Environment

 

Regional Water Quality Management Plan

Background

 

In 1979, the Commission completed and adopted a regional water quality management plan. The plan was designed, in part, to meet the Congressional mandate that the waters of the United States be made “fishable and swimmable” to the extent practical. It is set forth in SEWRPC Planning Report No. 30, A Regional Water Quality Management Plan for Southeastern Wisconsin, Volume One, Inventory Findings; Volume Two, Alternative Plans; and Volume Three, Recommended Plan, July 1979.

The regional water quality management plan provides recommendations for the control of water pollution from such point sources as sewage treatment plants, points of separate and combined sewer overflow, and industrial waste outfalls. It also recommends controlling such nonpoint sources as urban and rural stormwater runoff. In addition to clear and concise recommendations for the control of water pollution, the plan provides the basis for:
  • Continued eligibility of local units of government for Federal and State loans and grants in partial support of sewerage system development and redevelopment;
     
  • Issuance of waste discharge permits by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR);

     
  • Review and approval of public sanitary sewer extensions by the WDNR; and
     
  • Review and approval of private sanitary sewer extensions and large onsite sewage disposal systems and holding tanks by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.
Subsequently, the Commission completed a report documenting the updated content and implementation status of the regional water quality management plan as amended over approximately its first 15 years: SEWRPC Memorandum Report No. 93, A Regional Water Quality Management Plan for Southeastern Wisconsin: An Update and Status Report, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, March 1995. This status report also documents the extent of progress which had been made toward meeting the water use objectives and supporting water quality standards set forth in the regional plan.

 

Major Plan Update: 2007

 

From the last quarter of 2003 through December 2007, SEWRPC prepared an update of the regional water quality management plan for the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds shown here. The civil divisions within the study area are shown here.
 
The effort was coordinated with a parallel sewerage facilities planning program carried out by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and was designed to utilize the watershed approach consistent with historic SEWRPC practice and evolving U.S. Environmental Protection Agency policies.
 
The approach to carrying out the regional water quality management plan update and the MMSD facilities planning program in a coordinated manner was developed cooperatively by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), MMSD, and SEWRPC, and was formalized under a Memorandum of Understanding.
 
The regional water quality management plan update resulted in the reevaluation and, as necessary, revision of the three major elements comprising the original plan—the land use element, the point source pollution abatement element, and the nonpoint source pollution abatement element. In addition, a groundwater element was added based largely upon companion work programs. The interagency planning process used in this effort is shown here.
 
The plan updating effort involved a significant public involvement program in cooperation with the MMSD. The work effort was conducted under the guidance of the SEWRPC Advisory Committee on Regional Water Quality Management. In addition, in cooperation with the MMSD, the regional water quality management plan update work was reviewed with a Citizens Advisory Council and was presented at forums of elected officials.
The major planning updating effort, at the time the subject of a series of public hearings, was adopted by SEWRPC in 2007. The updated plan is set forth in SEWRPC Planning Report No. 50, A Regional Water Quality Management Plan Update for the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds, Part One - Chapters 1-12, Part Two- Appendices, Supplement to Part Two - Appendices C-F, December 2007, and includes the May, 2013 Amendment. A plan summary may be found here.
 

 

Planning Related to Implementation

 

Root River Watershed Restoration Plan 

This is a second level plan that was prepared by SEWRPC in response to a request from Racine County, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc. (Sweet Water), and the Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network (Root-Pike WIN). This plan was prepared in the context of the SEWRPC regional water quality management plan update for the greater Milwaukee watersheds.  More information on this plan can be found here.

 

Related Materials

 

Below are useful links for water quality planning, resource materials and activities related to the regional water quality management plan update:

 

 

 

 Study Reports

 

Planning Report No. 50, Part 1
A Regional Water Quality Management Plan Update for the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds, Part One – Chapters 1-12, including the May, 2013 Amendment (12/2007, 1072pp) 

Planning Report No. 50, Part 2
A Regional Water Quality Management Plan Update for the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds, Part Two – Appendices, including the May, 2013 Amendment  (12/2007, 698pp) 

Planning Report No. 50, Part 2 Supplement
A Regional Water Quality Management Plan Update for the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds, Supplement to Part Two: Appendices C-F (12/2007, 2,109pp) 

Technical Report No. 39, Part 1
Water Quality Conditions and Sources of Pollution in the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds, Part One of Three, Chapters 1-4 (11/2007, 191pp)
 
Technical Report No. 39, Part 2
Water Quality Conditions and Sources of Pollution in the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds, Part Two of Three, Chapters 5-12 (11/2007, 980pp) 

Technical Report No. 39, Part 3
Water Quality Conditions and Sources of Pollution in the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds, Part Three of Three, Appendices (11/2007, 186pp) 

Memorandum Report No. 93, Part 1
A Regional Water Quality Management Plan for Southeastern Wisconsin: An Update and Status Report Part 1 of 3, Chapters 1-7 (3/1995, 292pp) (3/1995, 785pp) (((3/1995, 785pp)  (3333333

Memorandum Report No. 93, Part 2
A Regional Water Quality Management Plan for Southeastern Wisconsin: An Update and Status Report Part 2 of 3, Chapters 8-12 (3/1995, 785pp) 

Memorandum Report No. 93, Part 3
A Regional Water Quality Management Plan for Southeastern Wisconsin: An Update and Status Report Part 3 of 3, Chapters 13-18, Appendix A (3/1995, 785pp)

Planning Report No. 37, Vol. 1
A Water Resources Management Plan for the Milwaukee Harbor Estuary, Volume One, Inventory Findings (3/1987, 514pp)

Planning Report No. 37, Vol. 2
A Water Resources Management Plan for the Milwaukee Harbor Estuary, Volume Two, Alternative and Recommended Plans (12/1987, 373pp)

Planning Report No. 30, Vol. 1
A Regional Water Quality Management Plan for Southeastern Wisconsin–2000, Volume One, Inventory Findings (9/1978, 438pp) 

Planning Report No. 30, Vol. 2
A Regional Water Quality Management Plan for Southeastern Wisconsin–2000, Volume Two, Alternative Plans (2/1979, 617pp) 

Planning Report No. 30, Vol. 3
A Regional Water Quality Management Plan for Southeastern Wisconsin–2000, Volume Three, Recommended Plan (6/1979, 309pp) 

Related Link

Inside the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds: A Summary of the Southeast Wisconsin Regional Water Quality Management Plan Update 2007

A Project of Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc.

Principal Author -- Nancy Frank, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Urban Planning, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 

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Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

 

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P.O. Box 1607
Waukesha, WI 53187-1607

 

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Phone: (262) 547-6721
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E-mail: sewrpc@sewrpc.org

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