Meetings on Waukesha's revised water application around the area scheduled
City will host a presentation on Nov. 7
Informational meetings on Waukesha's revised application for Great Lakes water have been scheduled over the next few weeks in Waukesha, Oak Creek, Racine and Milwaukee.
The first meeting is Nov. 7 at the Carroll University Center for Graduate Studies (Auditorium LL14), 2140 Davidson Road.
The next meetings are scheduled for Nov. 13 at the Oak Creek Community Center, 8580 S. Howell Ave., Oak Creek; Nov. 14 at Gateway Technical College in the Racine Campus Conference Center, Great Lakes Room 116, 1001 S. Main St., Racine; and Nov. 18 at the Zilber School of Public Health on the campus of UW-Milwaukee in Triplex Rooms 109, 119 and 129, 1240 N. 10th St., Milwaukee.
All of the meetings are from 6 to 8 p.m.
Participants can submit comments at the meetings that will be forwarded to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. You can also submit comments directly to the DNR.
Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak said the DNR will also hold public hearings on the application in early 2014. After that review, the Great Lakes Compact Regional Body will have another public hearing next year.
The informational meetings are coming after the city submitted its updated application to the DNR on Oct. 14. It includes the City of Oak Creek as its preference among the previously-identified alternative water suppliers.
The City of Waukesha entered into an agreement last fall with Oak Creek to purchase Lake Michigan water.
Milwaukee was identified as a preferred source in Waukesha's initial application. But negotiations never materialized between the two cities after Milwaukee said it wouldn't sell Waukesha water without a non-compete clause and an economic compensation payment.
Waukesha negotiated with Racine last summer, but the cost of building infrastructure over a greater distance put Racine at a disadvantage to Oak Creek, said former alderman Paul Ybarra.
Waukesha is under a court-ordered deadline to have radium-compliant water by 2018. It is eligible for Great Lakes water because the Great Lakes Compact provides limited exceptions for communities that are within the counties that straddle the Great Lakes Basin divide.
Waukesha is just 1.5 miles outside of the Great Lakes Basin.
However, the city still has some steps it has to pass in order to receive Great Lakes water.
Under the Great Lakes Compact, its request for Lake Michigan water requires the approval of the governors of the eight Great Lakes states. The governors will also consider input from the Great Lakes provinces in Canada.
Duchniak said the timeline in the City of Waukesha's revised application, which was sent to the DNR two weeks ago, is behind schedule.
He said the city planned to submit its final application to the DNR in July. However, the date was pushed back because a legal team wanted to take a deeper look at revisions.
The DNR is reviewing the environmental impact statement (EIS) and will allow 45 days to accept comments on it. A final EIS was initially scheduled for early January 2014 before the application was set to be submitted to the regional body for consideration.
Duchniak said the DNR will likely issue a draft EIS early next year, along with its proposed decision on the application. In Duchniak's original timeline, he hoped the DNR would have issued a draft EIS by this month.
Benefits to new route
The city will return 100 percent of the water through the Root River, in Franklin, which flows into Lake Michigan.
"We will recycle water back to the lake and have no impact on lake levels," Duchniak said.
He added the Root River, which had been a previous alternative, is now the preferred return flow because of the environmental benefits.
"The high quality of our return flow water will help the river achieve water quality standards for parameters like phosphorus," he said. "During the summer and fall, some sections of the river have very low flows. Adding water will improve the river and the fishery, especially during fall spawning runs of salmon and trout."
Waukesha needs a new water supply because the deep aquifer, its primary source, is down 400 to 600 feet, which Duchniak says creates problems with both water quantity and quality.
At a glance
Four informational meetings on Waukesha's revised water application are scheduled over the next couple of weeks
1) Waukesha — Nov. 7, Carroll University for Graduate Studies (Auditorium LL14), 2140 Davidson Road
2) Oak Creek — Nov. 13, Oak Creek Community Center, 8580 S. Howell Ave.
3) Racine — Nov. 14, Gateway Technical College - Racine Campus Conference Center (Great Lakes Room 116), 1001 S. Main St.
4) Milwaukee — Nov. 18, Zilber School of Public Health - UW-Milwaukee (Triplex Rooms 109, 119 and 129), 1240 N. 10th St.
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- County wants data before supporting stadium tax
- A 'mayor's dozen' get keys to city
- Waukesha man charged with sex assault, child porn possession
- Woman charged with attacking ex-girlfriend with knife in Waukesha apartment
- Enjoy the rhythm of Waukesha
- Waukesha County Business Alliance launches new small business program
- Town of Waukesha in search of a new attorney
- Female driver crashes vehicle into Waukesha Memorial Hospital
- Waukesha man faces 10 counts of child porn possession
- Waukesha County will likely oppose arena tax