Community members looking to understand the impact of how the City of Waukesha plans to return treated wastewater to Lake Michigan via the Root River can attend an informational meeting at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Dr. John Skalbeck, a professor of geosciences, and Dr. Theresa Castor, a professor of communication at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, will speak on the topic at the November Science Night. Waukesha Water: First Test of the Great Lakes Compact will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Nov. 9 at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside  in the Student Center Cinema.

Free and open to all audiences, Skalbeck and Castor will talk about the science and policy matters related to Waukesha’s plan.

The treated wastewater diversion request was made because the City of Waukesha needed to address its water quality and quantity issues, specifically in regards high levels of radium. Because the city’s water source is from a deep aquifer, this added to the contamination problem. The city needed a new water source and now has an agreement to get treated water from Oak Creek. But now has to address where that treated wastewater will go.

The first of its kind, representatives of Great Lake States governors approved Waukesha’s treated wastewater diversion request in June. Once the final permits are obtained, the city will have the ability to divert 8.2 million gallons of treated wastewater per day into the Root River. The conditions for approval also included monitoring the wastewater impact on the Root River and outlining those findings in an annual report to the Great Lakes states and provinces.


The presentation is free and open to audiences of all ages. Free parking is available in all lots after 6:30 p.m.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.