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The Milwaukee Water Works is recognized nationally as a leader in providing high-quality drinking water and for its water quality monitoring program. We began operations 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. 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, Franklin, 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 Menomonee Falls, Mequon, New Berlin, and Thiensville.
Milwaukee water is free and clear of the cyanotoxin microcystin. Water quality test results received Aug. 7, 2014 found there were no detections of microcystin toxins in any of the samples collected Aug. 5 from the Lake Michigan source water and the finished water from both of our water treatment plants. Milwaukee has no history of toxic algae blooms that affected drinking water quality while Toledo had problems. Read more.
The Milwaukee Water Works is midway through a two-step rate adjustment from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC). We continue to make changes to operate as efficiently and low-cost as possible. In fact, Milwaukee's water rates are the eighth lowest among 30 cities nationwide, according to the May report of Circle of Blue.
Circle of Blue analyzed 24 Ccf of water use per quarter for a family of four. (Milwaukee's average single family water usage is 15 Ccf per quarter.) Their results showed the cost of water ranged from $52.02 to $164.34 per quarter. Compare this to Milwaukee's cost of $60.60 for 24 Ccf of water per quarter, and you can see we have nearly the lowest cost water in the United States. This chart shows how Milwaukee water rates are at the low end of the price range regionally and in Wisconsin. Water utilities in Milwaukee's suburbs which purchase water on a wholesale basis from the Milwaukee Water Works are buying the water at a very low cost, compared to wholesale utility customers in other areas of Wisconsin.
But people are using less water, and water sales continue to decline. A rate adjustment will provide revenue to maintain service and reliability of your water service. Water rates, not property taxes, pay for water treatment and service. As a non-profit utility, we continuously reinvest in the infrastructure -- treatment plants, pumps, hydrants, water mains.
How much is the rate adjustment? The first step effective June 1 added $1.41 per quarter to a single family residential bill in Milwaukee.
The second step, expected next fall, is projected to add $4.74 per quarter for a total additional $6.15 per quarter (three months), or an additional $2.05 per month for the single family residential customer. In total, the 2014 adjustment would bring the cost of water for a single family residential customer using 15 Ccf (11,220 gallons) of water each quarter to $52.95 per quarter, or $17.65 per month.
Even with the rate increase, the cost of Milwaukee water is quite a value. Two-point-five gallons cost one cent, or, $1.00 will pay for 250 gallons.
Find all documents related to the case at the PSC website. Enter Case number 3720-WR-108 or Utility Name: Milwaukee Water Works.
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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.
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.
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.
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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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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