Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Root River Emerging As Waukesha Wastewater Discharge Option

Once Oak Creek emerged last year as the City of Waukesha's potential source of diverted Lake Michigan water, it then became apparent Waukesha would need a discharge point for returning that water as close as reasonably practical to its point of origin and keep its diversion application in compliance with the Great Lakes Compact.

Sources were telling me that the discharge solution more and more points to the Root River as that probable discharge route, rather than Underwood Creek - - the Menomonee River watershed discharge route designated in Waukesha's diversion application that was drafted some time ago when the City of Milwaukee was the presumed Lake Michigan water supplier.

Though with the City of Oak Creek to Milwaukee's south now Waukesha's preferred, new water supplier - - replacing Milwaukee - - there is more behind-the-scenes talk that the City of Racine, despite State Rep. Cory Mason's strong statements to the contrary, will end up as the eventual Waukesha wastewater discharge route outflow point into Lake Michigan, via the Root River once Waukesha and the DNR green-light Waukesha's application for a diversion of Lake Michigan water. 
We'll see. Look for a final decision by Waukesha and the DNR within 60 days, give or take.
Word was also floating around that the Waukesha Water Utility had secured an option on land in the City of Franklin for a possible Root River discharge point.

Tip of the cap to Don Behm at the Journal Sentinel for getting that scenario on the record:

The City of Waukesha has an option to purchase 60 acres in Franklin on the east bank of the Root River should Waukesha succeed in its request to buy Lake Michigan water. 
The property southeast of the intersection of Oakwood Road and S. 60th St. is one possible location for Waukesha to end a pipeline carrying treated wastewater so it could be discharged to the river and returned to the lake, Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak said. 
Waukesha paid $60,000 for a four-year option to buy the parcel...about 10% of the purchase price. 


Anonymous said...

And the Root River discharges into the Racine Harbor.

Drink up Racine!

Anonymous said...

I'm am so amazed at the number of changes Waukesha has made to the original application going on 3 years ago under former Mayor Larry Nelson. And, the application still has not left the DNR.

One can only imagine what will happen to the application in the hands of all the other states.

After observing what Waukesha has tried to push through thus far - irrespective of the compact requirements - which was flagged by the Wisconsin DNR multiple times, this application might be stalled long enough to kill it by other states and the message will have been sent to other applicants for a diversion exception.

At the very least 4 topics continue to make approval of the application questionable:

1. Near record lows in Lake Michigan.
2. The inclusion of communities without a demonstrated need of Lake Michigan water.
3. There are several other local options.
4. Returning flow to a creek rather than by a pipe to cut corners.