LETTER: Retention pond not a feasible solution to flooding problem

To Ozaukee Press:

The article “Residents plead for help, city explores flooding solutions” in last week’s Ozaukee Press incorrectly stated that I “suggested the city consider using the Guenther Pond area as a retention pond during storms.” In fact, that suggestion was brought up at the public comments portion of the Board Public Works Board meeting by Karen Oleski, a resident of the Lighthouse condominiums.

While I do not believe that this is a feasible idea due to both topography and the volume of flow at this location—a 100-year event will induce a flow of about 500 cubic feet per second at this location on Valley Creek (per Rich Klein of Stantec), enough flow to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool in less than three minutes—I brought this suggestion back up, having been asked by a constituent, so that this idea could be addressed. In so doing, I did suggest that this was unlikely to be a workable solution, which Rich Klein corroborated.

Retention and detention ponds are best placed near the source of runoff, and not near the mouth of a creek or river where all the flow has already been concentrated. At this location, being very close to Lake Michigan, the best solutions are to ensure that the creek has the capacity to convey the water to the lake, and that the box culvert does not get clogged from floating debris.

The existing box culvert in which Valley Creek flows beneath Lake Street and Veterans Park is said to have an optimum capacity of about 450 cubic feet per second (less than the 100-year storm flow in Valley Creek). The outfall of the box culvert is currently about three feet below lake level, greatly reducing its capacity.

While a study should be conducted to determine the best course of action for the mouth of Valley Creek, I believe that the likely outcome will be some combination of placing a trash rack at the culvert inlet to prevent tree stumps from blocking the culvert inlet and daylighting the creek through Veterans Park to increase the capacity of the creek and give the water some place to flow to should Lake Street be over-topped in the future).

Michael Gasper
Ward 3 alderman
Port Washington



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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