New Green Street Stormwater Management Plan
Through the Green Streets Stormwater Management Plan the City Milwaukee is designing city streets to reduce flooding risks, improve the quality of our lakes and rivers, and help the City adapt to a changing climate. As streets are scheduled to repaired or replaced, the City is systematically evaluating opportunities to install new green infrastructure assets like bioretention basins in street medians and tree trenches near sidewalks. Click HERE to read a overview of the new Green Streets Stormwater Management Plan.
The Green Street Stormwater Management Plan was funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT IN MILWAUKEE
Milwaukee is situated on one of the largest fresh water bodies in the world - Lake Michigan and the rivers that feed into it. This amenity provides many opportunities for recreation and commerce. Protecting our lakes is critical for the city and for the region. Citizens, business, and government must take individual and community responsibility for keeping our lake and rivers clean.
Keys to Improving Water Quality
Reducing Non-Point Source Pollution that occurs when stormwater or melting snow picks up pollutants and delivers them to our rivers and lakes. These pollutants include grease and oil from cars, salt, excessive fertilizers and herbicides, and bacteria from animal waste. Controlling non-point source pollution requires a community effort because the pollutants come from many sources.
Reducing Sewer Overflows. Sewer overflows occur when when more stormwater enters the sewer system than the system can handle. Reducing the amount of stormwater flow into the sewer system can reduce the risk of these overflows. This can be done by increasing green space or through downspout disconnection in the combined sewer area. This area extends from the lakefront to the east, 43rd Street to the west, Capital Drive to the north, and Oklahoma Avenue to the south.
How the City is Leading
Reducing Non-Point Source Pollution. The city has constructed two major bioretention facilities along Canal Street in the Menomonee Valley. The facilities remove contaminants from stormwater before the flows are discharged into the Menomonee River.
Reducing Sewer Overflows. Mayor Barrett has directed city departments to reduce by 15% the amount of stormwater runoff from city properties and encourages businesses and residents to do the same. The Public Works facility on 35th and Capital manages its stormwater on-site in an attractive pond. In 2007, the Department of Public Works installed a green roof on the municipal building at 809 N. Broadway.
The city has funded a variety of projects to reduce the flow of stormwater into the sewer system. These include downspout disconnections in targeted neighborhoods, foundation drain disconnections in public housing, and adding inlet restrictors on selected streets to reduce the flow of stormwater into the sewer system.
The city is also incorporating more native plants in city boulevards and public green spaces. Native plants soak up more rain water and require less maintenance than non-native species.
Green Roof & Rain Garden Construction. The City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District share the vision that green infrastructure is a very cost-effective approach for managing stormwater and improving the water quality of our Lakes and Rivers. The City has installed green roofs on its historic Central Library and municipal building. To learn how to build your own rain garden, click here.
Reducing Stormwater Runoff into Milwaukee Waterways. The use of bioretention to reduce stormwater runoff and increase on-site stormwater infiltration is incorporated into Green Street projects. These facilities function as filtration/infiltration devices. Roadway runoff enters the bioretention facilities where vegetative plantings filter pollutants and stormwater evaporates or infiltrates into the ground. Green Street projects include;
►North 92nd Street Greet Street - West Capitol Drive to West Good Hope Road
►West Grange Avenue Green Street - South 19th Street to South 27th Street
►North 27th Street Green Street - West Capitol Drive to West Roosevelt Drive
What You Can Do
You can help prevent overflows by conserving water in your home during storm events. MMSD Every Drop Counts program offers helpful tips to do this.You can disconnect your home's downspout, plant a rain garden, buy a rain barrel, or do other simple things in your home to improve our lakes and rivers.
Visit the Stormwater Management Program web site to learn about the City's programs to manage stormwater, including:
The city's street sweeping program is also an important element in reducing the level of pollutants that enter our waterways.
The City also manages an active Stormwater Management program that educates residents on these issues and ensures that developments manage stormwater from their properties.
Businesses who reduce the amount of impervious surface on their property can receive an adjustment to their quarterly stormwater management fee.