Waukesha, Oak Creek make agreement on Lake Michigan water plan

CREATED Oct. 3, 2012 - UPDATED: Oct. 3, 2012

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  • Lake Michigan. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

WAUKESHA - Officials in Waukesha and Oak Creek have approved a letter of intent which paves the way for a Lake Michigan water deal between the two cities. 

The cost of the 40-year project is estimated at $183 million, about $80 million less than what Waukesha had originally planned.

Waukesha would build pipelines and pumping stations to bring water inland and return treated wastewater to Lake Michigan.

Oak Creek's water utility would get added revenue from the deal.  Money would trickle down the pipe to people who live in Oak Creek, Franklin and Caledonia, keeping water rates from going up. 

The City of Oak Creek would also benefit from an increase in payments for the water.

The payments would start at $300,000/year and go up to $1.2 million/year by 2030. 

Waukesha and neighboring communities using their water supply would see water bills increase from an average of $26/month in 2012 to slightly more than $58/month in 2022.

Officials in Waukesha contned that was the least expensive option.

The deal still needs approval from the eight Great Lakes states and the Wisconsin DNR.

Waukesha has needed to find a new place to get it's water because it's main source for well water has been contaminated with radium. 

Earlier tries at a deal with the city of Milwaukee fell through.