Plan Review of Municipal, Industrial and Pretreatment Wastewater Systems
Information on the content and format requirements of plans, specifications and engineering design reports are listed below for the plan review of municipal, industrial and pretreatment wastewater systems.
Plan Review of Municipal and Non-Industrial Wastewater Systems
Section 281.41, Wis. Stats. and s. NR 108.03, Wis. Adm. Code, requires that complete final plans and specifications for any reviewable sewerage system project to be submitted to the department. Some reviewable projects consist of new construction or modification of sewerage system components including sanitary sewers, lift stations, wastewater treatment plants, and effluent outfall sewers. More information on reviewable projects can be found in the reviewable projects tab on the plan review page.
The construction of a sewerage system project may not commence until a written department approval is issued for the construction plans and specifications. Starting construction without an approval is a violation of s. 281.41, Wis. Stats. The penalty for such a violation may be a forfeiture of not less than $10, and up to $5,000, for each violation, in accordance with s. 299.97, Wis. Stats.
Plan review of sewerage system projects generally consist of two phases. The first phase is the facility planning and the second phase is preparation of final construction plans and specifications. Wastewater facility plans are required by Chapter NR 110, Wisconsin Administrative Code for all reviewable projects involving new or modified sewerage systems owned by municipal or other non-industrial entities. The basic purpose of facility planning is to assess the condition of a sewerage system, establish a need for improvement, evaluate options to address system needs, and to identify the cost-effective alternative. A facility plan shall be approved by the department before the submission of final construction plans and specifications.
For certain sewage collection system projects, or other minor upgrades, the two phases may be combined into one submittal.
For more information, see the municipal wastewater facility planning page.
Final Construction Plans and Specifications
The final construction plans and specifications shall conform to previously approved facility plan studies. Any differences from the facility plan recommendations shall be identified and justified. If significant plan revisions are proposed, a separate facility plan amendment review and approval may be required.
Final plan and specification submittals shall include a design report. For treatment facilities the report shall address hydraulic and other pollutant design loadings, sizing of treatment units, pump capacities, and contain design calculations for major treatment units. Designs will be evaluated for conformance with the detailed design requirements for various unit processes contained in ch. NR 110, Wis. Adm. Code. Design criteria in ch. NR 110, Wis. Adm. Code are generally premised on particular circumstances or assumptions, and proposed units not fitting the code criteria presumptions will be reviewed on a case specific basis. Designs shall reflect accepted engineering practices. Allowances for code variances may be specifically addressed in the code or may be generally requested in accordance with s. NR 110.04, Wis. Adm. Code.
Content and format of construction plans and specifications
It is important that a transmittal letter from the owner or project engineer be included with all submittal packages to ensure proper processing. The transmittal letter should clearly identify the type of submittal and include a request for Department plan approval. Any submittal that is a revision or addition to a previous submittal should be identified as such. If not submitted directly by the sewerage system owner, the person submitting should describe their relationship to the owner. Submittals must be from the owner, or a person authorized by the owner, or the submittal must contain a letter from the owner indicating their approval. It may also be beneficial to briefly describe any unique circumstances or special variance request in the transmittal letter. The various submittal types and the complete content of submittal packages are described on the adequate submittal page.
The acceptable format and content of plans and specifications are described in ss. NR 108.04(2)(f), NR 110.06 and NR 110.07, Wis. Adm. Code. Additional requirements for sewer and lift station projects are in s. NR 110.10(3), and s. NR 110.11(2), Wis. Adm. Code, respectively. In general, plan drawings should be numbered, cross-referenced as necessary, drawn with a suitable indicated scale, and clearly show connections and relations to elements of existing sewerage systems. The department prefers that reduced size drawings (11 x 17 in) be submitted. The maximum size allowed is 24 by 36 inches. In addition, one electronic copy is required. The plans and specifications should provide all the necessary information for construction of the project.
Section 281.41, Wis. Stats. and s. NR 108.03, Wis. Adm. Code, requires that complete final plans and specifications for any reviewable industrial wastewater system project to be submitted to the department. Some reviewable projects consist of new construction or modification of industrial wastewater system components including wastewater treatment plants, monitoring devices, groundwater monitoring wells, and effluent outfall sewers. More information on reviewable projects can be found the reviewable projects tab on the plan review page.
The construction of an industrial wastewater system project may not commence until a written department approval is issued for the final construction plans and specifications. Starting construction without an approval is a violation of s. 281.41, Wis. Stats. The penalty for such a violation may be a forfeiture of not less than $10, and up to $5,000, for each violation, in accordance with s. 299.97, Wis. Stats.
Prior to preparation of final plans and specifications for an industrial wastewater facility, a conceptual design report of the proposed system may be submitted. Upon request the department will provide written comments on the acceptability of the concept and advice regarding design requirements.
Final Construction Plans and Specifications
Final construction plans and specifications will be evaluated for conformance with the design requirements for various industrial systems contained in Wisconsin Administrative Codes. Designs shall reflect accepted engineering practices. Allowances for code variances may be specifically addressed in the Wisconsin Administrative Code. See the Design Codes tab on the plan review page for more information on applicable design codes to the project.
Final plan and specification submittals shall include an engineering design report. For additional information on the contain of an engineering design report, see "Engineering Design Report Outline" below.
The plan drawings should include:
- flow schematics for wastewater and sludge;
- plan and elevation views for all units and inlet and effluent structures;
- a hydraulic profile;
- piping layouts;
- location of meters, sampling equipment, and valves;
- sludge draw-offs;
- tie-ins to existing units;
- plans and profiles of all major transmission systems; and
- monitoring well locations.
The specifications should include:
- specifications for all mechanical equipment, such as sampling devices, meters, pumps, aeration equipment, and irrigators;
- lagoon liner installation specifications; and
- monitoring well installation specifications.
A complete submittal of construction plans to WDNR for a proposed new or modified wastewater system for industrial wastewater must contain an engineering design report in addition to the treatment system plan drawings, and specifications.
The engineering design report should contain at a minimum, the following:
- a complete characterization of the waste to be treated;
- existing and projected future waste loadings;
- reaction rate/treatability data;
- design calculations;
- results of any pilot testing;
- sizing and loading for all major units;
- soil testing and depth to groundwater and bedrock results for lagoon and land treatment systems;
- application rates and intensity and load/rest cycle for land treatment systems;
- calculations for any required aeration;
- sludge generation and handling;
- head loss calculations for major transmission systems, such as force mains to an irrigation system;
- specific listing of any request for a variance from minimum requirements listed in Wisconsin Administrative codes, (such as NR 213 or NR 214), and justification for granting a variance to the design code.
If the project involves placement of a structure or material in, near, or over the waters of the state, the project may also need to receive a permit under Chapter 30, Wis. Stats. For additional information on Chapter 30 permits see waterway and wetland permits.
Projects may also have to be screened for impacts to endangered and culture resources. For information on screening for endangered resources, see Natural Heritage Inventory (NHI) Public Portal. For information on cultural resources, see the Preservation of Wisconsin Archaeological Sites webpage provided by the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Depending upon the type of system being proposed additional information may be necessary.
Construction of industrial wastewater pretreatment systems
In accordance with s. 281.41, Wis. Statutes and ch. NR 108, Wis. Administrative Code, plans for wastewater pretreatment systems that discharge into publicly owned treatment works must be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources for review and approval. Department approval must be obtained prior to construction of a proposed pretreatment system.
Guidance for plan and specification submittals
Pretreatment plan submittals should be mailed to:
Wastewater Section Chief
Wisconsin DNR - WQ/3
PO Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921
One copy of each of the submittal requirements for DNR review should also be transmitted to the local municipality for their review and approval.
A complete description of the content and recommended format of the engineering report is provided below. The plans or the engineering report should include:
- A general project location plan drawing.
- A schematic flow diagram including treatment units, monitoring and control devices, and all piping with pipe content and flow direction indicated.
- Plan drawings (to scale) indicating existing and proposed collection, treatment and monitoring and control equipment. Piping should be labeled to indicate pipe content and flow direction.
The Department plan reviewers will evaluate the submittals to ensure that accepted engineering practices are used and that the proposed system design is appropriate for the type of industry and applicable pretreatment regulations. Reviewers will also check for suitable sampling provisions and design features to ensure operational reliability. The Department does not have specific codified design criteria for pretreatment systems.
Once the submittal is determined acceptable, a Department approval letter with one set of plans and specifications (with Department approval stamp) will be mailed to the pretreatment system owner. Copies of the approval letter will also be sent to the municipality owning the sewerage system receiving the discharge, and the design engineer.
Guidance for pretreatment system engineering reports
Pretreatment system plan submittals should include the following information. Please be concise and arrange the information in an orderly format. This will greatly assist the Department in conducting the review and in preparing the approval letter.
Engineering report for a wastewater pretreatment system for [insert name and location of industry]
General Information: Provide executive summary of proposal submitted for approval and include any special circumstances or relevant information not covered by report sections listed below.
Name of Person, Title
Company Name and Address
Name of Person, Title
Firm Name and Address
The person, or persons, responsible for preparing the plans, specifications and engineering report should be indicated. Plan preparers should indicate if they are registered professional engineers in the state of Wisconsin. If not a professional engineer, the plan preparer should describe their relevant experience and qualifications (submittals are not required to be provided by professional engineers except when the Department determines that a pretreatment facility may affect public health or safety).
Products Manufactured: Describe the products manufactured at the facility and the processes and raw materials used.
Wastewater: Characteristics should include information such as flow rates and key contaminants, particularly those that are being regulated. Describe the type of wastewater to be treated (sanitary, contact cooling, non-contact cooling, process), and identify any combined waste streams or side streams. Describe the final discharge or use of treated wastewaters, i.e. sanitary sewer, storage for truck hauling off-site or process recycle.
Need For Pretreatment: Briefly describe why the pretreatment system is needed and whether this is a new system or a modification to an existing system. List the specific numerical standards the system is designed to meet. If the wastewater is subject to federal standards, cite the applicable 40 CFR Standard or Wisconsin Administrative Code.
Description of System: Briefly describe the pretreatment system and the wastewater to be treated. Indicate the design flows (gal/day) and key contaminants, as well as the actual flows and loading anticipated. The plans and specifications, or the engineering report should contain a general project location plan, and a schematic flow diagram including treatment units, monitoring devices and all piping. Pipe contents and flow direction should be indicated.
If new or innovative equipment or methods are proposed in the plans, sufficient data, based upon practical application, experimental or otherwise, shall be submitted to show that satisfactory results can be secured.
Sludge Removal and Disposal: Describe the anticipated methods of removal, handling, and disposal of wastewater treatment sludges and their filtrate recycle. Some sludges are considered to be hazardous wastes and subject to special disposal regulations. Disposal of sludges on land may require a WPDES discharge permit. It is important that the plans provide ready access for removing sludge accumulating in the pretreatment system and provides for removal of sludge without taking the system out of service.
Sampling: Describe the provisions made to sample the wastewater, including the pretreated effluent flow monitoring and sampling equipment and frequency. Provisions should be made for a representative monitoring point such as a manhole that is accessible to City, DNR, and EPA regulatory persons.
Project Implementation Schedule: A brief project implementation schedule should be provided.
- Include any flow schematic or other drawing not included as part of plans.
- Include any relevant correspondence from municipality or other agencies.