SOMERS, Wis. - The village of Somers has been approved to divert an annual average of 1.2 million gallons of water a day from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River Basin, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday.
The DNR’s diversion approval allows Somers to extend public water service into the Mississippi River Basin for residential, commercial and industrial use – plus public authority purposes in the diversion area.
The village straddles the divide between the Lake Michigan Basin and Mississippi River Basin. Most of Somers is within the Lake Michigan Basin. Communities that straddle basins can apply to divert Great Lakes water under the Great Lakes Compact.
The Great Lakes Compact, and a parallel agreement with Canadian provinces Quebec and Ontario, are formal agreements between the Great Lakes states and provinces that detail how the states and provinces will work together to manage and protect the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin.
Somers Water Utility will purchase the diverted water from the Kenosha Water Utility. The village must return the diverted water to Lake Michigan as part of the diversion approval. Somers will return the wastewater to the Kenosha Wastewater Treatment where wastewater is treated to meet applicable water quality discharge standards before being returned to the lake.