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Septage business license requirements

No business in Wisconsin, unless exempted by statute, may engage in septage servicing until the business has been registered with the Department and the vehicle(s) and equipment used have been approved. The Department issues a business license and vehicle stickers to approved businesses. Businesses must follow Wisconsin Administrative Codes Chapter NR 114, Wisconsin Administrative Code [Exit DNR] and Chapter NR 113, Wisconsin Administrative Code [Exit DNR].

Septage business lookup webpage

operator certification lookup button

Search for an active septage business.

Overview

Chapter NR 113, Wisconsin Administrative Code [Exit DNR], was created as authorized by s.13.93 (2m) (b) 7, Wis. Stats, and establishes the standards for the servicing of private sewage systems and the disposal of wastewater from these sources while protecting the public health and protecting the surface and groundwaters of the state from contamination.

Business contact information

For additional information on septage businesses licensed in Wisconsin, refer to this report [PDF]. This report is updated less frequently than the Septage business lookup webpage. A list of farmer non-commercial septage operators [PDF] is available.

Updates and news items

Updates for septage businesses and operators, along with septage-related news items, are now found on the Operator Certification Program's news page.

DNR's Violation Hotline

The DNR's Violation Hotline provides Wisconsin citizens with the opportunity to confidentially report suspected wildlife, recreational and environmental violations using a toll free number, text messaging or by email.

Apply

Initial requirements for a business license

Step 1: Designate an Operator-in-Charge

  • Before starting the application process, identify who will be the Operator-in-Charge (OIC) for the business. An OIC is directly responsible for the septage servicing business.
  • Businesses that intend to land spread septage must designate an operator with a Master Operator- Grade L certification as the OIC.
  • Businesses that do not land spread septage can designate an operator Master Operator- Grade T or a Master Operator- Grade L certification as the OIC.
  • It is not a requirement that the business owner be certified, but the business owner must designate a properly certified OIC before a license is issued.

For more information on the requirements to become a Master Operator and the steps to take to designate an OIC, refer to the Septage operators link.

Step 2: Complete Form 3400-020: Septage Servicing New Business Application

Note: applications may take up to 30 days to process

Use the Septage Servicing New Business License Application (Form 3400-020) found on the forms and applications page to apply for the business license number. This step must be completed before finishing the lettering and self-inspection of vehicles as well as operating the business.

The application also includes the Social Security Number / Federal Employment Identification Number (FEIN) Collection Request form and must accompany the Business License Application. The purpose of collecting a FEIN number is to determine whether the license applicant is delinquent in court-ordered child or family support payments or delinquent in paying Wisconsin taxes. To learn more, visit the Wisconsin Department of Revenue [exit DNR] website.

Step 3: Complete any Vehicle Inspection Report(s) and pay appropriate fees

The cost of licensing a business depends on the number of trucks in the fleet. Current fees are: $50 per WI vehicle/$100 per out of WI vehicle and a $100 groundwater fee for in-state businesses. For out-of-state businesses, the fees are $100 per vehicle and a $100 groundwater fee.

The Vehicle Self-inspection Report Form (3400-019) and instructions on how to fill out the form and submit photos of the vehicle are found on the forms and applications page. Each self-inspection must be completed by the OIC to receive a current truck sticker, which verifies vehicle registration to law enforcement. All vehicles are required to display a current sticker on the rear of the vehicle. Business licenses and vehicle stickers are valid for two years and expire on June 30th in every odd-numbered year. Fees are not pro-rated or reimbursed. To learn more about vehicle inspections and servicing, view s. NR113.06 Wis. Admin. Code.

Application of and restrictions to the disposal of septage are explained in ss. NR 113.07, 113.08, and 113.09, Wis. Adm. Code. For more information or ask questions about the Land Application Site Request and Septage Storage Facility Permit Application forms, contact your regional coordinator for the county in which the business will be licensed or operating.

Summary

To apply for a septage business license:

  1. A certified OIC must be named on the business license application.
  2. The new business license application, vehicle inspection report form(s), and FEIN collection report form must be completed.
  3. Mail the application and forms, along with a check for the appropriate fees to:

Wisconsin DNR
Septage Operator Certification Program SS/7
PO Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921

Notice: Completion and submission of the Septage Servicing New Business License Application with appropriate fees is mandatory under s. 281.48, Wis. Stats., and ch. NR113, Wis. Adm. Code. Failure to properly complete and submit the application, with appropriate fees while continuing to service septic systems is a violation of s. 281.48, Wis. Stats. and ch. NR113, Wis. Adm. Code and may result in a monetary penalty. All new business license applications may be subject to area coordinator approval and may take up to 30 days to process.

Vehicles

Adding septage vehicles to your licensed business

Every vehicle used for septage hauling must be registered with the department by the business that owns it or uses it, regardless of whether there is a current truck sticker attached at the time of purchase. Vehicles must be inspected and registered by the business that owns or uses it prior to hauling.

Vehicles should be registered with the Vehicle Inspection Report (Form 3400-019), found on the forms and applications page. The Vehicle Inspection Report outlines the documents required to be inside the vehicle, the labelling requirements, as well as the storage and cleaning facilities required to house the vehicle. These requirements must be met prior to submitting the Vehicle Inspection Report. Refer to the Vehicle Application Fact Sheet [PDF] for a summary.

Once a vehicle is approved, the Department issues a sticker that is valid until business renewal time. The sticker must be affixed to the vehicle to show law enforcement that the vehicle is approved for operation. The paragraphs below outline different vehicle scenarios businesses may encounter.

Brand new vehicles

Vehicles may not be registered before the inspection list is complete and the business license number is added to the sides of the vehicle/tank.

Previously-owned septage vehicles

Vehicles may not be registered before the inspection list is complete and the business license number from the previous owner is replaced by the business license number of the new owner.

Selling a septage vehicle

Prior to transferring a septage vehicle to the new owner, the original owner should remove their business license number from the sides of the vehicle.

Renting a septage vehicle

A septage vehicle may be rented out to a septage business as long as it is inspected and registered by the business that is using it. The business license number must be on both sides of the vehicle.

Vehicles used by multiple businesses

A vehicle used by different businesses, under a single owner, or separate owners, shall be registered under each business license and each business license number shall be displayed on the sides of the vehicle. Both businesses must pay the registration fee.

Replacement stickers

If by unique circumstances an approved vehicle needs a replacement sticker for the same licensing period (i.e. a sticker of the same color and expiration date), businesses may request a new sticker via email or mail. Please state what happened to the previous sticker and which vehicle needs a replacement sticker:

Wisconsin DNR
Septage Operator Certification Program SS/7
PO Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921

Dispose and Report

Disposal and reporting summary

No vehicle operator or person may dispose of or recycle septage unless done in accordance with NR 113 or under county authority. There are two main methods of disposal; disposal to a publicly owned treatment works (POTW) or land application. Both methods of disposal must be recorded and reported to the DNR.

Annual reports are due to the Department no later than January 31 each year. Effective 2014, all reporting changed to an online reporting system.

Disposal methods

Disposal to a publicly owned treatment works (POTW)

Licensed businesses may dispose at a publicly owned treatment works (POTW) and apply for permission to discharge septage. Businesses wanting to dispose during winter months must apply prior to September 1st.

Land application disposal

Each business disposing of septage through land application must apply for field approval at least seven days prior to use by completing a Land Application Site Request Form (Form 3400-053), found on the forms and applications page and subtmitting to the appropriate regional coordinator.

Annual Septage E-Reporting

Annual disposal reporting is required under ch. NR 113.11 Wis Admin Code. Annual reports are due to the Department no later than January 31 each year.

Effective 2014, reporting must be done using the online reporting system.

E-reporting instructions

The Department has created helpful training documents to assist in using the new online reporting system. It's recommended you begin the process well before January 31st so you have enough time to complete all steps before the deadline.

Begin by accessing DNR's secure eBusiness portal: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Switchboard/

Septage storage

Large storage facilities

No person may construct any septage storage facility greater than or equal to 25,000 gallons without first obtaining Department plan and specification approval through the DNR's Bureau of Watershed Management. For more information, visit the bureau's page on plan review procedures for large septage storage facilities.

Small storage facilities

New or existing septage storage facilities with a capacity of less than 25,000 gallons are allowed through Department approval. To apply use the Septage Storage Facility Permit Application (Form 3400-137), found on the forms and applications page.

Compliance

Compliance overview

Septage businesses are required to stay in compliance with Wisconsin Administrative Codes NR 114 [PDF; exit DNR] and NR 113 [PDF; exit DNR]. To facilitate compliance, all Certified Operators and Master Operators are required to have three hours of "certified operator" (also called "compliance") continuing education credits every three years in order to renew a certification.

For more information, visit the Training and Renewal tabs under the Septage operators link.

Business audits

All businesses may be subject to an audit. Audits are an opportunity for businesses to meet with DNR staff and discuss the regulations businesses are required to follow.

Compliance tools

Did you miss a compliance class? Or just want more information? We'll continue to provide you the tools you've asked for to help you efficiently run your business and pass a DNR audit.

Servicing and Vehicle Documents

Land Application Tools

Renewals

Business renewal summary

Every odd year all licensed septage businesses must be renewed by June 30th. The business license and vehicle stickers issued to all registered businesses reflect the date businesses and vehicles expire. A complete renewal package is due to the Department by June 1st.

In order to renew, businesses are required to have:

  • Passed a business FEIN check. This will check if the business owners are delinquent on Wisconsin taxes or court-ordered child or family support payments.
  • Submitted all annual reports over the past two years. The deadline to submit all annual reports is January 31st of each year. For more information, refer to the Dispose/Report tab.
  • Paid all renewal fees, including the $25 late fee if the renewal materials were submitted after June 1st. The groundwater fee is $100 and each vehicle is $50 ($100 for out of state businesses).
  • An Operator-in-Charge with an active master operator certification.

In addition to meeting the above requirements, businesses are asked to supply the following:

  • An up-to-date list of employees currently registered as Operators-in-Training along with a list of employees with certified operator and master operator certifications. The list must include their certification number and start date.
  • An up-to-date list of vehicles owned or used by the business.

Incomplete renewals lead to significant delays in processing. Once a renewal as been processed, businesses are issued a new license and truck stickers for the new license period.

Note: Due to the high volume of work during the business renewal time, the Operator Certification Program requests businesses refer to the Septage Business Lookup Webpage to check if their businesses has been renewed. The look-up site is updated several days before mail may be received.

Contacts

Regional coordinators
Regional Office Coordinator Name Counties of Responsibility
South Central Region
Horicon Service Center
N7725 Highway 28
Horicon WI 53032
Stephen Warrner
Stephen.Warrner@Wisconsin.gov
920-387-7870
Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Richland, Rock, Sauk
Southeast Region
2300 N Dr Martin Luther King Jr Dr
Milwaukee WI 53212
Emily James
Emily.James@wisconsin.gov
414-263-8635
Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha
Northeast Region
2984 Shawano Ave
Green Bay WI 54313
Alexis Heim
Alexis.Heim@Wisconsin.gov
920-662-5145
Brown, Calumet, Door, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Marquette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago,
West Central Region
473 Griffith Ave
Wisconsin Rapids WI 54494
Danielle Luke
Danielle.Luke@Wisconsin.gov
715-421-7821
Adams, Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Juneau, LaCrosse, Marathon, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Portage, St. Croix, Trempealeau, Vernon, Wood
Northern Region
2501 Golf Course Rd
Ashland WI 54806
Alison Canniff
Alison.Canniff@Wisconsin.gov
715-685-0450
Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, Polk, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, Vilas, Washburn

Operator certification program coordinator

Vacant
DNROpCertSeptage@Wisconsin.gov

Operator certification program assistant

Rachel Angel
608-266-8948
DNROpCertSeptage@Wisconsin.gov

Section chief, operator certification program

Steve Geis
608-266-0245
Steven.Geis@wisconsin.gov

Last revised: Thursday November 30 2017