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5/21/2020
Publisher’s Note: As referenced in the May-June 2020 print issue of On Wisconsin Outdoors, the Ellis column Memorial Day-Trading it all… directs the reader to this website for stories of Americans in battle during World War II and Vietnam.  Posted in the April 30 Ellis Blogs on this website Tanks in a Mine Field is the eye witness story of 709th Tank Battalion gunner John “Mike” Kunnen during the bloody battle of t...
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DNR News Release: DNR receives revised application from City of Waukesha to divert Great Lakes water

MADISON - The City of Waukesha has submitted to the Department of Natural Resources its revised application proposing to divert water from Lake Michigan to replace its existing public water supply. The revised application materials are now available on the DNR website and include changes in the amount of water requested and the City’s preferred option for returning its wastewater.

Waukesha is seeking a new source of water to address water quantity and water quality concerns, says Eric Ebersberger, who leads the DNR water use staff who will be reviewing the application.

Waukesha now gets its public water supply from groundwater wells in the depleted deep aquifer. The groundwater in the deep aquifer also contains high levels of radium, a carcinogen. Waukesha is under court order to address the radium in the water supply by 2018.

The city initially submitted an application in 2010 to divert Great Lakes water under a provision of the Great Lakes Compactthat allows communities in a county that straddles the basin boundary to seek a diversion. The Compact, which took effect in 2008, prohibits such diversions of Great Lakes water outside the basin unless approved by Wisconsin and other Great Lakes states.

Waukesha’s revised application has decreased the requested diversion amounts. The city seeks to eventually divert an annual average of 10.1 million gallons of water per day with a maximum day diversion of 16.7 million gallons per day. The proposed service area remains the same in the revised application: water is proposed to serve an area that includes Waukesha and may serve portions of Pewaukee and the towns of Genesee, Waukesha and Delafield.

The revised application also documents an agreement with Oak Creek as the potential water supplier, and changes the preferred wastewater return location from Underwood Creek near Wauwatosa to the Root River near the Racine County line.

At DNR’s request, the City of Waukesha will hold public information meetings in Waukesha, Racine, Oak Creek and Milwaukee to provide an overview of the revised application. DNR staff will be available at the city’s meetings to answer questions about the review process. The DNR will accept comments on the update application in conjunction with the City of Waukesha public meetings.

Information on the city’s meetings and the DNR’s comment period will be available on the City of Waukesha and DNR websites. The DNR will issue a GovDelivery notice when specifics are available. People can sign up to receive the notices through the Waukesha diversion page of the DNR website.

Through a technical review of Waukesha’s application, DNR will determine if it meets the criteria in the Great Lakes Compact. The DNR also will produce a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Once these drafts are complete, DNR will hold formal public hearings and a 45-day public comment period on the draft Technical Review and draft EIS. If the application is determined to be approvable, the final Technical Review and EIS will be forwarded to the other Great Lakes states and provinces.

For more information and to review the revised application, search the DNR website for Waukesha diversion.

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