American Society of Civil Engineers

Milwaukee’s Integrated Approach: A Watershed Moment

by Kevin Shafer, (No affiliation information available.)
Section: Best Management Practices Technology, pp. 1-9, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Critical Transitions in Water and Environmental Resources Management
Abstract: Recently, the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin embarked on a long term planning effort based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s watershed approach. The use of this integrated approach was prompted by the understanding that if every sanitary sewer overflow was stopped tomorrow, non-point pollution would still cause beaches to close and make fish unfit to eat. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) launched this effort to develop an approach to reduce non-point water pollutants. To insure success, MMSD believes it must increase public awareness and public educationof the sources of these pollutants in order to reduce non-point pollution. The use of good stormwater management principles by the general public is a major component of this effort. For these principles to be effective, the public must be informed about how water becomes polluted and what manmade influences induce flooding. This public education must start with the basic understanding of what happens to a drop of water when it lands on an individual’s property. Knowing how that drop of water becomes polluted, how it can cause flooding, and how it can cause sewer overflows is critical to any stormwater management program. Public outreach, public education and public collaboration are the tools to making the leap to less flooding and cleaner waterways; stormwater management cannot be effective without it.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Best Management Practice