This is the preview version of the Wisconsin State Legislature site.
Please see for the production version.
Alert! This chapter may be affected by an emergency rule:
NR 812.07 Note Note: Section NR 113.03 (55) defines “septage” as the wastewater or contents of septic or holding tanks, dosing chambers, grease interceptors, seepage beds, seepage pits, seepage trenches, privies or portable restrooms.
NR 812.07(95) (95)“Septic tank” has the meaning specified in s. NR 113.03 (56).
NR 812.07 Note Note: Section NR 113.03 (56) defines “septic tank” as a tank which receives and partially treats sewage through processes of sedimentation, oxidation, flotation and bacterial action so as to separate solids from the liquid in the sewage and discharges the liquid to a soil absorption system.
NR 812.07(96g) (96g)“Sludge" has the meaning in s. NR 500.03 (212).
NR 812.07 Note Note: Section NR 500.03 (212) defines “sludge” as any solid, semi-solid or liquid waste generated from a municipal, commercial or industrial wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant or air pollution control facility.
NR 812.07(96m) (96m)“Sodium bentonite" means a clay formed from the decomposition and recrystallization of volcanic ash and is largely composed of the clay mineral montmorillonite (Na.33 (Al1.67Mg.33) Si4O10 (OH)2), commonly referred to as “western" or “Wyoming" bentonite, and has extensive ability to absorb water and swell to many times its original volume.
NR 812.07(97) (97)“Soil absorption unit" means an absorption field, dry well, seepage bed, seepage pit, seepage mound or seepage trench designed for the disposal of wastewater effluent or clear water wastes by soil absorption. Soil absorption unit includes units both regulated and not regulated by ch. SPS 383 and units abandoned within 3 years.
NR 812.07(97m) (97m)“Solid waste processing facility” has the meaning specified for “processing facility” in s. NR 500.03 (181).
NR 812.07 Note Note: Section NR 500.03 (181) defines “processing facility” as a solid waste facility at which solid waste is baled, shredded, pulverized, composted, classified, separated, combusted or otherwise treated or altered by some means to facilitate further transfer, processing, utilization or disposal. Processing facilities do not include operations conducted by scrap metal, paper, fiber or plastic processors which are excluded from the definition of “solid waste facilities” in this section.
NR 812.07(97r) (97r)  “Solid waste storage facility” has the meaning specified for “storage facility” in s. NR 500.03 (224).
NR 812.07 Note Note: Section NR 500.03 (224) defines “storage facility” as a solid waste facility for the storage of solid waste, on a temporary basis in such a manner as not to constitute ultimate disposal of solid waste.
NR 812.07(98) (98)“Solid waste transfer facility” has the meaning specified for “transfer facility” in s. NR 500.03 (238).
NR 812.07 Note Note: Section NR 500.03 (238) defines “transfer facility” as a solid waste facility at which transferring of solid waste from one vehicle or container to another, generally of larger capacity, occurs prior to transporting to the point of processing or disposal.
NR 812.07(99) (99)“Special well casing depth area” means an area established by the department requiring greater depth of well casing pipe, sampling or other stringent well or drillhole construction methods because of contamination.
NR 812.07 Note Note: A list of established special well casing depth areas is available on the department's website at
NR 812.07(101) (101)“Spring" means a place where groundwater flows naturally from rock or soil onto the land surface or into a body of water.
NR 812.07(102) (102)“Standard dimension ratio" means the ratio of average outside pipe diameter to minimum pipe wall thickness.
NR 812.07(103) (103)“Static water level" means the level of the surface of the water in a well or water pressure at the top of a well, when no water flows or is being pumped. For flowing wells with a positive water pressure at the top of the well, the static water elevation is determined either by a stilling pipe or pressure gauge. Water levels are referenced to the elevation of the top of the well or the established ground surface at the well.
NR 812.07(106) (106)“Storm sewer” means a buried pipe designed or used for collecting or conveying storm water.
NR 812.07(107) (107)“Subsoil drain" means that part of a drain system that conveys groundwater to a point of discharge or dispersal.
NR 812.07(108) (108)“Sump" means a tank or pit that receives wastewater that must be emptied by mechanical means.
NR 812.07(108r) (108r)“Surface water" means all water which is open to the atmosphere and subject to surface runoff.
NR 812.07(109) (109)“Surge tank" means a tank into which overflow from a flowing well, spring or other water source is discharged and is repumped to a pressure tank or the water system.
NR 812.07(110) (110)“Telescoping method" means a method for setting a well screen where the well casing pipe is driven to the proposed screen setting depth and the well casing pipe is then pulled back to expose the screen. A packer is used to seal the annulus between the top of the screen and the bottom of the well casing pipe.
NR 812.07(110m) (110m)“Temporary manure stack" means solid manure only, piled for no more than 120 days within any one year period.
NR 812.07(110s) (110s)“Temporary outer casing" means a string of casing pipe that is driven, turned or placed from the ground surface into the surficial geological formation or formations as part of the process of constructing an upper enlarged drillhole and which is not intended to be left in place as a permanent well casing pipe.
NR 812.07(111) (111)“Top of bedrock” means the top of firm rock as determined by a change in the action of the drilling machine or a change in the type and size of the drill cuttings. The presence of bedrock shall be indicated when a majority of the drill cuttings consist of either angular rock fragments, as in the case of crystalline bedrock, or rock fragments composed of individual grains or rock particles that are cemented together to form an aggregate, as opposed to single sediment particles, such as in sand.
NR 812.07(111m) (111m)“Treatment pond" means a structure that is used for the treatment or storage of liquid waste. Treatment pond includes absorption, retention, storage and treatment ponds or lagoons.
NR 812.07(112g) (112g)  “Unconsolidated formation” means geological materials composed of clay, silt, sand, gravel, or cobbles that are not bedrock, and includes alluvium, glacial drift, glacial outwash, glacial till, lacustrine deposits, loess, and saprolite.
NR 812.07(112k) (112k)  “Upper enlarged drillhole” means a drillhole larger in diameter than the well casing pipe.
NR 812.07(112m) (112m)“Upstream" means, with respect to the pump installation discharge and pressure system, in a direction back towards the well.
NR 812.07 Note Note: In previous versions of this rule the term “prior to" was used in lieu of the term “upstream."
NR 812.07(112p) (112p)  “Valve pit” means a pit that contains only piping and valves. Valve pits do not contain pressure tanks.
NR 812.07(112q) (112q)“Variance" means a department approval to construct or install a water system or a portion of a water system in a manner not in strict compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
NR 812.07(112v) (112v)“Vegetated treatment area,” formerly known as “filter strip,” means a component of an agricultural waste management system that is an area or strip of herbaceous vegetation designed and constructed to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Standard 635 specifications, located adjacent to an animal barn, animal barn pen, animal shelter, animal yard or a manure storage facility and which is intended to improve water quality by reducing pollutants associated with animal manure and other agricultural wastewater runoff.
NR 812.07(114) (114)“Walkout basement” means a basement with the floor at ground grade level on at least one side of the structure.
NR 812.07(115) (115)“Wastewater" means any water carrying wastes created in and conducted away from residences, industrial establishments and public buildings with ground or surface water which may be present including any liquid wastes except clear water wastes.
NR 812.07(116) (116)“Wastewater treatment plant” has the meaning specified in s. NR 114.52 (22).
NR 812.07 Note Note: Section NR 114.52 (22) defines “wastewater treatment plant” as a facility that provides for the treatment of sanitary or industrial wastewater or both.
NR 812.07(116m) (116m)  “Wastewater treatment plant well” means a well serving a wastewater treatment plant.
NR 812.07(117) (117)“Water supply" means the sources, wells, pumps and intake and storage structures from which water is supplied for any purpose.
NR 812.07(118) (118)“Water system" means the water supply, storage, treatment facilities and all structures and piping by which water is provided for any purpose.
NR 812.07(119) (119)“Well" has the meaning specified in s. 281.34 (1) (h), Stats.
NR 812.07 Note Note: Section 281.34 (1) (h), Stats., defines “well” as any drillhole or other excavation or opening deeper than it is wide that extends more than 10 feet below the ground surface and is constructed for the purpose of obtaining groundwater.
NR 812.07(119g) (119g)“Well and pressure system" means the water supply and pump installation upstream of a building control valve or pressure tank and including any pressure tank.
NR 812.07(120) (120)“Well cap or seal" means an approved apparatus or device used to cover the top of a well casing pipe.
NR 812.07(121) (121)“Well casing pipe" means pipe meeting standards specified in s. NR 812.11.
NR 812.07(122) (122)“Well constructor" means any person that constructs a well which is not required to be constructed by a licensed individual water well driller or a registered water well drilling business.
NR 812.07(123) (123)“Well driller" means an individual who performs well drilling.
NR 812.07(124) (124)“Well drilling" has the meaning specified in s. 280.01 (8), Stats., and includes any activity that requires the use of a well drilling rig or similar equipment, or any activity conducted using a well drilling rig or similar equipment with the exception of the driving of points having pipe or casing smaller than three inches in diameter. Well drilling also includes constructing a well or performing any activity that changes the characteristics of a drilled well including constructing, reconstructing or deepening a well, sealing the annular space of a well, joining or welding together lengths of well casing pipe or liner pipe, installation of a liner, installing or replacing a screen, well rehabilitation, hydrofracturing, blasting, and chemical conditioning. Attaching well casing pipe to the upper portion of a well to extend the well out of a pit is not considered well drilling.
NR 812.07 Note Note: Section 280.01 (8), Stats., defines “Well drilling" to mean the industry and procedure employed in obtaining groundwater from a well by digging, boring, drilling, driving or other methods but not including the driving of points for the purpose of obtaining ground water. It shall also include all construction work and installation of well casings in said well involved therein for the protection of such well water against pollution.
NR 812.07(124m) (124m)“Well notification” means a notice provided to the department in accordance with s. 281.34 (3), Stats.
NR 812.07(126) (126)“Well vent" means a screened opening in a well seal to allow atmospheric pressure to be maintained in the well.
NR 812.07(127) (127)“Well yield" means the quantity of water which may flow or be pumped from the well per unit of time.
NR 812.07 History History: Cr. Register, January, 1991, No. 421, eff. 2-1-91; am. (3), (4), (48), (61m), (74) (b), (79), (81), (82), (107) and (119), cr. (27m) (30f), (30m), (30t), (30x), (72m), (79m), (97m) and (110m), renum. (36) and (39) to be (61q) and (61u) and am. Register, September, 1994, No. 465, eff. 10-1-94; corrections made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, September, 1994, No. 465; correction in (29), (30) and (79m) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 6. and 7., Stats., Register, September, 1996, No. 489; corrections in (50), (81), (97), (123) and (124) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, December, 1998, No. 516; correction in (71) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register July 2002 No. 559; CR 05-020: cr. (24m) and (57w) Register January 2006 No. 601, eff. 2-1-06; corrections in (28) and (56) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 6. and 7., Stats., Register July 2010 No. 655; correction in (29), (97) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 6., 7., Stats., and (29) renumbered to (35g) under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 1., Stats., Register December 2011 No. 672; CR 13-096: am. (33) (a), cr. (50e), CR 13-099: cr. (1d), (1h), (1p), (1t), am. (3), (4), (6), (10), cr. (10m), (17m), (19m), am. (23), (24), cr. (27t), (29m), am. (35), cr. (35e), am. (38), cr. (41m), (47m), am. (49), renum. (51) to (50), (52) to (51), am. (53), (54), cr. (54g), (54r), (55m), am. (57m), cr. (57s), am. (60), cr. (61g), am. (64), (67), (72), (74) (b), cr. (74) (c) to (e), (75c), (75g), (75L), (75p), (75t), (75x), (79e), (79p), (79t), am. (80), cr. (80m), r. and recr. (82), am. (84), cr. (85m), am. (86), (90), (91), (93) (intro.), (a), (94), cr. (94g), (94r), (96g), am. (104) to (108), cr. (108r), (110s), renum. (112g) to (111m), cr. (112m), (112v), (119g), am. (122), r. and recr. (124), cr. (124m) Register September 2014 No. 705, eff. 10-1-14; correction in (67) made under s. 35.17, Stats., Register September 2014 No. 705; CR 18-095: r. (1d), cr. (1r), am. (10), r. (10m), (13), (19), (21), am. (22), r. and recr. (23), (24), (27t), r. (29m), (30x), am. (31), (32), (33), r. (33) (a) to (c), am. (35), r. (35e), cr. (36), r. and recr. (38), r. (42), r. and recr. (43), (44), (45), r. (47m), r. and recr. (48), am. (49), (50), cr. (50b), (50d), r. and recr. (50e), r. (50m), r. and recr. (52), (54), r. (54g), (55), (55e), (55m), cr. (55s), am. (56), r. (57), cr. (57k), r. and recr. (57m), (57s), (57w), r. (59), (60), cr. (60e), (60m), (60s), r. and recr. (62), r. (63), r. and recr. (64), am. (67), cr. (69m), r. (70), (72m), am. (73), (75), r. (75c), r. and recr. (75L), (75p), (75t), (75x), cr. (77m), r. and recr. (79), am. (79m), (79t), renum. (80) (intro.) to (80) and am., r. (80) (a), (b), r. and recr. (81), r. (85m), r. and recr. (86), am. (87), r. (88), r. and recr. (89), (90), (91), (94), cr. (94b), r. and recr. (94r), (95), r. (96), r. and recr. (96g), (97m), cr. (97r), r. and recr. (98), am. (99), r. (100), (104), (105), am. (106), (111), r. (112), cr. (112g), (112k), (112p), am. (112q), (112v), r. (113), am. (114), (116), cr. 116m, r. and recr. (119), am. (121), r. and recr. (123), am. (124), am. (124m), (124m), r. (125), (128) Register June 2020 No. 774, eff. 7-1-20; corrections in (56) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7. and 35.17, Stats., and correction in (22), (91) made under s. 35.17, Stats., Register June 2020 No. 774; correction in (23) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register January 2021 No. 781; CR 21-070: cr. (79x) Register July 2022 No. 799, eff. 8-1-22.
NR 812.08 NR 812.08Water well, reservoir and spring location.
NR 812.08(1)(1)General. Any potable or nonpotable well, reservoir, or spring shall be located:
NR 812.08(1)(a) (a) So the well and its surroundings can be kept in a sanitary condition.
NR 812.08(1)(b) (b) So that the well, reservoir or spring is protected from surface water flow and flooding, and located at the highest point on the property consistent with the general layout and surroundings if reasonably possible.
NR 812.08(1)(c) (c) As far away from any known or possible contaminant source as the general layout of the premises and the surroundings allow.
NR 812.08 Note Note: Section PSC 114.234 (6) requires that a horizontal clearance of at least 3/4 of the vertical clearance of the conductors, including overhead power lines to the ground required by Rule 232 shall be maintained between open conductors and wells. Persons installing wells must comply with this requirement.
NR 812.08(1)(d) (d) Such that any potential contaminant source, not identified in this section or in Table A, is a minimum of 8 feet from the well, reservoir, or spring.
NR 812.08(1)(e) (e) So that it is reasonably accessible with proper equipment for cleaning, treatment, repair, testing, inspection and any other maintenance that may be necessary.
NR 812.08(1)(f) (f) In a manner to meet the additional location and construction specifications of s. NR 812.12 (3) and (4).
NR 812.08(1)(g) (g) Such that the location of a spring meets the requirements under s. NR 812.25.
NR 812.08(1m) (1m)   General prohibitions. No person may locate a well, reservoir, spring, or a contaminant source in a manner that fails to comply with any requirements established in this section.
NR 812.08(2) (2) Relation to buildings. In relation to buildings, all of the following apply to the location of any potable or nonpotable well:
NR 812.08(2)(a) (a) No well may be located directly in line with a rainwater downspout outlet or other clear water discharge.
NR 812.08(2)(b) (b) When a structure is built over a drilled well, the structure shall have an easily removable access hatch, or provide other practicable access to allow for pulling and servicing the pump. The well casing pipe shall extend at least 12 inches above the ground-grade or above the ground-grade floor of the building and shall be sealed watertight at the point where it extends through the floor.
NR 812.08(2)(c) (c) No well may be located, nor a building constructed, such that the well casing pipe will terminate in a basement or extend through the basement of any building or terminate under the floor of a building having no basement. A well may not terminate in or extend through a crawl space.
NR 812.08(2)(d) (d) The top of a well casing pipe may terminate in a walkout basement if all of the following conditions are met:
NR 812.08(2)(d)1. 1. It is possible to walk directly outside from the walkout basement without walking upstairs or upslope.
NR 812.08(2)(d)2. 2. The surface of the ground around the outside exit door of the walkout basement slopes down away from the door.
NR 812.08(2)(d)3. 3. The well and pump installation are accessible for repair and removal.
NR 812.08(2)(d)4. 4. The well produces water free from contaminant levels in excess of the standards specified in s. NR 812.06.
NR 812.08(2)(d)5. 5. The well casing pipe depth meets the requirements of ss. NR 812.13 (2) and 812.14 (2).
NR 812.08(2)(d)6. 6. The well and pump installation are in compliance with all other requirements of this chapter.
NR 812.08(2)(d)7. 7. The walkout basement is not subject to flooding.
NR 812.08(2)(d)8. 8. The walkout basement is not in a floodway or floodplain.
NR 812.08(2)(e) (e) A well may not terminate in or extend through a crawl space having a below grade depression or excavation.
NR 812.08(2)(f) (f) If a well must be located in a driveway, parking area, walkway, or other high traffic area due to lot size or to meet minimum required separation distances between the well and contaminant sources, the well may be contained within a driveway ramp structure without department approval providing the driveway ramp meets the specifications of s. NR 812.36. A driveway ramp may not be constructed or located in a floodway or floodplain.
NR 812.08(2)(g) (g) A yard hydrant may not be installed within or on a well.
NR 812.08(3) (3) Relation to floodplains.
NR 812.08(3)(a) (a) A well may be constructed, reconstructed or replaced in a floodfringe provided that the top of the well is terminated at least 2 feet above the regional flood elevation for the well site. The regional flood elevation is determined by the city, village, or county floodplain zoning ordinance.
NR 812.08(3)(b) (b) A well may be reconstructed or replaced in a floodway provided that the top of the well is terminated at least 2 feet above the regional flood elevation for the well site.
NR 812.08(3)(c) (c) A new well may not be constructed in a floodway unless allowed by s. NR 116.12 (1) (f) and city, village, or county ordinance.
NR 812.08(4) (4) Relation to contamination sources. A well driller or well constructor may not construct or reconstruct a well, install a reservoir, or develop a spring that is less than the minimum separation distance from a possible contaminant source as specified in Table A. The minimum separation distances of this subsection do not apply to dewatering wells approved under s. NR 812.09 (4) (a). Greater separation distances may be required for wells requiring plan approval under s. NR 812.09. Separation distance requirements to possible contaminant sources may not be waived because of property lines. Separation distances shall be measured from the edge of the well, reservoir or spring, to the nearest edge of the contaminant source or as specified in Table A. - See PDF for table PDF - See PDF for table PDF
1) Separation distances to manure and manure containment structures are also defined in Natural Resource Conservation (NRCS) technical standards and chs. NR 151, 243 and 812. The separation distances in each may be different. When installing a well on a farm, especially an AFO (animal feeding operation) consult with the owner, the technical standards, and all applicable administrative code provisions to identify other well separation distances that may exist.
2) The separation distance from a POWTS dispersal component does not apply if the component has been abandoned in accordance with s. SPS 383.33.
Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.