Update: Planning Documents for Alum Application Trial

As you recall from yesterday’s post, “Alum Application Trial Public Info Meeting Scheduled”, we requested the trial’s plan and supporting information that will be presented at the meeting on Thursday March 7, 2013.   The plan and other public documents were sent to me today by Greg Fries, an engineer with the City of Madison Engineering Division.

Initial Proposal

We do not yet know who initiated the first notion that an alum treatment should be tried, but the first document available to us so far is  an October 8, 2012 memo, entitled “Proposed Glenway Pond Stormwater Treatment Project”,  from Montgomery Associates Resource Solutions, to Gary Brown, Director of Planning and Landscape Architecture for the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and to David Liebl, of the university’s Engineering Professional Development department and Chair of the stormwater committee of the UW-Madison Arboretum.  MARSproject.

Alum(inum) Research

Next is an undated document by Harvey E. Harper, Ph.D and P.E., entitled: “Current Research and Trends in Alum Treatment of Stormwater Runoff.”  Harper Current Alum Research.    In “Current Research”, the most recent report cited in it is from 2007.

The Harper document lists 15 studies, all authored or co-authored by Dr. Harper.  None of the articles or presentations appeared in peer-reviewed scientific journals but were rather presented at conferences and meetings.  The document does not mention any citations from peer-reviewed journals, the kind of publication that publishes original scientific research.   A quick Google search did not turn up an peer-reviewed publications by Dr. Harper, nor does his resume list any scientific publications.

The Arboretum Questions and the City Answers

Then a January 25, 2013 document from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum research/restoration unit, the Adaptive Restoration Task Force (ARTF) that consists of a series of questions from the Arboretum about the alum treatment proposal, followed by responses from the City of Madison.   ARTF Q&A re alum

The Adaptive Restoration Task Force is a fancy sounding name for the Arboretum’s faculty and staff group that makes restoration and land care recommendations for the Arboretum.  The ARTF uses science as the main ingredient in its planning and relies upon the findings of vigorous research to inform its work.

Interestingly, the City rejected the scientific brain power and research production housed in the ARTF in favor of the reports and conference presentations of their consultant, Harper.  Check out the quality and quantity of Arboretum research,   then compare it with the work the City is putting its faith in.  You be the judge.

City Newsletter Article

Finally, comes an undated (draft?)  newsletter article from the City of Madison.  alum_newsletter1

Don’t forget the public information meeting on Thursday March 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm in Room 114 of Predolin Hall at Edgewood College.


About Steve Glass

The blogger is a restoration ecologist, Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (#0093 SER) and writer living in the Midwestern United States.
This entry was posted in Lake Wingra Watershed, Lake Wingra Watershed management planning, Storm water, UW-Arboretum research and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Update: Planning Documents for Alum Application Trial

  1. Pingback: Madison Engineer Reveals Social Experiment Intent of Alum Application | WingraSprings

  2. Pingback: Update on Alum Application to Arboretum’s Marion Dunn Pond | WingraSprings

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