Septic Systems 

Our ability to continue the open space and low density atmosphere of our City requires that we take some proactive steps to insure that our wastewater and freshwater systems are kept in good operating condition indefinitely, and not deteriorating.  To this end, the City is partnered with the Washington County Health Department to require that all on-site septic systems are pumped and inspected by professionals at least once every three years.  The County sends a reminder to homeowners when it is due, and it then becomes our responsibility as homeowners to engage a licensed pumper to pump the tanks and evaluate the operation of the system. Pumpers are required to report the pumping and any deficiencies of the system to the County.  Few, if any, problems ever need to be reported because pumping itself on a regular basis has proven to be extremely effective in prolonging the life of the system indefinitely.  Small problems that are easy and inexpensive to fix today can become huge expenses later if left unattended.

Septic Permits and Verifications are handled by:
Washington County Public Health and Environment
Telephone: 651-430-6688

Water Supply 

We are totally dependent on groundwater to supply our freshwater needs.  Pollution is the number one enemy of the safety of our supply.  The major, and usually commercial, contributors of pollutants have been under public and governmental scrutiny for a long time.  Their contributing actions have been halted by legislation and enforcement.  However, there is another, and equally as dangerous, source of pollution that also threatens our water supply.   You and I, by some of our ordinary actions, can be a source of pollution, which taken cumulatively, can be even more dangerous than the easily identifiable major point sources. This is what is known as non-point pollution or pollution coming in small amounts from many sources.  Two of the actions we as residents should avoid are:  
1) Over fertilizing our lawns and plants, which allows rainwater to carry the chemicals into lakes and streams as well as into the immediate groundwater area around our homes.  
2)  Allowing oil, petroleum products, batteries (most of which contain lead or mercury), or any unnatural chemicals to be put into the ground.