How to Apply

Provide the information described in the “General Application Checklist” and the appropriate “Supplemental Checklist” described in the links below. Upload the completed application and related documents (pdf format) to the PSC Electronic Records Filing (ERF) System using the utility’s PSC identification number.

Subscribe to your docket - In order to receive notification of official correspondence (i.e. data requests, notices, final decisions, etc.), individuals must be subscribed to the PSC Docket. 

For help subscribing, go to Subscribing to Dockets.


PSC General Application Checklist


General Application Checklist


PSC Supplemental Checklist by Project Type


Establish New Utility

Utility Expansion (Acquisition and Interconnection) 

Construction of Water Supply Facilities (either new or replacement: wells, surface water intakes, storage facilities, and pumping stations)

Construction of Water Treatment Facilities

Construction of Utility Buildings

Non-routine Meter Replacement

Large Mains (equal or greater than 8-inches in diameter and 3 miles in length)

Type 2 Water Construction DNR Impact

Type 2 Water Construction PSC Impact

FAQs: PSC's Construction Authorization Process

What does Statute and Code require?

Wis. §196.49(3)(b) lists the conditions the PSC evaluates when reviewing a construction project.  Wis. Admin. Code ch. PSC 184 lists the types of projects that require PSC approval as well as the items required in the application.

Wisconsin Admin Code ch. PSC 184 allows the Public Service Commission (PSC) up to 90 days (from the issuance of a Notice of Investigation (NOI), to approve or deny an application for construction authorization. 

When is Commission approval required?

• Establishment of a new utility

• Expansion including: constructing facilities or initiating service in a municipality not currently served by the utility or in the service area of another utility.

• Acquisition of another utility including: acquiring or placing in operation existing facilities obtained from another person or utility.

• Interconnecting with another utility including combining or consolidating with another utility.

• Construction of facilities costing more than $432,000 or 25% of the utility’s operating revenues in the prior year, whichever is less (not including exempt projects) per Docket 5-GF-154.

• Water main 8-inches or greater in diameter and 3 miles or more in length.

• Pump replacement if new pump increases pump capacity or includes the installation of variable frequency drives (VFD) for the first time.

• Meter replacement that includes an upgrade in technology to automatic meter reading (AMR) or advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), and/or accelerated replacement schedule.

• New buildings, building additions, and substantial alteration of building floor plans to accommodate chemical containment.

• Re-construction or updating electrical systems to eliminate electric hazards or to comply with code.

What types of projects are exempt from Commission approval?

• Routine maintenance and repair to utility facilities (projects that significantly increase the capacity of a facility or significantly extend the life of an asset are considered new construction and require approval).

• Water main installation or repair (not included above).

• Service laterals, hydrants or valves.

• Routine meter replacement.

• Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)

• Replace or repair existing pumps, motors, or associated equipment.

• Replace or repair filtration media.

• Vehicles and other movable equipment.

• Water tower painting.

What is the average time for Commission review?

From application submittal to approval: 90-120 days

From issuance of NOI to approval: 30-40 days

How are DNR and PSC review processes coordinated?

In general, the DNR reviews projects from a technical perspective. The PSC reviews projects from a financial perspective according to Wis. §196.49(3)(b).

Utilities may request to host a pre-application web conference with DNR and PSC staff during the early planning phases of a project. Pre-application conferences are particularly useful when constructing new water sources, planning the establishment of a new utility, expanding a utility’s service area, acquiring another utility, establishing an interconnection with another utility, or constructing water mains 8-inches or greater in diameter and 3 miles or more in length.

The following timeline illustrates how the pre-application consultation fits into the DNR and PSC review process.

How is the estimated rate impact calculated? ​

The following equation may be used to estimate the percent increase in water rates due to the construction of the proposed project:

​​ Formula for Estimated % Increase in rates due to construction project


UP = Utility financed project costs in dollars (loans or funds)
CP = Contributed financed project costs in dollars (grants and principal forgiveness)

Annual Sales of Water = the utility’s annual “total sales of water” in dollars from page W-1 of the utility’s most current annual report

For more on rate-setting, see: FAQs: Conventional Rate Case

To apply for a Conventional Rate Case, see: Application to Increase Water and/or Sewer Rates

When is a public meeting required?

Proposed construction that results in a significant rate increase may require a public meeting. Contact PSC staff to find out if a public meeting is required.

How are application and review fees determined?

PSC staff review time will be billed as a direct assessment to the utility per Wis. Stat. 196.85.

How does the PSC communicate with utilities, consultants and interested parties/individuals?

As of January 1, 2020, all official correspondence related to water utility dockets is sent via email notifications from the ERF system. Correspondence includes all documents uploaded to ERF as part of a specific rate case (i.e. data requests, memos, exhibits, testimony, notices, orders, etc.). All utility staff, consultants, and other interested parties interested in receiving these notifications must subscribe to the specific docket number for a case. To receive e-mail notifications, the Application must be submitted and a PSC Docket must be created.

To subscribe, Go to ERF ERF, and click on ERF – EZ Subscriptions. Simply enter the docket (case) number, your e-mail address, and click the Send Code Now link. Within seconds, you will receive an email with a five digit code. Enter the code in the One-Time Code box, and click the Subscribe Now button. You can unsubscribe any time by clicking the link in the e-mail notification. For help subscribing, please go to Subscribing to Dockets