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Managing accumulated sediment from storm water ponds

In response to increasing sediment in storm water ponds and lack of an established process to regulate sediment removal and use, the DNR developed an innovative rule to help storm water pond owners manage the removal and use of pond sediment. Chapter NR 528, Wis. Adm. Code, Management of Accumulated Sediment from Storm Water Management Structures, establishes a self-implementing system for sediment removal and use.

Anyone with responsibility for a storm water pond or other storm water management structure should understand NR 528 and how it affects them. The rule covers wet and dry detention ponds and infiltration basins, but not landscape ponds on private property.

The process to manage the removal and use of the accumulated pond sediment is simple. NR 528 requires no fee and no paperwork other than the certification form. Sediment managers should keep a copy of their certification form to document the steps taken and end use chosen.

Fill out an electronic certification form. Using the worksheets included in this form, choose the appropriate level of certification necessary to comply with NR 528. Many users will only need to select an appropriate end use for accumulated sediment and sign the form. In certain cases, sediment from ponds will need to be sampled before being used. In these cases, an environmental professional (e.g., a consultant) must sample the sediment, determine an appropriate end use and sign the certification form.

To help you comply with NR 528, DNR staff have prepared a guidance document outlining the steps required under the new rule.

NR 528 resources

History of the rule

Before the development of NR 528, there was no consistent process for dealing with the sediment removed from storm water ponds. Those wishing to use accumulated sediment rather than taking it to a landfill had to pay a fee, submit a request for an exemption and obtain an approval from the DNR.

In 2007, the DNR convened a technical advisory team made of members involved in storm water management across the state. The team met five times over the course of two years to help the department draft a rule that would consistently guide the removal and use of storm water pond sediment. The Natural Resources Board approved ch. NR 528, Wis. Adm. Code, in June 2009. The rule took effect in December 2009.

The final rule is an innovative approach requiring no fee and using a self-regulating system. This approach should streamline the process of managing storm water sediment while also protecting human and environmental health.