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Greenwood Township, 3000 County Rd. 77, Tower, MN 55790

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

St. Louis County adopts new Septic Rules

St. Louis County has adopted a new septic Ordinance--this affects all property in Greenwood Township.  For more information, please check out the following link:


Thursday, March 14, 2013



A sauna is an accessory structure used for the sole purpose of a steam bath and change room, and/or storage of materials directly related to such activity.

Setbacks and Site Design Standards near the Lake Shore
Saunas may be allowed 50 feet from the shoreline on General Development and 75 feet from the shoreline on Recreational Development lakes, with the following performance standards:
A.    The maximum size shall be 200 square feet in floor area and 12 feet in height.
B.    The structure may include a changing room, but this area may not be used for sleeping or cooking.
C.    A deck is allowed, but it must meet said setback requirements and it shall be included in the maximum floor area.
D.    The structure shall be served by a gray water septic system, approved by the St. Louis County Health Department.
E.    The structure shall not be used to store combustible petroleum products, nor shall it be attached to a structure where such products are present.
F.    The structure shall be stained or painted in unobtrusive colors.
            G.    The sauna shall be screened from the shore by natural means.
            H.    There shall be no other accessory structures located closer than the required principal structure setback.

Septic:  Under certain conditions, a permit application for a sauna may require a sanitary review.

Special Circumstances
Within the ordinance, there are many circumstances that may stipulate varying setbacks for your proposed project(s).  Examples include nonconforming lots of records, size of proposed structure, locations near bluffs, bedrock, wetlands, lakes, etc.  If you are unable to meet the requirements of the Ordinance and you meet certain criteria, you may be able to be granted a variance.   Please contact the Planning Director to see if any special standards required for your property prior to designing your project or you would like information regarding variances.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Preventing Frozen Septic Systems

No snow and low temperatures don’t mix in the Northland. That’s why the St. Louis County Environmental Services Department is issuing a warning about freezing septic systems, especially with low temperatures in the forecast and no snow cover to keep systems warm.
There are several ways to protect a system from freezing, the experts say:

  • Add a layer of mulch (8-12 inches of hay or straw) over the pipes, tank and soil-treatment area. Keep the mulch loose to form air pockets, which act as insulation. This is particularly important if a system is new and vegetative cover has not been well-established.
  • Use normal amounts of water — the warmer the better. Spread out laundry schedules to one warm load per day.
  • Don’t leave water running. A slow trickle could freeze while a steady stream could overload the system.
  • If you will be gone for a week or more, have someone visit and use hot water regularly.
  • Route the drip-water from high-efficiency furnaces. The slow drip can freeze in the pipes. Route this clean water into the footing drain sump or a bucket.
  • Fix any leaky plumbing. Small trickles of water going into the system can freeze as thin ice layers within pipes.
  • Keep weight (vehicles, etc.) off the septic system.
  • Make sure all risers, inspection pipes and manholes have tight covers. Adding insulation is a good idea.
  • Consider installing a septic tank heater.
    People who find their system frozen or sewage near their system should contact a pumper or installer. Call the St. Louis County Environmental Services at (800) 450-9278 or go to stlouiscountymn.gov septic for more information.
  • Friday, October 12, 2012

    Friday, February 3, 2012