Residents worried about large reservoirs proposed for Oshkosh water plant

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OSHKOSH, WB (WBAY) – Residents in a neighborhood in Oshkosh are complaining about proposed changes to the city’s water filtration plant that would block views of Lake Winnebago.

This requires large aboveground storage tanks.

On the shore of Lake Winnebago, the city’s water filtration plant may soon become much more visible, as residents discovered through renderings presented at a meeting of the Clearwells Replacement Project, which are reservoirs which store the city’s drinking water underground.

At present, these tanks must be replaced to follow state regulations.

“The cost of building an underground reservoir is really prohibitive. It would be double the cost to install it above ground, but we have to follow the MNR directive in this regard, so we are considering having above ground tanks, ”said City Manager Mark Rohloff.

Both tanks are said to be 75 to 100 feet in diameter, and residents opposed to the plan say it would block their view of the waterfront.

Mary Ann Offer, a resident of Oshkosh, added: “If you put these large reservoirs in there, the sunset, which is a really favorite time for people who gather there, will be overshadowed by the shadows of the large tanks. “

In a meeting on Wednesday, many called on city officials to reconsider and seek a better solution.

Aaron Sherer of Oshkosh said, “Those who enjoy boating on Lake Winnebago and spend time enjoying the beauty of the lake, I think if they think about it and look around, there is is no other project of such a scale on the seafront. “

Still, the city says there isn’t a lot of space on this property, and one of the existing reservoirs is over a hundred years old.

“We have MNR on the one hand telling us from a regulatory standpoint that we have to get these tanks up and the Civil Service Commission says you have to do it as cost effectively as possible and we have to reconcile the two. “said Rohloff,

The city says it still needs to work out some details, but it could be at least six months before MNR approves the project plan.

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