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Wisconsin's Capacity Development Program

The Capacity Development Program aims to help public water systems strengthen their ability to consistently supply safe drinking water to their customers. The program focuses on assisting system owners and operators, particularly small water systems, with improving their technical abilities, managerial skills and financial resources to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requirements.

Capacity development in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s capacity development program began on September 1, 1999. As part of this program, new and proposed public water systems conduct an evaluation of their system capacity. Capacity evaluation is required for the following water systems:

  • Municipal Community (MC) systems - municipal systems are owned by cities, villages, counties and sanitary districts and regularly serve at least 25 year-round residents;
  • Other than Municipal Community (OTM) systems - OTM systems serve groups of 25 or more year-round residents and can include mobile home parks, apartments, and condominiums; and
  • Non-transient Non-community (NN) systems - NN systems serve groups of at least 25 people over six months of the year, and can include schools, day care centers, dairies and cheese plants, factories and industrial facilities.

About the capacity evaluation

The DNR has several fact sheets available to help facilities work through the capacity evaluation process.

Wisconsin also has many Transient Non-Community (TN) public water systems. These are systems that serve 25 or more people for at least 60 days of the year, which can include hotels and motels, restaurants, parks, taverns, churches and campgrounds. While TN systems are not required to submit capacity evaluation forms, DNR has information available to help TN systems maintain and plan for adequate system capacity.

Capacity evaluation forms

The DNR has developed forms that are designed to help new other-than-municipal (OTM) and non-transient non-community (NN) system owners provide the information needed for the capacity evaluation. For this purpose, “new” OTM and NN systems include systems which fall into these classifications due to an infrastructure expansion, change in type of population served (e.g. system will serve a school when it did not serve a school before), or increase in the population served. Prior to construction, owners of new OTM and NN systems fill out, sign, and submit the form to the DNR.

A capacity evaluation is not required if the system previously performed one and will remain the same type of system after any improvements, including new well construction.

How to submit capacity evaluation forms

  • Systems subject to DNR plan review (all OTM systems, and NN systems with pumping capacity equal to or greater than 70 gallons/minute): The capacity evaluation is completed as part of the plan review process. Submit the appropriate capacity evaluation form with the plan review information. Once the plan approval is granted and the capacity evaluation is reviewed, DNR will send an approval letter and capacity certification to the system owner.
  • Systems not subject to DNR plan review (all NN systems with pumping capacity less than 70 gallons/minute): The capacity evaluation is still required prior to system construction. Owners should complete and send the capacity evaluation form to the DNR. DNR will review the capacity evaluation and send a letter of approval and capacity certification to the system owner.

Send capacity evaluation forms to:

Capacity Development Coordinator
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
2300 North Dr Martin Luther King Jr Drive
Milwaukee WI 53212-3128

Last revised: Wednesday January 22 2020