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The City of Madison Engineering Division is proud to take part in the City’s week long celebration of its work and its agencies during Infrastructure and Public Works weeks. Each day this week, we’re hosting a blog panel: focusing on one question, and answers from staff across our agency. We asked our staff, and here's what they said:

What is one program Engineering has that you think is the most helpful for residents to learn about and why?

“Our Stormwater credit program. It doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it can save some folks a lot of money on their storm water charge if they qualify for any of the credits we have.” -Chase O’Brien, Accountant, Engineering-Finance Section

“Median plantings with no-mow native species to help pollinators, enhance visual appeal, and reduce maintenance costs. Many positives, but sometimes residents assume it is just overgrown from forgotten maintenance.” -John Sapp, CAD/BIM Manager, Engineering Technology

“If something falls down a stormwater sewer drain that shouldn’t be there (cell phone, car keys, baby ducks, etc.) we will send someone to get it out. You just have to call and ask!” -Johanna Johnson/Lesley Parker/Heidi Fleegel, Program Assistants, Office Administration

“I think the flood study work currently being undertaken by the stormwater group. I feel if folks better understood stormwater and its increasing impacts due to global warming they may also be willing to do what they can on their own properties to better mitigate the impacts.” -Jeff Quamme, Land Information Manager, Land Information Official Map Section

“I have to be biased and go with “Green Power.” I’ll say the obvious- Green Power is amazing at introducing people to the wonders of solar energy, but that’s not all it’s good for. Green Power is a chance. It’s a chance for people to learn something new, to socialize with people of different backgrounds, to see a project from start to finish; a chance to understand the benefits of your effort, and to listen to other perspectives. Green power is a lot of beautiful things put into one and I recommend it to anyone.” -Hattie Russell, Maintenance Technician, Facilities Maintenance Section

“The City has an Adopt-a-Median program where city residents can take care of and maintain existing medians. Residents can plant and maintain native vegetation that can provide pollinator habitat and stormwater management.” -Caroline Burger, Engineer, Stormwater Section

Green Power! It’s a great example of how forward looking and committed we are to renewable energy, public infrastructure, AND our people.” -Stephen King, Facilities Services Coordinator, Facilities Services Section

“We have a green infrastructure and rain garden program. While these features to not help with flooding typically they do help with small storm events and maybe more importantly they remind people that what goes into the storm sewer does not go to a sewer treatment plant (at least in this area) it goes to lakes and streams. This can tie people to their actions in a way that traditional infrastructure cannot.” -Greg Fries, Deputy City Engineer, Storm & Sanitary Sewer Sections

“Cured in Place Lining Program: This is the Sewer Utility’s primary way to upgrade the City sanitary sewer to a like-new condition where we install a liner inside of a sewer main. It is low cost in comparison to traditional open cut sewer replacement (85% less expensive). Because it is trenchless, we have the ability to install liners inside of sewer mains located in back yards without doing an excavation. The primary downside to this technology is that liner takes the shape of the existing pipe. If a pipe is crushed, the liner will take the same shape. For this reason, we select locations without problems or plan for repairs prior to lining. The whole lining process can be completed in a day. The City lines 9 miles of sewer mains every year. The main reason that there isn’t even more lining projects in the City is with lining, 1) you cannot change the pipe size and 2) laterals are not replaced when the City installs liners in the sewer main.” -Mark Moder, Principal Engineer, Sanitary Sewer Section

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