Register November 2021 No. 791
Chapter PSC 184
Construction of and Placing into Operation of Water and Sewer Facilities
PSC 184.01   Scope.
PSC 184.02   Definitions.
PSC 184.03   Activities requiring commission authorization.
PSC 184.04   Applications for commission authorization.
PSC 184.05   Commission procedures.
PSC 184.06   Emergency work.
Ch. PSC 184 History History: Chapter PSC 184 as it appeared on October 31, 1974 was repealed and a new chapter PSC 184 was created effective November 1, 1974; Chapter PSC 184 as it appeared on July 31, 2012 was repealed and a new chapter PSC 184 was created effective August 1, 2012.
PSC 184.01 PSC 184.01Scope.
PSC 184.01(1)(1)Applicability. This chapter applies to a utility.
PSC 184.01(2) (2) Individual situations. Nothing in this chapter precludes the commission from giving individual consideration to exceptional or unusual situations or, upon investigation, from establishing requirements for a utility or service that are different from those provided in this chapter.
PSC 184.01 History History: CR 11-039: cr. Register July 2012 No. 679, eff. 8-1-12.
PSC 184.02 PSC 184.02Definitions. In this chapter:
PSC 184.02(1) (1)“Acquire" means the acquisition of plant in place and ready for operation, but does not include the purchase of materials or equipment for later installation.
PSC 184.02(2) (2)“Certificate" means a certificate issued by the commission under ss. 196.49 or 196.50, Stats.
PSC 184.02(3) (3)“Commission" means the public service commission.
PSC 184.02(4) (4)“Department" means the department of natural resources.
PSC 184.02(5) (5)“Municipality" means a city, village or town.
PSC 184.02(6) (6)“Plant" means all equipment, property, or facilities included in the utility plant accounts under the uniform system of accounts prescribed by the commission.
PSC 184.02(7) (7)“Project cost" means the total estimated costs of a proposed project including land acquisition, construction, pilot testing, test wells, inspection, and fees for professional services.
PSC 184.02(8) (8)“Service area" means the geographic area within which a utility has an obligation to provide service.
PSC 184.02(9) (9)“Utility" means a water public utility, as defined in s. 196.01 (5) (a), Stats., a combined water and sewer public utility under s. 66.0819, Stats., or any person, except a governmental unit, who furnishes service to or for the public by means of a sewerage system, as defined in s. 281.01 (14), Stats.
PSC 184.02 History History: CR 11-039: cr. Register July 2012 No. 679, eff. 8-1-12.
PSC 184.03 PSC 184.03Activities requiring commission authorization.
PSC 184.03(1)(1)New utility. A person intending to operate as a utility may not begin construction of, install, or place in operation any facilities for furnishing water or sewer service in a municipality in which the person is not currently furnishing water or sewer service as a utility without the commission's prior approval.
PSC 184.03(2) (2) Expansion, acquisition, and interconnection. A utility shall obtain a certificate from the commission before undertaking any of the following:
PSC 184.03(2)(a) (a) Constructing facilities or initiating service in a municipality not currently served by the utility.
PSC 184.03(2)(b) (b) Constructing facilities or initiating service in a service area of another utility.
PSC 184.03(2)(c) (c) Acquiring or placing in operation existing facilities for furnishing water or sewer service obtained from another person or utility.
PSC 184.03(2)(d) (d) Establishing an interconnection with another utility with which it has no existing interconnection.
PSC 184.03(2)(e) (e) Combining or consolidating with another utility.
PSC 184.03(3) (3) Construction of facilities.
PSC 184.03(3)(a)(a) A utility shall obtain a certificate from the commission before constructing, purchasing, installing, modifying, replacing, or placing in operation any plant not exempt under sub. (4) if the project cost exceeds the cost threshold specified in s. 196.49 (5g) (ar), Stats., as revised under par. (b).
PSC 184.03 Note Note: Examples of projects that typically require a certificate include all of the following:
PSC 184.03 Note 1. Groundwater wells, surface water intakes, and other sources of water supply.
PSC 184.03 Note 2. Water treatment, purification, and disinfection facilities.
PSC 184.03 Note 3. Elevated tanks, reservoirs, and other storage facilities.
PSC 184.03 Note 4. Pumping stations, pressure-reducing stations, and associated facilities.
PSC 184.03 Note 5. Utility buildings.
PSC 184.03 Note 6. Utility main if a portion of the main is located outside of the utility's service area or if the main is eight inches or greater in nominal diameter and three or more miles long.
PSC 184.03 Note 7. Sewer facilities, including any pumping facilities or sewage treatment and disposal plant.
PSC 184.03(3)(b) (b) Beginning on May 1, 2014, and on May 1 of each successive even-numbered year thereafter, the commission shall adjust the cost thresholds in s. 196.49 (5g) (ar), Stats., to reflect changes to the cost of water utility construction based on the applicable industry cost index numbers published in the “Handy-Whitman Index of Public Utility Construction Costs."
PSC 184.03(3)(c) (c) The commission shall notify all water utilities of the resulting adjusted cost limits by May 15 of each even-numbered year and shall publicize the adjusted cost limits on the commission's website. If the Handy-Whitman Index is no longer available, an equivalent successor index may be used which is generally recognized by the water industry and acceptable to the commission.
PSC 184.03 Note Note: The commission maintains or has access to the Handy-Whitman Index of Public Utility Construction Costs and this reference or a copy may be reviewed by contacting the commission's offices.
PSC 184.03(4) (4) Certificate not required. Notwithstanding sub. (3), a utility does not need a certificate to do any of the following:
PSC 184.03(4)(a) (a) Install, replace, or repair a utility main, unless one of the following applies:
PSC 184.03(4)(a)1. 1. A portion of the main is located outside of the utility's service area.
PSC 184.03(4)(a)2. 2. The main is eight inches or greater in nominal diameter and three or more miles long.
PSC 184.03(4)(b) (b) Install, replace, or repair service laterals, hydrants, or valves within the utility's service area.
PSC 184.03(4)(c) (c) Meter installation, repair, or replacement.
PSC 184.03(4)(d) (d) Install, replace, or repair supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, telemetry equipment, or other electronic monitoring and control systems.
PSC 184.03(4)(e) (e) Replace or repair existing pumps, motors, or associated equipment.
PSC 184.03(4)(f) (f) Conduct routine maintenance or repair to utility facilities, including buildings used for utility purposes.
PSC 184.03(4)(g) (g) Replace or repair filtration media used in existing water treatment purification and disinfection facilities.
PSC 184.03(4)(h) (h) Install plant in accordance with filed extension rules and rates.
PSC 184.03(4)(i) (i) Install plant in compliance with a commission order.
PSC 184.03(4)(j) (j) Relocate or modify existing plant to accommodate highway or airport construction.
PSC 184.03(4)(k) (k) Acquire vehicles or other movable equipment.
PSC 184.03 History History: CR 11-039: cr. Register July 2012 No. 679, eff. 8-1-12; CR 14-053: renum. (3) to (3) (a) and am., cr. (3) (b), (c) Register April 2015 No. 712, eff. 5-1-15; correction in (3) (a), (b) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register January 2017 No. 733; 2021 Wis. Act 86: am. (4) (c) Register November 2021 No. 791, eff. 12-1-21.
PSC 184.04 PSC 184.04Applications for commission authorization.
PSC 184.04(1)(1)Timing and cost increases.
PSC 184.04(1)(a) (a) For any project requiring commission authorization under s. PSC 184.03, a person or utility shall submit the information required in this section at least 90 days, but no earlier than 2 years, before beginning the project.
PSC 184.04(1)(b) (b) For any project receiving commission authorization under s. PSC 184.05 that is not begun within 2 years from the date of the authorization, a utility shall notify the commission of revised project costs, the schedule for completion, and any other changes to the proposed project. The commission may reconsider its authorization for a revised project under s. PSC 184.05.
PSC 184.04(1)(c) (c) If the scope, design, or location of a project receiving commission authorization under s. PSC 184.05 changes significantly, or if it is discovered or identified that the project cost may exceed the estimated project cost by more than 10 percent, the utility shall promptly notify the commission as soon as the utility becomes aware of the possible change or cost increase. The commission may reconsider its authorization for a revised project under s. PSC 184.05.
PSC 184.04(2) (2) Consultation. For projects subject to s. 196.025 (2m), Stats., before submitting an application for a certificate, a utility shall consult with commission staff, in cooperation with staff from the department, on the scope of the proposed project, the alternatives that must be considered in the application, and additional information that the commission may require as part of the application.
PSC 184.04(3) (3) Contents of application. A person or utility seeking authorization for any activity under s. PSC 184.03 (1) and (2) or a utility seeking a certificate under s. PSC 184.03 (3) shall submit an application to the commission that includes all of the following, where applicable:
PSC 184.04(3)(a) (a) A description of the project including all project components, phases, and a schedule of construction.
PSC 184.04(3)(b) (b) Information supporting the purpose and necessity of the project.
PSC 184.04(3)(c) (c) An analysis and description of alternatives to the project.
PSC 184.04(3)(d) (d) An analysis of the effect of the project on the quality and reliability of service.
PSC 184.04(3)(e) (e) The project cost itemized by major plant accounts as identified in the uniform system of accounts, including all administrative, overhead, engineering, legal, construction, and inspection costs.
PSC 184.04(3)(f) (f) Identification of the proposed project funding sources, including utility or municipal sources and outside grants or loans. If the project will be financed, the utility shall include expected financing rates and terms.
PSC 184.04(3)(g) (g) An estimate of annual operating costs of the project, by major expense accounts as identified in the uniform system of accounts.
PSC 184.04(3)(h) (h) A description of any plant being retired or replaced and the year it was placed in service, if known.
PSC 184.04(3)(i) (i) A map showing the location of the project and all proposed facilities by Public Land Survey System (PLSS) quarter-quarter section or by another methodology approved by the commission.
PSC 184.04(3)(j) (j) A list of any permits or approvals required by other state agencies or local governmental units and a statement indicating whether the permits or approvals have been applied for or obtained.
PSC 184.04(3)(k) (k) For a project under s. PSC 184.03 (3), that includes new or expanded groundwater wells, surface water intakes, or other sources of water supply, information on any action the utility has taken to mitigate the need for the project.
PSC 184.04(3)(L) (L) The identification of any flood-sensitive facilities that would be located in designated flood plains or flood-prone areas.
Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.