Rock River Recovery - December Newsletter


Monthly TMDL Implementation Update



"We were blessed with memory, so we might have roses in December" - James Berrie


"A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water." - Carl Reiner

"Keep looking up, that's the secret of life." - Snoopy (Charles Schultz)



Dec 5:  Urban Nonpoint Source and Storm Water (UNPS&SW) Program Grant Comments Due

Dec 13:  2018 Draft Impaired Waters List Webinar

Dec 13:  Producer-Led Watershed Groups Workshop

Dec 15:  SNAP+ Training - Jefferson

Dec 20:  SNAP+ Training - Madison

Dec 29:  Impaired Waters List Public Comment Period

Feb 2-4:  Clean Lakes Alliance Frozen Assets

Feb 7, 8:  Hold the date - Dodge County Soil Health Workshop & Farm Day

Feb 27:  Wisconsin Cover Crops Conference

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Virtual Farm
Virtual Farm lets you explore the typical components of both small and large dairy farms.

Explore Virtual Farms

The USDA Sustainable Dairy Virtual Farms shows typical dairy farming practices for modern farming systems with 150 and 1500 cows. Each system can be investigated at a variety of levels by using the mouse to hover over a farm component. By drilling down deeper and deeper into the knowledge base, the user will gain a better understanding of how farm operations work.

About: The USDA Sustainable Dairy initiative examines dairy production systems across the Great Lakes region of the United States and how environmental impacts can be reduced without sacrificing productivity or profit.  Explore the systems and components that make up modern dairy farms and learn how management practices impact sustainable production while addressing climate change challenges.

2018 Draft Impaired Waters List Webinar

A webinar will be held on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 from 10:30 - 11:30 am to provide an opportunity to learn more about the process DNR used to develop the 2018 impaired waters list and to ask any questions about that process and specific findings.

Connect to the Webinar by clicking here.

You can also connect by phone: 1 (866) 715-6499

If you call in by phone use this Conference ID: 6833129086

This webinar will contain visuals so if you do connect by phone you will miss some material.

A recording of the webinar and materials shown will be posted on the DNR website in the days following the webinar (2018 Impaired Waters List Webpage).

Public comments on the draft 2018 impaired waters list may be submitted by December 29, 2017 and can be emailed to DNR at, or sent by U.S. mail to Ashley Beranek, DNR, Water Evaluation Section (WY/3), Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707

Sector Team Updates


Manure Injection


SNAP Plus Training

Numerous options for SNAP Plus training are available, with a Madison class added on Dec 20th.

  • Dec 7th: Mauston, Western Tech College, 1000 College Ave
  • Dec 8th: Luxemburg, Exhibition Building, 625 Third St.
  • Dec 14th: Wausau, Room 2 at 212 River Drive
  • Dec 15th: Jefferson, County Government Office, 864 Collins Road
  • Dec 19th: Eau Claire, Chippewa Valley Tech College, 4000 Campus Road
  • Dec 20th: Madison, DATCP, 8911 Agriculture Dr., Room 266

The course will cover the new checklist, SnapPlus 17 (not publically released yet), including SnapMaps and the new 590 changes, and have time at the end for specific problems or questions.

All of the trainings will be from 10am – 2pm. Lunch will be on your own.  Registration is required, please email to save your spot. 

Soil and Nutrient Management Workshops

The University of Wisconsin-Extension in conjunction with UW-Madison Department of Soil Science will conduct eight Soil, Water and Nutrient Management Meetings Nov. 29 – Dec. 5, 2017 around the state to provide research updates in the field of soil management, fertility, and nutrient management.

Presentations include:

  • Building soil organic matter
  • Principles of nitrogen use efficiency
  • Cover crop research update
  • The value of crop residues
  • Cover crop survey results
  • Wisconsin nutrient management update
  • Machinery movement for efficient forage harvest and maintaining soil health 

Meetings will be either mornings from 8:30-11 a.m., with breakfast at 8 a.m. OR afternoons from 1:30-4 p.m. with lunch at 1 p.m. Registration fees are $35, which includes meals and materials. Certified Crop Adviser CEU credits (1.0 NM and 2.0 SW) have been requested.  For more information

Manure Processing Technologies Survey

The transfer, processing, and storage of manure continues to impact dairy operations of all sizes. In order to determine the needs of the dairy industry with regard to this issue, we are asking for input from farmers, industry representatives, and agency staff through a brief survey.  Please complete the survey at Manure Processing Technologies. 

UW-Extension will use the results from the survey to plan and deliver upcoming educational events on this topic.  We look forward to your input.  



2018 Impaired Waters List

Every two years, Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to publish a list of all waters that are not meeting water quality standards. In the proposed 2018 list update, DNR proposes to add 240 new water segments. A majority of the listing additions were waters that exceed total phosphorus criteria. Thirty-five waterbodies are proposed to be delisted.

Public Comment Materials

The Impaired Waters Search Tool may be used to search DNR’s WATERS database for previous and current impaired waters listings, as well as listing update proposals. A help guide for using the search tool [PDF] is available.

The Surface Water Data Viewer can be used to search for impaired waters listings and proposed listings in an interactive mapping application. To view impaired waters on the map, click the “Show Layers” button to expand the “Impairments and Assessments” grouping and check the “Impaired Waters Status” layer. The definitions of the listing status categories are provided here.

Contact informationFor information contact:Impaired Waters Program



DNR assessed lakes and rivers remain healthy, department seeks public comment on proposed list of impaired waters

MADISON, Wis. - The majority of Wisconsin's lakes and rivers recently assessed by the Department of Natural Resources received a good bill of health, continuing a trend of improved surface water quality across the state.

At the same time the DNR is working to identify new waterways to target for pollution reduction plans. The department's recent assessment also included 240 new waters that meet the criteria for being classified as impaired, and is seeking public comment on the new listings.

"Long-term trend and satellite monitoring show that we are making progress with good overall water quality," said Sharon Gayan, director of the DNR Water Quality Bureau. "Wisconsin waters stay healthy through combined efforts including strong partnerships with citizens, lake associations, local government, permit holders and others implementing practices that protect and restore waters of the state. However, through expanded monitoring, we've identified lakes and rivers where more work is needed to improve water quality for fish to thrive and for people to enjoy them recreationally."

Storm Pond


Proposed Guidance: Urban Nonpoint Source and Storm Water (UNPS&SW) Program Construction Grant Application Instructions

Draft guidance concerning Urban Nonpoint Source and Storm Water (UNPS&SW) Program Construction Grant Applications is now available for review and comment on the Proposed DNR Program Guidance webpage.

"Urban Nonpoint Source and Storm Water (UNPS&SW) Program Construction Grant Application Instructions” is open for comment until December 5, 2017.

The proposed “Urban Nonpoint Source and Storm Water (UNPS&SW) Program Construction Grant Application Instructions” has been revised to reflect the updated water quality need categories described in the next paragraph. The revisions are intended to assist eligible units of government complete form 8700-299 with the updated categories. Specifically, the revised document is proposed to replace the existing UNPS&SW Construction Grant Application Instructions, and includes revisions to following sections:

  • Project Information: Questions A and B 
  • Part II Competitive Elements: Question 3. Water Quality Need and Public Drinking Water Supply Bonus and the addition of:

  • Attachment K: Water Quality Need Categories

The Department is soliciting comments from the public on this draft guidance. Once the 21-day notice period is complete, all comments will be considered by the Department. After considering all public comments, revisions may be made to the guidance document and final guidance will be made available to internal and external stakeholders. Comments related to this draft guidance document should be sent to:



2018 Wisconsin Wastewater Operator's Conference

The 2018 Conference Exhibitor Registration is NOW OPEN!..Join WWOA at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, WI from October 16 - October 19, 2018.  For more;

  • information and registration form, click here
  • Specific questions, contact Karen at 608.355.3081.

Wisconsin Rural Water Association

The Wisconsin Rural Water Association offers numerous training opportunities for wastewater treatment plant operators throughout the state.  Many of these classes can be counted towards satisfying the continuing education requirements of state licensure.