authority communities to vote on pipeline upgrade
By Peter Rebhahn
Green Bay Press Gazette
ALLOUEZ A resolution that could link Green Bay and suburbs
in a shared drinking water future is headed for the suburbsí
governments following approval by the Central Brown County
Water Authority on Monday.
The resolution commits the authority communities Allouez,
Ashwaubenon, Bellevue, De Pere, Hobart, Howard, Lawrence,
Ledgeview and Scott to pay for the cost of an upgrade
in the size of Green Bayís second Lake Michigan pipeline.
It determines that the pipeline size is going to be 66
inches at our request, authority President Len Teresinski
said after Mondayís unanimous vote.
The suburbsí resolution is a near-copy of one endorsed
last week by the Green Bay City Council in a 12-0 vote.
Teresinski said he hoped the authorityís nine member
governments would vote on the resolution within the next
The resolution endorses continued cooperation toward
a shared-drinking-water system, but doesnít commit any
community to a deal.
The Green Bay Water Commission voted Feb. 27 to move
ahead this year with a 54-inch diameter pipeline instead
of a 66-inch diameter line, in part because the decision
cut $8 million in cost from water-system upgrades estimated
at $41 million with the smaller pipeline.
The commissionís vote for the 54-inch pipeline threatened
to block the city-suburbs deal because it left the suburbs
without a safety net if state regulators donít allow use
of aquifer storage and recovery, a technique in which
ready-to-drink water is stored underground in wells converted
from groundwater pumping to storage.
The city could serve the fast-growing suburbs in coming
decades with the smaller pipeline if state regulators
give it the green light to use aquifer storage and recovery.
But the city canít serve the suburbs from the smaller
pipeline without aquifer storage and recovery, or ASR,
because the smaller line couldnít handle the increased
pumping that would be required from Lake Michigan every
day in a non-ASR deal.
If ASR fails it enables us to meet our radium compliance,
and thatís the goal of the whole thing, Teresinski said.
The suburbs are racing to meet a December deadline for
plans to comply with tough new federal limits for radium
in drinking water. Municipal well water in at least six
of the nine authority communities violates the new standard.
The authorityís resolution includes a provision not in
the one endorsed by Green Bayís City Council that would
have the city and suburbs cooperate on a shared pipeline
in the event a deal to make the suburbs customers of the
cityís water utility, either with or without ASR, doesnít
In the shared pipeline scenario, the water authority
would build its own treatment plant and operate as a separate
Green Bay Mayor Paul Jadin said the idea of a cooperative
pipeline venture isnít new, and indicated heís willing
to discuss the option.
If Plan A and Plan B fail, then we have to explore what
Plan C means to the city in terms of investment and long-term
relationship, Jadin said.
Teresinski said he expects to meet with Jadin to discuss
the alternatives to an ASR-based deal in advance of meetings
by the authorityís Technical Committee to hammer out issues
surrounding a possible shared pipeline.
We may not make any progress, but weíll know where the
roadblocks are, and thatís important, Teresinski said.