Got plans for Saturday? If you're going to be near the City of Madison, Wis., help Metropolitan Sewerage District Chief Engineer and Director Michael Mucha celebrate a major accomplishment. On May 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., anyone can tour Pumping Station 15. Built in 1974, the facility was upgraded to accommodate future growth in as many energy-efficient ways as possible. The $4.3 million project earned the first Envision Gold Award in Wisconsin, which is awarded by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure based on environmental, social, and economic impacts.
The pumping station serves the City of Middleton including Bishops Bay and Town of Westport. The area used a combination of septic systems and private sewers that flowed into area surface waters and was among the earliest connections after the district was formed in 1930. The pump station was built to push wastewater up a hill on Allen Boulevard to University Avenue, where it could connect with an interceptor line and make its way to Nine Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant.
“The project was made possible thanks to tremendous collaboration involving the City of Madison, City of Middleton, private businesses, and citizens," says Mucha. “The district’s early leaders recognized the improved affordability and watershed level benefits that a regional wastewater system would provide. Given the location's high visibility, working with stakeholders to identify additional needs that could be served was important. The facility has increased capacity, accessible restrooms, energy-efficient equipment, landscape that diverts stormwater away from Lake Mendota, supports bicycle commuters, and has an aquatic invasive species removal station at the heavily used boat launch.”
The Pumping Station 15 project earned the Envision Gold Award for:
· Efficient use of resources. Reducing energy waste and consumption was a key objective for the 1970s-era pumps and mechanical equipment. Installing variable-speed pumps and other advanced equipment cuts energy consumption by about 20% and solar panels provide 10% of power needs.
· Greater resilience. Given the pumping station’s location at the bottom of a hill and close to a lake, hydrologic modeling was used to mitigate flooding. The facility was designed with greater precipitation in mind and is situated more than 2 feet above the worst-case future flooding scenario.
· Enhancements to public space. Beyond reducing odors and improving site aesthetics, a drinking fountain and restrooms are welcome improvements for those who use the adjoining athletic field and boat ramp. Bike racks, a bike repair stand, and an aquatic invasive species boat wash station were also installed with the generous support of local businesses.
· Stormwater management. The project site contains two bioretention basins and a bioswale designed to reduce the amount of silt and other pollutants reaching the lake. The bioretention basins plus changes to the grading of the site resulted in a 31% improvement in site water storage capacity.
“The Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District deserves credit for making the right investments at the right time with the right mix of technical know-how,” says Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure President and CEO John Stanton. “Pumping Station 15 demonstrates that it’s possible to balance environmental stewardship, financial constraints, and the needs of multiple constituencies.”
With average daily volume of 1.3 million gallons per day, the station’s increased capacity of 8.8 million gallons per day should provide capacity through 2045. Project partners include Baxter & Woodman Consulting Engineers, engineering; Potter Lawson, architectural design; Saiki Design, landscape architecture; Kabbes Engineering, environmental engineering; and Miron Construction, general contractor. For more on the project, visit the district’s website at www.madsewer.org and search “Pumping Station 15.” For more on Marshall Park and Madison Parks, visit: cityofmadison.com/parks/marshall/.