.Barriques is known for their distinctive cafes that also serve wine--at five locations in the Madison area. A new store is being planned for 961 South Park St., where remodeling is underway. It's at the corner of S. Park and Parr streets, less than a block from Monona Bay. Environmentally, it's a sensitive location--Monona Bay is popular with fishermen.
Illegal pumping onto Parr St. from Barriques future location.The resident notified DNR personnel, who then contacted Rick Wenta, Public Health and Environmental Protection, under the City's Health Department.
Update 2/21, based on email from R. Wenta:
"Generally, water from inside a structure is considered waste water, which has to be discharged to the sanitary sewer. (There are some exceptions; foundation water is one example.)
There are no provisions for filtering, then pumping the waste to the storm sewer. Under the state plumbing code, a floor drain collects domestic wastewater which must be directed to the sanitary sewer.
Public Health Madison and Dane County is responsible for enforcing Madison General Ordinance 7.46 which states: it is illegal to discharge potentially polluting substances to the storm sewer."
Next, a truck for pumping septic systems drove onto the site and began work. It wasn't clear weather their services had been previously planned by Barriques, or whether it was a response to the complaint.
What was in the water being pumped towards Monona Bay?
When I inspected the photos in photoshop, the water appeared cloudy and grey.
The resident who blew the whistle was worried about another possibility--that Barriques was pumping the sludge from the bottom of a drain trap--a concrete pit usually found in the floor of a building of this type. If so, that sludge could be contaminated with any of the toxins listed above.
Recently, Madison had a scare when toxic Chromium 6 (at very low levels) was found in the City's tapwater. Several years ago, a well on the near East Side had to be permanently shut down, because of industrial contamination. Concrete waste and wastewater contains significant amounts of Chromium 6.
Lessons from the incident at Barriques
- There may still be deposits of toxic chemicals lurking in old buildings. Remodeling or demolitions must be done with care and with inspections.