Septage business license requirements
No business in Wisconsin, unless exempted by statute, may engage in septage servicing until the business is registered with the department and the vehicle(s) and equipment used are approved. The department issues a business license and vehicle stickers to approved businesses. Businesses must follow Wisconsin Administrative Codes Chapter NR 114, Wisconsin Administrative Code and Chapter NR 113, Wisconsin Administrative Code.
Septage business lookup
Search for an active septage business.
Operator Certification Lookup
Chapter NR 113, Wisconsin Administrative Code, was created as authorized by s.13.93 (2m) (b) 7, Wis. Stats, and establishes the standards for the servicing of private sewage systems and the disposal of wastewater from these sources while protecting the public health and protecting the surface and groundwaters of the state from contamination.
Business contact information
For additional information on septage businesses licensed in Wisconsin, refer to this report. This report is updated less frequently than the Septage business lookup. A list of farmer non–commercial septage operators is available.
DNR’s Violation Hotline
The DNR’s Violation Hotline provides Wisconsin citizens with the opportunity to confidentially report suspected wildlife, recreational and environmental violations using a toll-free number, text messaging or by email.
Initial requirements for a business license
Step 1: Designate an Operator–in–Charge
- Before starting the application process, identify who will be the Operator–in–Charge (OIC) for the business. An OIC is directly responsible for the septage servicing business.
- Businesses that intend to land spread septage must designate an operator with a Master Operator — Grade L certification as the OIC.
- Businesses that do not land spread septage can designate an operator Master Operator — Grade T or a Master Operator — Grade L certification as the OIC.
- It is not a requirement that the business owner is certified, but the business owner must designate a properly certified OIC before a license is issued.
For more information on the requirements to become a Master Operator and the steps to take to designate an OIC, refer to the Septage operators link.
Step 2: Complete Form 3400–020: Septage Servicing New Business Application
Note: Applications may take up to 30 days to process.
Use the Septage Servicing New Business License Application (Form 3400–020) found on the forms and applications page to apply for the business license number. This step must be completed before finishing the lettering and self–inspection of vehicles as well as operating the business.
The application also includes the Social Security Number/Federal Employment Identification Number (FEIN) Collection Request form and must accompany the Business License Application. The purpose of collecting a FEIN number is to determine whether the license applicant is delinquent in court-ordered child or family support payments or delinquent in paying Wisconsin taxes. To learn more, visit the Wisconsin Department of Revenue website.
Step 3: Complete any Vehicle Inspection Report(s) and pay appropriate fees
The cost of licensing a business depends on the number of trucks in the fleet. Current fees are: $50 per Wisconsin vehicle, $100 per out-of-Wisconsin vehicle and a $100 groundwater fee for in-state businesses. For out–of–state businesses, the fees are $100 per vehicle and a $100 groundwater fee.
The Vehicle Self–inspection Report Form (3400–019) and instructions on how to fill out the form and submit photos of the vehicle are found on the forms and applications page. Each self–inspection must be completed by the OIC to receive a current truck sticker, which verifies vehicle registration to law enforcement. All vehicles are required to display a current sticker on the rear of the vehicle. Business licenses and vehicle stickers are valid for two years and expire on June 30 in every odd-numbered year. Fees are not pro-rated or reimbursed. To learn more about vehicle inspections and servicing, view s. NR113.06 Wis. Admin. Code.
Application of and restrictions to the disposal of septage are explained in ss. NR 113.07, 113.08, and 113.09, Wis. Adm. Code. For more information or ask questions about the Land Application Site Request and Septage Storage Facility Permit Application forms, contact your regional coordinator for the county in which the business will be licensed or operating.
To apply for a septage business license:
- A certified OIC must be named on the business license application.
- The new business license application, vehicle inspection report form(s), and FEIN collection report form must be completed.
- Mail the application and forms, along with a check for the appropriate fees to:
Septage Operator Certification Program EAS/7
PO Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707–7921
Notice: Completion and submission of the Septage Servicing New Business License Application with appropriate fees is mandatory under s. 281.48, Wis. Stats., and ch. NR113, Wis. Adm. Code. Failure to properly complete and submit the application, with appropriate fees while continuing to service septic systems is a violation of s. 281.48, Wis. Stats. and ch. NR113, Wis. Adm. Code and may result in a monetary penalty. All new business license applications may be subject to area coordinator approval and may take up to 30 days to process.
Adding septage vehicles to your licensed business
Every vehicle used for septage hauling must be registered with the department by the business that owns it or uses it, regardless of whether there is a current truck sticker attached at the time of purchase. Vehicles must be inspected and registered by the business that owns or uses it before hauling.
Vehicles should be registered with the Vehicle Inspection Report (Form 3400–019), found on the forms and applications page. The Vehicle Inspection Report outlines the documents required to be inside the vehicle, the labeling requirements, as well as the storage and cleaning facilities necessary to house the vehicle. These requirements must be met before submitting the Vehicle Inspection Report. Refer to the Vehicle Application Fact Sheet for a summary.
Once a vehicle is approved, the department issues a sticker that is valid until business renewal time. The sticker must be affixed to the vehicle to show law enforcement that the vehicle is approved for operation. The paragraphs below outline different vehicle scenarios businesses may encounter.
Brand new vehicles
Vehicles may not be registered before the inspection list is complete and the business license number is added to the sides of the vehicle/tank.
Previously–owned septage vehicles
Vehicles may not be registered before the inspection list is complete and the business license number from the previous owner is replaced by the business license number of the new owner.
Selling a septage vehicle
Before transferring a septage vehicle to the new owner, the original owner should remove their business license number from the sides of the vehicle.
Renting a septage vehicle
A septage vehicle may be rented out to a septage business as long as it is inspected and registered by the business that is using it. The business license number must be on both sides of the vehicle.
Vehicles used by multiple businesses
A vehicle used by different businesses, under a single owner, or separate owners, shall be registered under each business license and each business license number shall be displayed on the sides of the vehicle. Both businesses must pay the registration fee.
If by unique circumstances, an approved vehicle needs a replacement sticker for the same licensing period (i.e., a sticker of the same color and expiration date), businesses may request a new sticker via email or mail. Please state what happened to the previous sticker and which vehicle needs a replacement sticker:
Septage Operator Certification Program EAS/7
PO Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707–7921
Dispose and Report
Disposal and reporting summary
No vehicle operator or person may dispose of or recycle septage unless done in accordance with NR 113 or under county authority. There are two main methods of disposal; disposal to a publicly owned treatment works (POTW) or land application. Both methods of disposal must be recorded and reported to the DNR.
Annual reports are due to the department no later than January 31 each year. Effective 2014, all reporting changed to an online reporting system.
Disposal to a publicly owned treatment works (POTW)
Licensed businesses may dispose at a publicly owned treatment works (POTW) and apply for permission to discharge septage. Businesses wanting to dispose during winter months must apply before September 1.
Land application disposal
Each business disposing of septage through land application must apply for field approval at least seven days before use by completing a Land Application Site Request Form (Form 3400–053), found on the forms and applications page and submitting to the appropriate regional coordinator.
Annual Septage E–Reporting
Annual disposal reporting is required under ch. NR 113.11 Wis Admin Code. Annual reports are due to the department no later than January 31 each year.
Effective 2014, reporting must be done using the online reporting system.
The department has created helpful training documents to assist in using the new online reporting system. It's recommended you begin the process well before January 31 so you have enough time to complete all steps before the deadline.
- Step 1: WAMS ID Registration.
- Step 2: Wastewater Switchboard Registration.
- Step 3: Land application management program (LAMP) e–Reporting for other methods of disposal and land application disposal.
- Additional guidance is available by watching the following training video.
Begin by accessing DNR's secure eBusiness portal: Switchboard.
Large storage facilities
No person may construct any septage storage facility greater than or equal to 25,000 gallons without first obtaining Department plan and specification approval through the DNR's Bureau of Watershed Management. For more information, visit the bureau's page on plan review procedures for large septage storage facilities.
Small storage facilities
New or existing septage storage facilities with a capacity of less than 25,000 gallons are allowed through Department approval. To apply, use the Septage Storage Facility Permit Application (Form 3400–137) found on the forms and applications page.
Septage businesses are required to stay in compliance with Wisconsin Administrative Codes NR 114 and NR 113. To facilitate compliance, all Certified Operators and Master Operators are required to have three hours of "certified operator" (also called "compliance") continuing education credits every three years to renew a certification.
For more information, visit the Training and Renewal tabs under the Septage operators link.
All businesses may be subject to an audit. Audits are an opportunity for businesses to meet with DNR staff and discuss the regulations businesses are required to follow.
Did you miss a compliance class? Or just want more information? We'll continue to provide you the tools you've asked for to help you efficiently run your business and pass a DNR audit.
Servicing and Vehicle Documents
- pH temperature correction table
- pH temperature correction formula
- Daily logbook examples for land application
Land Application Tools
Business renewal summary
Every odd year all licensed septage businesses must be renewed by June 30. The business license and vehicle stickers issued to all registered businesses reflect the date businesses and vehicles expire. A complete renewal package is due to the Department by June 1.
In order to renew, businesses are required to have:
- Passed a business FEIN check. This will check if the business owners are delinquent on Wisconsin taxes or court-ordered child or family support payments.
- Submitted all annual reports over the past two years. The deadline to submit all annual reports is January 31 of each year. For more information, refer to the Dispose/Report tab.
- Paid all renewal fees, including the $25 late fee if the renewal materials were submitted after June 1. The groundwater fee is $100 and each vehicle is $50 ($100 for out of state businesses).
- An Operator–in–Charge with an active master operator certification.
In addition to meeting the above requirements, businesses are asked to supply the following:
- An up–to–date list of employees currently registered as Operators–in–Training along with a list of employees with certified operator and master operator certifications. The list must include their certification number and start date.
- An up-to-date list of vehicles owned or used by the business.
Incomplete renewals lead to significant delays in processing. Once a renewal has been processed, businesses are issued a new license and truck stickers for the new license period.
Note: Due to the high volume of work during the business renewal time, the Operator Certification Program requests businesses refer to the Septage Business Lookup Web page to check if their business has been renewed. The lookup site is updated several days before mail may be received.
|Regional Office||Coordinator Name||Counties of Responsibility|
|South Central Region
Horicon, WI 53032
|Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Richland, Rock, Sauk|
2300 N Dr Martin Luther King Jr Dr
Milwaukee WI 53212
|Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha|
2984 Shawano Ave
Green Bay WI 54313
|Alexis Heim Peter
|Brown, Calumet, Door, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Marquette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago|
|West Central Region
473 Griffith Ave
Wisconsin Rapids WI 54494
|Adams, Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Crawford, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Marathon, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Portage, St. Croix, Trempealeau, Vernon, Wood|
2501 Golf Course Rd
Ashland WI 54806
|Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, Polk, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, Vilas, Washburn|
Operator certification program coordinator
Section chief, operator certification program