Mar 15, 2007

Milwaukee’s Stadium Sewage Might be Polluting Lake Michigan

Recent testing has revealed that sewage from Miller Park bathrooms has been flowing into a nearby river that flows into Lake Michigan. Miller Park stadium serves as the home for baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers.

According to the Gazette Extra, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District scheduled the testing after a genetic marker for bacteria from human waste was found in 12 samples of storm water from the pipe that discharges into the Menomonee River.

The waste from the ballpark’s sewers is supposed to head to treatment plants, not into the storm sewer.

Peter Topczewski, water quality protection manager with the district, told the Gazette Extra that colored dye was poured into sinks in the stadium and later appeared in a storm sewer. The dye was then spotted flowing from a storm sewer pipe that drains into stadium parking lot and enters the river east of the stadium.

Miller Park has been in operation since April 2001. The Milwaukee Brewers are scheduled to open the baseball season at the park on April 2. Mike Duckett, executive director of the stadium district that oversees Miller Park, reported that they hope to have the problem fixed by opening day.

Duckett told the Gazette Extra that plumbing work for Miller Park began as part of the construction process eight years ago, and the problem might even involve some remaining pipes from the old County Stadium, which opened in 1953 was demolished after the 2000 season.

The testing has been done by a laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Great Lakes WATER Institute.