Drinking Water Activity BookWelcome to the Milwaukee Water Works
Milwaukee, Wisconsin -- The Global Freshwater City

The Milwaukee Water Works is recognized nationally as a leader in providing high-quality drinking water and for its comprehensive water quality monitoring program. We began service on September 14, 1874, and are proud to serve as the longest continuously operating water utility in Wisconsin. The original "works" consisted of an inlet pipe in Lake Michigan, a steam engine pumping station with standpipe (North Point Tower), a reservoir, and 58 miles of water main. Read a brochure about our history. Today, the Milwaukee Water Works consists of two intakes, two water treatment plants, multiple storage tanks, and 1,960 miles of water mains. We provide water to 860,000 people in 16 communities in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, and Waukesha Counties: Milwaukee, Brown Deer, Butler, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Shorewood, St. Francis, Wauwatosa, West Allis, and West Milwaukee. We also provide water to the Milwaukee County Grounds facilities and portions of Franklin, Menomonee Falls, Mequon, New Berlin, and Thiensville.

  • Customer Service Center, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. (414) 286-2830. TDD (414) 286-8801
  • For 24-hour emergency service, please call the Milwaukee Water Works Control Center (414) 286-3710
  • Non-emergency email: watwebcs@milwaukee.gov
  • Place one call for all City of Milwaukee services (except for Municipal Service bills), Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 a.m. (414) 286-CITY (2489)

Informational Advisory

On Oct. 29, the Milwaukee Water Works (MWW) will temporarily turn off its ozone system at the north side Linnwood Water Treatment Plant so infrastructure improvements may be installed at the plant. We are installing valves upstream of the ozone process to facilitate different water flow paths through the treatment process. This will increase the flexibility in operating the plant and add a layer of redundancy, to the benefit of all customers. Ozone must be turned off so workers can install these valves. Ozone treatment at the Linnwood Water Treatment Plant is expected to resume within 12 weeks.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control, and national drinking water agencies suggest utilities use a public advisory for a range of purposes to communicate planned or anticipated changes in water quality, in this case, possible taste and odor. Milwaukee’s drinking water will remain in full compliance with EPA and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) clean water requirements at all times.

Read the informational advisory

Additional discussion

News media inquiries, please contact Department of Public Works Communications Manager, Sandy Rusch Walton, (414) 286-3261 or SLRusch@milwaukee.gov.

2014 Water Rate Adjustment: $18.00 a month for all the water you drink and use

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) has approved a rate adjustment for the Milwaukee Water Works. Water rates, not taxes, pay to purify and pump the water and keep infrastructure (purification plants, pumps, water mains, fire hydrants) in reliable working condition. A public water utility belongs to its customers. As a non-profit, we do not pay shareholders, but continuously reinvest in our utility. Since 1993, we’ve invested $441 million back into the water works. 

With the rate adjustment, a single family residential customer using 15 Ccf (11,220 gallons) per quarter (three months) will see an increase of $6.86  per quarter for a water bill of $55.07 per quarter, or $18.35 per month.

What else costs you only $18.00 a month? Milwaukee water is an excellent value. Including service charge, fire protection charge, and water use charge, two gallons cost one cent.   

Find all documents related to the case at the PSC website. Enter Case number 3720-WR-108 or Utility Name: Milwaukee Water Works.

Read more on a fact sheet:

Did the City endorse this?

Various private companies advertise and sell water-related products. Most recently, firms have contacted our customers offering optional water and/or sewer service line insurance. The City of Milwaukee is not endorsing any vendor, nor are you under any obligation to purchase these products. Learn more.

Pure and Fresh Milwaukee Water

Here's the current Consumer Confidence Report (en español). Milwaukee’s drinking water is of the highest quality by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. We have a high level of confidence in the water treated and piped to your home, school, and business, and we'd like you to know the water is healthful and safe to drink. We diligently monitor the quality of both Lake Michigan source and treated drinking water. Learn more in the Water Quality section. The Alliance for the Great Lakes agrees: “The City (of Milwaukee) takes its water supply seriously. ... The effort put forth by MWW is commendable as it is leading the way among public water utilities. More frequent monitoring for priority chemicals could help to establish temporal trends — if any exist — in the occurrence of emerging contaminants.”

The Milwaukee Water Works continues to invest in its water treatment and delivery system. Read about the improvements to protect public health, and an overview of Milwaukee's nationally recognized water quality program.

Meter Replacement Program

The Milwaukee Water Works is replacing residential water meters in Milwaukee, Greenfield, Hales Corners, St. Francis, and West Milwaukee during the next several years. Learn more.

Environmental Stewardship

Milwaukee has an abundant water resource in Lake Michigan, which contributes to a high quality of life and a reliable supply of fresh drinking water. We use Lake Michigan water and return it to the lake. As a steward of the resource, the Milwaukee Water Works uses sustainable practices to reduce its energy, carbon and water footprints while purifying and pumping the water. We focus on supply-side conservation, water accountability, energy conservation, operational efficiency and consumer advocacy to prevent water waste. The Milwaukee Water Works has received several environmental stewardship awards for these activities.

Stop Wasting Water and Control Your Water Costs. Learn how to Use Water Wisely.

Help Protect Source Water -- Safely Dispose of Unused Medicine, Household Hazardous Waste, and Electronics A clean water source is one of the barriers to protect public health. The Milwaukee Water Works analyzes Lake Michigan water and treated drinking water for regulated and non-regulated contaminants, including pharmaceuticals. These compounds are present in the lake water but none have been found in treated drinking water. Properly dispose of unused medicines and waste chemicals to prevent Lake Michigan pollution. Visit the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) website for information about unused Medicine Collection.

Visit the MMSD website for information about Household Hazardous Waste Collection

Wisconsin law bans many types of consumer electronics from landfills. City of Milwaukee residents can recycle electronics at no charge at the city’s Self-Help Centers. Electronics may contain hazardous materials including lead, cadmium, and mercury. Keeping electronics out of landfills reduces negative impacts to ground, air, and water resources and human health. Visit the Milwaukee Public Works website for more information.

Waste Less, Recycle More -- By charging for a second garbage cart, the City of Milwaukee encourages citizens to recycle more and generate less garbage. If you have more than one cart, the charge will appear on your Municipal Services Bill. For more information, or to request removal of extra garbage carts, call (414) 286-CITY (2489).  There is no extra charge for more than one recycling cart.

Me2 - Milwaukee Energy Efficiency -- Improve your home comfort and save money on energy bills.

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Water Rates

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) designs and approves water use and service charges for the Milwaukee Water Works, which serves Milwaukee and 15 communities. Find rate information at Customer Service.

Milwaukee offers a Declining Block Rate which is an advantage for high water use customers such as manufacturers. Calculate DBR savings at GreatMilwaukeeWater.com.

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