In this chapter:
“Administrator" means the county employee designated by the county board of supervisors to issue permits for either private well location or pump installation or both and to administer ch. NR 812
in the county as authorized by the department.
“Aesthetic parameters" means constituents of drinking water that are not cause for health concern, including but not limited to those in the secondary drinking water standards listed in s. NR 809.60
“Approval" means the written plan approval of the department.
“Central office" means the bureau of water supply, located in Madison, Wisconsin, which functions as the coordinating authority for the statewide water supply program.
“Contaminant" means any physical, chemical, biological or radiological substance or matter in water.
“County office staff" means county office personnel trained to answer general well location and pump installation questions and to accept permit applications.
“Delegation level" means the program level, as set forth in s. NR 845.05
, at which a county is authorized to administer and enforce ch. NR 812
“Department" means the department of natural resources.
“Department district offices" means offices located in:
Western District, 1300 W. Clairemont Ave., Box 4001, Eau Claire, WI 54702.
Lake Michigan District, 1125 N. Military Ave., Box 10448, Green Bay, WI 54307.
Southeast District, 2300 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Box 12436, Milwaukee, WI 53212.
Southern District, 3911 Fish Hatchery Rd., Fitchburg, WI 53711.
“Drillhole" means an excavation, opening or driven point well deeper than it is wide that extends more than 10 feet below the ground surface.
“Heat exchange drillhole" means a drillhole used for closed loop heat exchange purposes.
“Lower drillhole" means that part of a drillhole below the vertical zone of contamination or below the well casing pipe.
“Upper enlarged drillhole" means a drillhole, larger in diameter than the well casing pipe.
“Emergency installation" means an installation made as a result of an unforeseen problem with an existing private water system, such as a well not producing water, that could be a hazard to the health of humans or livestock served by a potable well.
“Health hazard" means a condition which constitutes:
A violation of ch. NR 812
regarding the installation, construction, operation or maintenance of a private well; or
“Noncommunity water system" means a public water supply system that serves year-round residents.
NR 845.04 Note
Note: Examples of a non-community water system include those serving schools, motels, restaurants, churches, campgrounds and parks.
“Noncomplying well or pump installation" means a private water system not in compliance with all provisions of ch. NR 812
in effect at the time the well was constructed or the pump was installed.
“Performance standards" means standards established by the department specifying the success level a county is required to achieve and maintain in order to retain authorization for a delegation level.
“Person" means an individual, corporation, company, association, cooperative, trust, institution, partnership, state, public utility, sanitary district, municipality or federal, state or interstate agency.
“Personal interest" means having a financial interest in a property or being related by marriage or birth to a person having a financial interest in a property.
“Primary drinking water standards" means those maximum contaminant levels which represent minimum public health standards set forth in ch. NR 809
“Private water system" means the water collection, storage and treatment facilities and all structures, piping and appurtenances by which water is provided for human consumption by other than community water systems. For the purpose of this chapter, it includes noncommunity water systems.
“Private water systems inspector" means a county employee trained by the department to inspect the well location and pump installation and collect water samples for any private water system.
“Private water systems ordinance" means a county ordinance, approved by the department, regulating private water systems at the county's authorized delegation level.
“Private well" means, for the purpose of this chapter, any drilled, driven point, dug, bored or jetted well constructed for the purpose of obtaining groundwater for potable use, including wells constructed in special well casing depth areas and noncommunity wells. It does not include springs, or private or public wells that require written plan approval from the department.
“Public water system" means a system for the provision to the public of piped water for human consumption if a system has at least 15 service connections or regularly serves an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days per year. A public water system is either a “community water system" or a “noncommunity water system." A system includes:
Any collection, treatment, storage and distribution facilities under control of the operator of a system and used primarily in connection with a system, and
Any collection or pretreatment storage facilities not under such control which are used primarily in connection with a system.
In an existing private water system, a change in the nature of the connection between the well and the interior water supply piping or changing the type of pump installed. It does not include replacement of a pump with a similar pump, replacement of one type of pipe material with another pipe material of the same or different diameter or the installation of motors, controls, sampling faucets, well seals or caps or pressure tanks.
“Pump installation inspector" means a county employee trained by the department to inspect new and existing pumps and related equipment used for withdrawing water from a private water system including but not limited to the discharge piping, the underground connections, pitless adapters, pressure tanks, pits, sampling faucets and well seals or caps.
“Pump installation permit" means a permit, or comparable registration system, issued by a participating county which allows the installation of a pump in a new, reconstructed, replaced or rehabilitated private water system or the installation of a pump in an existing private water system when a change is made in the nature of the connection between the well and the water supply piping or when a different type of pump is installed.
“Reconstruction" means modifying the original construction of a private well. It includes but is not limited to deepening, lining, installing or replacing a screen, under-reaming, hydrofracturing and blasting.
“Registration system" means a record of county approval for the construction of a private water system or the installation of a pump as recorded by the county administrator.
“Special well casing depth area" means an area established by the department requiring a greater depth of well casing pipe and stringent well construction methods because of contamination.
NR 845.04 Note
Note: A list of special well casing depth areas is available from the Department of Natural Resources, 101 S. Webster Street, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921.
“Uniform private water systems guidance manual" means the manual prepared by the department outlining county procedures for administering and enforcing ch. NR 812
NR 845.04 Note
Note: Copies are available from Department of Natural Resources, 101 S. Webster Street, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921.
“Variance" means an approval issued by the department under ch. NR 812
allowing a private water system to vary from ch. NR 812
requirements if department approved conditions are met.
“Water system" means the water supply, storage, treatment facilities and all structures and piping by which water is provided for any purpose.
“Well" means any drillhole or other excavation or opening constructed for the purpose of obtaining groundwater.
“Well and drillhole abandonment inspector" means a county employee trained by the department to locate and inspect wells and drillholes in relation to ch. NR 812
“Well construction" means the procedures, methods, materials and equipment used during the construction or reconstruction of a well.
“Well construction inspector" means a county employee trained by the department to conduct inspections of private wells during or immediately following construction.
“Well constructor" means any person who constructs a well.
“Well location inspector" means a county employee trained by the department to inspect the location of a private well in relation to ch. NR 812
locational distances, to observe the above grade casing height, to observe whether there is a cap or a seal on the upper terminus of the well.
“Well location permit" means a permit, or comparable registration system, issued by the county which allows the construction or reconstruction of a private well.
NR 845.04 History
Cr. Register, January, 1987, No. 373
, eff. 2-1-87; cr. (11) and (36), renum. (11) to (38) to be (12) to (36) and (38) to (40), am. (6), (10), (15), (18), (25), (31), (34), (35) and (39), Register, February, 1991, No. 422
, eff. 3-1-91; renum. from NR 145.04 and am., cr. (38m), Register, August, 1995, No. 476
, eff. 9-1-95; correction in (13) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, April, 2000, No. 532
; CR 18-095: r. (13) Register June 2020 No. 774, eff. 7-1-20.
Upon the approval of the department, a county may receive authorization to administer ch. NR 812
at level 5 and at one of one or more of the other 4 levels. The department may authorize county delegation programs which the department determines to be substantially equivalent to those described in this section. At each delegation level, the county shall investigate complaints and take enforcement actions related to their authorized delegation level. The 5 delegation levels are:
(1) Level 1 - private well location.
Under Level 1 delegation a county shall:
Issue permits authorizing the location of new and replacement private wells, including drilled, driven point, dug, bored or jetted wells, or the reconstruction or rehabilitation of existing private wells.
Conduct inspections of new, replaced, reconstructed or rehabilitated private well installations for which well location permits were required as soon as possible after the well is constructed.
Determine whether the casing height of a permitted well complies with ch. NR 812
and that there is a cap or seal on the upper terminus of the well.
Require upgrading of all inspected private wells that are not in compliance with the minimum private well locational distances in ch. NR 812
NR 845.05 Note
Note: Counties authorized under level 1 prior to March 1, 1991 are authorized to conduct both level 1 and level 5 responsibilities.
(2) Level 2 - well location and pump installation permits.
Under level 2 delegation a county shall:
Issue permits for the installation of a pump on new, replaced, rehabilitated or reconstructed private water systems. This permit may be incorporated in a joint well location/pump installation permit system.
Issue permits for pump installations on existing private water systems when a change is made in the nature of the connection between the well and the water supply piping or when a different type of pump is installed.
Conduct inspections of new and existing pump installations for which pump installation permits were required as soon as possible after the pump installation work is completed.
Require upgrading of all inspected private water systems that are not in compliance with the minimum private well location and pump installation code standards in ch. NR 812
(3) Level 3 - existing private water systems.
Under level 3 delegation a county shall:
Follow-up on all initial bacteriologically-unsafe sample results in the county, that the county is informed of, from all private water systems located in the county covered under this chapter submitted to the county health department laboratory or other laboratories certified by the department of health and social services under s. 143.14
, 1993 Stats. Initial unsafe sample follow-up shall consist of, at a minimum, a telephone contact or form letter, but may be an on-site visit. The county shall advise the property owner what action should be taken and offer further assistance. Follow-up on initial bacteriologically-unsafe results from samples analyzed by the state laboratory of hygiene need not be done by the county. If further assistance is requested following a second unsafe sample submitted to the state laboratory of hygiene, the county health department laboratory or other laboratories certified by the department of health and social services, the county shall follow the procedures described in the uniform private water systems guidance manual. Problems with private water systems which require action beyond the authorized delegation level of the county shall be referred to the department.
Annually inspect 10% of the existing noncommunity water systems located in the county. The county shall collect coliform bacteria and nitrate samples for the systems inspected each year and follow-up on bacteriologically-unsafe samples and samples exceeding the primary drinking water standard for nitrates. Follow-up procedures are described in the uniform private water systems guidance manual. When all noncommunity wells in the county have been inspected and sampled under this program, the county shall repeat the inspection and analysis procedure described in this paragraph.
On the request of a property owner or a lending institution, conduct an inspection of the well and pump installation and collect a water sample for coliform bacteria analysis, and if also requested collect a nitrate-nitrogen sample, for the private water system.
Conduct a private water system inspection and evaluation whenever any water sample is collected as part of complaint or problem follow-up unless authorized not to do so by the department.
Require upgrading of all inspected private water systems that are not in compliance with the minimum well location and pump installation standards of ch. NR 812
(4) Level 4 - private well construction.
Under level 4 delegation a county shall:
Inspect new private wells during the actual construction phase or immediately following construction to ensure compliance with ch. NR 812
well construction requirements.
Follow-up on problems with new and existing private water systems due to well construction, in addition to problems associated with pump installation or private well location.
Check the well driller's license, equipment and materials to ensure that department approved materials and methods are used. Follow-up procedures are described in the uniform private water systems guidance manual.
(5) Level 5 - well and drillhole abandonment.
Under level 5 delegation a county shall require the abandonment of wells and drillholes in accordance with standards established in s. NR 812.26
. A county with level 5 delegation may also require the abandonment of a well, as defined in this chapter, with water exceeding a primary drinking water standard listed in ch. NR 809
or a state health advisory limit issued by the department, after consultation with and approval by the department.
NR 845.05 History
Cr. Register, January, 1987, No. 373
, eff. 2-1-87; r. (1) (d), renum. (1) (e) to be (1) (d), am. (1) (intro.), (1) (a), (2) (intro.), (3) (intro.), (4) (intro.), cr. (5) Register, February, 1991, No. 422
, eff. 3-1-91; renum. from NR 145.05 and am., Register, August, 1995, No. 476
, eff. 9-1-95; correction in (3) (a) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, April, 2000, No. 532
NR 845.06(1)(a)(a) Adoption of ordinance.
Each county authorized by the department to administer and enforce ch. NR 812
under any delegation level shall adopt a private water systems ordinance, no less stringent nor more stringent than ch. 280
, Stats., and department rules adopted under ch. 280
, Stats. The ordinance shall be commensurate with the level or levels of the county's delegated authority. The ordinance shall apply to the entire county and shall include cities, towns, villages and sanitary districts in the county.
(b) Repeal of ordinance.
A county may rescind participation in the delegation program by repealing the private water system ordinance in its entirety or by repealing portions of the ordinance authorizing participation in a specific delegation level. The county shall notify the department of its intention to withdraw from participation in the county delegation program in writing at least 30 days prior to date of repeal of all or any part of the county ordinance.