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Rainleader Ordinance Factsheet

Chapter 56: Prohibited Discharges to Sanitary Sewer

The City of Minneapolis has been separating its sanitary sewer system from its stormwater drainage system to reduce the number of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs).

For more information about this issue, see Combined Sewer Overflows

Rooftop drains (rainleaders) that are connected to the sanitary sewer system are a major contributor to CSO’s. Residential and commercial buildings built before 1961 can have drain pipes that discharge directly into a sanitary sewer, rather than through gutters to lawns or to a storm  drain pipe, and must be disconnected from the sanitary sewer.

The purpose of the ordinance it to limit rainwater inflow to the sanitary sewer system. The ordinance authorizes the City to:

Ordinance Summary

For more information: See the Minneapolis Rainleader Ordinance

If an inspection of your property identifies a prohibited discharge source, you will be notified. Disconnection is required for all prohibited sources, including any that had been allowed in the past.

Disconnection must be completed by the date specified. Before beginning work, you must obtain a permit.

All work performed under your permit must be done in accordance with State and City rules and regulations. The work must be permanent, and no temporary caps or plugs can be used. The work must inspected after completion and before being covered up and concealed.

Redirecting stormwater runoff after disconnection must not cause damage to adjacent properties

If you haven't completed the work to the City's satisfaction by the due date or after expiration of any time extensions, you will be in violation of the ordinance. Violators can be subject to a fine or imprisonment (not to exceed 90 days) or both. If a fine has been imposed and remains unpaid, the offender can be imprisoned until the fine is paid.

In addition, any City license held by the property owner to conduct a business on that property may be revoked for failure to comply.

Last updated Feb 6, 2019

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