NOW:53045:USA01489
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA01489
73°
H 73° L 57°
Cloudy | 10MPH

EPA orders Brookfield to end sewer overflows

Oct. 19, 2011

Brookfield - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered the City of Brookfield to eliminate all sanitary sewer overflows to its waterways by Dec. 31, 2015, and the cost of compliance could be millions of dollars, Public Works Director Tom Grisa said Wednesday.

Full cost of complying with the order and the impact on sewer rates will not be known until required investigations of public and private sewers are completed, Grisa said. He estimates the final price might be less than $10 million if inspections show that 10% or fewer of residential sanitary sewer laterals are contributing to the problem and are in need of repair.

One full year before the December 2015 deadline, Brookfield must stop using emergency pump stations at two sanitary sewer overflow sites that have contributed the largest volumes of untreated wastewater to local streams, under an EPA administrative consent order approved Tuesday by the Common Council.

One pump station and overflow pipe is located at Brookfield Road and Beverly Hills Drive, near Brookfield Academy High School, and discharges to a wetland that drains to the Fox River. The second pump station and overflow pipe is at Cardinal Crest Drive, north of Robinwood St., and discharges to Underwood Creek, a tributary of the Menomonee River.

Though the city has spent tens of millions of dollars in the last decade upgrading its separate sanitary and storm sewers, excessive amounts of storm water still get into municipal sanitary sewers and cause occasional overflows or backups of sewage into basements during extreme storms, Grisa said.

Brookfield is not alone in Wisconsin in facing federal enforcement action aimed at ending the problem, Grisa said. Oshkosh and Janesville this year have been ordered to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows, he said.

Untreated wastewater discharged to waterways in sanitary sewer overflows during heavy rainfalls is a mix of sewage and storm water.

From Jan. 1, 2004, to Feb. 28, 2011, Brookfield reported 46 sanitary sewer overflows to tributaries of the Fox River or Lake Michigan, according to the consent order. Only five of the overflows were caused by contractor error or other problems not related to rainfall.

Source a mystery

Where is the clear storm water coming from?

"That is the multimillion-dollar question," Grisa said.

Much of the flow likely is leaking into sanitary sewers, but the city has made steady progress in fixing publicly owned pipes and manholes, he said. In addition to the tens of millions of dollars spent on sewer upgrades, Brookfield in recent years has been spending about $600,000 annually on maintenance of sanitary sewers and another $1 million annually for maintenance of storm sewers, culverts and ditches.

The next big push will be investigating leaks of privately owned sanitary sewer laterals linking homes and businesses to municipal sewers, according to Grisa.

In 120 days, under terms of the consent order, Brookfield must provide EPA with a plan for studying municipal and private sanitary sewers in the city.

Within two years, Brookfield must submit a report to the EPA showing how it will comply with the order by the end of 2015.

Brookfield this year started asking homeowners in the southeast corner of the city to voluntarily participate in a lateral inspection program, Grisa said. Laterals are tested at no cost to the property owner and the city is offering to pay a share of the costs for repairing any problems identified in the tests.

This week, Brookfield started contacting homeowners northeast of Lilly Road and North Ave. about participating in a similar lateral inspection effort.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

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!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Teen trio teams up to take on suicide, depression 12:51 PM

» Coast Guard ends search for Brookfield pilot missing after crash 8/31

» Preps football photos of the week: Aug. 29 8/29

» Elm Grove's Imaging Biometrics granted a patent 8/29

» Both husband, wife now have left loaded guns in restrooms Updated:  8/27

» Whitefish Bay hands Lancers, Kennedy opening-night defeat 8/22

» Preps football photos of the week: Aug. 22 8/22

» Anthem College closes its Brookfield campus, stranding 150 students 8/22

» Town Police warns against fake bills 8/22

» Chick-fil-A celebrates National Lemonade Day with free samples in Brookfield, Greendale 8/19

» Brookfield police warn against phone scam 8/19

» Severson earns easy victory over challenger 8/13

» Eric Severson wins landslide vote for Waukesha County sheriff Updated:  8/12

» Police identify Elm Grove mountain biker who died during race 8/12

» Police look for help in search for robbery suspect 8/12

» Large portion of Barker Road to close 8/6

» Video: How to navigate construction surrounding the 2014 Wisconsin State Fair 7/30

» Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas holding virtual Town Hall meeting on Twitter 7/30

» Top 10 things to see and do at the Wisconsin State Fair 7/29

» Brookfield Central turns back Homestead for state title, 9-2 7/25

» Lancers romp to state title, 9-2, over Homestead 7/25

» Lancers nip Plymouth, 2-1, move on to state finals 7/25

» Lancers win sectional title, first trip to state since 2001 7/21

» Menomonee Falls baseball team beats BC in GMC third place game 7/10

» Lancers late rally falls short; drop 4-2 decision to Hamilton 7/9

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss
Deal Watch - Milwaukee

Milwaukee's Best Discounts & Deals

Local Business Directory

CONNECT