It’s not likely something sponsored by the City of Madison Engineering Department. Rather, it is an innovative new project at the Resilience Research Center in Madison, Wisconsin to capture and keep all rainfall on the site.
As first reported in Isthmus on Thursday October 20, 2011, this ” . . . signature project of the of the Center for Resilient Cities . . .” in Milwaukee, has installed two, 22,000-gallon underground tanks that Isthmus author Mary Ellen Gabriel calls “the mother of all rain barrels”. Together with other existing tanks, rain gardens, and other landscaping the Resilience Research Center will capture about 86,000 gallons of rainfall, preventing it from becoming storm water runoff. See the full Isthmus story: Badger Road project hopes to model the path to clean lakes – Isthmus | The Daily Page.
As the Isthmus article points out, this infiltration project is an important ground water infiltration initiative for a region whose groundwater levels (read that drinking water supply) are seriously depleted and continue to drop. As a result, a “zone of depression” has developed under Lake Mendota, the region’s largest lake. This zone of depression means two things: 1) that the lakes are drawing less water from springs, and more from pollutant-laden storm water; and 2) the City of Madison is now drawing more of its drinking water supply from the increasingly-polluted lakes.