Small Community Wastewater Treatment Program

The Small Community Wastewater Treatment Program provides funding to help communities replace non-complying septic systems and straight pipes with new individual or cluster subsurface sewage treatment systems (SSTS) that will be publicly owned, operated and maintained.

Funds for the program have been appropriated by the legislature from the Clean Water Fund via the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.

Administered by the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority, the program provides technical assistance grants and construction grants and loans for public subsurface sewage treatment systems.

Technical assistance grants up to $60,000 may be used by communities to contract with licensed SSTS professionals, counties, the University of Minnesota on-site sewage treatment program, or qualified nonprofit organization to conduct preliminary site evaluations and prepare feasibility reports, provide advice on possible SSTS alternatives, and help develop the technical, managerial, and financial capacity to build, operate, and maintain SSTS systems.

The PFA provides construction financing up to $2 million per year at 1 percent interest and grants up to 80 percent, based on affordability criteria.



Cities, counties, townships, sanitary districts or other governmental subdivisions that have a project ranked on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency s Project Priority List due to non-complying septic systems and/or straight pipe systems are eligible. Projects will be funded in priority order.

Project Requirements
A governmental unit receiving construction must own the SSTS systems built under the program and shall be responsible, either directly or through a contract with a private vendor, for all inspections, maintenance, and repairs necessary to ensure proper operation of the systems.

Each property owner voluntarily seeking to participate in the program must provide a utility easement to the governmental unit to allow access to the system for maintenance and repairs.

Allowable Costs
Allowable costs for technical assistance grants include costs of site evaluation and soil borings. Eligible costs for construction funds are those associated with replacing non-complying systems with publicly-owned SSTS systems and soil-based cluster systems, including design, construction, land acquisition and related legal fees.

Interest Rates
Loans are at 1 percent interest.

Loan Terms
Payments must begin no later than two years after the loan is awarded. Loan terms up to 20 years, but not to exceed the design life of the systems.

Disbursement of Funds
Funds are disbursed on a monthly basis as costs are incurred.

Contact PFA staff before submitting an application.


Projects ranked by the MPCA on its Project Priority List may apply at any time, but community officials should contact the PFA first to check on the availability of funds.

Download and print the following documents related to the Small Community Wastewater Treatment Program