Walkin the Talk: Michael Mucha

March 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm Leave a comment

EnAct is happy to introduce a new series we will be doing for our blog, Walkin the Talk. Periodically we will post interviews from people around Madison that are promoting sustainability through their daily actions, either in their home or workplace, or both! Feel free to contact us with any ideas you may have, otherwise enjoy.

The Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, our waste water treatment plant,  serves 300,000 people within the communities that make up the Madison area. They are here to help produce clean water so that we protect the environment in the region of lakes and streams that make up the Yahara River Watershed.

Michael Mucha, the new director and a member of the EnAct board as a Sustaining EnAct sponsor, is ready to push MMSD into higher levels of sustainability and he brings along with him some helpful ideals and actions.  Believing in simple living, Michael has been biking to work for 8 years, been car free for 31/2 years and currently doesn’t own a television. He is a man who thinks ‘simple’ means less complexity and stress and that leads to more fulfillment. These changes were incremental over many years, taking one step at a time, starting with riding his bike to work on Fridays.

We first asked Michael to define sustainability for us and describe what it means or what it looks like to him.  He said that he first thinks of it as finding balance. Sustainability and longevity create a balance among people and the land. This way the needs of both people and nature are being met and coexistence can take place.  To do this within the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, he hopes to work closely with other groups.  MMSD cannot expect to achieve improved environmental outcomes through engineering solutions alone he says. Collaboration will make for more and better solutions.

Part of collaboration is working with citizens so that it is easier for them to do their part.   Currently they receive about 50 million gallons a day of waste water and much of this contains harmful substances and chemicals that are difficult to reduce or clean. By educating the citizens about how to not only reduce their water consumption but also to take care of their water, they can more effectively recycle this essential resource.

There are also many things we can do at home to help them along in their journey towards sustainability.  Conserving water in any way possible is always at the top of the list but here are a few other things you can do.  Having a water softener tune up is very beneficial. If it is not in top shape, salt passes right through the treatment plant and discharges directly into our lakes and streams. Over 100 tons of salt goes into our waterways every day right here in Dane County.  The other tip he gave is to never flush pharmaceuticals. If you have extra prescriptions you are looking to get rid of, deposit them at proper waste facilities. Check here for more information on where to do that.

If you are interested in learning more about Madison Metrpolitan Sewerage District, you can visit their website. And thank you to Michael who is showing all of us how to walk the talk!

~Anne and Kayla

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Entry filed under: other.

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