2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 145. Plumbing and fire protection systems and swimming pool plan review.
145.245 Private sewage system replacement or rehabilitation.

145.245

145.245 Private sewage system replacement or rehabilitation.

145.245(1)

(1) Definitions. In this section:

145.245(1)(a)

(a) "Determination of failure" means any of the following:

145.245(1)(a)1.

1. A determination that a private sewage system is failing, according to the criteria under sub. (4), based on an inspection of the private sewage system by an employee of the state or a governmental unit who is certified to inspect private sewage systems by the department.

145.245(1)(a)2.

2. A written enforcement order issued under s. 145.02 (3) (f), 145.20 (2) (f) or 281.19 (2).

145.245(1)(a)3.

3. A written enforcement order issued under s. 254.59 (1) by a governmental unit.

145.245(1)(ae)

(ae) "Governmental unit" means a governmental unit responsible for the regulation of private sewage systems. "Governmental unit" also includes a federally recognized American Indian tribe or band.

145.245(1)(am)

(am) "Indian lands" means lands owned by the United States and held for the use or benefit of Indian tribes or bands or individual Indians and lands within the boundaries of a federally recognized reservation that are owned by Indian tribes or bands or individual Indians.

145.245(1)(b)

(b) "Participating governmental unit" means a governmental unit which applies to the department for financial assistance under sub. (8) and which meets the conditions specified under sub. (9).

145.245(1)(c)

(c) "Principal residence" means a residence which is occupied at least 51% of the year by the owner.

145.245(1)(dm)

(dm) "Sewage" means the water-carried wastes created in and to be conducted away from residences, industrial establishments, and public buildings as defined in s. 101.01 (12), with such surface water or groundwater as may be present.

145.245(1)(e)

(e) "Small commercial establishment" means a commercial establishment or business place with a maximum daily waste water flow rate of less than 5,000 gallons per day.

145.245(4)

(4) Failing private sewage systems. The department shall establish criteria for determining if a private sewage system is a failing private sewage system. A failing private sewage system is one which causes or results in any of the following conditions:

145.245(4)(a)

(a) The discharge of sewage into surface water or groundwater.

145.245(4)(b)

(b) The introduction of sewage into zones of saturation which adversely affects the operation of a private sewage system.

145.245(4)(c)

(c) The discharge of sewage to a drain tile or into zones of bedrock.

145.245(4)(d)

(d) The discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground.

145.245(4)(e)

(e) The failure to accept sewage discharges and back up of sewage into the structure served by the private sewage system.

145.245(4m)

(4m) Categories of failing private sewage systems. For the purposes of this section, the department shall establish the category of each failing private sewage system for which a grant application is submitted, as follows:

145.245(4m)(a)

(a) Category 1: failing private sewage systems described in sub. (4) (a) to (c).

145.245(4m)(b)

(b) Category 2: failing private sewage systems described in sub. (4) (d).

145.245(4m)(c)

(c) Category 3: failing private sewage systems described in sub. (4) (e).

145.245(5)

(5) Eligibility.

145.245(5)(a)

(a)

145.245(5)(a)1.

1. A person is eligible for grant funds under this section if he or she owns a principal residence which is served by a category 1 or 2 failing private sewage system, if the private sewage system was installed before July 1, 1978, if the family income of the person does not exceed the income limitations under par. (c), if the amount of the grant determined under sub. (7) is at least $100, if the residence is not located in an area served by a sewer and if determination of failure is made prior to the rehabilitation or replacement of the failing private sewage system.

145.245(5)(a)2.

2. A business is eligible for grant funds under this section if it owns a small commercial establishment which is served by a category 1 or 2 failing private sewage system, if the private sewage system was installed before July 1, 1978, if the gross revenue of the business does not exceed the limitation under par. (d), if the small commercial establishment is not located in an area served by a sewer and if a determination of failure is made prior to the rehabilitation or replacement of the private sewage system.

145.245(5)(a)3.

3. A person who owns a principal residence or small commercial establishment which is served by a category 1 or 2 failing private sewage system may submit an application for grant funds during the 3-year period after the determination of failure is made. Grant funds may be awarded after work is completed if rehabilitation or replacement of the system meets all requirements of this section and rules promulgated under this section.

145.245(5)(b)

(b) Each principal residence or small commercial establishment may receive only one grant under this section.

145.245(5)(c)

(c)

145.245(5)(c)1.

1. In order to be eligible for grant funds under this section, the annual family income of the person who owns the principal residence may not exceed $45,000.

145.245(5)(c)2.

2. Except as provided under subd. 4., annual family income shall be based upon the federal adjusted gross income of the owner and the owner's spouse, if any, as computed for the taxable year prior to the year in which the determination of failure is made.

145.245(5)(c)3.

3. In order to be eligible for grant funds under this section, a person shall submit a copy of the federal income tax returns upon which the determination of federal adjusted gross income under subd. 2. was made together with any application required by the governmental unit.

145.245(5)(c)4.

4. A governmental unit may disregard the federal income tax return that is submitted under subd. 3. and may determine annual family income based upon satisfactory evidence of federal adjusted gross income or projected federal adjusted gross income of the owner and the owner's spouse in the current year. The department shall promulgate rules establishing criteria for determining what constitutes satisfactory evidence of federal adjusted gross income or projected federal adjusted gross income in a current year.

145.245(5)(d)

(d)

145.245(5)(d)1.

1. In order to be eligible for grant funds under this section, the annual gross revenue of the business that owns the small commercial establishment may not exceed $362,500.

145.245(5)(d)2.

2. Except as provided in subd. 4., annual gross revenue shall be based upon the gross revenue of the business for the taxable year prior to the year in which the determination of failure is made. The department shall promulgate rules establishing criteria for determining what constitutes satisfactory evidence of gross revenue in a prior taxable year.

145.245(5)(d)3.

3. In order to be eligible for grant funds under this section, a business shall submit documentation required by the department under subd. 2. together with any application required by the governmental unit.

145.245(5)(d)4.

4. A governmental unit may disregard the documentation of gross revenue for the taxable year prior to the year in which the determination of failure is made and may determine annual gross revenue based upon satisfactory evidence of gross revenue of the business in the current year. The department shall promulgate rules establishing criteria for determining what constitutes satisfactory evidence of gross revenue in a current year.

145.245(5)(e)

(e) The department of revenue shall, upon request by the department, verify the income information submitted by an applicant or grant recipient.

145.245(5m)

(5m) Denial of application.

145.245(5m)(a)

(a) The department or a governmental unit shall deny a grant application under this section if the applicant or a person who would be directly benefited by the grant intentionally caused the conditions which resulted in a category 1 or 2 failing private sewage system. The department or governmental unit shall notify the applicant in writing of a denial, including the reason for the denial.

145.245(5m)(b)

(b) The department shall notify a governmental unit if an individual's name appears on the statewide support lien docket under s. 49.854 (2) (b). The department or a governmental unit shall deny an application under this section if the name of the applicant or an individual who would be directly benefited by the grant appears on the statewide support lien docket under s. 49.854 (2) (b), unless the applicant or individual who would be benefited by the grant provides to the department or governmental unit a payment agreement that has been approved by the county child support agency under s. 59.53 (5) and that is consistent with rules promulgated under s. 49.858 (2) (a).

145.245(6)

(6) Use of funds.

145.245(6)(a)

(a) Except for grants under par. (b), funds available under a grant under this section shall be applied to the rehabilitation or replacement of the private sewage system. An existing private sewage system may be replaced by an alternative private sewage system or by a system serving more than one principal residence.

145.245(6)(b)

(b) Funds available under a grant under this section for experimental private sewage systems shall be applied to the installation and monitoring of the experimental private sewage systems.

145.245(7)

(7) Allowable costs; state share.

145.245(7)(a)

(a) Except as provided in par. (e), costs allowable in determining grant funding under this section may not exceed the costs of rehabilitating or replacing a private sewage system which would be necessary to allow the rehabilitated system or new system to meet the minimum requirements of the state plumbing code promulgated under s. 145.13.

145.245(7)(b)

(b) Except as provided in par. (e), costs allowable in determining grant funding under this section may not exceed the costs of rehabilitating or replacing a private sewage system by the least costly methods, except that a holding tank may not be used as the measure of the least costly method for rehabilitating or replacing a private sewage system other than a holding tank.

145.245(7)(c)

(c) Except as provided in pars. (d) and (e), the state grant share under this section is limited to $7,000 for each principal residence or small commercial establishment to be served by the private sewage system or to the amount determined by the department based upon private sewage system grant funding tables, whichever is less. The department shall prepare and publish private sewage system grant funding tables which specify the maximum state share limitation for various components and costs involved in the rehabilitation or replacement of a private sewage system based upon minimum size and other requirements specified in the state plumbing code promulgated under s. 145.02. The maximum state share limitations shall be designed to pay approximately 60% of the average allowable cost of private sewage system rehabilitation or replacement based upon estimated or actual costs of that rehabilitation or replacement. The department shall revise the grant funding tables when it determines that 60% of current costs of private sewage system rehabilitation or replacement exceed the amounts in the grant funding tables by more than 10%, except that the department may not revise the grant funding tables more often than once every 2 years.

145.245(7)(d)

(d) Except as provided in par. (e), if the income of a person who owns a principal residence that is served by a category 1 or 2 failing private sewage system is greater than $32,000, the amount of the grant under this section is limited to the amount determined under par. (c) less 30% of the amount by which the person's income exceeds $32,000.

145.245(7)(e)

(e) Costs allowable for experimental private sewage systems shall include the costs of installing and monitoring experimental private sewage systems installed under s. 145.02 (3) (b) and this section. The department shall promulgate rules that specify how the department will select, monitor and allocate the state share for experimental private sewage systems that the department funds under this section.

145.245(8)

(8) Application.

145.245(8)(a)

(a) In order to be eligible for a grant under this section, a governmental unit shall make an application for replacement or rehabilitation of private sewage systems of principal residences or small commercial establishments and shall submit an application for participation to the department. The application shall be in the form and include the information the department prescribes. In order to be eligible for funds available in a fiscal year, an application is required to be received by the department prior to February 1 of the previous fiscal year.

145.245(8)(b)

(b) An American Indian tribe or band may submit an application for participation for any Indian lands under its jurisdiction.

145.245(9)

(9) Conditions; governmental units. As a condition for obtaining grant funding under this section, a governmental unit shall:

145.245(9)(a)

(a) Adopt and administer the maintenance program established under s. 145.20 (5);

145.245(9)(b)

(b) Certify that grants will be used for private sewage system replacement or rehabilitation for a principal residence or small commercial establishment owned by a person who meets the eligibility requirements under sub. (5), that the funds will be used as provided under sub. (6) and that allowable costs will not exceed the amount permitted under sub. (7);

145.245(9)(c)

(c) Certify that grants will be used for private sewage systems which will be properly installed and maintained;

145.245(9)(d)

(d) Certify that grants provided to the governmental unit will be disbursed to eligible owners;

145.245(9)(e)

(e) Establish a process for regulation and inspection of private sewage systems;

145.245(9)(f)

(f) Establish a system of user charges and cost recovery if the governmental unit considers this system to be appropriate. User charges and cost recovery may include the cost of the grant application fee and the cost of supervising installation and maintenance; and

145.245(9)(g)

(g) Establish a system which provides for the distribution of grant funds received among eligible applicants based on the amount requested in the application as approved by the department. If the amount received by a county is insufficient to fully fund all grants, the county shall prorate grant funds on the same basis as sub. (11m).

145.245(10)

(10) Assistance. The department shall make its staff available to provide technical assistance to each governmental unit. The department shall prepare and distribute to each participating governmental unit a manual of procedures for the grant program under this section.

145.245(11)

(11) Allocation of funds.

145.245(11)(b)

(b) Determination of eligible applications. At the beginning of each fiscal year the department shall determine the state grant share for applications from eligible owners received by participating governmental units. The department may revise this determination if a governmental unit does not meet the conditions specified under sub. (9) or if it determines that individuals do not meet eligibility requirements under sub. (5).

145.245(11)(c)

(c) Allocation. The department shall allocate available funds for grants to each participating governmental unit according to the total amount of the state grant share for all eligible applications received by that governmental unit.

145.245(11)(d)

(d) Limitation; commercial establishments. The department may not allocate more than 10% of the funds available under this subsection each fiscal year for grants for small commercial establishments.

145.245(11)(e)

(e) Limitation; experimental private sewage systems. The department may not allocate more than 10% of the funds available under this subsection each fiscal year for grants for the installation and monitoring of experimental private sewage systems.

145.245(11m)

(11m) Prorating.

145.245(11m)(a)

(a) Except as provided in par. (d), the department shall prorate available funds under this subsection if funds are not sufficient to fully fund all applications. A prorated payment shall be deemed full payment of the grant.

145.245(11m)(b)

(b) Except as provided in par. (d), if funds are sufficient to fully fund all category 1 but not all category 2 failing private sewage systems, the department shall fully fund all category 1 systems and prorate the funds for category 2 systems on a proportional basis.

145.245(11m)(c)

(c) Except as provided in par. (d), if funds are not sufficient to fully fund all category 1 failing private sewage systems, the department shall fund the category 1 systems on a proportional basis and deny the grant applications for all category 2 systems.

145.245(11m)(d)

(d) The department is not required to prorate available funds for grants for the installation and monitoring of experimental private sewage systems.

145.245(12)

(12) Determination of eligibility; disbursement of grants.

145.245(12)(a)

(a) The department shall review applications for participation in the state program submitted under sub. (8). The department shall determine if a governmental unit submitting an application meets the conditions specified under sub. (9).

145.245(12)(b)

(b) The department shall promulgate rules which shall define payment mechanisms to be used to disburse grants to a governmental unit.

145.245(12m)

(12m) Loans to governmental units.

145.245(12m)(a)

(a) A governmental unit to which the department allocates funds under sub. (11) for a fiscal year may apply to the department for a loan under this subsection if the department prorates funds under sub. (11m) for that fiscal year. A governmental unit may only use a loan under this subsection to increase the amounts of grants to persons eligible under sub. (5) above the amounts that would be provided without a loan under this subsection or to provide grants to persons eligible under sub. (5) who would otherwise not receive grants, because of the operation of sub. (11m) (c), but the total amount provided to a person under this section may not exceed the amount authorized under sub. (7).

145.245(12m)(b)

(b) A loan under this subsection bears no interest. A loan under this subsection may not exceed the difference between the amount of the grant that the governmental unit would have received if the department had not prorated grants under sub. (11) and the amount of the grant that the governmental unit did receive. If the amount available for loans under s. 20.320 (3) (q) in a fiscal year is not sufficient to provide loans to all eligible governmental units applying for loans, the department shall allocate the available funds in the same manner as in sub. (11) (c).

145.245(12m)(c)

(c) A loan approved under this subsection shall be for no longer than 20 years, as determined by the department of administration, and be fully amortized not later than 20 years after the original date of the note.

145.245(12m)(d)

(d) As a condition of receiving a loan under this subsection an applicant shall do all of the following:

145.245(12m)(d)1.

1. Pledge the security, if any, required by the department of administration under this subsection.

145.245(12m)(d)2.

2. Demonstrate to the satisfaction of the department of administration the financial capacity to assure sufficient revenues to repay the loan.

145.245(12m)(e)

(e) The department of commerce and the department of administration may enter into a financial assistance agreement with a governmental unit that applies for a loan under this subsection and meets the eligibility requirements for a loan, including the requirements under par. (d).

145.245(12m)(f)

(f) The department of administration, in consultation with the department of commerce, may establish those terms and conditions of a financial assistance agreement that relate to its financial management, including what type of municipal obligation is required for the repayment of the financial assistance. In setting the terms and conditions, the department of administration may consider factors that the department of administration finds are relevant, including the type of obligation evidencing the loan, the pledge of security for the obligation and the applicant's creditworthiness.

145.245(12m)(g)

(g) The department of administration shall make and disburse a loan to an applicant that has entered into a financial assistance agreement under par. (e). The department of administration, in consultation with the department of commerce, shall establish procedures for disbursing loans.

145.245(12m)(h)

(h) If a governmental unit fails to make a principal repayment after its due date, the department of administration shall place on file a certified statement of all amounts due under this subsection. After consulting the department of commerce, the department of administration may collect all amounts due by deducting those amounts from any state payments due the governmental unit or may add a special charge to the amount of taxes apportioned to and levied upon the county under s. 70.60. If the department of administration collects amounts due, it shall remit those amounts to the fund to which they are due and notify the department of commerce of that action.

145.245(13)

(13) Inspection. Agents of the department or the governmental unit may enter premises where private sewage systems are located pursuant to a special inspection warrant as required under s. 66.0119, to collect samples, records and information and to ascertain compliance with the rules and orders of the department or the governmental unit.

145.245(14)

(14) Enforcement.

145.245(14)(a)

(a) If the department has reason to believe that a violation of this section or any rule promulgated under this section has occurred, it may:

145.245(14)(a)1.

1. Cause written notice to be served upon the alleged violator. The notice shall specify the alleged violation, and contain the findings of fact on which the charge of violation is based, and may include an order that necessary corrective action be taken within a reasonable time. This order shall become effective unless, no later than 30 days after the date the notice and order are served, the person named in the notice and order requests in writing a hearing before the department. Upon this request and after due notice, the department shall hold a hearing. Instead of an order, the department may require that the alleged violator appear before the department for a hearing at a time and place specified in the notice and answer the charges complained of; or

145.245(14)(a)2.

2. Initiate action under sub. (15).

145.245(14)(b)

(b) If after the hearing the department finds that a violation has occurred, it shall affirm or modify its order previously issued, or issue an appropriate order for the prevention, abatement or control of the violation or for other corrective action. If the department finds that no violation has occurred, it shall rescind its order. Any order issued as part of a notice or after hearing may prescribe one or more dates by which necessary action shall be taken in preventing, abating or controlling the violation.

145.245(14)(d)

(d) Additional grants under this section to a governmental unit previously awarded a grant under this section may be suspended or terminated if the department finds that a private sewage system previously funded in the governmental unit is not being or has not been properly rehabilitated, constructed, installed or maintained.

145.245(15)

(15) Penalties. Any person who violates this section or a rule or order promulgated under this section shall forfeit not less than $10 nor more than $5,000 for each violation. Each day of continued violation is a separate offense. While an order is suspended, stayed or enjoined, this penalty does not accrue.

145.245 - ANNOT.

History: 1981 c. 1 s. 33; 1983 a. 27; 1983 a. 189 s. 329 (8); 1983 a. 545; 1985 a. 29; 1987 a. 27; 1989 a. 31, 326; 1991 a. 32; 1991 a. 39 ss. 2564fs to 2564fw, 2622Lm to 2622n; Stats. 1991 s. 145.245; 1991 a. 189; 1993 a. 16, 27; 1995 a. 27 ss. 4355, 9116 (5); 1995 a. 227, 404; 1999 a. 9; 1999 a. 150 s. 672; 2003 a. 169, 326; 2005 a. 347; 2009 a. 392.

145.245 - ANNOT.

Cross Reference: See also ch. Comm 87 and s. NR 128.30, Wis. adm. code.

145.245 - ANNOT.

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

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