Waukesha Freeman
Apr 10, 2018
Cara Spoto

Waukesha —  The Waukesha Water Utility has selected a preferred route for a roughly 15-mile pipeline expected to bring Lake Michigan water from the City of Milwaukee to Waukesha.

In letters sent Friday, the utility informed the mayors of Milwaukee, New Berlin, Greenfield and West Allis of the route choice.

Should it become a reality the preferred pipeline would run from 60th Street and Howard Avenue in Milwaukee, up West Honey Creek Drive to West Oklahoma Avenue, continuing west along Coffee Road and Racine Avenue in New Berlin where it would connect with the Waukesha Water Utility’s water distribution system at Minooka Park.

“Minooka Park is where we actually have our water storage and booster pump facility. Milwaukee will pump the water to that facility, and then we will take it from that facility, touch up any chemicals that need to be touched up, and pump it into our facilities,” Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Daniel Duchniak said Monday.

The route essentially takes the pipeline through three cities, Milwaukee, West Allis and New Berlin.

“Greenfield won’t be affected anymore, because we will be going through Milwaukee. We will be touching West Allis a little bit, but it is mainly Milwaukee and New Berlin that will be affected,” Duchniak added.

Field work
Other route options had the pipeline dipping farther south to run along Beloit or Observatory roads.

In addition to notifying the mayors of the preferred route, the letters sent Friday also informed them about field investigations the utility will be doing in their communities.

“This isn’t the final route. This is (the) preferred route, so now we go ahead and do all of the survey work that needs to be done. The route may change here and there. We may find there is some contamination that will cause problems, so we would need to adjust the route for that reason. However, we anticipate that it will be somewhere along this route.”

The hope is that the route will be finalized some time this year.

After that the utility will begin the permitting process. Duchniak said the goal is to start construction on the pipeline in early in 2020.

Pump house
Waukesha aldermen voted in December to approve a 40-year contract for the purchase of Lake Michigan water from Milwaukee.

The deal allows Waukesha to draw up to 8.2 million gallons of Lake Michigan water per day.

As part of the water agreement Milwaukee will design, build, own and operate a water pumping station located somewhere between 60th and 76th streets, and West Howard and Oklahoma avenues, as well as two miles of new water main in the city that will branch off from an existing underground main on 60th Street.

The pump house itself would be 40-by-60 feet in size and likely be located on property that is for sale or owned by the city of Milwaukee.

The city of Milwaukee is still determining where the pump house will be located, Duchniak said, and its location could affect the final route for the pipeline.

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