Eroding construction sites are a leading cause of water quality problems in Wisconsin. For every acre under construction, about a dump truck and a half of soil washes into a nearby lake or stream unless the builder uses erosion controls. Problems caused by this sediment include:
- Taxes - The Building Inspection Department is in charge of enforcement. Any time that is spent on this detail takes them away from their primary duties. Cleaning up sediment in streets, sewers and ditches also adds extra costs to local government budgets.
- Lower Property Values - Neighboring property values are damaged when a lake or stream fills with sediment. Shallow areas encourage weed growth and create boating hazards.
- Poor Fishing - Muddy water drives away fish, like northern pike, that rely on sight to feed. As it settles, sediment smothers gravel beds where fish like small mouth bass find food and lay their eggs.
- Nuisance Growth of Weeds and Algae - Sediment carries fertilizers that fuel algae and weed growth.
- Dredging - The expense of dredging sediment from lakes, harbors and navigation channels is paid for by taxpayers.
Commercial, Industrial & Larger Residential Projects
Land disturbing projects involved with commercial, industrial or residential developments greater than 2 dwelling units are regulated by the city's Engineering Department.