, at least ½ direct*|
|Maintaining Onsite Systems||12 credit hours, at least ½ direct* OR 9 hours specifically related to pumping SSTS and/or land application|
|Designing Onsite Systems, Inspecting Onsite Systems, Soils, Intermediate Design & Inspection of Onsite Systems, Advanced Design & Inspection of Onsite Systems||18 credit hours, at least 6 of which are of soils education with a field component. At least ½ must be direct* credits|
Each individual has one continuing education requirement, regardless of how many exams taken, that is based on the qualifying exam with the most required continuing education. Maximum hours required every 3 years = 18.
*Direct does not mean that Installers must take Installer CE, Designers must take Designer CE, etc. Direct accreditation means that the training includes the administration and technical parts of Minn. Rule Chapters 7080-7083. Check with your training provider to determine what type and amount of credits they offer.