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Wood County Animal Waste Storage Facility Ordinance

Manure Storage Facility

Welcome to all the information you could ever need on Wood County's Animal Waste Storage Facility Ordinance.

This page contains summary information about the ordinance. The full ordinance can be found via the menu on the right.


Wood County’s farming heritage began in 1842 when the first settlers arrived and cut forests, set up mills, drained marshes, and began to grow cranberries. Dairy farms for subsistence were established around 1900. By the 1940’s 90% of the farms were dairy, continuing until the present. In the mid to late 1970’s earthen manure pits began to be constructed, but most farms were still hauling, stacking and/or spreading daily. By the 1980’s manure pits with liners and manure storage facilities with pumps began to be constructed in Wood County.

In an attempt to protect the groundwater from potential contamination, the Soil Conservation Service, now called the Natural Resources Conservation Service developed technical standards on storing waste in 1974 and on transferring waste in 1982, which were subsequently revised.

Because the storage of animal waste and manure in storage facilities not meeting technical design and construction standards may cause pollution of the surface and groundwater, the Wood County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance regulating animal waste and manure storage facilities and the management of such waste and manure.

The purpose of the ordinance is to regulate the location, design, construction, installation, alteration, closure, and use of animal waste and manure storage facilities and the application of waste and manure from all storage facilities. This ordinance applies to all areas of Wood County and any person who removes, closes, locates, constructs, installs, moves, reconstructs, extends, enlarges, converts, or substantially alters or changes the use of an animal waste storage facility or parts thereof, or who employs another person to do the same, on land subject to this ordinance. The ordinance does not apply to existing animal waste storage facilities unless the storage facility is reconstructed, enlarged, or altered in some way. This ordinance does not require landowners to build waste storage facilities on their farms.

The Wood County Land Conservation Department has assembled this pamphlet to provide the public with the information about this new animal waste and manure storage ordinance.

Definition Of A Waste Storage Facility

A waste storage facility is defined as a waste impoundment made by constructing an embankment and/or excavating a pit or dugout, or by fabricating a structure specifically designed for the purpose of storage or holding of animal waste and manure. This includes any storage facility previously designed and installed meeting the NRCS Technical guidelines current at the time of installation, any commercial prefabricated storage facility, or any other waste impoundment intended for the storage of animal manure. For the purposes of this ordinance, a storage area intended to hold an accumulation of manure within an area excavated, or diked for the purpose of storing the manure, no matter how small that accumulation may be or how long the manure is to be stored there, shall be considered a storage facility.

For the purpose of this ordinance, a feedlot or enclosure used for holding livestock is not considered a manure storage facility, except where there is a storage facility constructed below the livestock enclosure.

What Safety Devices Are Required For Your Waste Storage Facility

Under the provisions of the new ordinance certain safety devices are required on all storage facilities in Wood County. A safety design shall identify and minimize hazards to animals and people. At a minimum, a safety design shall include:

  1. Fences, gates, grates, or covers to restrict access of animals or people, and signs where access is possible..
  2. Ventilation for covered waste-holding structures to prevent the inhalation of poisonous gases, asphyxiation, or explosion.
  3. Safety stops, gates, or both installed at push-off ramps and load-out areas of vertical walled structures to prevent accidental entry of machinery.
  4. Ramp slopes designed to be consistent with the equipment intended to be used, with curbs or safety bars installed on access ramps.
  5. Other like devices deemed necessary.

Doing Emergency Repairs To Your Waste Storage Facility

Emergency repairs such as repairing a broken pipe, or equipment, leaking dikes, or the removal of stoppages may be performed without an animal waste storage facility permit. When a problem occurs that will require emergency repairs, begin the repairs immediately. If repairs significantly alter the original design and construction of the facility, a report shall be made to the Land Conservation Department within one working day of the emergency for a determination by the LCD on whether a permit will be required for any additional alteration or repair to the facility. The LCD’s determination shall be rendered within two working days of the reporting. The LCD may consult with the Conservation, Education and Development (CEED) Committee prior to making this determination.

What Is An Idle Waste Storage Facility

An idle waste storage facility is one which:

  1. The livestock operation on the property ceases to exist, or
  2. Is no longer being used for its intended purpose and no longer having any additional animal waste and manure placed into it, or
  3. Has not had any animal waste and manure placed into it for a period of one year, or
  4. Will by all the evidence available, not again be used to store animal waste and manure by an active livestock operation.

What Is A Closed Storage Facility

A waste and manure storage facility for which:

  1. The CEED Committee does not grant an extension of the "Idle Storage Facility" declaration, or
  2. The livestock operation on the property ceases to exist and the owner applies for a closure permit.

Each application for a closure permit shall include a closure plan. The plan shall be in accordance with the current Technical Standard 313.

What Is A Malfunctioning Waste Storage Facility

A malfunctioning storage facility is an animal waste and manure storage facility which is no longer functioning as originally intended and poses a potential threat to any person, the groundwater, any stream, lake, or river, or any other component of the environment. A malfunctioning storage facility includes, but is not limited to the following:

  1. A storage facility in which the sidewall(s) or side slope(s) have been damaged or eroded, which may weaken the structure of the facility.
  2. A storage facility in which there has been damage, erosion, or deformities that may contribute to environmental or safety hazards.
  3. A storage facility in which the waste and manure is significantly leaking.
  4. A storage facility in which any other serious deformity or activity that is not consistent with the design and function of a storage facility.

What Is A Mismanaged Waste Storage Facility

A mismanaged storage facility is an animal waste and manure storage facility which is not functioning properly due to the neglect or carelessness of the owner or operator, and poses a potential threat to any person or the environment. A mismanaged storage facility includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • A storage facility that is overflowing or is being operated improperly and is inconsistent with the recommended operating methods.
  • A storage facility in which the safety devices are absent or are nonfunctional.
  • A storage facility that fails to comply with the operation’s and maintenance plan.

Time Allowed If Corrections Need To Be Made To Your Waste Storage Facility

If you have an idle, malfunctioning, or mismanaged waste storage facility, and are required by the County to make corrections, the Wood County Ordinance is flexible as far as the time allowed to complete the corrections. A storage facility found to be malfunctioning shall be repaired to a condition meeting the current Technical Standards of Wood County LCD within a time frame established by the CEED Committee, not to exceed two years of the date that the storage facility is found to be malfunctioning. A storage facility found to be mismanaged shall be brought into compliance with the ordinance within a time frame as determined by the LCD depending on the potential severity of the problem. The time frame will not exceed one year and compliance may include clean up of the waste as determined by the LCD.

Removal of waste and manure and restoration of an idle manure storage facility to a safe and sanitary condition, as determined by the LCD, is required within one year of the time the storage facility becomes idle. The CEED Committee may extend the Idle Storage Facility declaration for good cause, such extension not to extend one year increments. After a storage facility has been idle for two years an inspection and report has to be made on it and all deficiencies corrected to current standards, before the storage facility can be put back into use.

Definition Of Animal Waste And Manure

Animal waste and manure is defined as agricultural related industrial by-products including paunch manure. The fecal waste and excreta from domestic livestock, poultry or other animals kept for agricultural purposes. For the purpose of this ordinance, substances found in the manure [for example, bedding materials (straw, wood shaving, etc.), water from precipitation, milk house water, etc.] will be considered a part of the animal manure.

Procedure To Obtain A Permit And To Construct An Animal Waste Storage Facility

If you are interested in obtaining a permit and constructing an animal waste storage facility, the procedure is as follows:

  1. Contact the local Land Conservation Department (LCD) or Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office for:
    • Explanation of steps to obtain a permit and to construct an animal waste storage facility.
    • Availability of technical assistance.
    • Availability of cost-share assistance.
  2. Apply for construction permit from the Wood County Conservationist. A permit is required before any construction activity takes place. Each application for a permit shall include a detailed construction plan.
  3. Contact the LCD, NRCS, or an agricultural or civil engineer registered in the State of Wisconsin to complete an initial determination to demonstrate suitable land base for utilization of waste.
  4. Contact the LCD, NRCS, or an agricultural or civil engineer registered in the State of Wisconsin to complete a detailed construction plan.
  5. Submit a detailed construction plan and a permit application to the Wood County Conservationist for review.
  6. Upon review of the application and the construction plan, a permit will be issued or denied.
  7. Before construction begins, a construction meeting shall be held involving the landowner, contractor, and either the LCD, NRCS, or an agricultural or civil engineer registered in the State of Wisconsin.
  8. The LCD or NRCS shall be notified when the project begins so that they can be on site during construction to ensure proper installation.
  9. Contact a certified crop consultant to develop a nutrient management plan (590). Complete the 590 form and return to the LCD office. The 590 plan shall be completed by March 15th of the year following construction and a copy sent to the LCD office.
  10. Contact the LCD or NRCS to complete a construction check after the facility has been installed.
  11. Complete the construction certification form and return to the LCD office.
  12. The LCD or NRCS shall certify an as built plan that identifies any red line changes.

NOTE: If any building or facility is to be constructed within 300 feet of a navigable body of water or in a designated flood plain, a zoning permit needs to be issued by the Wood County Planning and Zoning Department.

What Is A Nutrient Management Plan

A nutrient management plan is a plan developed according to NRCS Technical Standard 590 that balances the nutrient needs of a crop with the nutrients available from legume crops, manure, fertilizer, etc. The nutrient management plan is required to ensure that suitable acreage is available for land application and crop uptake of manure nutrients.

Penalties Under The Waste Storage Ordinance

If a violation of the Wood County Animal Waste Storage Ordinance occurs, a penalty can be imposed. An example of a violation would be building a new waste storage facility without a proper construction plan or permit to do so, refusing to abandon an idle facility, or refusing to correct a malfunctioning facility. The landowner will be given an opportunity to correct the problem. If, after ample time is allowed, the needed corrections are not completed, it will be turned over to the Wood County Corporation Counsel or District Attorney for commencement of legal proceedings. Any person, who violates, neglects or refuses to comply with, or resists the enforcement of any of the provisions of this ordinance, shall be subject to a forfeiture up to $500.00 plus cost of prosecution for each violation. Each day that a violation exists shall be a separate offense. Upon receipt of a verified report and request from the LCD, the Sheriff shall issue a citation to a violator pursuant to law for violations of this ordinance.

More Information

If you have questions regarding Wood County's Animal Waste Storage Facility Ordinance or any of its supporting documents, feel free to contact the Land Conservation Department at 715.421.8475.