The Catch Basin

Minnesota Plumbing Program News
Minnesota Department of Health - Plumbing Program • Summer 2003 • Volume 27 Number 1

Revisions to the Minnesota Plumbing Code
The Minnesota Plumbing Code (MPC), Minnesota Rules, Chapter 4715, was recently revised, effective August 25, 2003. Some of the changes to the MPC include: • approval of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing systems for water distribution; • flux used with soldered joints must comply with ASTM Standard B813; • installation requirements for exterior grease interceptors and chemical/soap dispensing systems; • amendments to maintain compatibility with the International Family of Codes, recently adopted by the Department of Administration. Look for the MPC revisions on our website at An amended version of the MPC including all the revisions should be available by late September at: Enter 4715 for chapter number. Until then, that site will have the 1998 version of the MPC. A printed version of the 2003 MPC will be available through the Minnesota Bookstore in the near future. The Minnesota Bookstore can be contacted at 651/2973000 or 800/657-3757 or at this website:

Fees to be Collected for Plumbing Plan Reviews
Legislation was passed in 2003 that allows the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to collect fees for plumbing plan review. The tentative start date for fee collection for plumbing plan reviews is November 1, 2003. The fee schedule was designed with three major goals: 1. 2. Set and collect a fee based on the amount of work associated with the plan review; Allow either complete or partial designs to be submitted for review (for example, water and sewer service to a building being designed and constructed under “design/build” principles); and Allow project proposers an option for a faster turnaround time on a plan review.


A table describing the fees is shown on page 4 of this newsletter. Additional information concerning the new plan review fee, such as a fee calculation worksheet, etc. will be published on our website and will be included in upcoming issues of The Catch Basin.

Personnel Changes
Personnel changes have taken place recently within the plumbing program. Gary Topp is no longer the plumbing unit supervisor. After eight years of supervising, Gary filled a newly opened Plumbing Standards Representative (PSR) position in the Fergus Falls District Office. An avid fisherman, Gary and his family moved to a lake home in the Pelican Rapids area.
Continued on page 2

A complete listing of all building code amendments can currently be viewed at the following website:

In This Issue
Inspection Requests, Pg 2 New Website Items, Pg 2 Exam Results, Pg 2 Exam Registration, Pg 3 Enforcement Actions, Pg 3 Sewage Treatment System Plan Review, Pg 3 Plan Submittals, Pg 3 Fee Schedule, Pg 4

Personnel Changes continued

Jim Peterson accepted the position as the new unit supervisor. Jim has been licensed as a plumber since 1976 and has been employed as a PSR with the Department since 1993. If you have plumbing code or licensure questions or wish to call Jim and congratulate him on his promotion, you can reach him at 651/215-0842. Brad Jensen was hired in September of 2001 to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Henry Gretsfeld. Brad is working out of the Duluth district office and is conducting inspections in the northeastern portion of the state. Brad was previously employed as a plumber by the Minnesota Department of Corrections in Moose Lake.

New Website Items
Since the last Catch Basin announced our new website, several new items have been added. We now have a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page, information about small project plan reviews, a page about water conditioning, and current postings of the plumbing and water conditioner exam dates. Changes have been made to the areas where our plumbing standards representatives do inspections. The inspector for your county and a contact phone number can be found on our website, or the illustration shown below. We also have a list of cities that review plumbing plans for projects in the city, under an agreement with the MDH. All of our most current and updated exam applications, bond applications, apprentice registration forms, and plan review applications can be downloaded and printed as well. We have a lot more information that we expect to be updating and adding to the website as time permits. If you have not done so, remember to bookmark our page and stop by periodically to see the changes! The plumbing engineering website address is:

Inspection Requests
The MDH must be contacted for inspections, e.g., on state-funded or licensed facilities. Please contact the PSR in your area of the state to request plumbing inspections or answer code or licensure questions. The following illustration shows the inspection areas for each PSR and their phone numbers:

Exam Results
September 2002 Exam Results
Brad Jensen Duluth Office 218/725-7731 Gary Topp Fergus Falls Office 218/739-1386 Chuck Olson Metro Office 651/215-0856 Mike Freiderich Mankato Office 507/389-2208

Exam Tested Journeyman Plumber 109 Master Plumber 61 Water Conditioner Installer 14 Water Conditioner Contractor 5 March 2003 Exam Results Exam Tested Journeyman Plumber 249 Master Plumber 101 Water Conditioner Installer 25 Water Conditioner Contractor 6

Passed 32 49 9 2

Passed 141 65 15 2

Page 2

Exam Registration
Any person interested in taking the plumbing or water conditioning license exam must contact the Department or visit our website for an application. A completed application with a $50 nonrefundable fee must be postmarked no later than February 15, 2004 to be considered for the March exam. The registration deadline for the Fall 2004 exam is August 15, 2004.

Review of Individual Sewage Treatment System Construction Plans Ceases September 1
The MDH Engineering Unit will no longer be able to provide review services for individual sewage treatment systems (ISTS). In the past, the MDH provided reviews of systems proposed for many licensed food, beverage, and lodging facilities and manufactured home parks and campgrounds with flow rates less than 10,000 gallons per day. Due to a significant increase in program workload and responsibility, staff will no longer be available to do these reviews. This change took place as of September 1, 2003. ISTS plans received after September 1 will be returned to the responsible county or local unit of government. Please note that this change will not affect review of plumbing plans by the MDH. That is, plans and specifications for plumbing systems for public and commercial buildings and properties, manufactured home parks, and campgrounds should still be submitted to the MDH Engineering Unit for review and approval prior to installation, except where the local administrative authority has established a plumbing plan review agreement with the MDH. This change also does not affect any plan review related to hospitals, nursing homes, or other MDH licensed care facilities. Those plans should still be submitted as required to the MDH Facility and Provider Compliance Section or other responsible agency.

Enforcement Actions
Please be reminded that all persons or companies contracting to do plumbing in Minnesota are required to file a plumbing code compliance bond annually with the State of Minnesota and register the bond with the MDH. A number of companies listed on license examination applications and apprentice registrations did not have the required bond, which has resulted in the MDH issuing an Administrative Penalty Order (APO) with monetary penalties to those parties. During 2002, the MDH took 64 enforcement actions that led to APO’s against persons and/or companies for violations of the Minnesota Plumbing Code. APO’s can include monetary penalties. Enforcement actions may also lead to license suspension or revocation. Examples of violations include the following: • installing plumbing prior to plan approval; • installing plumbing without the required license or bond; • allowing apprentices to perform plumbing on a jobsite without the required supervision; and • attaching an unlicensed plumber’s name to another plumber’s license, and then installing plumbing in a city with a population greater than 5000. Please remember it is the duty of the responsible master plumber or plumbing contractor to: ensure plans have been submitted and approved prior to installing any plumbing; verify that any person performing plumbing is properly licensed or registered prior to performing plumbing onsite; provide the required immediate and personal supervision for apprentices performing plumbing; and properly file evidence of code compliance bond if contracting to do plumbing. Page 3

Plumbing Plan Submittals
In order to minimize delays in the plan review process, please remember to include the following when submitting plumbing plans for review: • Utility site plan • Floor plan • Water and waste and vent riser diagrams • Fixture and pipe material specifications • Roof plan • Signature Please visit our website for more information.

Plumbing Plan Review Fee Schedule (see article on page 1)
System reviewed Water distribution and drain, waste, and vent systems, including interceptors, separators, or catch basins Fee Schedule (i) 25 or fewer drainage fixture units, $150; (ii) 26 to 50 drainage fixture units, $250; (iii) 51 to 150 drainage fixture units, $350; (iv) 151 to 249 drainage fixture units, $500; (v) 250 or more drainage fixture units, $3 per drainage fixture unit to a maximum of $4,000; and (vi) $70 per interceptor, separator, or catch basin $150 $150 $5 per supply fixture unit or $150, whichever is greater a minimum fee of $150 or: (i) $50 per drain opening, up to a maximum of $500; and (ii) $70 per interceptor, separator, or catch basin 1 to 25 sites, $300; 26 to 50 sites, $350; 51 to 125 sites, $400; more than 125 sites, $500 double the regular fee, one-half to be refunded if no response from the commissioner within 15 business days review of plans for which commissioner has issued two or more requests for additional information, per review, $100 or ten percent of the original fee, whichever is greater (i) with no increase in project scope, $50 or ten percent of original fee, whichever is greater; and (ii) with an increase in project scope, $50 plus the difference between the original project fee and the revised project fee

Building sewer service only Building water service only Building water distribution system only, no drainage system Storm drainage system

Manufactured home park or campground

Accelerated review Revision to previously reviewed or incomplete plans Proposer-requested revision

Environmental Health Services Section Plumbing Program 121 East 7th Place, Suite 220 P.O. Box 64975 St. Paul, MN 55164-0975

Presort U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 171 St. Paul, MN

The Catch Basin

Minnesota Plumbing Program News