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Contractor Information

All work done within the PLAWCS district must be conducted by an approved contractor.


Application To Be An Approved Contractor

Complete the application below. Submit the application, along with a $30 application fee. Once received, the Joint Powers Board will review the application at their next regular monthly board meeting. If approved, the contractor must submit a current proof of liability insurance prior to being listed as an approved contractor and before accepting contract work within the sewer district. Proof of current liability insurance must stay on file at all times with the PLAWCS office. Failure to do so will have the contractor removed from the approved list until the proof is received.


General Contractor Information

For new basin installations, or basin replacements, it is the Contractor's responsibility to notify the PLAWCS contracted engineer (MSA Engineering at 218-722-3915) when work will be done which requires inspection. Notification is to be made at least 24 hours before the work is to be done. The following items require the engineer to be on-site to make inspections:

  • Prior to backfill, engineer is to inspect gravity and pressure laterals for proper pipe type and bedding.

  • Engineer is to be on-site when contractor is setting the basin in order to to verify that the concrete anti-flotation ring is in place, proper bedding, and solid subgrade.

  • Engineer is to be on-site for pressure testing of gravity and pressure laterals, and connection of pipes to basin.

  • Engineer is to be on-site for backfill of basin to confirm that the backfill is proper granular materials, and required insulation is installed.

  • Engineer will verify restoration of disturbed surfaces. This could be the next day or several days later. The engineer does not need to be on-site observing the restoration.

  • Engineer will follow up several weeks after restoration to verify that the seed has taken and new grass is established.

Additional Contractor Information

1. CONTRACTOR’S LICENSE – an appropriate contractor’s license is required to install sewer service connections.  Any person desiring a license shall apply in writing to PLAWCS on the forms provided and provide satisfactory evidence of the applicant’s qualifications, bond, and insurance coverages.

2. HOMEOWNER’S PERMIT – each homeowner must apply for and obtain a Sewer Service Connection Permit from PLAWCS before any sewer connections are made.  Each building must have a separate independent sewer connection.  Permits must be conspicuously posted on the property at all times while work is being done.

3. UTILITY MAINTENANCE ON STATE LAND AND PUBLIC WATER CROSSINGS: In accordance with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources License for Utility to Cross State Lands, license provision 18, written notification must be provided to the State by contacting the Division of Lands and Minerals prior to commencing any routine maintenance work on state land and public water crossings.A description of the extent of the work, method of maintenance, and proposed schedule must be included.The Licensee shall not commence any routine maintenance work prior to approval by the State.You must also include the DNR and descriptions where maintenance work is planned.Contact the PLAWCS office for further information.

4. THE CONTRACTOR shall notify the engineer/operator at least 48 hours before the building sewer is ready for connection to the public sewer.  The line must be pressure tested and approved by the Inspector.  All sewer connections shall be inspected by the engineer/operator.  NO BACKFILLING shall be done until the sewer line and connections have been INSPECTED AND APPROVED.   The homeowner is responsible for fees from the engineer/operator.

5. Sewer services lines and risers shall be 4” PVC (ASTM D 2665) SCH 40 meeting the requirements of the Minnesota Plumbing Code.  Sewer service lines shall be installed with a minimum slope of ¼ inch per foot.  If the use of ¼ inch slope does not allow for gravity flow to the sewer main, check with the engineer/operator.

6. CLEANOUTS – there must be a cleanout at the outside wall of each building.  Intermediate cleanouts may be necessary because of the length of some service connection lines.  The distance between cleanouts in horizontal pipe shall not exceed 100 feet.

  • LOCATION – the cleanout at the outside wall may be inside or outside the building and shall be made with a full “Y” branch fitting and shall extend at least two inches above grade or finished floor.

  • SIZE OF CLEANOUTS – the cleanouts and cleanout risers shall be four inches in diameter.

7. WATERLINE SEPARATION – a minimum 10 feet separation must be maintained between a sewer line and a water service line.  If this distance cannot be maintained, contact the engineer/operator.

8. WELL SEPARATION – a minimum separation of 50 feet must be maintained between a buried sewer line and a well.  The distance may be reduced to 20 feet if the sewer materials are approved under the Minnesota Plumbing Code AND the sewer has been successfully air-tested.

9. AIR TEST – air test will be required on sewer connection lines that are between 50 feet and 20 feet from a well.  The pipe must hold 5 psi for 15 minutes.

10. VARIANCES – any line less than 20 feet from a well will require the HOMEOWNER to apply for and RECEIVE a variance from the Minnesota Department of Health. IMPORTANT – DO NOT DISTURB any existing sewer line within 20 feet of a well unless a variance has been granted.  A variance after the existing sewer has been disturbed may not be granted and may require the property owner to install a new well that meets setback requirements.   Check with the engineer/operator if there is ANY QUESTION on sewer lines that are close to a well BEFORE ANY WORK IS DONE.

11. DIRECTIONAL SEWER BORING – may be used with some connections when site conditions require this option.  Check with engineer/operator before this type of work is done.

12. EXISTING LINES – may be used on a case by case basis.  Check with the engineer/operator if there is ANY question about use of existing building sewer lines.

13. INSULATION – insulation may be required in some locations to protect sewer lines from frost damage.  Examples: where the line is too close to the surface or in driveway areas, or where frost heave and shearing of pipes could occur.

14. RESTORATION – restoration is the total responsibility of the contractor or subcontractor.

15. ABANDONMENT – each independent sewer treatment system being replaced MUST be abandoned following the guidelines stated in “Abandoning Individual Sewage Treatment Systems”.



General: This fact sheet provides guidelines and rule requirements for disposal of contaminated rock, soil, sand, pipe, and geotextile fabric obtained from a decommissioned or failed Individual Sewage Treatment System.

Health Concerns: Sewage contains large populations of pathogens.  The pathogens of most concern originate from the human body.  Pathogenic organisms are not normal inhabitants of a health human body but are present when a body is diseased.  Pathogens are shed in the feces and can be a source for disease.

ISTS Abandonment Procedures: Minnesota Rules Chapter 7080 states the abandonment procedures for sewage tanks, cesspools, leaching pits, dry wells, seepage pits, privies, and distribution devices are as follows: all solids and liquids shall be removed and disposed of in accordance with state, federal, or local requirements and abandoned chambers shall be removed or filled with soil material.  If soil treatment systems are removed, contaminated materials shall be removed in a manner assuring public health and the environment are protected.  It is recommended that decommissioned ISTS remain in place.  Inspection pipes should be removed and the holes compacted with soil.  Tank or chamber covers should be crushed before filling with soil material.  All access for future discharge to the system must be permanently denied.


Disposal of Sand, Soil, and Rock: If excavation of the soil treatment system is required, the recommended method of disposal of soil, sand, and rock is land application.  Depending on the location of the land application site, separation of the soil, sand, rock, and pipe may be required.  Land application must be done in accordance with state, federal, and local requirements.


Stockpiling of Rock: Stockpiling contaminated rock may be necessary as a permanent disposal solution, if land application is not possible.  Stockpiles must meet the same setbacks, slope, and soil conditions provided in MPCA Land Application Guidelines.  To reduce human contact with pathogens, it is recommended that 6 inches of clean cover be applied over the entire stockpile.  Liming, disinfecting, or other methods to reduce the pathogens population may also be required for stockpiled rock.  The method used to reduce pathogen populations or contact will depend on the accessibility of the site by the public and application of cover.


Disposal of Pipe and Geotextile Material: Contaminated pipe and geotextile material should be dried and disposed of as solid waste in a mixed municipal solid waste landfill.  The drying process helps reduce the number of pathogens and reduces the spread of contamination in transport.  Call the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) at 722-3316 to obtain further information about the location of the nearest mixed municipal solid waste landfill.  The material must not be disposed of in a demolition landfill.


Other Considerations: To protect the public from contact with contaminated material, the site should be posted.  Fences should be placed to

prevent access to areas whenever possible and where quantities of contaminated material are stockpiled or land applied.  Special attention to setbacks and waiting periods outlined in the MPCA Land Application Guidelines will also help protect the public and the environment.


More Information: Contact the MPCA at 1-800-657-3864 for more information on disposal of sewage contaminated materials, or if you need a copy of the MPCA Land Application Guidelines.


 THE CONTRACTOR shall notify both the PLAWCS office and the appropriate authority in either Canosia Township, Grand Lake Township, or St. Louis County at least one week before starting any work on a street or road.  If the connection is made in a roadway, a $30.00 license is required and a $10,000.00 performance bond naming the appropriate road authority is also required.  The contractor will also notify the engineer/operator at least 48 hours before work is started.  All sewer connections to the main line shall be inspected by the engineer/operator.  NO BACKFILLING shall be done until the sewer line and connections have been INSPECTED AND APPROVED by the engineer/operator and the appropriate road authority.


16. PIPE MATERIAL – sewer service lines shall be 4” PVC (ASTM D 2665) SCH 40 meeting the requirements of the Minnesota Plumbing Code.  Sewer service lines shall be installed with a

minimum slope of ¼ inch per foot.If the use of ¼ inch slope does not allow for gravity flow to the sewer main, check with the engineer/operator for other options.

17. CONNECTIONS INTO/UNDER ROADWAYS - the required PVC pipe must be laid on a continuous 4” aggregate bed and backfilled with granular material with a minimum of 4” over the sewer pipe.  When excavating into the road, the material excavated should be reused to fill the trench.  It should be replaced in layers approximately two feet thick which should be completely compacted and covered with Tach.  Class 5 and/or sand should be used for the top layer below the road surface.  Tack asphalt should be used to cover each layer after it is filled and tamped or rolled.  New Class 5 material should be used up until the final asphalt topping is installed.  No joints are allowed under the road.  If the existing road used petro mat, it should be replaced and all seams spliced.

18. MECHANICAL COMPACTION – quality mechanical compaction of all service line trenches is required and acceptable to the appropriate road authority.  The trench should be wide enough to use a roller compactor on the upper layers.

19. SAW CUT EDGES OF EXISTING BLACKTOP – the edges of all cuts into the existing blacktop must be saw cut.  If cutting only on one side of the road, the cut should extend to the center of the road.  If it is necessary to cut beyond the center line, the cut must be made completely across the entire road.

20. ASPHALT SURFACING – the blacktop should match and be of the same thickness as that used on the balance of the road and should be rolled and finished so it matches the existing road surface in accordance with state specifications.  A base coat and wear coat should be used, separated by a TAC coat.

21. SIGNS DURING CONSTRUCTION – the contractor must provide signage in conformance with Minnesota regulations per MINDOT Specification 3352.

22. STRIPING – striping must be replaced if required by the appropriate road authority.


If you have any questions about any of the above information, please contact the engineer/operator.

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