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Wauwatosa schedules meeting on Waukesha's Lake Michigan water plan

March 15, 2010

Waukesha officials will discuss a pending application to buy Lake Michigan water and discharge treated wastewater to Underwood Creek at a public information meeting scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. March 22 in the Firefly Room at the Wauwatosa Public Library, 7635 W. North Ave.

Waukesha has proposed distributing about 10.9 million gallons of lake water a day to meet the average daily demand of customers after 2035. The city is seeking lake water as a substitute for radium-contaminated water pumped out of the city's deep sandstone wells.

A Great Lakes protection compact requires a community that diverts water out of the lake's drainage basin to return most of it back to the lake as treated wastewater.

The city's draft application recommends discharging Waukesha's treated wastewater to Underwood Creek at W. Blue Mound Road. The creek flows through Wauwatosa to its confluence with the Menomonee River.

Waukesha's wastewater would not degrade the stream's water quality or spur algae growth, according to a consultant hired by the city.

"Our analysis shows that by using Underwood Creek, we will be able to increase the amount of water that regularly travels through the creek and improve the plant and animal habitat," Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak said.

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