Meeting on groundwater tonight, 6:30 PM, 1/27/11

Groundwater is an important issue for Madison.  You cannot have economic growth without abundant sources of clean water.  Our groundwater is becoming contaminated--several wells have been shut down.  Recently, chromium 6, a cancer causing substance, was found in Madison's tapwater (although at extremely low levels).

In addition, the water table is being depleted, primarily because impervious surfaces prevent rain from getting into the ground.

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"Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), the City of Fitchburg and its residents, and UW- Madison Water Resources Management (WRM) graduate students are working together on a project to evaluate the potential for using recycled treated water from the Nine Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant to recharge groundwater in the City of Fitchburg."

"The project is following up on concerns throughout Dane County that the groundwater table has dropped significantly over the past few decades following increased population growth and demand for water. Water recycling and subsequent recharge is one potential practice that could be used to address groundwater quantity issues."

"Please join us in a public discussion on Thursday, January 27th, 2011 from 6:30-8:30PM in the Fitchburg Room of the Community Center, 5510 Lacy Rd.,  to learn more about this important issue and to voice your comments, concerns, and ideas in small discussion groups facilitated by the WRM graduate students."

The Agenda

During the first hour, three speakers will present about groundwater problems in the area, the current groundwater infiltration project at Odana Hills Golf Course, and other Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District projects related to groundwater.  More

Important questions to ask about this project

Will the recycled water from the Nine Springs Plant be clean enough to protect the groundwater resource?  At Odana Hills, water being pumped into the ground during spring runoff is too salty, with resulting contamination of the groundwater there.  Monitoring wells show that the groundwater near Odana has now exceeded standards for chloride levels--so MG&E is in violation of their permit to pump.

Is there another, more cost-effective way to recharge groundwater, such as many rain gardens?  Pumping water into the ground is costly--for construction, and because it's a long-term commitment to the energy costs of pumping.

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