Rock River Recovery - January Newsletter


Monthly TMDL Implementation Update




Any dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to make progress and swim upstream - W.C. Fields


Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.


Position Opportunity

The Rock River Coalition is looking for an Administrative Assistant. This position is responsible for handling many duties for the organization including membership, database, ordering equipment and handling meeting logistics and registrations.



Jan 12-14:  WI Crop Management Conference

Jan 14:  Climate Change and Lake Ice Cover

Jan 22:  Clean Rivers Clean Lakes Abstracts

Feb 3-4:  Stormwater and Erosion Conference

Feb 5-7:  Frozen Assets

Feb 14:  The Science of Cover Crops Conference

Feb 25:  WI Government Affairs Seminar

May15-19, 2016:  Paddle and Probe:  Testing the Waters



BEACH Conditions

Clean Lakes Alliance

Clean Water Association

DATCP Land and Water Conservation

Delavan Lake Improvement Association

Kettle Moraine Land Trust

Lake Sinnissippi Improvement District


Partnership for Ag Resource Management

Rock Koshkonong Lake District

Rock Lake Improvement Association

Rock River Coalition

Rock River Stormwater Group

Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

Tall Pines Conservancy

UW Discovery Farms

UW Extension

Watershed Planning

Wisconsin Land & Water

Yahara Pride Farms

Yahara WINS

Contact us to have your organization listed here.

DNR Logo


Rock River Recovery


Impaired Waters

Water Quality Trading

Adaptive Management

Phosphorus Rule



Project Manager 

Ag Nonpoint







Newsletter Archive

Gov Delivery
Baker Cheese


Baker Cheese

A Water Quality Trading Success Story

Baker Cheese is a fourth generation, family-owned, string cheese manufacturer located in St. Cloud, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. This company prides themselves on utilizing local milk sources to produce its all-natural, award winning string cheese, within 48 hours of the milk leaving the farm. This company has been operating for over 30 years in the community, but has historically hauled its process wastewater to other wastewater treatment plants for ultimate disposal.

The company worked with DNR to begin treating their own process wastewater to maximize their economic efficiency.  This included adopting Water Quality Trading and leveraging nonpoint source Phosphorus reductions as their permit compliance option. The EPA has formally approved Baker's Point Source Discharge Permit and issued the following statement:

"EPA is encouraged by the trading condition in this permit as it provides flexible options for complying with effluent limits in a cost effective manner and requires pollution reductions from nonpoint sources. This particular provision makes environmental progress by protecting land to offset the discharge of phosphorus and reduce the runoff of pollution to the Mullet River."

Water Quality Trading

This Project is the most recent, adding to the growing list (see project map) of WPDES permit holders choosing Adaptive Management or Water Quality Trading as their permit solution.  Your local WDNR staff are ready to assist you with these innovative and cost-effective "Win-Win" permit compliance options for our industry and community partners across our state.


Sector Team Updates

Manure Injection

Ag Nonpoint Source

Sector Team

DNR nonpoint staff are working with counties to finalize the county template and nonpoint strategies for TMDL Implementation.  The working group is meeting in January to follow up on tasks from last year and the October quarterly networking forum on Ag Producer solutions.  Contact Mike Gilbertson for more information.

Visit the DNR Nonpoint Runoff website for a collection of resources for both Agricultural and Urban Stormwater nonpoint resources.  These include explanations of rules, information on financial and grant resources, tools for estimating nonpoint pollution, and fact sheets, such as What Farmers Need to Know.

In the News

Check out this Wisconsin Farmer article on efforts by farmers in the Yahara Basin to lead stewardship initiatives and develop innovative farm solutions to minimize nonpoint runoff.

The Minneapolis Star/Tribune has a GREAT ARTICLE summarizing challenges that can hinder efforts to address nonpoint runoff from agricultural lands.



Water Condition Viewer

The WDNR Water Condition Viewer (WCV) is an interactive webmapping tool that focuses on water condition, monitoring and assessment data. Highlights include: Clean Water Act reporting datasets, Healthy Watersheds Assessments, Targeted Watershed Assesssments and Watershed Planning.

For example, the Clean Water Act Assessments Theme hightlights datasets that are used for the Clean Water Act Integrated Report. The interface will open in a new window with data showing 2016 results (zoom in to a local level to see data). When 2018 results are ready, those will replace the 2016 data. The DNR continuously updates its datasystems to reflect the most recent information



Sector Team

The E&O Sector team met in November and December to work on drafting the new Education and Outreach plan.  Contact Joe Van Rossum if you are interested in participating.

Quarterly Forum

The Sector Team is currently planning the next quarterly networking forum.  The focus of this forum will be on citizen groups and organizations, and roles/resources to support them in their efforts to improve water quality.

Rock River Recovery Website

We are pleased to announce we've been able to make substantial updates to the Rock River Recovery Website.  This includes additional information on TMDLs, a newsletter archive, and up-to-date information on TMDL implementation.  We'd love to hear feedback and suggestions from the community.

Storm Pond


NASECA-WI is hosting the 13th Annual Advancements in Stormwater and Erosion Control conference February 3, 4 in Madison, WI.  This two-day conference will be divided into an erosion & sediment control focus (day 1) and a stormwater focus (day 2) so you can attend one day or both to suit your interests.



The Mutli-Discharger Variance Public Comment period closed on December 16th, 2015. The Department is working on responding to comments and making changes to the documentation before submittal to the EPA for approval. At this time, the Department does not have an estimated timeline.

The Department is currently holding training throughout the state for CMOM development (December through February) to help facilities develop their CMOM program for the August 1, 2016 deadline. 

Regional WWOA meetings will be held throughout the state in February. Please see for more info.