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NR 811 Community Water System Operation and Design Updates

Safe, clean drinking water is what we expect when we turn on our faucets. Chapter NR 811, Wisconsin Administrative Code provides the engineering, design, construction and operation requirements for community water systems with the purpose of providing safe and secure water for the residents of Wisconsin. The DNR’s Drinking Water and Groundwater Program enforces the requirements of ch. NR 811, Wis. Adm. Code, along with other applicable codes, through inspections of water systems and review of plans and specifications for projects which may affect the quality or quantity of water delivered by community water systems. Chapter NR 811, Wis. Adm. Code specifically regulates the source, source water quality, storage, treatment and distribution systems of community water systems.

Economic impact analysis

The rulemaking requirement to prepare an economic impact analysis (EIA) and solicit information for its preparation was part of 2011 Wisconsin Act 21. An EIA must be prepared for every permanent proposed rule before the Natural Resources Board can authorize public hearings on the rules, per s. 227.137, Wis. Stats.. The analysis must include information on the economic effect of the proposed rule on specific businesses, business sectors, public utility ratepayers, local governmental units and the state's economy as a whole.


Rulemaking timeline

These rule revisions were published in the Administrative Register and became effective on Feb. 1, 2024

April 2021
Summer - Winter 2021
  • Scope Statement approved by Governor
  • Natural Resources Board (NRB) authorizes preliminary public hearing
  • Public hearing on scope statement
  • NRB meeting to approve scope
  • Advisory groups meet
  • Rule drafting begins
  • Public hearings on proposed rule
  • NRB meeting for adoption
  • Rule approved by governor
  • Legislative review
  • Rule signed by DNR Secretary and filed with LRB
February 2024
  • Rule becomes effective
We are here

Stakeholder meetings

Stakeholder meetings

Given the amount of public interest in this effort and its potential economic impacts, DNR will convene a series of stakeholder meetings to provide guidance on the rule changes.

Meetings will be held in summer 2021 through summer 2022. Meeting dates, times and locations are listed in the table below. The meetings will be public noticed, and prior to each meeting the department will provide an agenda and any materials for review. The purpose of the stakeholder meetings is to give an opportunity for consultants, water systems and other affected parties to provide input and suggestions for revisions to ch. NR 811, Wis. Adm. Code before the department begins drafting proposed rule language.

The stakeholder meetings are open to the public, and once the meetings are completed, there will be additional opportunities for public input and comments throughout the remainder of the rulemaking process.

Meeting information
Meeting date and time Location Topic Area(s) Resources
July 29, 2021, 9:30 AM State Natural Resources Building (GEF 2)
Room G09, 101 S Webster St, Madison, and remotely via Zoom.
  • Subchapter II - Source Development - Groundwater
  • Subchapter XIII - Aquifer Storage Recovery
September 9, 2021, 9:30 AM This meeting was held remotely via Zoom.
  • Subchapter III - Source Development - Surface Water
November 10, 2021, 9:30 AM This meeting was held remotely via Zoom.
  • Subchapter IV - Pumping Stations, Pumphouses and Water Treatment Plant Buildings
  • Subchapter V - Pumping Equipment and Appurtenances
April 26, 2022, 9:30 AM This meeting was held remotely via Zoom only.
  • Subchapter VI -Chemical Addition
  • Subchapter VII - Treatment
  • Subchapter VIII - Hydro−Pneumatic Tanks
  • Subchapter IX - Storage Facilities
  • Subchapter X - Distribution Systems
  • Subchapter XI - Water Pressure Booster Stations
  • Subchapter XII - Waste Disposal

Rulemaking procedures

Rule change process, public input and timeline

The DNR creates and revises administrative rules to implement statutes enacted by the Wisconsin State Legislature [exit DNR]. Administrative rules have the full force and effect of law.

Rulemaking is an extensive process and there are many internal steps [PDF] that DNR and the NRB must follow during a rulemaking effort. Public participation is a critical component of agency rulemaking. There are numerous opportunities to participate in the DNR rulemaking process. For permanent rules, the entire process generally takes about 31 months from initiation to effective date of rule revisions.

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