Through the Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit program, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulates municipal, industrial, and animal waste operations discharging water to surface or groundwater. Each permit contains monitoring, reporting, and operational requirements needed to ensure protection of Wisconsin’s water resources. The department makes a determination on whether a particular facility is appropriately covered by a general or specific permit. Specific permits are issued to individual facilities.

The DNR regulates municipal and industrial operations discharging wastewater to surface or groundwater through the Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit program.

“Point source” dischargers, facilities discharging wastewater to surface water from a specific point such as from the end of a pipe, must meet either the federal minimum requirements for secondary treatment in the case of a municipality, and technology-based categorical (base level) limits for industries, or the discharges must meet levels necessary to achieve water quality standards, whichever is more stringent. Land disposal systems also receive permits with limits established to protect groundwater. WPDES permits also address the land application of municipal and industrial wastewater sludge deemed safe for land spreading. Where necessary to achieve effluent limits, a WPDES wastewater permit includes a compliance schedule for making improvements in the treatment facility.

The WPDES Wastewater Permit Program controls:

  1. Effluent discharged by industries and municipalities to surface water and groundwater.
  2. Sludge and by-product solids disposal practices.
  3. Facility upgrading through plan approval.
  4. Correction of overflows and bypasses.
  5. Municipal regulation of industrial pretreatment.
  6. Discharges of toxic substances to surface or ground waters.
  7. Maintenance of the quality of surface water and groundwater resources (antidegradation, compliance maintenance, etc).

The Fond du Lac Regional Wastewater Treatment Resource & Recovery Facility is allowed to discharge treated wastewater into Lake Winnebago under the guidance and conditions of our WPDES permit. This permit is renewable every five years and sets the conditions and requirements that determine the degree of treatment we must provide in order to comply with the regulations of the state.

Sewer Use Ordinance

A sewer use ordinance is an ordinance regulating the use of public and private sewers and drains, private sewage disposal, the installation and connection of building sewers, the discharge waters and wastes into the public sewer system, and providing penalties for violations thereof; the levying of charges for wastewater services (user charges).

The City has provided facilities for the collection and treatment of wastewater to promote the health, safety and convenience of its people and to safeguard the water resources common to all. In the facilities, provisions of design, construction and operation have been made to accommodate certain types and quantities of commercial and industrial wastes in excess of and in addition to normal wastewater.

The Council has determined that it is the obligation of the producers of domestic, commercial and industrial wastes to defray the cost of normal and extraordinary services rendered by the Control Authority in the collection and treatment of the wastes in an equitable manner and, insofar as it is practicable, in proportion to the benefits derived from such services.