Clean Water Fund

Last year, the DNR received a record number of Clean Water Fund (CWFP) applications and expects a similar number this year. Due to the anticipated number of submittals, if you plan to apply for a CWFP loan for State Fiscal Year 2025 and you have not already done so, please submit your facility plan as soon as possible to ensure the DNR is able to review and approve the plan before the CWFP application deadline.

The DNR recommends submitting facility plans in spring 2024 and cannot guarantee that submissions received after June 30 will be approved before Sept. 30. An approved facility plan is a required component for all CWFP applications, regardless of project classification.


DNR recently updated its Interim Strategy for Land Application of Biosolids and Industrial Sludges Containing PFAS, which sets advisory thresholds and recommended response actions for land application of biosolids and industrial sludges. The updates expand the scope to include industrial sludges in addition to municipal biosolids and also direct staff to include PFAS monitoring of sludges in WPDES permits for certain facilities.  DNR expects to update this strategy after EPA completes its risk assessment of PFAS in biosolids in late 2024.

Meat and Poultry

EPA is proposing an amendment to the Meat and Poultry Effluent Limitation Guidelines that would establish more stringent effluent limitations for nitrogen and phosphorus, add E. coli bacteria limitations for direct dischargers, and extend coverage to include indirect dischargers. See details here: Meat and Poultry Products Effluent Guidelines | US EPA

Exams and Operator Certification:

Operator exams are back to in-person after external feedback. Exam dates and locations for 2024 are located here: Exams | | Wisconsin DNR. If you have questions about exams, certifications, or continuing education credits, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Sam Wettach has recently transferred to another area of the DNR and is no longer involved with operator certifications. Jordan Schutz is acting Statewide Coordinator in the interim. You can also reach out to your regional coordinator if you have questions.

Regional Officer Coordinator Name Counties of Responsibility
DNR - South Central Region
3911 Fish Hatchery Road
Fitchburg, WI 53711
Jordan Main
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Columbia, Dane, Dodge Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Richland, Rock, Sauk
DNR - Southeast Region
1155 Pilgrim Road
Plymouth, WI
Curt Nickles
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Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racein, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha
DNR - Northeast Region
2984 Shawano Ave
Green Bay, WI 54313-6727
Heidi Schmitt Marguez
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Brown, Calumet, Door, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Marquette, Menomonie, Oconto,
Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago
DNR - West Central Region
1300 W Clairmont Ave
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Nicholas Lindstrom
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Adams, Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Crawford, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Marathon, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Portage, St. Croix, Trempealeau, Vernon, Wood
DNR - Northern Region
810 W Maple Street
Spooner, WI 54801
Carson Johnson
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Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, Polk, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, Vilas, Washburn


CMARs will be released April 30th and an email will be sent out to permittees letting them know they can access the form.

CMARs are due June 30th, 2024. Be sure to leave time for a resolution or Owner’s statement to occur prior to submission!

More information can be found here: Compliance Maintenance Annual Report (CMAR) | Wastewater Treatment Works Compliance Maintenance program | Wisconsin DNR

Be sure a documented update of your CMOM is occurring each year.

An update to administrative code, chapter NR 149, has been completed.

This update was published on March 1, 2021. The effective date is June 29, 2021.

On March 19, 2021, Brandy Baker-Muhich provided a Webinar on how this new update to NR 149 affects "Base 4" registered labs.

For more info on upcoming changes to NR149 please the DNR LAB CERT Page

Third party administration of operator certification examinations

The Department of Natural Resources announces that it will hold a preliminary public hearing on Statement of Scope SS 163-20 for proposed emergency and permanent rules relating to updating chapters NR 114, 146, 520 and 524 to allow for third party administration of operator certification examinations ( Board Orders WY-26-20(E) and WY-27-20). In accordance with s. 227.136, Wis. Stats., the DNR is seeking public comment and feedback on Statement of Scope SS 163-20

Read more here

NR 114 & 146 Exam Update:

The department is evaluating a computer-based platform to provide exams safely and reliably to drinking water, wastewater, septage, and landfill operators, as well as well drillers and pump installers. It is anticipated this computer-based platform will not be available until Spring 2021. Historically the department provides over 3,000 exams on an annual basis, which cannot all be accommodated in person at this time. We understand that there are individuals that may have an urgent need for an exam prior to the availability of computer-based exams, such as: a utility, facility, organization or business would result in noncompliance or violations without the exam(s); a utility, facility, organization or business would be unable to fill a position without the exam(s); or passing an exam is needed to accept, begin or maintain a job.

Read more on the DNR website

March 20, 2020: Important notice

March 20, 2020: Important notice
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and Governor Evers' Executive Order #72 [PDF exit DNR] declaring a public health emergency, DNR is currently evaluating continuing education, certification/license renewal and exam requirements for ch. NR 114, Wis. Adm. Code, drinking water, wastewater, septage, landfill and incineration operators, as well as ch. NR 146, Wis. Adm. Code, licensed well drillers and pump installers. More detailed information about program requirements during the public health emergency will be available in coming weeks.

The DNR is pursuing the legal process to temporarily suspend ch. NR 114, Wis. Adm. Code, requirements and intends to provide significant flexibility in allowing for operators to complete their critical public health work without being burdened by certification renewal and continuing education requirements at this time. Please check the respective DNR program webpages for new information and reach out to your DNR facility contact if you have any questions or concerns. The DNR greatly appreciates your efforts for completing critical public health work during this challenging time.

WDNR- Collection System Subclass Update

Work began on building the new Collection System Study Guide and Exam in March of 2017.  The team worked diligently at getting a finished study guide document ready for publication on the WDNR’s Website which was made available in August of 2018.  As a reminder, if the treatment plant owns the sanitary sewer collection systems associated with it, then at least one person will need to be certified in the collection system subclass.  Look for the certification requirement in your WPDES permit reissuance. For satellite sewerage collection systems, this certification will be voluntary.  The exam will be ready for the November 7th test date.  Special thanks to the Fond du Lac Regional Wastewater Treatment & Resource Recovery Facility staff for hosting nearly all the monthly meetings!  Stay tuned for publication on the WDNR’s website this summer!

Team members involved on this project are:

Larry Claude, Energenecs, Inc.

Dave Flowers, Natural Water Solutions, LLC

Gary Hanson, SHE, Inc.

Joan Hawley, Superior Engineering, LLC

Lyle Lutz, Village of Plover Wastewater Utility

Kevin Mraz, Algoma Sanitary District No. 1

Bernie Robertson, Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI

Matt Schmidt, NEW Water

Taylor Steager, Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI

Sam Warp, Marshfield Wastewater Utilities

Nathan Wells, Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI

Tim Zimmerman, Village of Germantown

Special thanks to Jack Saltes for putting together much of the team 

Pictured at the June 2018 meeting: (left to right) Bernie Robertson (WDNR), Nathan Wells (WDNR), Matt Schmidt (NEW Water), Taylor Steager (WDNR), Lyle Lutz (Plover Wastewater Utility), and Joan Hawley (Superior Engineering) 



FORM 3400-184 (R 7/17)

As you all know, this is the report form to be completed and submitted within 5 calendar days once becoming aware of an sewage overflow. Please use this most recent SSO reporting form and replace your web address to access this form or your blank printed paper forms with this form. After December 1, 2017 we will no longer accept the former version ( R 11/13).

The new form removes much of the verbiage from the previous form and is formatted with data fields to make it easy to complete and read. We plan to make this form an electronic submittal in the next few years but until then, the process for completing the form and submitting it remains the same. You can complete it by hand  or on-line and then send it to us either by USPS or email. 

We hope you find this revised form more user friendly and easier to enter the required information.  Please complete all fields as they apply using this form. While you can provide attachments for additional or supplemental information, please do NOT write “See Attached” for the primary information that should be entered directly into the report form itself. Thank you.

If you have any questions, please contact me or your DNR District wastewater engineer. Have a good summer.  Jack This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Energy Questions and Use Data (Financial Management Section) 

CMOM Questions (Collection Systems Section)

The 2016 CMAR has been revised to include new energy questions and use information in the Financial Management section. The Wisconsin DNR and the Office of Energy Innovation  will thus be conducting CMAR Training at locations throughout the state. The purpose of the training sessions are to familiarize you with the new questions to complete this part of the CMAR and in reading /understanding your electricity and gas  bills from which to enter electrical or natural gas use per month. Revised CMOM questions will also be reviewed and discussed. All those that complete CMARs are encouraged to attend.  There is no pre-registration or cost for the training. Continuing education hours (3) will be offered.  CMARs will be available on-line at the end of April.

Phosphorus Removal Product (RE-100) WDNR Review

RE-100 (fka SorbX-100) is increasingly being used to remove phosphorus from wastewater.  And it appears to serve that purpose well.  The agency has looked into (and accepted) RE-100 from the whole effluent toxicity (WET) aspect, but what hasn’t been adequately addressed is the impact of RE-100 (and possibly other treatment chemicals) on biosolids metals data.  Note that a more concentrated product, RE-300, is also currently being marketed.  To read the entire article, click here.

New DNR Exam Study guides

Given the significant time and effort needed to revise study guides according to the new subclasses that became effective July 1, 2015 under Wisc. Adm. Code NR 114, study guides will be released and available in phases as given below. Only exams for which study guides are available will be given on the exam date. Note: These are tentative dates.

For questions about the study guides and their availability, contact Jack Saltes, Wastewater Operations Engineer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 608-264-6045.

Available now:

Basic General Wastewater [PDF]
A1 - Biological Treatment - Suspended Growth Processes [PDF]
A3 - Biological Treatment - Recirculating Media Filters [PDF]

Available by September 1, 2015 (for November 2015 exam date):

A4 - Ponds, Lagoons and Natural Systems
D - Disinfection
L - Laboratory
P - Nutrient Removal - Total Phosphorus
Advanced Wastewater 100 Question Exam

Available by February 1, 2016 (for May 2016 exam date):

A2 - Biological Treatment - Attached Growth Processes
B - Solids Separation
C - Biological Solids/Sludge- Handling, Processing and Reuse
U - Unique Treatment Systems

Available by February 1, 2017 (for May 2017 exam date):

N - Nutrient Removal - Total Nitrogen
A5 - Anaerobic Treatment of Liquid Waste

Available by August 1, 2017 (for November 2017 exam date):

Sanitary Sewer Collection System

EPA Rule Changes

There EPA has proposed some significant changes that facilities, especially those doing lab testing beyond BOD and TSS, should be aware of. While this appears to be an intimidating rule package, much of the length of it is devoted to allowing new methods for wastewater analysis.

It is the last two pages of the 121-page document that facilities doing lab testing should focus on.  The section begins with "9. Revise Appendix B to part 136 to read as follows:"

After over 40 years, the EPA is proposing to make significant changes to the procedure for determining detection limits (MDL/LOD).  This new procedure will require a lot more effort for labs with (in my personal opinion) little value to the end result.  In fact, for total phosphorus, it could really hinder labs' ability to achieve an LOD required under the Phosphorus rules.

The LabCert Program plans to submit an extensive set of comments on the proposed rule.  If the rule becomes final, we of course will have to adopt it into the Lab Certification administrative code (NR149).

A link to the proposed rule and fact sheets is provided below:


The DNR recently implemented electronic credit tracking and eliminated the paper credit slips. Instead of collecting paper credit slips at the end of the day, you will now checkout to claim your credits.

If you do not check out at the end of the day, then it is assumed you did not stay for the entire training. Therefore, operators who fail to check out at the end of the day will only be granted half of the maximum number of credits.
If you need to leave early, you must also check-out so you are granted the appropriate credit amount.

For more information and to locate your online certification record, you may visit the Operator certification program Page or contact your local DNR Operator Certification representative.

"The Certified Operator" Digital Version

The August 2014 edition of The Certified Operator is now available online at:


This newsletter covers important updates to the program. See how wastewater operators will be grandfathered into the new NR114 Administrative Rule, meet new Operator Certification Program staff, read about exciting new online features, and learn about training opportunities.

"The Certified Operator" is the annual newsletter of the Operator Certification Program distributed in August to all certified Wastewater and Municipal Waterworks operators. The newsletter highlights program information and updates. DNR has recently begun emailing the newsletter to all operators who have an email address on file. If you are currently receiving the newsletter via regular mail and would like to receive future copies via email, please email your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (please include your name and certification number in the email).

If you still prefer to receive a hard copy of the newsletter sent to you via US Mail please contact your regional coordinator, or visit the DNR website for more information.

NR 114 Relating to Certification Wastewater Requirements

NR114 is currently being revised to reflect advancements in treatment technologies along with changes in educational training methods. Please refer to the NR114 Code Revisions Fact Sheet for more information on the proposed changes.

Information regarding the progress can be found here:

Exam applications now available

Exam applications for the November 4, 2015 exam day are now available on the following webpage:

For the November exam day, pre-filled applications will not be mailed out to wastewater operators who have taken an exam in the last year and a half. Instead, if you would like to take an exam, please print a blank application off the webpage above and mail that in with the exam fee.

Given the significant time and effort needed to revise study guides according to the new subclasses that became effective July 1, 2015 under Wisc. Adm. Code NR 114, nine of the fifteen wastewater exams will be offered this November. View the wastewater operator webpage (tab #2 for study guides) to see a list of all wastewater exams and when the exams will be offered.   Study guides may also be downloaded from this webpage:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Become a Member

Becoming a member of WWOA provides many membership benefits including:

  • Operator Seminars
  • Scholarships & Tuition Aid
  • “Clarifier” – our official educational publication
  • Discounts on our Annual Conference and other programs
  • Yearly awards recognizing professionalism and support in the wastewater field