Monday, March 22, 2010

Wauwatosa Gets Details Of Waukesha Wastewater Dump Tonight

Tonight's the night - - beginning at 5 p.m. at the Wauwatosa Public Library, 7635 North Ave. - - for Wauwatosa residents to see some details of Waukesha's plan to discharge, on average, about 11 million gallons of treated wastewater daily into Underwood Creek as part of Waukesha's Lake Michigan water diversion plan.

An option to have the discharge run instead through Racine down the Root River led a state legislator from the area to balk at Racine becoming Waukesha's toilet.

Waukesha believes the water discharge into the creek at Blue Mound Rd. will not pose a flooding hazard and may improve the creek's quality, too, according to the news release announcing the meeting.

The discharge would make its way back to Lake Michigan after flowing into the Menomonee River.

The Department of Natural Resources - - and not Waukesha - - will decide if the treated wastewater meets water quality standards or other impacts the creek in the future; Wauwatosa will have input into the decision, as the creek is in its backyard.

Certainly a key question:

Might Wauwatosa inquire what size impact fee Waukesha intends to pay for the privilege?

Waukesha currently discharges its effluent into the Fox River; that return flow is for a different body of water, with different water chemistry, so the creek discharge plan will need a new permit.

Waukesha has said sending its wastewater back via a pipeline to a connection with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage Commission - - avoiding open discharge into a body of surface water - - was too expensive.

The diversion will serve current Waukesha customers and also a newer area south and west of Waukesha that would almost double Waukesha water service delivery area.

An alternative proposal to discharge the wastewater to the Root River provoked State Rep. Cory Mason, (D-Caledonia) to object, saying publicly that Racine was not "Waukesha's toilet."

Whither Wauwatosa?


The Big Bopper said...

Get excited Wauwatosa Waukesha's treated waste water is COMING YOUR WAY! What a privilege it will be to know that your quaint little creek will be the pathway for millions of gallons of Waukesha resident's crap-water. That ought to drive up property values in Tosa near the creek, eh!

I know the waste water will be treated but I can't help picturing that Baby Ruth floating in the pool in Caddyshack and wonder what is REALLY in store for Tosa.

James Rowen said...

BB makes a good point: Waukesha gets Lake Michigan water to help developers sell new homes there - - and Wauwatosa gets the sewerage.

Fair trade?

And a fair trade downstream from Underwood Creek, as it hits the Menonomee River, where millions has been spent on cleanup and flood control.

Jeremy said...

What happens if the creek floods and damages homes or public property in Wauwatosa? Would Waukesha be held liable in that situation? Or the DNR?

James Rowen said...

The DNR will be assessing several downstream risks.

Wauwatosa can require an impact or discharge fee because they will have to allow the connection.