Water Industry News
- Construction delays and equipment shortcomings at the
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District have helped make the
system vulnerable to raw sewage dumping, a new report says.
A computerized control system that guides
operation of the deep tunnel system remains unfinished, posing
dumping dangers, says the May report by United Water Service, the
private contractor that operates local sewers.
"The risks for operational problems and
system overflows remain as the project delays continue," the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted the May report as saying.
The system was supposed to have been installed
about two years ago, but has been delayed for a variety of
reasons, and the cost has ballooned by $1.5 million to about $13
The report also said a $2 million project to
install net-like devices at the Jones Island sewage treatment
plant failed during an initial run in April.
United Water said equipment problems have
possibly contributed to dumping.
In May, MMSD dumped 4.6 billion gallons of
untreated sewage into Lake Michigan tributaries, and state
regulators are considering filing a lawsuit against MMSD for the
But the sewerage district's officials say the
entire system worked fine and that the dumping was solely due to
Mike Martin, technical services director for
MMSD, said he was confident that enough of the new computer system
was operational to take over if needed. However, testing of the
new system will take another two weeks or so, he said. The risk of
computer failure causing additional sewage dumping during the
period is "negligible," he said.
Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com