2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 145. Plumbing and fire protection systems and swimming pool plan review.
145.20 Private sewage systems.

145.20

145.20 Private sewage systems.

145.20(1)

(1) Organization and personnel.

145.20(1)(a)

(a) The governing body of the governmental unit responsible for the regulation of private sewage systems may assign the duties of administering the private sewage system program to any office, department, committee, board, commission, position or employee of that governmental unit.

145.20(1)(am)

(am) The governing body of the governmental unit responsible for the regulation of private sewage systems may delegate the duties of administering the private sewage system program to a town sanitary district or public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district with the powers of a town sanitary district within the town sanitary district or public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district if the town sanitary district or public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district agrees to assume those duties.

145.20(1)(b)

(b) The governmental unit responsible for the regulation of private sewage systems shall obtain the services of a certified soil tester, either as an employee or under contract, to review and verify certified soil tester reports under sub. (2).

145.20(2)

(2) Governmental unit responsibilities. The governmental unit responsible for the regulation of private sewage systems shall:

145.20(2)(a)

(a) Review certified soil tester reports for proposed private sewage systems and verify the report at the proposed site, if necessary.

145.20(2)(b)

(b) Approve or disapprove applications for sanitary permits and assist applicants in preparing an approvable application.

145.20(2)(c)

(c) Issue written notice to each applicant whose sanitary permit application is disapproved. Each notice shall state the specific reasons for disapproval and amendments to the application, if any, which render the application approvable. Each notice shall also give notice of the applicant's right to appeal and the procedures for conducting an appeal under ch. 68.

145.20(2)(d)

(d) Inspect all private sewage systems after construction but before backfilling no later than the end of the next workday, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, after receiving notice from the plumber in charge.

145.20(2)(e)

(e) File reports and conduct surveys and inspections as required by the governmental unit responsible for the regulation of private sewage systems or the department.

145.20(2)(f)

(f) Investigate violations of the private sewage system ordinance and s. 254.59 (2), issue orders to abate the violations and submit orders to the district attorney, corporation counsel or attorney general for enforcement.

145.20(2)(g)

(g) Perform other duties regarding private sewage systems as considered appropriate by the governmental unit responsible for the regulation of private sewage systems or as required by the rules of the department.

145.20(2)(h)

(h) Inspect existing private sewage systems to determine compliance with s. 145.195 if a building or structure is being constructed which requires connection to an existing private sewage system. The county is not required to conduct an on-site inspection if a building or structure is being constructed which does not require connection to an existing private sewage system.

145.20(2)(i)

(i) Adopt and enforce the maintenance program under sub. (5).

145.20(3)

(3) Department responsibilities.

145.20(3)(a)

(a)

145.20(3)(a)1.

1. The department may specify categories of private sewage systems for which approval by the department is required prior to issuance of sanitary permits by the governmental unit responsible for the regulation of private sewage systems.

145.20(3)(a)2.

2. The department may exempt a governmental unit from any category of private sewage systems for which departmental approval is required prior to sanitary permit issuance under subd. 1., upon a determination, in accordance with rules promulgated by the department, that past performance of the governmental unit on reviews and audits under par. (b) has been satisfactory and that the governmental unit has the capacity to give the same level of application and plan review as that provided by the department. The department may revoke an exemption upon a finding that performance of the governmental unit on a review or audit conducted subsequent to the granting of the exemption is unsatisfactory or that the governmental unit is not giving the same level of application and plan review as that provided by the department. Findings in a revocation action may be made only after a public hearing upon 30 days' advance notice to the clerk of the governmental unit. The department shall submit a report under s. 13.172 (2) to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature, at the beginning of each legislative session, describing the exemptions under this subdivision.

145.20(3)(b)

(b) The department shall review the private sewage system program in each governmental unit responsible for the regulation of private sewage systems to ascertain compliance with sub. (2) and with regulations issued by the department. This review shall include a random audit of sanitary permits, including verification by on-site inspection.

145.20(3)(c)

(c) If the governing body for a governmental unit responsible for the regulation of private sewage systems does not adopt a private sewage system ordinance meeting the requirements of s. 59.70 (5) or if the governmental unit does not appoint personnel meeting the requirements of sub. (1) or if the governmental unit does not comply with the requirements of sub. (2) or s. 145.19 (3), the department may conduct hearings in the county seat upon 30 days' notice to the county clerk. As soon as practicable after the public hearing, the department shall issue a written decision regarding compliance with s. 59.70 (5) or 145.19 (3) or sub. (1) or (2). If the department determines that there is a violation of these provisions, the governmental unit may not issue a sanitary permit for the installation of a private sewage system until the violation is corrected.

145.20(3)(d)

(d) The department shall conduct training and informational programs for officials of the governmental unit responsible for the regulation of private sewage systems and employees and persons licensed under this chapter and s. 281.48 and certified as operators of septage servicing vehicles under s. 281.17 (3) to improve the delivery of service under the private sewage system program. The department shall obtain the assistance of the Wisconsin counties association in planning and conducting the training and informational programs.

145.20(4)

(4) Special assessment for holding and septic tank pumping. A governmental unit may assess the owner of a private sewage system for costs related to the pumping of a septic or holding tank. The governmental unit shall make any assessment in the same manner that a city, village or town makes an assessment under s. 66.0703.

145.20(5)

(5) Maintenance.

145.20(5)(a)

(a) The department shall establish a maintenance program to be administered by governmental units responsible for the regulation of private sewage systems. The department shall determine the private sewage systems to which the maintenance program applies. At a minimum the maintenance program is applicable to all new or replacement private sewage systems constructed in a governmental unit after the date on which the governmental unit adopts this program. The department may apply the maintenance program by rule to private sewage systems constructed in a governmental unit responsible for the regulation of private sewage systems on or before the date on which the governmental unit adopts the program. The department shall determine the private sewage systems to which the maintenance program applies in governmental units that do not meet the conditions for eligibility under s. 145.245 (9).

145.20(5)(am)

(am) Each governmental unit responsible for the regulation of private sewage systems shall adopt and begin the administration of the program established under par. (a) before October 1, 2015. As part of adopting and administering the program, the governmental unit shall conduct and maintain an inventory of all the private sewage systems located in the governmental unit and shall complete the initial inventory before October 1, 2013. In order to be eligible for grant funding under s. 145.245, a governmental unit must comply with these deadlines.

145.20(5)(b)

(b) The maintenance program shall include a requirement of inspection or pumping of the private sewage system at least once every 3 years if the private sewage system does not have a maintenance plan as prescribed by rule by the department. Inspections may be conducted by a master plumber, journeyman plumber or restricted plumber licensed under this chapter, a person licensed under s. 281.48 or by an employee of the state or governmental unit designated by the department, and the department may determine by rule other persons who are qualified to undertake required inspection, maintenance, or repairs. The department shall specify the methods to establish the required frequency of inspection, maintenance, and pumping for each type of private sewage system that does not have a maintenance plan and shall periodically update the methods.

145.20(5)(c)

(c) The department of natural resources may suspend or revoke a license issued under s. 281.48 or a certificate issued under s. 281.17 (3) to the operator of a septage servicing vehicle if the department of natural resources finds that the licensee or operator falsified information on inspection forms. The department of commerce may suspend or revoke the license of a plumber licensed under this chapter if the department finds that the plumber falsified information on inspection forms.

145.20(6)

(6) Restrictions on reviewers and inspectors.

145.20(6)(a)

(a) Except as provided in par. (b), a governmental unit employee who has responsibilities related to any of the activities under sub. (2) (a) to (i) may not do any of the following in the county in which the employee is employed or in an adjacent county:

145.20(6)(a)1.

1. Conduct any activities for which certification is required under s. 145.045 (1), except that the employee may review and verify soil tester reports as provided in sub. (2) (a).

145.20(6)(a)2.

2. Install, design, maintain, repair, or sell a private sewage system, component of a private sewage system, drain field designed to serve a private sewage system, or pipe from a private sewage system to the immediate inside of the existing or proposed foundation wall of the building served by the private sewage system.

145.20(6)(b)

(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to activities performed by an employee on property owned by the employee that is outside of the governmental unit for which the employee works.

145.20 - ANNOT.

History: 1979 c. 34, 221; 1981 c. 120; 1983 a. 192 s. 303 (7); 1983 a. 410; 1987 a. 27, 160; 1989 a. 31; 1993 a. 16, 27; 1995 a. 201, 227; 1999 a. 150 s. 672; 2005 a. 347 ss. 12, 14; 2007 a. 197; 2009 a. 392.

145.20 - ANNOT.

Cross Reference: See also ch. Comm 83, Wis. adm. code.

145.20 - ANNOT.

NOTE: 2005 Wis. Act 347, which affected this section, contains extensive explanatory notes.

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