Saturday, March 17, 2007

Miller Park Sewer Fix An Object Lesson

Finding out that an error in Miller Park's construction had been sending bathorom flushings into the Menomonee River for years shows how vulnerable our waterways are to human error.

And how one project - - the stadium's construction - - could undo so much of the good work of another - - the Menomonee Valley restoration.

These lessons in the laws of unintended consequences should be at the forefront of other regional proposals that involve water.

Officials in New Berlin and Waukesha continue to press for diversions of water from Lake Michigan that are now prevented by federal law.

Those cities continually tell us that diversions would no negative impact on lake levels or quality - - but there is no consensus on those arguments.

Waukesha is considering using a Lake Michigan tributary, like the Root River, as its discharge point for new millions of gallons daily of diverted water for return flow, but is this a good solution for the Root River, and for the people and communities downstream from Waukesha?

The estimates for fixing the Miller Park plumbing problems have been pegged at about $10,000 (no estimates yet for the pollution impact on the valley, river and lake).

But the estimates for building new water utility pumping equipment in Milwaukee to supply New Berlin and Waukesha with Lake Michigan water, let alone the associated costs to those communities as well, and to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage Commission are in the multiple millions.

And because moving Lake Michigan water farther from Milwaukee will also move the regional economy farther away, too, who will calculate and address those socio-economic costs?

Realigning water supplies from one basin to another across a region - - using one of the inter-connected Great lakes as the source - - is fraught with ecological and financial costs.

Those who want to fast-track these changes need to be mindful of the bigger pictures, of which the Miller Park screwup was but a little snapshot - - yet an instructive one.

6 comments:

XOut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
XOut said...

Oh this is too funny.

If you were to combine the mistake at Miller Park with the same errors that could occur in Waukesha, you would still have less crap dumped in the lake (and its tributaries) then the clowns at MMSD dump INTENTIONALLY.

MMSD’s deep tunnel amounts to nothing more than a multi-billion-dollar defrauding of the taxpayers.

Mistakes can be corrected. Institutional failures take decades to undo. That is the object lesson Jimbo.

James Rowen said...

Your posting again betrays ignorance about the world. And about MMSD.

No wonder you hide behind anonymity.

XOut said...

Yes. I must be ignorant. MMSD doesn't really dump sewage into the lake - its the darn seagulls.

James Rowen said...

Your last comment is not the only thing you've written that's for the birds.

James Rowen said...

To Xout:
ACtually your remark about seagulls is accurate. I know it won't fit your MMSD-Devil theory, but read the science:
http://www2.jsonline.com/news/metro/aug01/beach28082701a.asp