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American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA)

Well Compensation Grant Program

If you wish to learn more about the American Rescue Plan Act Well Grant Programs, you can view a recording of the Nov. 10, 2022 webinar explaining the program here.

To determine if you are eligible to apply for a Well Compensation Grant, please take the Eligbility Questionnaire.

The ARPA well compensation grant program provides funding to eligible landowners, renters or WI business owners to replace, reconstruct or treat contaminated private water supplies that serve a residence or non-community public water system wells. To be eligible, family or business income may not exceed $100,000 for the prior calendar year.

The Grant Announcement describes complete program details. If the Grant Accouncement and the information provided on this website differ, the Grant Accouncement will govern.

Who can apply

Who can apply

Before you start the application process, determine if you are eligible to apply for a well compensation grant. Work completed before submitting an application and receiving DNR approval will not be reimbursed.

Step 1: Determine if your income is eligible

  • For a contaminated private water supply serving a residence, family income may not exceed $100,000 for the prior calendar year.
    • Annual Family Income is determined by the line on the previous year's WI State Income tax that reads, "This is your Wisconsin Income" on a jointly filed return. If you file as an individual, your single income will used to determine income eligibility.
  • For a contaminated non-community public system well, business income may not exceed $100,000 for the prior calendar year.
    • Annual Business Income is determined by the line on your previous year’s business/partnership WI State Income tax form that reads “This is Your Wisconsin Net Income” or “Income”.

If you have questions about your income eligibility, please contact the Well Grant Manager.

Step 2: Who can apply for a grant

  • Landowner
  • Spouse of landowner
  • Dependent of landowner
  • Heir of landowner
  • Assignee or legal representative of landowner
  • Renter of land
  • Shared well owner of a private residential water supply
  • WI Business owner with a non-community well (churches, daycare centers, rural restaurants, and other small businesses)

Local governments, school districts and state or federal agencies cannot apply.

What is a non-community public water system? A water system served by one or more wells that regularly serves water to at least 25 of the same people for over 6 months per year or serves a transient population of at least 25 people for 60 days of the year. This may include day care centers, factories, churches, seasonal campgrounds, gas stations, restaurants, motels, public restrooms, and taverns.

Step 3: Determine if contamination is eligible

You must demonstrate that your well is contaminated with at least 2 samples of water from the well, taken at least 2 weeks apart (does not apply to bacteria). All samples must be taken within 2 years of the date the application is received by the department. Samples must be analyzed by the state laboratory of hygiene or by a certified laboratory.

  1. Drinking Water Standards
    • When a well produces water containing one or more substances of public health concern greater than or equal to a primary maximum contaminant level established in ch. NR 809, Wis. Admin. Code or an enforcement standard established in ch. NR 140, Wis. Admin. Code.
  2. Bacterial Contamination
    • You must supply two laboratory reports showing presence of E. coli, and provide information describing attempts to address the contamination through chlorination or other means and that the presence of bacteria persists.
    • Samples may be collected closer together than 2 weeks apart, as required for other forms of contamination.
    • DNR may also rely on confirmation by DNR field staff of fecal contamination or advisory issued or reviewed by DNR indicating that the well should not be used for drinking water due to the presence of bacteria or another microbial pathogen.
    • Note, coliform bacteria positive wells are not eligible unless they are also positive for E. coli or another microbial pathogen or another contaminant that exceeds an NR 809 MCL or NR 14 enforcement standard.
  3. PFAS Contamination
    • Wells are considered contaminated by PFAS compounds if the results of the two samples indicating that PFAS compounds are present at a level that is greater than or equal to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) groundwater recommendation standards.
  4. Arsenic Contamination
    • The water supply has been tested and arsenic concentration at or exceeding 10 ug/l (parts per billion) has been found.
  5. Nitrate Contamination
    • The water supply has been tested and nitrates concentration at or exceeding 10 parts per million has been found.
  6. Other Contaminants
    • Contaminants without an NR 809 maximum contaminant level, NR 140 enforcement standard, or DHS groundwater recommendation standard may be eligible if an advisory issued by DHS indicating that the well should not be used for drinking water due to the presence of the contaminant.

If you still have questions regarding contamination after having your well water tested by a certified laboratory, contact a DNR Water Supply specialist for assistance.

Eligibility

What items are grant eligible

The following items are eligible for reimbursement under the well compensation grant.

Eligible items

  • Water tests that determine if the well is contaminated (only reimbursable if you qualify for a grant)
  • Reconstruction of a contaminated well
  • Construction of a new well
  • Connecting to an existing private or public water supply
  • Installation of a new pump, including the associated piping for a replaced well
  • Proper abandonment of a contaminated well
  • Equipment for water treatment (if no other option is feasible)
  • Providing a temporary bottled or trucked water supply

Ineligible items

  • Costs for any work done before a claim is filed and award approved by the DNR
  • Any permit fees or sales tax

Applying

How to apply

DNR PDF forms

Note: If you are having problems opening forms, visit PDF help.

If you are still having problems opening your form, please go to the FORMS tab to print out a hard copy of the form or contact the Well Grant Manager.

If you meet the income and eligible contamination criteria for the well compensation grant program, the next step is to apply.

Step 1

If you have not already done so, you must demonstrate that your well meets one of the eligible contamination criteria with at least 2 samples of water from the well. All samples must be take nat least 2 weeks apart and must be taken within 2 years of the date of the application is recieved by the department. Samples must be analyzed by a certified laboratory.

Step 2

Fill out the ARPA Well Compensation Grant Application Claim 8700-392 application.

Note: For individuals or business owners applying to replace, reconstruct or treat a private or non-community public supply only. If your current income changed significantly from what was reported on your last year’s income tax form, due to job loss or retirement, other circumstances, complete and submit one of the following documents with your application.

Contact Well Grant Manager or call 608-673-0469 if you have questions about income eligibility.

Step 3

Contact the licensed well driller or pump installer, that you plan to hire, for an itemized estimate of costs. It is helpful if they complete the ARPA Well Compensation Grant Itemized StatementSheet (Form 8700-398). Otherwise, costs on the estimate should be itemized in the same way they are listed on the Itemized Statement Sheet.

Note, if you need help determining if your test results are eligible or to develop a plan to replace, reconstruct or treat your contaminated water supply, contact your local DNR Water Supply Specialist for assistance

    Step 4

    Mail completed well compensation program claim application and all required attachments listed in Section VI. of the application to:

    Well Grant Intake
    WI DNR - DG/5
    PO Box 7921
    Madison WI 53707

    You may also submit these items electronically to Well Grants Intake at DNRARPAWellGrants@wisconsin.gov.

    Step 5

    The DNR is only able to review complete applications.

    • Do not do any work until you receive a well compensation grant award approval letter from the DNR. Work completed before receiving the approval letter will not be reimbursed.

    Awards

    Once you have been awarded a well compensation grant from DNR, you may begin work and request the reimbursement. You have one year from the date of the grant award document to complete the replacement of your water supply, abandon your old well (if applicable) and request payment on the grant.

    Step 1

    DNR will send you an award packet.

    Step 2

    Enter into a contract with the licensed well professional, who provided you the itemized estimate, to complete the work that is specified in the grant agreement.

    • Give a copy of the grant award document to the licensed well professional before construction begins.

    Step 3

    Only licensed well drillers or licensed pump installers may complete the work.

    • Well construction work must be done according to DNR specifications that are in the signed grant agreement. The contaminated well must be properly abandoned and filled before payment will be made.
    • Requirement: Notify your DNR Water Supply Specialist at least 48 hours before the work starts by a licensed well driller or licensed pump installer.

    Reimbursement

    Step 1

    A DNR Water Supply specialist will visit the site and complete a field inspection to verify compliance.

    Step 2

    Fill out and sign the ARPA Well Compensation Program Request For Payment Form 8700-395 (form was also enclosed in your grant award packet.)

    Attach the following documents:

    Submit to ARPAWellGrantsIntake@wisconsin.gov or

    Well Grant Intake
    WI DNR - DG/5
    PO Box 7921
    Madison WI 53707

    Step 3

    After your reimbursement request is approved, the DNR grant manager will process the final payment. To ensure that the well professional is paid, it is DNR practice to mail your grant payment check to the well driller or licensed pump installer. You must arrange to endorse the check so the well professional can be paid.

    If you provide the DNR with an invoice marked “paid in full” and signed and dated by the well professional at the time you submit reimbursement request form. The grant payment check will be sent directly to you.

    Note:

    For Income Tax Filing Purposes: The Department of Natural Resources is providing a 1099G for tax filing purposes, as your grant award may be considered "other income". Additional information regarding income tax issues can be obtained at www.irs.gov or the IRS hotline 1-800-829-1040. If you are concerned with how the receipt of this grant award might affect your eligibility to receive food stamps, Medicare, or other services or programs, you may wish to check with a representative of that program or a tax professional.

    Forms

    If you are experiencing difficulties opening the ARPA Well Compensation Grant Application (Form 8700-398), ARPA Well Compensation Grant Itemized Statement Sheet (Form 8700-398), or the ARPA Well Compensation Program Request For Payment (Form 8700-395), we have provided non-fillable pdf's of the forms below. Please print out a hardcopy and complete and sign the forms. Please be sure to select the correct form depending on whether you have a private well or a non-community well.

    ARPA Well Compensation Grant Application (Form 8700-392)

    ARPA Well Compensation Grant Application (Form 8700-392) for a private well
    ARPA Well Compensation Grant Application (Form 8700-392) for a non-community well

    Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification)

    Form W-9

    ARPA Well Compensation Grant Itemized Statement Sheet (Form 8700-398)

    ARPA Well Compensation Grant Itemized Statement Sheet (Form 8700-398) (Same form is used for private and non-community wells)

    ARPA Well Compensation Program Request For Payment (Form 8700-395)

    ARPA Well Compensation Request For Payment (Form 8700-395) for a private well
    ARPA Well Compensation Request For Payment (Form 8700-395) for a non-community well

    Funding info

    Funding for this grant program is provided to the State of Wisconsin by the Federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).

    FAQ

    ARPA Well Grants FAQ

    Where do I find my Wisconsin income on my Wisconsin income tax return?

    To find the income line on your Wisconsin Income Tax Return look for the line that reads "this is your Wisconsin income". This is the total that determines if you are eligible to apply for a well grant.

    Annual Business Income is determined by the line on your previous year's business/partnership WI State Income tax form that reads "This is Your Wisconsin Net Income" or "Income".

    Is the grant award I receive taxable income by the IRS?

    The Department of Natural Resources is providing a 1099G for tax filing purposes, as your grant award may be considered "other income". Additional information regarding income tax issues can be obtained at www.irs.gov or the IRS hotline # 1-800-829-1040. If you are concerned with how the receipt of this grant award might affect your eligibility to recieve food stamps, Medicare, or other services or programs, you may wish to check with a representative of that program or a tax professional.

    How much money can I get?

    The ARPA Grant Program provides funding to pay for 100% of up to $16,000 in eligible costs.

    What costs am I responsible for?

    Since you will enter into a contract with well driller or licenses pump installer for their services, you are responsible to pay 100% of those costs. An ARPA Well grant from the DNR may not cover 100% of these costs. To ensure that contractor is paid, it is DNR practice to mail your grant payment check to the well driller or licensed pump installer, unless you provide the DNR with an invoice marked “paid in full” and signed and dated by the well driller or licenses pump installer at the time you submit reimbursement request form.

    I’ve applied for a grant, when can the contractor start doing the work?

    Work may not start until you have received a grant award letter from the DNR.

    How will applications be prioritized?

    Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Applications and claims will first be prioritized by the date a complete application or claim is received. The department may prioritize claims on a rolling basis based on the risk to public health.

    How long will it take to get a grant award letter?

    The time it takes to review and award grants will vary depending on the complexity of the application, volume of applications and staffing levels.

    Is DNR awarding grants for arsenic contamination when the levels are at or above the MCL of 10 ug/L but doesn’t significantly exceed the background levels in groundwater at that location?

    Yes. Any arsenic contamination equal to or greater than the MCL of 10 ug/L is eligible, regardless of the background level in the groundwater.

    Will the DNR award grants for Nitrate contamination when levels are at or above the MCL of 10 mg/l but the well doesn’t serve livestock?

    Yes. Any nitrate contamination in a potable well equal to or greater than the MCL or 10 mg/l is eligible, regardless of the use of the well.

    Will the DNR need to create a special area of Well Compensation eligibility for wells contaminated with bacteria?

    No. There is no requirement to a special area of eligibility for bacteria using ARPA funds.

    Contact

     

    Contact information
    For grant application and reimbursement questions, contact:
    Emily Mitchell
    Grant Program Manager
    Bureau of Community Financial Assistance
    608-673-0469

    OR

    Sandy Chancellor
    Grant Program Manager
    Bureau of Community Financial Assistance
    608-720-0122