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Why we regulate
Learn what types of wastewater discharges are regulated and how
Plan review
The DNR reviews plans for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plant construction
Discharge permits
Wastewater discharges to surface or groundwaters

Wastewater regulations

The following list highlights the Wisconsin state statutes and administrative codes most applicable to the wastewater program. All state statutes and administrative codes can be found online in the Wisconsin State Legislature document registry [exit DNR]. The statutes and codes listed below can also be found on that website, but are highlighted here for easier access.


Milwaukee Jones Island

Administrative codes

Chapter [exit DNR] Chapter Title Summary
NR 101 Reports and Fees for Wastewater Discharges Establishes requirements for payment of wastewater fees by persons discharging industrial, municipal, or other wastewaters requiring a WPDES permit.
NR 102 Water Quality Standards for Wisconsin Surface Waters Establishes water quality standards for surface waters of the state, in conjunction with chs. NR 103 to 105. Describes the designated use categories for such waters and the water quality criteria necessary to support these uses.
NR 103 Water Quality Standards for Wetlands Establishes water quality standards for wetlands.
NR 104 Uses and Designated Standards Surface water classifications and corresponding effluent limitations.
NR 105 Surface Water Quality Criteria and Secondary Values for Toxic Substances Establishes water quality criteria and methods for developing criteria and secondary values for toxic substances to protect public health and welfare, the present and prospective use of all surface waters for public and private water supplies, and the propagation of fish and aquatic life and wildlife.
NR 106 Procedures for Calculating WQBELs for Discharges to Surface Waters Specifies how to calculate water quality based effluent limitations (WQBEL) for toxic substances and whole effluent toxicity and further specifies how to decide if and how these limitations will be included in WPDES permits. These WQBELs are needed to assure attainment and maintenance of water quality standards as set forth in chs. NR 102 to 105.
NR 108 Plan & Spec Submittal for Reviewable Projects & Operations of Water, Sewerage & Industrial Systems Governs the submission of plans and specifications for any reviewable project and the general operation and control of community water systems, sewerage systems and industrial wastewater facilities.
NR 110 Sewerage Systems Contains requirements applicable to all new or modified sewerage systems, excluding only industrial waste treatment facilities.
NR 113 Servicing Septic or Holding Tanks, Pumping Chambers, Grease Interceptors, Seepage Beds/Pits/Trenches, Portable Restrooms Establishes standards for the servicing of private sewage systems including septic and holding tanks, dosing chambers, grease interceptors, seepage beds, seepage pits, seepage trenches, privies and portable restrooms; to provide for the use and disposal of wastewaters from these sources while protecting public health; and to protect surface waters and groundwaters of the state from contamination by septage.
NR 114 Certification Requirements For WWTP, Septage, & Water System Operators Establishes rules for the certification of waterworks operators.
NR 140 Groundwater Quality Establishes groundwater quality standards and implementation procedures for substances detected in or having a reasonable probability of entering the groundwater resources of the state.
NR 200 Application For Discharge Permits & Variances Sets forth the requirements for filing applications for WPDES discharge permits and for variances to water quality standards.
NR 201 Fact Sheet For WPDES Permits Identifies when the department must prepare a fact sheet for a WPDES permit and what information must be included. A fact sheet describes the discharge, the permit's effluent limits, monitoring requirements, and other conditions.
NR 203 WPDES Public Participation Procedures Lays out the requirements for public participation in the WPDES permitting process.
NR 204 Domestic Sewage Sludge Management Establishes discharge standards, monitoring, record keeping and reporting requirements for the use and disposal of sewage sludge and grit and screenings.
NR 205 General Provisions Sets forth the definitions applicable to and abbreviations used in chs. NR 200-299 to avoid repetition in those chapters. This chapter also sets forth general conditions for all WPDES permits and procedures to be used for issuing general permits.
NR 206 Land Disposal of Municipal Wastewaters Establishes effluent limitations and monitoring requirements for discharges of wastewater from publicly owned treatment works and privately owned domestic treatment works to land disposal systems.
NR 207 Water Quality Antidegradation Establishes implementation procedures for the antidegradation policy in s. NR 102.05(1)(a) and sets procedures applicable to proposed new or increased discharges to outstanding resource waters, exceptional resource waters, Great Lakes system waters, fish and aquatic life waters, and waters listed in tables 3 through 8 in ss. NR 104.05 to 104.10.
NR 208 Compliance Maintenance Promotes an owner's awareness and responsibility for wastewater conveyance and treatment needs; maximizes the useful life and performance of treatment works through improved operation and maintenance; and initiates formal planning, design and construction to prevent WPDES permit violations.
NR 210 Sewage Treatment Works Establishes effluent limitations, performance requirements and monitoring provisions for discharges from publicly and privately owned wastewater treatment works.
NR 211 General Pretreatment Requirements Establishes the responsibilities of industrial users in preventing the discharge of pollutants into publicly owned treatment works which will interfere with the operation of the POTW, will pass through the POTW insufficiently treated, or which will impair the use or disposal of POTW sludge.
NR 212 Waste Load Allocated Water Quality Effluent Limitations Establishes the procedures to be used for determining total maximum pollutant loadings and corresponding water quality related effluent limitations.
NR 214 Land Treatment of Industrial Liquid Wastes, By-Product Solids, & Sludges Establishes design and construction criteria for all land treatment systems that receive industrial wastes and require department approval of plans and specifications, and establishes discharge limitations, monitoring requirements and operating standards for all industrial land treatment systems.
NR 217 Effluent Standards And Limitations For Phosphorus Establishes technology and water quality-based effluent limitations for phosphorus in effluent discharged to surface waters of the state.
NR 218 Method and Manner of Sampling Prescribes the appropriate method and manner of obtaining samples of effluent discharged from point sources.
NR 219 Analytical Test Methods and Procedures Establishes analytical test methods, preservation procedures, requirements for laboratories, and procedures applicable to effluent limitations for discharges from point sources.
NR 221 – 297 Categorical Limits for Industry Establish effluent limitations, standards of performance, and pretreatment standards for discharges of process wastes from various manufacturing categories.
Last revised: Thursday August 24 2017