News & Events
Minnesota Gov. Dayton Signs Water Conditioning Bill
Governor Dayton has signed MWQA’s legislation into law! This means commercial installations by water conditioning contractors will be allowed beginning August 1 of this year, in accordance with language passed by the Minnesota legislature. Mark Haase, MWQA lobbyist, reported that Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed the Water Conditioning legislation along with all the funding bills to run the state government agencies – except the legislature. The language had been rolled into SF 1937 – the Omnibus Jobs, Commerce, Energy, Labor and Industry, and Employment and Economic Development Appropriations Bill. The bill was presented to the Governor and vetoed on May 15, then became part of last minute negotiations between the Republican Legislature and the Governor. The Republicans removed some of the policy directives that they had placed in the bill and it passed just before the end of the regular session, on May 22.
The terms have been in negotiation for years with the Department of Labor and Industry, the Pipe Trades Association and the Minnesota Mechanical Contractors Association. The full language of the bill clarifies and improves a number of issues in statutes regarding water conditioning contractors.
- Installations can be performed in commercial settings when a bypass has been installed by a plumber and piping is 2” or less.
- New employees can work on installations after signing with DLI as “registered unlicensed individuals.” This allows them to get experience and puts them on the way to a Journeymen’s License.
- Clarifies the supervision needed for these new employees.
MWQA will be preparing detailed information on the impact of the legislation and sending it to those in the industry. The bill will also be presented and discussed at the MWQA Annual Meeting & Conference in October. Dealers are encouraged to know the limitations and the allowances of the new statutes, so that they may operate within the law and educate employees, customers and building officials.
The three-year lobbying effort was expensive and consumed the time of many on the MWQA Board of Directors. Significant financial contributions were received from large and small water conditioning dealers as well as national manufacturers. MWQA extends a gracious thank-you to all those who supported our efforts, both financially and as volunteers.
Along with MWQA Directors, the Lobbying and negotiation was handled by MWQA’s long term law firm, Gray Plant Mooty; their Principal Tom Johnson; and lobbyist Mark Haase. Mr. Johnson has assisted MWQA for many years and served as Hennepin County Attorney for twelve years and served two terms on the Minneapolis City Council. Mr. Haase has lobbied at the Minnesota legislature for ten years and is well known at the Capital.
The bill’s chief authors were Representative Dave Baker of Willmar and Senator Karin Housley of Stillwater.
MWQA Sets Date for Annual Convention
October 11-12, 2017 are the dates selected for the upcoming MWQA Annual Convention. We will return again to the Holiday Inn in Lakeville, Minnesota, for our event.
Last year’s convention featured a vendor fair, speakers from the State Department of Labor and Industry, and a variety of credit-earning seminars. The 2017 event will feature much of the same.
Charlie Durenberger of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s Continuing Education and Licensing Division spoke in 2016, outlining the requirements for Registered Unlicensed Plumber, Water Conditioning Journeyman, Water Conditioning Master, and Water Conditioning Contractor. His presentation is available here.
Durenberger stressed the importance of businesses securing and maintaining the Water Conditioning Contractor (business) license in Minnesota, as there are still some companies doing business without the Contractor license. Obtaining a Contractor license requires several steps, including securing a bond, liability and workers’ compensation insurance, as well as having a Water Conditioning Master on staff.
The Department is willing to assist people in getting the proper licenses and has extended an open invitation to those who are not properly licensed, even going to far as to suggest businesses will not be penalized for operating without the proper license if they contact the Department for assistance. However, this will most likely not be the case indefinitely, and Durenberger asked that unlicensed businesses contact his office for help as soon as possible.
License applications are available on the Department’s website. To apply for the Individual Water Conditioning License, follow this link: Water Conditioning Personal License Application
To apply for the Water Conditioning Contractor license follow this link:
Water Conditioning Contractor Application
2016 MWQA Convention Presentations Available For Download
MWQA’s 2016 convention included several educational presentations, as well as the National WQA’s Fundamentals Course, which is the second step in the Modular Education Program. Attendees with Minnesota water conditioning licenses were able to obtain all the credits needed to renew their license, and those with Wisconsin licenses were also granted credit. In addition, attendees were given the opportunity to earn PEX certification cards at a presentation by Viega, and heard from Charlie Durenberger of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.
Here is a list of speakers along with a link to their presentations.
Scott Schiesser, “Introduction to Water Filtration.”
Mike Herman, “Minnesota Plumbing Code Regulations.”
Scott Schiesser, “Introduction to Water Softening.”
Matt Palmersten, “UV Basics and Design.”
Sara Heger, University of Minnesota,“Salt and Chloride Discharge Effects on Minnesota Waters.”
The 2015 Minnesota Plumbing Code, Chapter 4714, took effect Jan. 23, 2016. The code incorporates by reference the 2012 edition of the Uniform Plumbing Code with Minnesota amendments and replaces the old Minnesota Rules, Chapter 4715.
- 2015 Minnesota Plumbing Code*
- Plumbing Code Fact Sheet (PDF)
- What you need to know about the 2015 Minnesota Plumbing Code
- Utility service connections (PDF)
- Backflow protection and fire sprinkler systems (PDF)
- Minnesota-specific amendments (PDF)
*The detailed version of the Minnesota Plumbing Code linked above is available here for your convenience. However, the Office of the Revisor of Statutes publishes the official codes.
Changes to State License Exams
Testing for Water Conditioning exams now takes place several times throughout the year and at several locations in Minnesota. Tests are no longer given twice a year. Click on the links below to find the exam dates and locations that will work for you. You can also schedule your exam online.