After big storms in the Milwaukee area, 282 million gallons of wastewater and storm water were sent into local waterways from combined sewers.
After torrential rain swept through the Milwaukee area on Sept. 12, 282 million gallons of wastewater and storm water were sent into local waterways from combined sewers.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, this is the second overflow from the combined area of central Milwaukee and eastern Shorewood, a 24-sq mile system, in 2019. The first overflow occurred in March and lasted 48 hours and sent approximately 281 gallons in public waters. That overflow occurred after a mix of rain and warm temperatures melted ice and snow.
The overflow for 2019 compares to six in the combined system in 2018, which totaled close to 1.3 billion gallons, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
With the latest event, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District System reported to the state Department of Natural Resources that the overflow lasted for a total of 32.75 hours on Friday and Saturday. MMSD ordered the overflow as an emergency measure to prevent sewage backups in homes and commercial business, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said.
Additionally, 48.4 million gal of wastewater was reportedly diverted to the Jones Island treatment plant and did not get full treatment, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. But the Journal Sentinel also stated that until this latest rain event, MMSD figures show that 99.5% of wastewater volume has been treated in 2019.
The storm also caused sanitary overflows in Milwaukee’s system of 59,400 gal, Shorewood’s system of 10,618 gal and Cudahy’s of 4,500 gal. A separate release of water from the sanitary system on the city’s south side outside the combined system totaled 41,000 gal and went into Wilson Park Creek, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Read more about storm water management and sewer overflows.