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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 information on Sewerage Systems, contact:
Gerry Novotny, P.E.
Water Quality Bureau
608-267-7625

Interagency wastewater systems plan review

Plans for Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (POWTS) are subject to review by the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS), or may require a joint review by DNR and DSPS.

The Role of Department of Safety and Professional Services

The Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) has administrative rules for building plumbing and non-municipal sewer lines, and for Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. A POWTS is a system that receives domestic quality wastewater and either retains it in a holding tank, or treats it and discharges into the soil, beneath the ground surface. Any system with a final discharge exposing treated wastewater upon the ground surface, or discharging directly into surface waters of the state, is subject to DNR regulation.

Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Plumbing Program [exit DNR]
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - POWTS Program [exit DNR]

Joint DNR/DSPS Review Process

A POWTS that is classified as "large" and that receives domestic wastewater is subject to a joint agency review process involving both the DNR and DSPS.

Large POWTS for Domestic Wastewater

An onsite wastewater treatment system of any size that receives non-domestic (or a mixture of domestic and non-domestic) wastewater is subject to DNR regulation, but in certain circumstances DSPS will still issue an approval.

Holding Tanks for Non-Domestic Wastewater
POWTS for Non-Domestic Wastewater

Last revised: Wednesday October 08 2014