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Green Sustainability

Road Salt Workshops...Coming Soon!

Road Salt Workshops...Coming Soon!

It may be sunny and 80 degrees outside, but it’s the perfect time to think about snow and ice.  Many training sessions will be held this fall addressing road salt and other winter road management activities. 

Porous Asphalt Pavements: City of New Berlin

Porous Asphalt Pavements: City of New Berlin

The City of New Berlin was faced with a difficult design challenge for a 7-block section of alley in the Buena Park neighborhood. The City wanted to take advantage of a Green Solutions grant from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD). The solution was a porous asphalt pavement to provide storm water storage, filtration, and conveyance.

Why is Phosphorus Bad? Part 2: Economic Impacts

Why is Phosphorus Bad? Part 2: Economic Impacts

Excess phosphorus causes rapid formation of algal and cyanobacterial blooms, which have readily apparent impacts such as undesirable aesthetics, fish kills, and public health concerns. However, there are also less tangible economic impacts.

Porous Asphalt Pavements

Porous Asphalt Pavements

As municipal governments continue to move towards green infrastructure, innovative uses of existing materials become increasingly important. Additionally, the need to effectively move and treat storm water runoff becomes increasingly important.  Local municipalities are recognizing the importance of these two items. 

Why is Phosphorus Bad? Part 1: Environmental Impact

Why is Phosphorus Bad? Part 1: Environmental Impact

Nutrient pollution, also referred to as eutrophication, is a widespread environmental and economic issue. Excess nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen exist naturally in aquatic systems, but are detrimental if concentrations become elevated for several reasons.

The Problem With Plastic

The Problem With Plastic

Keeping track of which plastics should be recycled in a municipality can be difficult for residents. To increase participation in recycling programs, it is helpful to make the information readily available and easy to understand.

Full Depth Pavement Reclamation

Full Depth Pavement Reclamation

In recent years, many states and local municipalities have made enormous strides in reducing carbon emissions and increasing the overall sustainability of their operations and infrastructure projects. Many sustainable construction methods, which often go unnoticed, are gaining popularity due to their lower cost and big environmental benefits.

The Importance of Water Conservation

The Importance of Water Conservation

The average American household uses 300 gallons of water per day at home. With summer fast approaching, the time for swimming pools and sprinkler systems is almost here. Warmer months can lead to significantly higher water usage, meaning that water conservation is increasingly important!

Rain Gardens: Pretty or Functional?

Rain Gardens: Pretty or Functional?

Rain gardens are typically depressed garden beds where rain accumulates and slowly soaks into the ground. By directing downspouts to rain gardens, we can reduce the amount of runoff that reaches the street, then the storm sewer, and ultimately erodes the banks of our local creeks and lakes. 

How Earth Day Was Invented

How Earth Day Was Invented

 

Prior to the first Earth Day in 1970, regulations to protect our air, water, and land simply did not exist. It took one Wisconsin native, Gaylord Nelson, to start the conversation of how to put environmental protection on the national agenda. He accomplished this incredible task by inventing Earth Day, a day to celebrate our earth's natural resources and recognize the importance of protecting them. 

Biking: The Greenest Form of Transportation

Biking: The Greenest Form of Transportation

Bicycles are actually the world's most widely used transport vehicle, outnumbering automobiles almost two to one. However, the U.S. is a major exception to biking's popularity around the world with less than one percent of trips made in the U.S. done by bicycle.

Wetland Permitting Tips

Wetland Permitting Tips

Building in wetlands is usually not an engineer's or contractor's first choice, but sometimes it is unavoidable. State, local and federal agencies may have permit authority, and the application process usually requires a lot of site-specific information. Read these tips to remember when applying for wetland permits. 

MS4 Annual Reports

MS4 Annual Reports

According to the Wisconsin DNR, approximately 250 municipalities in Wisconsin are required to hold a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit under NR 216, Wis. Adm. Code. Whether your municipality is an experienced permittee, or this is your first permitted year, one deadline remains equal: The 2016 Annual Report is due March 31st, 2017.

Wetland Delineations

Wetland Delineations

Wetlands are unique features on the landscape, both from a naturalist perspective as well as a regulatory one. Just as lake levels rise and fall throughout the years, wetlands grow and shrink over time. This can be attributed to conditions such as groundwater levels, record-breaking snowfall, droughts, and higher-than-average precipitation. 

Natural-Looking Storm Water Ponds

Natural-Looking Storm Water Ponds

Storm water ponds can be designed and maintained as positive features in a neighborhood or business park. Consider these tips for maintaining these water quality features as natural ponds to enhance habitat and provide viewing opportunities for bicyclists, walkers, and residents.

Backyard Composting

Backyard Composting

Backyard composting is a great way for municipalities to become more environmentally conscious while saving money and decreasing landfill waste. In most communities, composting is performed at a municipal yard which requires residents to expend fuel and time to haul their materials to the site.