Shorewood is surrounded by two awesome waterways: the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan. The key to keeping these waters healthy is keeping the land clean and finding innovative ways to handle dirty stormwater that flows over the land when it rains.
Check out our newly updated Water Walk! Take a neighborhood stroll to see all the unique ways Shorewood treats its stormwater!
The Shorewood Waters Project has created a walking tour highlighting the Village’s recent green infrastructure efforts. Take our tour to visit and learn about these efforts. You’ll see:
- rainwater collection
- biofiltration structures
- green roof location
- pervious pavers
- native plantings
Download your copy of the Shorewood Waters Project Walking Tour Guide (PDF)!
Green Infrastructure Improves Quality & Reduces Quantity
In Shorewood's separate sewer service area (west of Oakland Avenue), green infrastructure will help to improve water quality in the Milwaukee River. When water from rainfall or melting snow flows across the landscape, it washes soil particles, bacteria, pesticides, fertilizer, pet waste, oil and other toxic materials into our lakes, streams, and groundwater. This is called "non-point source pollution".
Runoff from municipal areas contains a mixture of pollutants from parking lots, streets, rooftops, lawns and other areas. These areas contribute heavy metals, pesticides, sediment, nutrients, bacteria and oxygen-demanding organic waste. Green infrastructure components can remove significant amounts of pollution. Nitrogen and phosphorus removal can be 50 percent or more of the total pollutant runoff; high removal rates have also been demonstrated for copper, lead, zinc, ammonium and calcium.
Green infrastructure will reduce the amount of wastewater treated at MMSD's Jones Island facility. In Shorewood, our sanitary sewer systems carry between two and 16 times the amount of water when it rains as compared to dry weather. There is a clear benefit to keeping rainwater from entering the sanitary sewers because doing so can help minimize treatment costs and water reclamation facilities and reduce the potential for basement backups.
In Shorewood's combined sewer service area (east of Oakland Avenue), green infrastructure can reduce water quantity by helping to capture rainwater that might have otherwise contributed to a combined sewer overflow.