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:
- Perform inspections to identify sources of stormwater runoff discharge into the sanitary sewer system
- Require identified sources to be disconnected from the sanitary system
- Issue administrative citations to continuing violators. The first citation is $750, the second is $1,500, and the third and all subsequent citations are $2,000.
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
- A time extension may be requested for 1, 2 or 3 years after receiving a disconnection notice
- A request for a time extension must be filed before the due date on your notification document, and includes a $25 fee
- Time extension renewals can be requested, and includes a $25 filing fee
- Time extensions are subject to City approval. They are only be approved when a timely disconnection would not be safe, prudent, or feasible and that a delay in disconnection is consistent with plans for the area's public infrastructure.
- Prior to January 1, 2007, there was no fees (other than filing fees) charged for time extensions. After January 1, 2007, property owners were charged a fee that was calculated using sewer utility rate multiplied by the square footage contributing rainwater to the sanitary sewer multiplied by average rainfall.
- Denial of a time extension, or disputed conditions of an approved time extension can be appealed through the Rainleader Disconnect Time Extension Appeals Panel, which includes a $100 filing fee.
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