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Atlas data, webinars, reports
About Wisconsin's waters.
Goals for water resources.
Monitoring water quality.
Assessments & reporting
Evaluating condition.
Planning for water quality.
Managing water resources.
Contact information
For information on the Program, contact:
Lisa Helmuth
Bureau of Water Quality

Sewer Service Area Planning and Comprehensive Land Use Planning

Local comprehensive planning

Through the state's Smart Growth Law, communities must develop long-term plans for how and where development will occur. DNR perceives working with local communities on comprehensive plans as a valuable investment in resource management. DNR staff can provide data and information on ecological considerations as communities identify growth strategies for the coming years. DNR's land use team has developed informational tools to help identify areas of special interest or sensitivity including several internet mapping applications.

Sewer service area planning and facility planning

Two planning processes significantly affected by a community's long-range vision articulated in its comprehensive plan include Sewer Service Area Planning and Facility Planning. As communities develop comprehensive plans, the utilities and community facilities element requirement can be partially fulfilled by either an existing or updated sewer service area plan.

DNR suggests communities develop a comprehensive plan either first or simultaneously with development of a SSA Plan. However, for most areas required to conduct SSA Planning, the sewer service area plan is likely in place prior to the development of the comprehensive plan.

In communities where a SSA Plan is already developed when the comprehensive planning process is initiated, DNR suggests that an analysis of growth rates, population statistics, density standards, and environmentally sensitive areas be conducted during comprehensive planning so that the SSA Plan can be modified based on the same assumptions. Ecological considerations under the SSA Program must be based on water quality. Therefore, environmentally sensitive areas identified through the SSA Planning process would likely be a subset of a community's natural resources inventory and recommendations for ecological protection. Further information can be obtained for both types of planning at the Regional Planning Commission within which you are located.

Last revised: Monday January 13 2020