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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 on pest control general permits, contact:
Jennifer Jerich
Wastewater specialist

Wisconsin pest control pollutant discharge permits

Wisconsin General Permits are available for pest control treatment projects that have a pollutant discharge to a water of the state. The four Wisconsin WPDES general permits listed below were first issued in October 2011, and reissued effective April 2018. These Clean Water Act permits are needed to comply with the Federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Cotton Council decision [PDF].

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

Description of 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.


applying pest control treatment on water
Do I need a General Permit?

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 the permits

See the Fact Sheet [PDF] and Question & Answer [PDF] documents for more information.

Applying 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] 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).

Coverage is for the term of the general permit unless otherwise requested by the permitttee.

Permit fees

Coverage under these general WPDES permits currently has no fee.

Annual reporting requirements

See each general permit document for reporting requirements.

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Last revised: Friday October 12 2018