Stormwater Management Practices & Strategies
– Studies! The first step to addressing the storm water management needs in Brown Deer was to figure out exactly what we were dealing with and how to best manage the conditions. The Village contracted with RUST, now EarthTech, Environmental Consultants to review stormwater management conditions in the Village, consider options to improve the conditions, and prepare a formal Stormwater Management Plan. The Stormwater Management Plan was completed in 2000.
– In 2000, the Village of Brown Deer, in cooperation with other North Shore communities, was issued a Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources(DNR). A requirement of that permit is to submit an annual report to determine progress on the implementation of the storm water management program. You may review complete reports (including attachments) at the Village Hall, Municipal Building or Village Library.
– The residential neighborhood north of Beaver Creek bounded by N. 51st Street, N. Carlotta Lane, W. Radcliffe Drive and W. Glenbrook Road historically experienced flooding during severe rain events. Alleviating the flooding which occurred in this area became the focus of a study referred to as the “Early Out Project”. Numerical modeling was conducted to simulate the functioning of the stormwater drainage system, identify the causes of flooding, and evaluate possible solutions. In 1999 the Early Out Project was completed, which involved reducing the volume of stormwater runoff flowing to the flood-prone neighborhood by rerouting all flows west of N. 60th Street directly to Beaver Creek, as well as increasing the conveyance capacity of an existing 36″x58″ pipe arch. Also, a new storm sewer, 60″ in diameter, was constructed beneath N. 60th Street from the intersection of N. 60th Street and W. Cloverleaf Lane south to Beaver Creek. The length of storm sewer beneath N. 60th Street starting at W. Fairy Chasm Road was replaced by a larger pipe to accommodate increased flows, and the existing 36″x58″ arched pipe near W. Glenbrook Road and N. 52nd Street was replaced by two 60″ diameter pipes, thus increasing the conveyance capacity of this section of the drainage system.
– Detention facilities are a key to stormwater management along Southbranch Creek. The Village applied for and received a $1.3 million Hazard Mitigation Grant (funded largely by Federal and State agencies) following the August 1998 flood for the purpose of purchasing 10 seriously flooded homes along Southbranch Creek on West Churchill Lane. The homes were acquired and demolished. Where those homes once stood is now a detention basin capable of holding up to 7 million gallons of rainwater. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) funded the construction of the Churchill Lane detention basin at this 4 acre site.
– Three other major detention basins were also constructed along Southbranch Creek with the help of MMSD. A 2.5 acre detention pond was built adjacent the Brown Deer Public Library at 5600 W. Bradley Road. This detention facility is capable of holding approximately 5.5 million gallons of water during a rainstorm and also provide water quality benefits for Southbranch Creek as required by the DNR. After a rain event, water captured in the basin will be released back to Southbranch Creek at a slow, controlled rate. Another basin, covering 5 acres, was constructed adjacent to Dean Elementary School, 8355 N. 55th Street. The basin is capable of holding approximately 4 million gallons of water during a rainstorm. The project saw the excavation of a shallow floodplain area adjacent to Southbranch Creeks North Tributary. As a result, 2 baseball fields were rebuilt. A 3rd basin was built upstream adjacent to Thoreau Elementary School, 7878 N. 60th Street in the City of Milwaukee. It is capable of holding approximately 6.2 million gallons of stormwater. The cooperative efforts of the Village of Brown Deer, School district of Brown Deer, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County and the MMSD made these projects possible.
– An additional example of cooperation was a detention basin constructed at Tripoli Country Club, 7410 N. 43rd Street. Construction costs of the basin were shared by the Country Club and the Village. The basin is located at the northwest corner of the golf course. This and many other privately owned and maintained stormwater detention basins all play their role in reducing the intensity of stormwater runoff, either as a result of a summer thunderstorm or a spring snow melt.
– Another way the Village has assisted residents in the battle to manage stormwater was through Operation Flood Fix, a program funded through a Community Development Block Grant, distributed primarily to low and moderate income households in the Village. Eligible households had flood-proofing improvements made to their houses, such as the installation of glass-block basement windows and back-flow prevention valves installed in their basement floor drains. Approximately 40 households in the Village had benefitted by the end of 2000. The Village obtained over $44,000 in Block Grant funds for this project.
– Focus has shifted in the evolution of stormwater management to construction of less land intensive methods such as rain gardens and bio-swales now installed on commercial properties, to rain barrels installed at private homes. The Village, once again with the cooperation of MMSD, who provided a grant to help offset costs, reconstructed the parking lot adjacent to the Village Pond, a public swimming facility, in 2007. Part of the intent in reconstructing the parking lot was to use it as a demonstration project to highlight different methods of stormwater management. Within the parking lot you will find an area of pavement comprised of pervious pavement, which is asphalt pavement not densely compacted, but which has voids that allows the runoff to filter through the pavement and into a stone layer beneath, where impurities are removed before the water makes its way downstream. Also constructed within the parking lot are many rain gardens, which capture runoff and filters it as it passes through layers of soil. Every bit helps in managing stormwater runoff and contributing to the cleanliness of the waters of the State of Wisconsin. Remember that every drop of precipitation that falls in the Village of Brown Deer makes its way to Lake Michigan, the source of our drinking water, and eventually comes out of your faucet.
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