Update on GLSD Wastewater Permit Compliance and Future Sewering

DNR WPDES Permit Compliance – As mentioned in previous newsletters, the GLSD is required to meet new, stringent wastewater discharge requirements set forth by the State of WI. District staff continue to work with the WIDNR to gain approval for the use of our treated wastewater as irrigation waters on nearby farm fields. The District is committed to this option as it is both the most environmentally friendly, but also the most cost effective. A demonstration pilot project proposed by the District and our Engineers at Cedar Corp. is currently being evaluated by the WIDNR. Initial feedback from the state has been very positive.

Costs for planning, design, construction, etc. of both the pilot project and the final compliance option has required an increase to our wastewater treatment rates. As we work through the DNR permit process, the GLSD has been working with financial specialists from Ehlers, Inc., to determine revenues needed to reach final compliance in the next few years.

GLSD CURRENT SEWERING UPDATE – In September, the GLSD Board of Commissioners authorized a sewer extension project which would complete the GLSD sewer system along the east end of Orchard Ave., Butternut Lane, and Pheasant Run. This area has average septic system ages of >30 years with some systems being in excess of 42 years.

Separate from our tax-funded lake protection work, the most critical effort the GLSD can make in protecting the lake is by getting rid of old septic systems, holding tanks, and cesspools. The GLSD municipal sewer system eliminates inputs of both phosphorus and nitrogen into the soils on our lakeshore that, over time, seep into Green Lake via new and old private onsite systems.

GLSD FUTURE SEWERING UPDATE – In response to petitions by landowners from several of the remaining unsewered areas of the District, the GLSD Board of Commissioners authorized the District Engineer, Cedar Corp., to complete a feasibility study to evaluate the difficulty and potential costs of providing service to these (developed) unsewered areas of the District. This study is nearing completion. The Board will evaluate project costs, benefits to the lake and groundwater, ages of existing septic systems /holding tanks /cesspools, connectivity to current sewer infrastructure, development history & potential, among other factors to create a prioritization of project areas. The goal is to provide landowners with information about future sewering timelines so they may plan accordingly for new home construction, expansion of their existing home, necessary septic repairs, etc.
Over the next few months, the GLSD will be reaching out to landowners in the areas under consideration for sewering to make them aware of preliminary information meetings (PIMs) in which potential project information will be provided.

The GLSD is working with Green Lake County Zoning to address the permitting of new or temporary holding tanks/septic systems in areas that may be recommended for sewering in just a few years. Updates on GLSD Future Sewering Plans will be posted to our website and included in future newsletters.