DNR receives straddling community diversion application from city of Racine

DATE: January 29, 2018
CONTACT: Jim Dick, DNR Director of Communications, James.Dick@wisconsin.gov608-267-2773

MADISON, Wis. – The Department of Natural Resources will review an application submitted by the city of Racine to divert water from Lake Michigan for municipal needs.

The DNR will review the application materials provided by the city and schedule a public hearing and public comment period. The dates and times for these events will be posted on the Racine water diversion page of the DNR website.

The proposed diversion is for the Racine Water Utility to extend public water service to portions of the village of Mount Pleasant in the Mississippi River Basin that do not currently have a public water supply. The village of Mt. Pleasant straddles the divide between the Lake Michigan basin and Mississippi River basin.

In its application, the city of Racine proposes to divert up to an annual average of 7 million gallons of water per day.

According to the proposal, water in the diversion area would be returned to Lake Michigan via the Racine wastewater utility and would be treated by that facility to meet all applicable water quality standards.

The village of Mount Pleasant does not have a public water supply system and Wisconsin law requires that a Great Lakes water diversion applicant must operate a public water supply system.

The city of Racine is authorized to apply for a diversion of Great Lakes water as the operator of the public water supply system on behalf of the straddling community of Mount Pleasant. The Racine Water Utility is the public water supply system that would divert the water.

The proposed diversion area includes part of the area identified by Racine County as the Foxconn facility site.

Straddling community diversion applications are regulated under the Great Lakes Compact, which took effect in 2008. The process allows communities that straddle the Great Lakes basin divide to apply to divert Great Lakes water. This type of proposal is different than the Waukesha diversion proposal and does not require the approval of Great Lakes governors.

For more information, visit and search “Racine diversion.” More information about the Great Lakes Compact is also available.

CONTACTS: Jim Dick, DNR Director of Communications, James.Dick@wisconsin.gov608-267-2773

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