Sewer Service Area Plan

What is Sewer Service Area Planning?

Sewer service area plans (SSA Plans) anticipate future wastewater needs, identify areas suitable for development, and help protect environmentally sensitive areas (ESAs) where development could have an adverse impact upon water quality. Under Federal and State rules, SSA Plans are required for larger urban areas and become part of areawide water quality management plans. SSA Plans are considered by Federal and/or State agencies when reviewing plans and grant applications for wastewater improvements, as well as during the State review of sanitary sewer extensions and certain private sewer laterals and interceptor mains.

The sewer service area (SSA) for the City of Superior delineates areas with a potential for sewered development by 2040, excluding ESAs. Inclusion of lands within the SSA boundary does NOT determine or guarantee that these lands will be developed or sewered by 2040.

City of Superior Sewer Service Area Plan

The current City of Superior SSA Plan was approved by the Wisconsin DNR on November 8, 2000 and updated with Appendix I on November 30, 2000.

1999 SSA Plan Link

An update is currently being drafted, with submission to the Wisconsin DNR for administrative decision planned in 2020. A summary of the changes being proposed for the City of Superior Urbanized Area Sewer Service Plan includes:

  • Updated format, with a focus on clarity and ease of use
  • Updated maps using ArcGIS data
  • Inclusion of definitions and regulations pertinent to the document
  • Updated descriptions of natural features, including updated definitions of Environmentally Sensitive Areas and their role in Sewer Service Area Planning
  • Updated information on the public treatment facilities, sanitary collection system, and stormwater conveyance system within the City of Superior
  • Current information on industrial wastewater and stormwater permit holders within the City of Superior Sewer Service Area Plan boundaries
  • Population and growth data from the 2030 Comprehensive Plan, including areas highlighted for redevelopment
  • Detailed instructions, including flowcharts, for requesting Sewer Extension Reviews, Sewer Connection Reviews, and Sewer Service Area Boundary Amendment Requests

Comments on the proposed update are welcome and encouraged, and will be reviewed before the update is sent to the Wisconsin DNR for administrative decision. 

Submit comments in writing by 4:30 PM CST on June 1st, 2020, to SSAP@ci.superior.wi.us with the subject line “Comments on SSA Plan Update.” Written comments can also be mailed to: City of Superior ESDPW – SSAP, 51 E. 1st Street, Superior WI 54880; comments submitted by mail must be received by June 1, 2020 in order to be considered.

DRAFT 2040 SSAP link

The City of Superior is the local planning and administrative agency with the Superior Technical Advisory Committee serving as the local advisory and decision-making committee. WDNR has final, decision-making authority over plan implementation, updates, or amendments.

The goals, policies, and procedures of the SSA Plan apply to development and, especially, sewered development within the SSA boundary. Again, inclusion of lands in the SSA does not suggest or guarantee that public sanitary sewer will be provided to all such areas.

Implications for Proposed Development and Sewer Extensions

Proposed development and sanitary sewer extensions within the SSA boundary shall be reviewed in accordance with the following process for consistency with the SSA Plan:

For Sewer Extensions – A Sewer Service Area Plan Conformance Review is required by State rules for the installation or expansion of a public sewage system. Under the SSA Plan, a sewer extension excludes plumbing in connection with buildings served (except PIMS as noted below), service laterals from buildings to a street main, and the maintenance or replacement of inadequate systems in areas previously served. A request for a Water Quality Management Sewer Extension Review Letter for a sewer extension must be submitted to the City of Superior by the developer. See Section 7.2 of the SSA Plan.

For Private Connections/PIMS – As specified by State rules (SPS 382.20(4)), certain private sewer connections and private interceptor main sewers also require a Water Quality Management Review Letter. A request for a Water Quality Management letter for private sewer connections and private interceptor main sewers must be submitted to the City of Superior by the developer. See Section 7.3 of the SSA Plan.

When is a SSA Plan Amendment Required?

SSA Plan Amendments should be rare and avoided if possible. Four types of amendments may be made to the Sewer Service Area Boundary:

  1. Requests for boundary changes without the total acreage of the service area changing. (Land Swap Amendments)
  2. Requests to alter the boundary and the acreage of the service area. (Land Addition/Subtraction Amendments)
  3. Requests to add holding tank service areas to the plan. (Holding Tank Amendments)
  4. Requests for development of an environmentally sensitive area (ESA Amendments). An ESA shall not be encroached upon by an intensive land disturbance and shall be considered unbuildable until an amendment is granted or otherwise properly approved under the SSA Plan.

Amendments are submitted to the Superior Technical Advisory Committee following the process and application requirements in Section 7.5 of the SSA Plan.

What are Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) and how are they treated under the SSA Plan?

Section 3.5.1 of the SSA Plan defines the environmentally sensitive areas (ESAs) identified within the City of Superior. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Surface Waters
  • Floodplains
  • Wetlands
  • Steep Slopes, including banks and bluffs
  • Publicly-owned scientific and natural areas

Encroachment by an intensive land disturbance upon any of the above within the SSA shall not be allowed without a plan amendment, except certain exceptions identified in Section 5.3 of the SSA plan