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 on WPDES permits, contact:
Mike Lemcke, Chief
Permits Section
Water Quality Bureau
608-266-2666

WPDES permits

The Department regulates the discharge of pollutants to waters of the state through the Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) program. Wastewater permits contain all the monitoring requirements, special reports, and compliance schedules appropriate to the facility in question. Permits are issued for a five year term.

Individual permits

Individual (e.g., site-specific)WPDES permits are issued to municipal and industrial facilities discharging to surface water and/or groundwater. As of 2012, approximately 358 industrial facilities require individual WPDES permits and approximately 649 municipalities held individual WPDES permits.

General permits

WPDES general permits issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for specific categories of industrial, municipal and other wastewater discharges. Under the authority in section 283.35, Wis. Stats., the Department may issue WPDES general permits applicable to categories or classes of point source discharges. When a general permit is issued, many facilities meeting its requirements may be covered under the same general permit. Section NR 205.08, Wis. Adm. Code, contains further requirements concerning the issuance of general permits. Listed below are the current WPDES general permits:

  • Ballast Water Discharge (WI-0063835)
  • Carriage and Interstitial Water from Dredging Operations (WI-0046558)
  • Concrete Products Operations (WI-0046507)
  • Contaminated Groundwater from Remedial Action Operations (WI-0046566)
  • Domestic Wastewater to Subsurface Soil Absorption Systems (WI-0062901)
  • Hydrostatic Test Water and Water Supply System Water (WI-0057681)
  • Land Application of By-Product Solids (WI-0057665)
  • Land Application of Industrial Sludge (WI-0057657)
  • Land Application of Liquid Industrial Wastes (WI-0055867)
  • Non-Contact Cooling Water or Condensate and Boiler Blowdown (WI-0044938)
  • Nondomestic Wastewater to Subsurface Absorption Systems (WI-0055611)
  • Nonmetallic Mining Operations (WI-0046515)
  • Pesticide Pollutant Discharge for Control of Aquatic Plants, Algae, and Bacteria (WI-0064556)
  • Pesticide Pollutant Discharge for Control of Detrimental or Invasive Aquatic Animals (WI-0064564)
  • Pesticide Pollutant Discharge for Control of Forest Canopy Pests (WI-0064572)
  • Pesticide Pollutant Discharge for Control of Mosquitoes or Other Flying Insects (WI-0064581)
  • Petroleum Contaminated Water (WI-0046531)
  • Pit/Trench Dewatering (WI-0049344)
  • Potable Water Treatment and Conditioning (WI-0046540)
  • Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO) from Sewage Collection Systems (WI-0047341)
  • Swimming Pool Facilities (WI-0046523)
  • Wastewater from the Outside Washing of Vehicles, Equipment and Other Objects (WI-0059153)

Storm water permits

To meet the requirements of Section 402 of the federal Clean Water Act, the DNR developed a state Storm Water Permits Program under Wisconsin Administrative Code NR 216.

Agricultural permits

More information regarding permits for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) is available at Agri Business and CAFOs.

Last revised: Monday September 03 2012