East Badger Mill Creek Watershed Study
The City of Madison is completing a watershed study in the East Badger Mill Creek watershed (as shown below). The watershed study identifies causes of existing flooding and then crafts potential solutions to try to reduce flooding. The study uses computer models to assist with the evaluations. This study will be completed by City of Madison water resource engineers. The watershed drains south toward Badger Mill Creek through greenways that have a concrete bottom, and grass side slopes.
For more information, please see the Flash Flooding Story Map. *Note: Please view the story map using Firefox or Google Chrome browsers. Story maps are not viewable with Internet Explorer.
The watershed studies take 18-24 months to complete. The first studies will take longer as the City works through the best processes and approaches for this new flood study initiative.
Questions and comments can be emailed to the Project Contact at anytime. There are also a number of points of contact during this project where the public is encouraged to give feedback. Information is summarized below:
Public Information Meetings
- Dec. 13, 2022 Public Information Meeting PowerPoint Presentation
- Dec. 13, 2022 Public Information Meeting Recording
- Jan. 14, 2021 Public Information Meeting Recording
- Jan. 14, 2021 Public Information Meeting PowerPoint Presentation
- Oct. 29, 2020 Public Information Meeting PowerPoint Presentation
Focus Group Meetings
Focus Group Meetings were held in neighborhoods hardest hit by the August 2018 storm event in 2020. Residents in these areas were mailed postcards inviting them to attend.
Public Comment Period
A 30-day Public Comment Period will be held for the public to review the Draft Final Report and provide comments. The public comments and response to comments will be included in the Final Report.
There are many proposed recommendations from each watershed study. The cost of the recommendations far outweighs the City's budget to implement them. The public is asked to complete a survey to help the City prioritize which solutions are implemented first.
The City of Madison has 22 watersheds. Watersheds are an area of land that drain to the same location (the outlet).
There is a stormwater drainage system in all watersheds. This system is what conveys the stormwater to the outlet of the watershed. The current statistics on the City of Madison's stormwater drainage system can be found on the Stormwater webpage.
The City's system dates back to the 1880s. Very few, if any, standards were available in the 1880s. As the City developed, so did the guidance for design and construction. Today, we have comprehensive City, State, and Federal regulations to guide design and construction. The area of the City you live in used the regulations in place at the time it was developed. You can view the StoryMap to see what the regulations were for your neighborhood.
The watershed studies result in a list of proposed mitigation measures. Once constructed, the measures will reduce the risk of flooding to specific areas of the City. These mitigation measures are generally very costly. Due to limited stormwater management funding, all the mitigation measures cannot be implemented at one time.
The average Stormwater Utility Capital Budget each year is approximately $12 million. Within that, an average of about $2.4 million is used for flood mitigation. As of late 2021, recommended flood mitigation measures for the first five watershed studies were identified. The total cost from the first five studies is approximately $125 million. We expect the remaining 17 watershed studies will have similar flood mitigation project needs. Implementation of these flood mitigation measures will take many decades.
The Stormwater Utility funds the stormwater management for the City. This includes the construction, operation, and maintenance of the entire stormwater drainage system. The Stormwater Utility rates are set each year consistent with Wisconsin Statute. § 66.0821(4) and as described in Madison General Ordinance section 37.05 . These rates are under the purview of the public service commission. The rates are required to be deemed “reasonable” to comply with state statute. During the annual budgeting process, the City tries to balance the stormwater needs with the stormwater rate charged to its customers. These needs include:
- Implementation of flood mitigation measures
- Replacement, extension, and upgrades of existing the existing stormwater system
- Mandated water quality needs and requirements
When possible, the City attempts to get grant funding to partially fund the flood mitigation measures. Grant funding makes up a small part of the funding needed for stormwater management.
The City has created a draft prioritization process. This process creates a proposed order to construct the flood mitigation measures. This process accounts for many factors including:
- Impact on emergency services,
- Location of vulnerable populations,
- If the project also improves stormwater quality,
- Whether other projects are occurring nearby, and
- If outside funding is available.
- City of Madison Flood Website
- Flash Flooding Resilience Story Map *Note: Please view the story map using Firefox or Google Chrome browsers. Story maps are not viewable with Internet Explorer.
- Watershed Study Learning Hub
- View the City's Annual Stormwater Newsletter: Waterways
- Watershed Studies 2019 Audio Presentation
- Flood Prevention Flyer and website
- Everyday Engineering Podcast Episode: Basement Drainage
- Everyday Engineering Podcast Episode: Historic Flooding
- Everyday Engineering Podcast Episode: What's going on with the Watershed?
We would like you to share information about the flooding you’ve experienced. Even if you have reported your flooding to 2-1-1, FEMA, or a City official, we need standardized information to calibrate stormwater models that show existing flooding conditions. Additionally, the flood data helps the City prioritize different flood projects and future watershed studies Please report any flooding you’ve experienced at: www.cityofmadison.com/reportflooding