Skip to main content

WPDES Permits

The DNR regulates the discharge of pollutants to waters of the state through the Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) program. Wastewater permits contain all the monitoring requirements, special reports and compliance schedules appropriate to the facility in question. Permits are issued for a five-year term.

Individual permits

Individual (i.e., site-specific) WPDES permits are issued to municipal and industrial facilities discharging to surface water and/or groundwater. As of mid-2017, 322 industrial waste facilities held individual WPDES permits and 641 municipal waste facilities held individual WPDES permits.

General permits

WPDES general permits issued by the DNR for specific categories of industrial, municipal and other wastewater discharges. Under the authority in section 283.35, Wis. Stats., the department may issue WPDES general permits applicable to categories or classes of point source discharges. When a general permit is issued, many facilities meeting its requirements may be covered under the same general permit. Section NR 205.08, Wis. Adm. Code, contains further requirements concerning the issuance of general permits.

For information on the current WPDES general permits, visit the Wastewater General Permits webpage.

Storm water permits

To meet the requirements of Section 402 of the federal Clean Water Act, the DNR developed a state storm water permits program under NR 216, Wis. Adm. Code.

Agricultural permits

More information regarding permits for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) is available at CAFOs.