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
Contact information
For information contact:
Jeff Brauer
Environmental Engineer

Industrial and municipal wastewater general discharge permits

WPDES general permits are issued by the WDNR for specific categories of industrial, municipal and other wastewater discharges. Under each general permit listed below is a link to the current permit, permit fact sheet, request for coverage document, and other related documents. (See Agri-Business and Storm Water for general permits covering discharges from concentrated animal feeding operations and storm water runoff.)

If you do not have a letter from the department granting or conferring coverage for a discharge to waters of the state under an applicable general permit, you must contact the department prior to discharge. Failure to obtain coverage under a WPDES permit for discharges may be a violation of state law and you could be prosecuted.

Authorization to discharge pollutants to waters of the state under a WPDES general permit is normally granted by Department regional staff. If a permittee has received a letter from the Department granting coverage under a general permit, the Department regional staff contact information can normally be found within that letter. For a new Request for Coverage under an existing general permit, the region that will evaluate the request can be identified based the DNR regional boundaries and the location of the proposed pollutant discharge. The Request for Coverage information should be mailed to the DNR regional office that regulates the proposed discharge location. A listing of the regional mailing addresses and phone numbers can be found at http://dnr.wi.gov/Contact/SSbyRegion.html. When calling the DNR regional general office phone number, ask to speak with the Water Program staff person who would evaluate the request for WPDES coverage for the proposed discharge.

Ballast Water Discharge (WI-0063835-1-2)

This permit is intended to cover the discharge of ballast water from vessels into Lake Michigan, Lake Superior or other waters where a vessel may transit located within the boundaries of Wisconsin and meeting the applicability criteria listed in this permit.

Carriage and Interstitial Water from Dredging Operations (WI-0046558-5)

This permit is intended to cover dredging operations where carriage water or interstitial water from sediment dredging projects is discharged to surface waters or seepage systems.

Concrete Products Operations (WI-0046507-5)

This permit is intended to cover concrete products operations (excluding concrete asphalt) where washwater, boiler blowdown, non-contact cooling water, and dust control wastewater are discharged to surface waters or seepage systems.

Contaminated Groundwater from Remedial Action Operations (WI-0046566-6)

This permit covers wastewater from soil and groundwater remediation projects involving organic contaminants (primarily hydrocarbons and solvents) discharged to surface waters or seepage systems. The permit also contains requirements for infiltration discharges to enhance in-situ bioremediation.

Domestic Wastewater to a Subsurface Soil Absorption System (WI-0062901-2)

This permit is intended to cover discharge of domestic wastewater into a subsurface soil absorption system. The facility may consist of a large Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (POWTS) that is approved by the Department of Safety and Professional Services.

Hydrostatic Test Water and Water Supply System Water (WI-0057681-4)

This permit is intended to regulate discharges of hydrostatic test water and water supply system water to surface waters or seepage systems.

Land Application of By-Product Solids (WI-0057665-5)

This permit is intended to cover discharges of by-product solids to land spreading sites. By- product solids are waste materials from the animal or food processing industry including, but not limited to: vegetable waste leaves, cuttings, peelings, husks and sweet corn cobs; animal paunch manure (stomach contents); and waste fruit and pits.

Land Application of Industrial Sludge (WI-0057657-5)

This permit is intended to cover the application of industrial sludges to landspreading sites regulated under ch. NR 214, Wis. Adm. Code. These sludges must not have detrimental effects on soils, crops or groundwater, and have beneficial properties as a soil conditioner or fertilizer. These sludges are typically from the treatment of food processing wastewaters.

Land Application of Liquid Industrial Wastes (WI-0055867-6)

This permit is intended to cover discharges of liquid wastes to landspreading sites from, but not limited to, food processing facilities (including fruit, vegetable, dairy products, meat, fish, and poultry processing facilities), mink raising operations, and aquaculture operations. The wastes will typically contain biodegradable pollutants with annual limitations on the application of nitrogen and chlorides.

Non-Contact Cooling Water, or Condensate and Boiler Blowdown (WI-0044938-5)

This permit is intended to cover non-contact cooling water, air conditioning condensate and boiler blowdown (with no additives or nontoxic additives) discharges to Wisconsin surface waters or seepage systems.

Nondomestic Wastewater to a Subsurface Absorption System (WI-0055611-6)

This permit is intended to cover discharges of liquid industrial wastes containing biodegradable pollutants discharged to subsurface absorption systems (septic tanks followed by subsurface drainfield systems). Typical wastewaters will come from, but not be limited to, food processing facilities (including fruit, vegetable, meat, fish and poultry processing facilities), mink raising operations, and aquaculture operations.

Nonmetallic Mining Operations (WI-0046515-5)

This permit is intended to cover sand, gravel, dimension stone, rotten granite, clay pit, and crushed stone operations where wash water, pit dewatering, dust control and non-contact cooling wastewaters are discharged to surface waters or seepage systems. The permit also contains stormwater requirements in accordance with NR 216, Wisconsin Admininstrative Code.

Outside Washing of Vehicles, Equipment and Other Objects (WI-0059153-3)

This permit is intended to cover a variety of facilities that wash equipment, vehicles and other objects outside and can not direct the wastewater to sanitary sewage facilities. Discharges from these washing operations typically contain contaminants (suspended solids and foam) that can be addressed by implementing Best Management Practices. Occasional residential and non-profit vehicle washing is exempt.

Pesticide Pollutant Discharges

Four general permits authorize point source discharge of a biological pollutant, an excess chemical pollutant, and a residual chemical pollutant directly into waters of the state. The pollutant discharge can result from control activities for the following types of organisms:

  • Aquatic Plants, Algae and Bacteria - WI0064556-1
  • Detrimental or Invasive Aquatic Animals - WI0064564-1
  • Forest Canopy Pests - WI0064572-1
  • Mosquitoes or Other Flying Insects - WI0064581-1

More information on the 4 general permits can be found at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/wastewater/AquaticPesticides.html

Petroleum Contaminated Water (WI-0046531-5)

This permit is intended to regulate petroleum contaminated water from fueling areas (auto, rail, airport, etc.) and petroleum storage tank farms discharged to surface waters or seepage systems.

Pit/Trench Dewatering (WI-0049344-4)

This permit is intended to cover construction site pit and trench dewatering wastewater discharges to surface waters or seepage systems.

Potable Water Treatment and Conditioning (WI-0046540-5)

This permit is intended to cover iron filter, lime softener, alum coagulation, granular media filter and reverse osmosis facilities where backwash, regeneration, and rinse water are discharged to surface waters or seepage systems.

Satellite Sewage Collection Systems (WI-0047341-5)

This permit applies to municipal and non-municipal entities that own a sewage collection system that is tributary to a regional wastewater treatment facility that provides treatment. The permit includes reporting requirements for sanitary sewer overflows if they occur, and a compliance maintenance annual report (CMAR). Sanitary sewer overflows are prohibited. Sewage collection system owners must implement a new requirement for a capacity, management, operation and maintenance program (CMOM).

Short Duration Discharge (WI-0059137-3)

This permit is intended to cover discharges that occur infrequently, are relatively short in duration (90 days or less), and do not represent an environmental concern. The discharge may be to a land application site or a discharge to a surface water.

Swimming Pool Facilities (WI-0046523-5)

This permit is intended to cover pool cleaning, pool drainage and pool filter backwash wastewaters that are discharged to surface waters or seepage.

Last revised: Wednesday December 04 2013