On August 29, 2017, the WI DNR held a public hearing related to the recertification of the Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) Permit for the water treatment facility operated by the Village of Roberts. 18 Town of Warren residents petitioned the DNR for the hearing prior to reissuing the permit that allows the Roberts treatment plant to discharge treated wastewater into Twin Lakes.
Numerous residents voiced their concerns at the hearing, raising issues about the effects that the plant’s sustained effluent discharge are having on the lakes. Friends of Twin Lakes introduced a detailed white paper that applies USGS groundwater flow data, along with 43 years of historical rainfall and evaporation data to model the behavior of the lakes. Results strongly indicate that when combined with natural sources, the sustained effluent flow from the treatment plant has been introducing more water into the lakes than they are capable of dissipating, resulting in a long term rising water trend that has ultimately resulted in current flooding conditions.
Questions were raised about the public health and safety issues surrounding the standing water that has covered roads and destroyed or damaged homes surrounding the lakes. The DNR will evaluate all of the concerns, and determine if changes to the treatment plant certification are warranted, or can be made. There is no set time limit on when the DNR will publish its decision and new certification requirements, if any.