Sewer Overflow Sends Wastewater Into Rivers, Lake Michigan

380M Gallons Of Untreated Wastewater Entered Rivers, Lake

Milwaukee River
Milwaukee River. Rough Tough, Real Stuff 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Days of heavy rain this month overwhelmed Milwaukee’s sewer system, sending millions of gallons of untreated wastewater into area rivers and Lake Michigan.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that storms on Aug. 6 triggered the overflow and more rain on Aug. 7 and Aug. 8 prolonged the flow. About 380 million gallons of untreated wastewater found its way into the Menomonee, Kinnickinnic and Milwaukee Rivers, as well as Lincoln Creek and Lake Michigan.

As much as 7 inches of rain fell in some areas of Milwaukee between Aug. 6 and Aug. 11. One inch of rain across the 28 communities that the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District serves creates 7.1 billion gallons of water flowing into the sewer systems.

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