Lawn Irrigation Systems

(printable handout)

Permit and Fees

A plumbing permit is required for the installation of a lawn irrigation system.

The permit fee is $70.00, plus state surcharge. Should you choose to install a second meter, the fee for a 3/4” meter is $242.75 and for a 1” meter the fee is $367.97. A separate water meter is recommended for your irrigation system. Your sewer usage bill is calculated on water usage. Therefore, without a separate meter your sewer bill will be higher. Contact Utility Billing at (651) 322-2099 or by email for more details.

Installation Requirements

  • All water services must be installed within a laundry, utility or furnace room.
  • 3/4” or 1” meters must be placed in a meter horn.
  • Water meters must be installed 18-36 inch above the floor and within 6-12 inches from a wall.
  • Water meters must be fully accessible with a minimum of 2 feet of clear working space around each meter.
  • A floor drain connected to the sanitary sewer system must be installed on the same floor level as the water meter/service within 8 feet of the water meter.
  • All water service valves and piping must be installed in accordance with the Minnesota State Plumbing Code.
  • The tie into the water line must be on the house side of the water meter, unless a second water meter is added, then refer to printable handout for additional information.
  • All solder must be 95-5.
  • A full flow valve (ball or gate) must be provided after the tie in with a means of draining the line after the valve.
  • A backflow preventer must be provided to protect the water supply line.
  • An approved RPZ (reduced pressure zone) backflow preventer, an atmospheric backflow preventer or a pressure type vacuum breaker are all types of protection. See the illustrations for type of backflow protection your system requires.
  • Backflow preventers are required to be tested, and maintained in accordance with the Minnesota Plumbing Code. Copies of all inspections and maintenance reports must be filed annually with the City Inspections Department.


There is one inspection required for the installation of lawn irrigation systems. The inspection will take place once the water connection is made and the piping is run to the outside with all valves and backflow preventer installed. The actual irrigation system in the ground does not need to be installed for the inspection. Call 651-322-2024 to schedule all inspections.

If you are purchasing an irrigation meter/second meter for a residential unit, at the time the plumbing permit is applied for through the Building Department, you will pay for the size meter you require (3/4” or 1”) and receive a horn for that size. Once that horn is in place you may call the Public Works Department (651-322-2022) for the installation of the meter.