South Milwaukee Mill Dam DNR Directives

Posted by on July 24, 2015 at 10:10 AM

South Milwaukee Mill Dam DNR Directives

The Department of Natural Resources

is extending the deadline for repair of the Mill Dam with several

conditions described below.

Timeline History

On November 19, 2012,

the Department conducted an inspection

 of the South Milwaukee Mill Dam.


inspection report includes timeframes for addressing deficiencies and improving the safety and structural

integrity of the dam. The timeframe for completing the gate repairs, investigation of masonry, benchmark

Installation and tree and brush removal was set for June 1, 2014.

On December 4, 2013 Steven A. Elver, P.E., S.E., of AECOM performed a field inspection of themasonry. The inspection report addressed repairs to the masonry stone. At that time Milwaukee County

requested an extension to December 31, 2014 to allow time for additional funding to be acquired.















In late 2014 the County performed an indepth


 evaluation of the sluice gate to determine why it was


At that time it was found that the lake drain

 inlet was covered with approximately 10’ feet of

sediment. Also the manhole containing the sluice gate makes the repair or replacement difficult in the

confined space. At that time Milwaukee County requested an extension to December 31, 2015. The trees

and brush have been removed and the directive modified to address the remaining stumps and roots

greater than 1 inch.

Preliminary design plans were submitted to the Department in March 2015. The preliminary plans

involved removing the existing manhole and

constructing a new manhole with a new sluice gate. The

manhole and gate would be connected to the existing lake drain intake pipe and the existing outfall pipe.

The Department identified concerns with sediment management. Sediment sampling completed in 2001

identified Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). The Department is concerned that if the gate would

be replaced and operated a significant

amount of contaminated sediment would be transported downstream and into Lake Michigan.

On April 7, 2015 a conf

erence call was held between Department staff, Milwaukee County staff and Chris Lewis of AECOM.

Extension and Conditions

The Department is extending the deadline for repairs to accommodate the preparation and findings of the

Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) Report of the Oak Creek Watershed.

By December 31, 2018, the County shall complete the following:


Submit Inspection, Operation and Maintenance plan (IOM).


Inspect the dam regularly, monitoring for seepage and stability

of masonry stone. Submit

documentation of inspections yearly to the Department.


Submit the published SEWRPC report.


Identify long term costs associated with maintaining the dam and impoundment.


Hold a public information meeting.


Determine the long

term disposition of the dam.


The following deficiencies must be corrected by the dates given:

1. Replace the two missing capstones and reset the shifted capstone on the left abutment.

September 1, 2019

2. Establish benchmarks September 1, 2019

3. Removal of stumps and roots greater than one inch along embankments September 1, 2019

4. Repair or reconstruct sluice gate September 1, 2019

Please note that repairs required under items 3 and 4 above must be designed by an engineer

registered in

the State of Wisconsin and plans must be submitted to this Department for review

and approval before any work is performed on the dam.

If you are unable to meet the schedule proposed above, submit your own schedule, in writing, for

completing the require

d modifications and repairs. In order for us to consider a schedule other than the

one we have determined, you must submit your alternative schedule by

September 1, 2015

. If we do not

hear from you by then, the schedule we have determined will be in effect.


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