Waukesha’s revised water diversion application to purchase Lake Michigan water from Oak Creek includes a reduced request due to conservation efforts, as well as changing the water discharge point to the Root River, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting.
Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak was in Milwaukee on Monday speaking during the Great Lakes Commission’s annual meeting.
Waukesha’s water diversion request was first approved to move forward by the Waukesha Common Council in spring 2010 but has experienced delays since then.
The city needs approval from all Great Lakes states because it is just outside the Subcontinental Divide where water flows naturally to Lake Michigan before it can receive Great Lakes water. In addition to being under a June 2018 deadline to remove radium from the city’s water supplies, Waukesha has declining water quality and quantity in its eight deep wells and three shallow wells.
In addition to radium, the deep wells have problems with total dissolved solids and temperature. At times, water pulled from the wells have reached as high as 98 degrees, according to a 2012 Waukesha Water Utility presentation. The shallow wells have issues with iron and manganese. Additionally, arsenic has been found on a property in the Town of Waukesha where the city could build shallow wells, which would require more treatment.
Even if the city is unsuccessful in obtaining water from Lake Michigan, the city would still have to pay capital expenditures to fix the city’s water supply. Under any scenario, water bills are projected to at least double. However, the sanitary sewer portion of the bill would not be affected by the diversion request.
Waukesha plans to receive Lake Michigan water from Oak Creek.