Wednesday , 25 April 2018

November 1, 2017 E-News

SENATE RESPONDS TO PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERNS WITH BILL TO ADDRESS LEAD LADEN WATER– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement after 2017 Senate Bill 48, authored by Senator Cowles and named the Leading on Lead Act, was unanimously passed by the Senate: “Time after time, government has responded to major public health concerns with action. The Leading on Lead Act addresses the public health concerns that thousands of Wisconsin citizens, especially children are faced with every day from lead laden drinking water. Lead laterals are a significant source of lead contamination in our communities, but many of the impacted homeowners don’t have the means to replace these pipes. Today, the Senate overwhelmingly decided that this shouldn’t prevent Wisconsinites from clean and safe drinking water. While each community is different, the local control provided by this bill will help us to remove this aging, harmful water infrastructure while addressing one of the largest public health concerns Wisconsin families face. I want to thank my co-author, Representative Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac), for his work on this legislation. I hope to see the Leading on Lead Act brought before the Assembly in an upcoming floor session.” The Leading on Lead Act provides a funding mechanism for communities to address lead contamination in drinking water.

WAUKESHA PICKS MILWAUKEE TO SUPPLY LAKE WATER– Milwaukee beat out Oak Creek in the competition to sell Lake Michigan water to the City of Waukesha and will receive more than $3 million a year in revenue to start with as the prize, officials announced Monday. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly met at Discovery World on Monday to describe the historic water deal as regional cooperation that will benefit both cities on opposite sides of the subcontinental divide. The two mayors then toasted the agreement with glasses of Milwaukee tap water. “This is the most significant intergovernmental cooperation deal in the history of southeastern Wisconsin,” Barrett said of the 40-year water supply agreement. For Waukesha, the total cost of connecting to Milwaukee is nearly $40 million less than going to Oak Creek primarily due to the shorter length of water pipeline needed for the service, Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak said.

DNR SECRETARY: AGENCY WILL STRIKE BALANCE BETWEEN INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT– The new head of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said he wants the agency to work more with industry when it comes to environmental regulation. He made the comments on Thursday at Gov. Scott Walker’s Northern Economic Summit. Wisconsin DNR Secretary Dan Meyer has been on the job one month since former Secretary Cathy Stepp resigned for a position in the Trump administration. Meyer said the DNR will work to strike a balance between job creation and the environment. “The environment is great. That’s our number one responsibility, but jobs are pretty important too. We have to find that balance,” he said. “I can assure you while I’m in this department that will be a goal that we have is to find that balance in protecting our environment while also working with industry to provide more jobs.”  Meyer said the agency isn’t moving away from its core mission of protecting the environment.

NOT ALL ‘WATERS OF THE STATE’ ARE ALIKE IN WISCONSIN LAW– Efforts to have science inform law have played out vividly over the past 20 years of disputes over high-capacity groundwater wells in Wisconsin, and how they impact nearby surface water bodies like lakes, rivers and streams. Farmers, factories and even some local governments want to be able to drill and use high-capacity wells, which the state Department of Natural Resources defines as wells that can draw more than 100,000 gallons of water per day. But how exactly these wells are regulated at the local and state levels is a matter of serious legal contention. As plentiful and renewable groundwater is in Wisconsin, it can be used aggressively enough that the effects radiate far beyond the well itself. High-capacity wells can deplete the water available to other groundwater wells nearby, and because groundwater and surface waters are connected, they can likewise deplete nearby lakes and rivers.

PUERTO RICANS AT RISK OF WATERBORNE DISEASE OUTBREAKS IN WAKE OF HURRICANE MARIA– Waterborne illnesses are on the rise in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria — and health professionals fear the storm’s aftermath could unleash an epidemic on the devastated island. The death toll from the storm rose to 51 on Tuesday, with the two latest victims dying of leptospirosis, a bacterial disease usually spread by contact with contaminated water, Puerto Rico Public Affairs Secretary Ramon Rosario told The Associated Press. Authorities are investigating an additional 74 suspected cases of the infection as well, he said, and at least one previous death was attributed to the disease. “It’s going to be higher — it’s like a perfect storm for leptospirosis, ” said Llamara Padro-Milano, a nurse who returned last week from a relief trip to Puerto Rico with the American Federation of Teachers.

HOW ‘COOL ROOFS’ CAN PULL THE PLUG ON WATER SHORTAGES– While there’s no reliable way to prevent long dry spells, scientists are identifying new ways to predict drought and mitigate its effects. One new study conducted by Vahmani and Andrew Jones, Deputy Director of the Climate Readiness Institute at the lab, suggests that a highly effective way to conserve water across broad areas involves so-called “cool roofs,” which use reflective materials to limit absorption of the sun’s rays. The study — which used satellite climate data for 18 counties in California — showed that if more businesses and residences switched to reflective roofs, ambient temperatures in the area would fall significantly. And, according to the study, lower temperatures could save up to 15 gallons of water per person per day — that’s as much water as the typical washing machine uses for a load of laundry.

WRWA WINTER OPERATIONS SEMINAR– Mark your calendars now to attend this annual event to be held on Wednesday, November 15th at the WRWA Technology Center in Plover. This year’s topics include presentations on locating facilities in snow & ice, pipe thawing, tips to prevent freezing in water tanks, hydrant & valve maintenance, GIS mapping, WWTP winter operations with 6-hours of water & wastewater CEC’s for attendance. For more information or to register for this seminar, go to

QUOTE– “Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.” – Benjamin Franklin

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