New Berlin, Wi Diversion to Replace Contaminated Drinking Water
In 2006, the City of New Berlin asked DNR for permission to use more diverted water from Lake Michigan to supply parts of the city supported by groundwater wells that produce drinking water with high levels of Radium.
PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT
People that consume high levels of Radium over their lifetime have a significantly increased risk of developing bone cancer. The city first became aware of this issue in the mid-1980’s and was under a consent order to correct this issue by the end of 2006. In order to meet the deadline and find a safe long-term solution, the City made the increased diversion request.
Why we DID NOT OPPOSE this diversion
The New Berlin Diversion complies with all portions of the Great Lakes Compact. There is no net loss of water to the Great Lakes Basin, the water returned by New Berlin no longer contains high levels of cancer-causing Radium it historically contained, nor the Chloride used to treat the water.
Also, New Berlin has a water conservation program with a documented 6% decrease in residential water use over the past decade. New Berlin residents currently use less water per person than the national average and less than many neighboring communities.
New Berlin’s water diversion meets all the requirements and is in keeping with the spirit of the Great Lake Compact.