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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
Contact information
For more information, contact:
Julia Riley
Wastewater Specialist
608-264-9244

Legislative history

No federal or state regulations currently exist which require wastewater treatment plants to conduct a Vulnerability Assessment (more on Vulnerability Assessments...). The DNR encourages municipalities to voluntarily complete a Vulnerability Assessment for these reasons:

  • Wastewater system security measures protect one of the most valuable financial assets of a community. (More on Security Measures...)
  • Some insurance companies may want demonstration that preventive actions have been taken to reduce vandalism.
  • Preventing or reducing the loss of wastewater service to customers protects the environment and human health.
  • Planning for emergencies helps protect wastewater treatment employees.
  • Some federal grant and loan programs for wastewater utility improvements now require Vulnerability Assessments as a condition of the grant or loan.

These federal activities and directives have highlighted the need for wastewater treatment security:

  • The 1996 “President’s Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection” assessed the security of the nation’s critical infrastructures and its vulnerability to physical and cyber attacks.
  • In 1997, EPA was assigned responsibility for water infrastructure security protection through Presidential Directive “HSPD7: Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization, and Protection.”
  • In 2002, the “Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2001” (exit DNR) was enacted. This act required water systems serving more than 3,300 persons to prepare vulnerability assessments of their vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks or other intentional acts.

The internet website: http://Thomas.loc.gov (exit DNR), locates information on Congressional actions by search topic. Type in the words “Wastewater Security” in the Word/Phrase box on the web page. Click the search button to find Congressional actions in the area of wastewater security and funding recommendations.

The article, “Summary of January 2005 Government Accountability Office Findings on Wastewater System Funding Recommendations for Security Improvements”, contains recommendations on how to fund security measures.

Last revised: Wednesday October 16 2013