Friday, April 19, 2019

MMSD goal is zero overflows into Lake Michigan

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District natural "Greenseams" approach to reducing overflows into Lake Michinga has been noted here.
Take a look at the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage Commission's "GreenSeams" program, and remember, the MMSD services ten counties and works off watershed planning and climate change awareness. I wrote about it last year - - imagine something like this is in your community, up the hill, at the edge of town, and so on:
I'm sure it hasn't hurt the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's multi-county 1,000,000+ residents during the recent heavy rains that its wetlands-and-shoreline natural flood control program known as Greenseams now totals more than 3,400 water-absorbing acres and 100,000 trees planted.
Now Gary Wilson of Detroit Public Television's GreatLakesNow (GLN), gives the District and Executive Director Kevin Shafer, (KS) a higher profile:
Milwaukee sewage exec has an “audacious” goal to protect Lake Michigan
GLN:  You have an ambitious goal of eliminating overflows by 2035. Can you make that goal?
KS:  I think we can. I put that vision out in 2009. In some of the national speeches I give I talk about zero overflows and originally people laughed. Between 2010 and 2015 people would laugh because “you can’t stop an overflow.” We’re only averaging 2.3 overflows a year now. I think we can get there. 
It’ll be a combination of improvements at the plants. It’ll be green infrastructure. You can’t put all your eggs in one basket. You have to look at all the functions in the process. Protect Lake Michigan, that’s our number one goal.
GLN:   What’s your advice to the average citizen when it comes to supporting green infrastructure and playing a part in reducing overflows?
KS:   For too many years people thought big government is going to solve this problem for us. And they probably include MMSD as a part of big government. We’re part of the solution but we have to have that individual involved as well.
People can do simple things like putting a rain barrel on their downspout. It’s low cost and provides water they can use for plants. Putting in a rain garden so the water doesn’t runoff and cause flooding. They’re simple things that I do in my own home. I’ve got two rain barrels. People can implement simple management principles to water and should ask themselves a question when it’s raining —where does that drop of water go and can I can slow it down?  
Senior Correspondent Gary Wilson conducted the interview and it was recorded, transcribed and edited for clarity.
And by the way, this is why it's completely bone-headed to propose cutting down mature oaks in Milwaukee County's Kletzsch Park, strip scores of acres bare in the nature preserve adjoining Kohler Andrae State Park, allow Foxconn to fill wetlands willy-nilly, and remove protections from 100,000 acres across Wisconsin while storm frequency, intensity and floods are all on the rise. 

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