MS4 General Permit Update: What You Need to Know

MS4 General Permit Update: What You Need to Know

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources released a public notice for the proposed MS4 General Permit No. WI-S050075-03 on February 25, 2019. Proposed changes to this permit may require changes to MS4 programs. Keep reading to learn how these changes could impact your municipality.

6 Benefits of Drone Use for Municipal Projects

6 Benefits of Drone Use for Municipal Projects

The rise in popularity of drones has opened the door to a variety of new opportunities for municipalities. Keep reading for 6 ways that drone use can add value to your construction projects and save your team time and money.

Village of Hartland: Pavement Management Plan Leads to Better Roads & Savings

Village of Hartland: Pavement Management Plan Leads to Better Roads & Savings

Many municipalities face the problems of declining roadway infrastructure and limited funds to pay for repairs. Adhering to a set road maintenance plan can help your municipality save time, money, and dramatically extend the life of your roads. Keep reading to learn how the Village of Hartland found success by adopting a new pavement management model.

Financially Smart Water Conservation: An Oxymoron for Utilities?

Financially Smart Water Conservation: An Oxymoron for Utilities?

While improving your utility’s finances through water conservation may seem daunting, in truth it can be as simple as taking proper care of your distribution system. Investing in the inspection, maintenance, and repair of your system can yield great net cost savings, all without reducing sales. Read more to learn how.

Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. Hires New Environmental Services Team Leader

Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. Hires New Environmental Services Team Leader

Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. (R/M) is excited to announce that we’ve recently hired Ginny Plumeau to lead our already robust Environmental Services Team. Plumeau is a Senior Ecologist, Registered Environmental Manager, and a regional leader in ecological services and permitting. Keep reading to learn how our Environmental Services Team can help your community succeed.

Cutting Cost and Improving Safety with Pre-Wetting Road Salt and Salt Brine

Cutting Cost and Improving Safety with Pre-Wetting Road Salt and Salt Brine

Snow plowing and applying road salt was the accepted norm from the mid-20th century until just a decade or so ago. More communities are now using new technologies and methods that are ultimately cheaper, better for the environment, and most importantly provide the level of safety the public expects during winter storm events. 

PREPARING FOR 2019 ROAD RATINGS

PREPARING FOR 2019 ROAD RATINGS

Every odd year, Wisconsin municipalities are required to conduct road ratings and submit their findings to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). Knowing the current condition of your pavement makes it easier to diagnose the overall state of your community's roads, forecast your future needs, plan maintenance activities, and provide quality roads to constituents. Read on to learn more.

UNPS Grants and Storm Water Management

UNPS Grants and Storm Water Management

The Wisconsin DNR Urban Nonpoint Source & Storm Water Management (UNPS) Planning Grant Program applications are now available on the WDNR website and are due mid-April of 2019 for the 2020-2021 grant period. Read on to learn how UNPS Grants can help your municipality with your storm water management plan.

Using Water Rate Revenue to Replace Lead Laterals  

Using Water Rate Revenue to Replace Lead Laterals  

Although Wisconsin banned lead in drinking water pipes in 1984, the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 176,000 Wisconsin homes receive water through lead pipes. Wisconsin water utilities can now use water rate revenue to replace the customer-owned portion of a lead service line. Allowing utility funding to contribute to these upgrades will improve public health, increase public acceptance of rate increases, and improve compliance with lead limits for drinking water. Continue reading to learn more.

Top 5 Sustainability Articles of 2018

Top 5 Sustainability Articles of 2018

2018 has come to a close, and to commemorate this incredible year, we’d like to share the top five sustainability articles of the year with you. From bees to salt brine, read on for the topics you were most interested in!

Benefits of Winter Surveying

Benefits of Winter Surveying

Winter is generally an off-season for construction projects, but just because things slow down doesn’t mean that progress has to stop. Keep reading for 4 reasons why updating your GIS maps in the winter will benefit your community all year long and keep your municipal projects moving forward during the colder months.

Village of Oregon Awarded for Investment in Community Infrastructure

Village of Oregon Awarded for Investment in Community Infrastructure

Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. (R/M), a local civil engineering firm, presented the Village of Oregon with the Investment in Infrastructure Achievement Award, a distinction given to communities that put forth exceptional effort to better the lives of their residents through improvements in infrastructure.  Communities that receive the Investment in Infrastructure Achievement Award are gifted $1,000 to donate to a local non-profit of their choice. The Village of Oregon opted to give their donation to the Oregon Youth Center, a free program that supports young people in grades five through nine. The center provides a safe, supervised place for young members of the community to gather after school and in the summertime.

6 Tips for a More Sustainable Holiday Season

6 Tips for a More Sustainable Holiday Season

At Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. (R/M), we understand the importance of protecting the environment in which we live, work, and play, and we are always looking for ways to help the communities we serve be more sustainable. As the holidays approach, we’d like to share a few tips on how you can make the season of giving a little more sustainable as well.

SCADA Cybersecurity: 8 Fundamental Steps Toward a More Secure System

SCADA Cybersecurity: 8 Fundamental Steps Toward a More Secure System

Mitigating your utility’s cybersecurity risk can seem daunting, but there are some very practical steps you can take in order to reduce your SCADA system’s vulnerability. The following measures incorporate basic strategies that can be implemented at a relatively low cost and still provide a fundamental level of security within your utility.

Reducing Waterway Pollutants with IDDE Programs

Reducing Waterway Pollutants with IDDE Programs

Pollutants that enter the storm sewer system and flow untreated toward the local streams, lakes, and wetlands pose an ongoing threat to the overall health of our communities. Not only can urban pollutants reduce the amount and quality of available habitat and present reproduction problems for aquatic bugs, amphibians, and fish, but high levels of bacteria in waterways also act as a source of human illness.

Village Lift Station Upgrades Save Time, Energy, and Money

Village Lift Station Upgrades Save Time, Energy, and Money

The Village of Hartland’s Arlene Drive sanitary lift station serves a high-end residential community adjacent to a golf course.  Many of the homes served by this submersible lift station use a cleaning service. Unfortunately, “disposable” wipes and other cleaning materials that are frequently used by these cleaning services are often flushed down the toilet, clogging the lift station pumps. Before this issue was resolved, the Village utility staff were sent out several times a week to pull the pumps from the wet well and unclog them.

Efficiently Documenting MS4 Permit Information

Efficiently Documenting MS4 Permit Information

MS4 programs include important information required for permit compliance and the evaluation of the effectiveness of the programs over time. As state and federal authorities begin to require more detailed and quantifiable reporting information, it’s increasingly important to utilize reliable and efficient tools like GIS to track and store your MS4 permit data.

Save on Energy Costs With Lift Station Maintenance and Upgrades

Save on Energy Costs With Lift Station Maintenance and Upgrades

Is your sewer utility looking for ways to save on energy costs?  A great place to start is the often-overlooked workhorse of the sanitary sewer system – the lift station!  Many people don’t realize that even after a lift station is designed and installed there are still significant cost savings available to those who are willing to regularly maintain and/or upgrade their facilities.

New Restrictions on Impact Fees

New Restrictions on Impact Fees

Recently, the state legislature made sweeping changes to impact fees that will likely impact your municipality and could require you to update your ordinances and/or update your impact-fee studies.

Erosion Control Training Opportunities

Erosion Control Training Opportunities

Active construction sites continue to be a major source of pollution in our local lakes, streams, and wetlands. Just like training for a new skill or a new piece of equipment, training is needed to show construction site crews how, and when to install and maintain erosion control practices on construction sites.