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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

Waters of the State

Section. 283.01(20) of the Wis. Statutes has a specific definition for a water of the state. Any wet area below the ordinary high water mark of a surface water (marsh, creek, stream, river, pond, lake, etc.) is considered to be a water of the state. A wet area with wetland vegetation would normally be considered to be a water of the state. Also, water in channels and tributaries that drains to wetlands or surface waters is included in the waters of the state definition. Water in ponds, depressions or ditches that is entirely confined and retained completely on the private property of a person is not considered to be a WPDES water of the state.

Contact information
For more information, contact:
Jeff Brauer
Environmental Engineer

Wisconsin Pest Control Pollutant Discharge Permits

Wisconsin General Permits are now available for pest control pollutant discharges into waters of the state

The four Wisconsin WPDES general permits listed below were issued in October 2011 for pest control treatment projects that have a pollutant discharge to a water of the state. These Clean Water Act permits were needed to comply with the Federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Cotton Council decision (PDF, 65KB).

The general WPDES permits authorize a pollutant discharge from control activities for the following types of organisms:

What is a pest control pollutant discharge?

A pest control pollutant discharge would occur when a point source (spray nozzle, granular spreader or mixer, etc.) causes: (1) a biological pollutant discharge to a water of the state, (2) a chemical residual in a water of the state after the treatment project is completed, or (3) a chemical concentration in a water of the state located beyond the pest treatment area boundary.

Goals of the general permits

The goal of these general permits is that the permittee evaluate and implement integrated pest management practices that, in conjunction with effective pest control, will minimize any pest control pollutant discharge and prevent exeeedence of a Wisconsin water quality standard.

More information about these permits

See the Fact Sheet (PDF, 43KB) and “Question & Answer document" (PDF, 39KB) for more information.

Do I need a General Permit?

How to apply for general permit coverage

There are two ways to apply for WPDES permit coverage for pest control pollutant discharges: (1) apply for both the NR 107 Aquatic Plant Management permit and WPDES permit coverage at the same time using form 3200-004 application, or (2) mail in a paper WPDES permit Notice of Intent (NOI) form 3400-202. The 3400-202 NOI form (PDF, 35KB) can be used to request WPDES permit coverage for an applicator entity to have a pest control pollutant discharge at multiple future Wisconsin treatment sites with a single WPDES Notice of Intent request.

Only one entity needs to have WPDES permit coverage for any pollutant discharge to a water of the state. That entity could be either the sponsor or the applicator. If the pesticide contract applicator does not have permit coverage, the sponsor would need to apply for WPDES permit coverage for any pest control pollutant discharge to a water of the state (residue or discharge beyond the treatment area).

Is there a fee for this permit?

Coverage under these general WPDES permits currently has no fee.

Annual reporting requirements begin in 2013

After January 1, 2013, treatment operations affecting greater than 20 acres or 20 shoreline linear miles of waters of the state in a calendar year are required to report information on pest control pollutant discharges before February 15th of the following year. The Department plans to create an integrated NR 107 and WPDES reporting system by the end of 2012.

Last revised: Tuesday February 19 2013