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.
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.
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.
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.
As the temperatures fall and the leaves do too, the annual leaf collection programs start operating again. Whether it’s a community drop-off location for bagged leaves, municipally operated trucks, vacuums and sweepers to collect the piles along the road, or something in between, the public expects relatively clear roads and storm drains throughout the fall months.
The Village of Fontana-on-Geneva-Lake received the Investment in Infrastructure Achievement Award presented by Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. at their Village Board meeting on Monday, October 1, 2018. Ruekert & Mielke, Inc., a civil engineering firm serving southeastern Wisconsin for over 70 years, presents this award to exceptional communities in recognition for their efforts to better their community and residential life through successful infrastructure projects.
Schoolyards present a unique opportunity for a transformation from grey to green infrastructure as many public schoolyards, especially in larger cities, are covered in asphalt. Green schoolyards can help to foster healthy urban watersheds and wildlife habitats, while improving the health and happiness of students.
Innovative communities and consultants are working together to develop creative new solutions to reduce pollutants in the environment, while maintaining compliance with increasingly stringent water quality requirements. R/M has worked with communities to develop coordinated pollutant reduction approaches between their storm water and wastewater programs.
Bees are an important part of healthy ecosystems and contribute to food supply security. Bumble bees are great pollinators for wildflowers, alfalfa, berries, and other crops. Unfortunately, populations of some bumble bee species are declining due to disease, altered habitat, pesticides, invasive species, etc.
Envision® is a rating system and best practice resource that was developed to help successfully implement sustainability into infrastructure projects. It can measure the sustainability of an infrastructure project from design through construction and maintenance for all types and sizes of civil infrastructure.
Urban Forestry Grants provided by the WDNR can help your community in planning for your upcoming tree projects. The DNR offers two grant applications to help your community establish or refine your forestry management practices.
Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. (R/M) provided the City of Sheboygan with electrical engineering services to layout and design an LED lighting system to serve their new SouthPointe Enterprise Campus. By going with an LED-based lighting system, the City will benefit through reduced energy consumption, lower maintenance, and longer-lasting fixtures.
There are many different definitions of “sustainability” these days. When referring to a sustainable community, the term often includes growth/development and municipal operations. The Public Works Department activities today have a large impact on how we will live and operate in our communities in the future.
As communities continue to look towards more sustainable infrastructure options, updating lighting systems is often a great place to start. Implementing an LED lighting system can mean not only a lower utility bill, but also a lower impact on the environment for your community.
Urbanization has led to a large increase in paved surface area. This has caused urban streams and rivers to swell to higher levels and to do so more frequently. With more water comes more erosion, making it increasingly important to properly maintain and protect urban stream and river banks.
Dog parks are a great addition to many community park systems, however, high traffic and repeat visits can add up to a lot of dogs and related doggy deposits at these sites. E. coli and high nutrient levels associated with accumulations of pet waste can be mobilized into local lakes, streams, and wetlands during snow melt and rain events.
Trees have always been a part of the beauty of our communities, but it can be difficult to put a value on the many other benefits they provide. The U.S. Forest Service has developed a software suite of tools to calculate those values, called i-Tree.
Urban trees are showing more promise from a storm water perspective than ever before. Trees absorb water from soil and transpire it to the atmosphere, reducing the amount of rainwater that flows untreated into storm sewers and ultimately to local lakes and rivers.
On March 28, 2018, Governor Walker signed Wisconsin 2017 ACT 183, which calls for a variety of changes to the way wetlands are managed and permitted in Wisconsin. Read more to learn about the many details and nuances to these changes.
Spring has officially arrived, whether it feels like it or not, and Earth Day is just around the corner! The focus of Earth Day this year is to end plastic pollution. One significant source of plastic pollution is plastic film. Plastic films are used in almost every industry throughout the United States because they are easy to manufacture, lightweight, and inexpensive. Learn more about ways you can assist in ending the pollution of plastic.