The Twin Cities Cluster and Regional Sewer Systems

Lake Elmo, located in the Twin Cities metropolitan area of Minnesota, is a municipality with a population of just over 8,000.  Regional sewer was not available to Lake Elmo until 1992. Before then, the entire community was served by onsite wastewater systems.  The community believed that along with regional sewer came high-density development to pay for the high cost of “Big Pipe” infrastructure.  Lake Elmo now has regional sewer service along the Interstate 94 corridor and limited use elsewhere. The remaining areas of the community have retained their current wastewater systems.

Cluster systems (cooperative wastewater systems serving groups of homes) offer financial advantages over individual onsite systems. For instance, cluster systems allow lots to be positioned for optimal market value, and not just based on where the good soils are. Cluster systems can also be designed to preserve open space.  Experience in Lake Elmo and other areas in Minnesota indicate that the “cross-over” point between individual onsite systems and cluster systems is around seven homes.  For developments smaller than seven homes, individual onsite systems will likely be more cost-effective, assuming that soil conditions on each lot can support an onsite system. For developments larger than seven homes, cluster systems are likely to be more cost-effective, and the relative cost savings from a cluster system will increase as the development size increases.

Minneapolis/ St Paul, have you registered yet for the NASTT’s No-Dig Show? It’s being held this month in Dallas. The NASTT No-Dig show is the largest trenchless technology conference in North America. Professionals attend to learn new techniques that will save money and improve infrastructure. We’ll have many fascinating, informative demo’s on the latest trenchless technologies along with exhibits, products and resources on all of our services locally and nationwide. You won’t want to miss it!


Gaylord Texan Hotel & Convention Center/ March 20th-24th
1501 Gaylord Trail
Grapevine, TX 76051


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