Undercurrents: beneath the obvious

May 9, 2007

Waukesha Wisconsin wants to tap aquifer

Filed under: Great Lakes Issues,Water Diversion,Wisconsin — nemo @ 1:06 pm

From The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Facing a state Department of Natural Resources deadline to reduce radium levels in its drinking water, the Waukesha Water Utility with Mayor Larry Nelson’s support wants to acquire property [42 acres along the Vernon Marsh Wildlife Area] in the Town of Waukesha [WI] by using its powers of eminent domain.

Underneath the property is a shallow aquifer of clean water that replenishes the Vernon Marsh and provides private well service to an unknown number of homeowners near the massive wetlands.

The utility wants to withdraw up to 3 million gallons daily from that aquifer and mix it with existing city water to dilute radium concentrations that are usually twice the amount allowed under federal safe drinking water standards.

The city’s goal is to hook into a new source eventually, possibly from Lake Michigan, and relegate the Vernon Marsh wells to backup status, but that goal is years away.

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