Officials From Great Lakes States Question Waukesha Water Plan

Wisconsin Public Radio, February 19, 2016
Author: Chuck Quirmbach

Julie Ekman, Minnesota's representative on the review council, wanted to know if Waukesha could properly treat things like prescription drugs that pass through the body or are poured down the toilet. Duchniak said there aren't yet regulations on those materials, but that when there are, Waukesha would join other wastew

ater plants and find a solution.

Later, at an afternoon information session for the review panel, the questions became more persistent. Grant Trigger of Michigan zeroed in on Waukesha's request for lake water for portions of a few smaller neighboring communities, in what's called the city's extended service area. Trigger said approving Waukesha's proposal might mean problems with the next diversion request.

"The next person comes in and says, 'Wait a minute — I have a town of 5,000 and a service area that serves 120,000.' That other 115,000 people don't have to make a demonstrated need because that's the way you handled Waukesha," Trigger said.

Timothy Bruno of Pennsylvania said he worries about the extended service area and urban sprawl.

"In my experience, where you plan to extend water service and sewer service to dictate how you're going to develop over the years," said Bruno.