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Water Quality

Pumping Septic System

​Pumping a septic tank removes heavy sludge, liquid, and grease/scum which will plug and clog the drainfield or mound. 

According to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency rules, septic tanks need to be pumped at least every three years to remove excess accumulation of sludge, grease and scum. Many owners have their tanks pumped more often to make sure that their septic system is working properly.

All townships and some cities contract with Dakota County to send pump reminder postcards to homeowners.  Local jurisdictions are responsible for enforcing compliance if septic tanks are not pumped within the required three-year frequency.

Correcting County septic system information
You may receive a reminder postcard to pump your septic tank even though it has been recently pumped. If you received a reminder postcard and the septic tank on your property was recently pumped or other information needs to be updated, please contact the Water Resources Department by phone at 952-891-7000 or email at

Septic pumpers are required to submit monthly pump logs to Dakota County.

Improve your septic system’s life span
These tips will help keep your septic system working longer:

  • Minimize water use by installing water-efficient appliances.
  • Fix all leaks.
  • Spread water use throughout the day and week— don't over load the septic system.
  • Minimize garbage disposal use— better options are composting or a garbage service.
  • Keep grease, plastics and feminine hygiene products out of your septic system.
  • Install a lint filter in the washing machine.
  • Minimize using harsh cleansers, bleach, detergents and soaps.
  • Do not dispose of medications, paints or chemicals through your septic system.
  • Do not use septic tank additives—only pumping totally removes sludge and scum.
  • Avoid toilet tank disinfectants that work "every flush" when placed in the tank or bowl.

Last updated: 3/4/2014 9:51 AM