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DNR water supply staff

Water supply

When starting a small business, you will need to consider all of your water needs. This can include any basic services such as restroom facilities (toilets, sinks, showers), breakrooms (coffeemakers, sinks) or fire suppression (sprinkler systems, standpipes) to process water needed for complex business operations.

Once you have identified your water needs, you need to explore what your water source will be. Will you be able to hook up to a municipal water system or will you need to install a new well? This section of the primer will help you work through those questions as well as offer you information on water saving techniques, appropriate permits and staff contact information.


1. Will you need water or access to a water supply?


If your answer is "No,” go to 2.

You've answered Yes.

If your answer is “Yes,”," go to 3


2. Are you sure you don't need a water supply?

Most small businesses need a water supply for their day-to-day operations. Your water needs may include fire suppression, restroom facilities, drinking water supplies, etc.

You've answered Yes.

If your answer is “Yes,”:

Continue on to Storm Water

You've answered No.

If your answer is “No,”:


3. Is there access to a municipal water supply?Municipal water

You indicated you will need water or access to a water supply.

You've answered Yes.

If your answer is “Yes,”:

Water conservation will provide you with many water conserving options that may be applicable to your business and may help you save money. Please review tips by clicking on "Water conservation information for municipalities".

Water conservation information for municipalities

When working with your local community on obtaining water, now is a good time to consider how much water you will need and the ways in which you can conserve water to save money. Many Wisconsin residents and businesses consider clean water to be an unlimited resource. But, in fact, our state’ water supply is an exhaustible natural resource. To ensure sufficient water supplies for present and future generations, we must use this precious resource wisely. By effectively managing your water usage (for example using aerating faucet inserts or low flow showerheads) your small business can help increase the life of existing water supplies, minimize the impact of drought, and delay or minimize additional development.

By conserving water you can also have a significant effect on local water demands. And, in addition to the environmental benefits, your water efficiency programs will reduce costs and increase the profitability of your business through:

  • water and sewer cost savings;
  • wastewater treatment cost savings; and
  • energy savings.

Furthermore, as water quality regulations become stricter and the cost of water increases, your wise use of water will help you gain an edge over your competition.

Links

  • The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority's Water Efficiency and Management in Commercial Buildings website details how commercial buildings can save water. Through case study examples and generalized action steps, the online document lays out how to use water more efficiently. It covers all facets of a building, from the grounds to the boiler room.
  • Facility Manager’s Guide to Water Management: This comprehensive, 120-page guide is a facility manager's dream, complete with step-by-step advice, implementation steps, worksheets, forms, checklists and diagrams. It covers a broad spectrum of water-management issues, from plumbing fixtures to cooling towers to landscaping. In addition to the wealth of implementation help, there is also model paycheck stuffers and other devices to help foster employee participation, sample press materials for promoting company efforts and "Fun Filler Facts" to use in company newsletters and other publications.

No DNR water supply permits are required when hooking up to a municipal water supply. Please contact your municipality and refer to the "Municipality information/Common questions" below for detailed information.

Municipality information/common questions

When hooking up to a municipality’s water supply, the first question you’ll want to ask yourself is, "Is there a water main?"

Check with City Hall or your city’s water plant to determine if a water main runs near your proposed or existing business site. In most cases, the city will set up a water line from the water main to the curbside for a flat fee (usually includes a water shut-off valve at the curb and lifetime maintenance).

Who will I need to hire to set up my water supply system?

You will probably need to hire a licensed plumber to dig a trench (from water main to proposed or existing building), and install a water line from the curbside to the building. A one-inch line is typical for businesses needing showers, toilets, sinks (e.g. gas station, tavern, etc). If you need a larger diameter water line (higher flow? amount? water needs) you will need to coordinate this between the city and the plumber to ensure consistancy. NOTE: Costs may increase as many municipalities charge time and materials when higher water usage is desired (see the "Water conservation information for municipalities" above for ways to reduce your water needs and save mone.)

Do I have to connect to the public water supply?

According to state statute, it may be mandatory that you hook up to the city water supply if a water main exists at your business location.

Continue on to Storm Water.


4. How much water are you going to need?Well water

Water conservation will provide you with many water conserving options that may be applicable to your business and may help you save money. If you don’t want to review the water conservation tips, please make your selection below.

Water conservation information for well water supply

When determining where you will obtain water, possibly from a driven or drilled well, now is a good time to consider how much water you will need and the ways in which you can conserve water to save money. Many Wisconsin residents and businesses consider clean water to be an unlimited resource. But, in fact, our state's water supply is an exhaustible natural resource. To ensure sufficient water supplies for present and future generations, we must use this precious resource wisely. By effectively managing your water usage (for example using aerating faucet inserts or low flow showerheads) your small business can help increase the life of existing water supplies, minimize the impact of drought, and delay or minimize additional development.

By conserving water you can also have a significant effect on local water demands. And, in addition to the environmental benefits, your water efficiency programs will reduce costs and increase the profitability of your business through:

  • water and sewer cost savings;
  • wastewater treatment cost savings; and
  • energy savings.

Furthermore, as water quality regulations become stricter and the cost of water increases, your wise use of water will help you gain an edge over your competition.

Water conservation links

  • The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority's Water Efficiency and Management in Commercial Buildings website details how commercial buildings can save water. Through case study examples and generalized action steps, the online document lays out how to use water more efficiently. It covers all facets of a building, from the grounds to the boiler room.
  • Facility Manager’s Guide to Water Management: This comprehensive, 120-page guide is a facility manager's dream, complete with step-by-step advice, implementation steps, worksheets, forms, checklists and diagrams. It covers a broad spectrum of water-management issues, from plumbing fixtures to cooling towers to landscaping. In addition to the wealth of implementation help, there is also model paycheck stuffers and other devices to help foster employee participation, sample press materials for promoting company efforts and "Fun Filler Facts" to use in company newsletters and other publications.

If you are going to need over 70 gallons per minute, you will need to apply for a high capacity well permit. Please download the high capacity supply wells application and submit it per the directions. Licensed well drillers are able to obtain and assist you with filing the application.

If you are unsure of how much water you are going to need, download the list of Drinking Water and Groundwater Staff, listed by county.

If your answer is "Continue,” go to 5.


5. Are you going to have 25 employees?Well water


You've answered Yes.

If your answer is “Yes,”:

Since you may serve customers or the public, you will have special testing requirements. Please review the following pamphlet, An Owner’s/Operator’s Handbook for Safe Drinking Water (DG-0061) [PDF] to determine the requirements.

For assistance in helping you select a certified well driller and/or pump installer, we have included the following link.

DNR water supply specialists can help you determine if your site selection is appropriate for the type of water needs you may have.

Continue on to Storm Water.

You've answered No.

If your answer is “No,”; go to 6


6. Will you need a water system that could serve customers or the public?Well water


You've answered Yes.

If your answer is “Yes,”:

Since you may serve customers or the public, you will have special testing requirements. Please review the following pamphlet, An Owner’s/Operator’s Handbook for Safe Drinking Water (DG-061) [PDF] to determine the requirements.

For assistance in helping you select a certified well driller and/or pump installer, we have included the following link.

DNR water supply specialists can help you determine if your site selection is appropriate for the type of water needs you may have.

Continue on to Storm Water.

You've answered No.

If your answer is “No,”:

You may need to drive or drill a private well. Please refer to the DNR Drinking and groundwater web page for additional information. For assistance in helping you select a certified well driller and/or pump installer, we have included the following links.

DNR water supply specialists can help you determine if your site selection is appropriate for the type of water needs you may have.

Continue on to Storm Water

Last revised: Monday August 19 2019