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 our comprehensive water quality monitoring program. We began operations 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 our Control Center (414) 286-3710
  • Non-emergency email: watwebcs@milwaukee.gov
  • Make one call for all City of Milwaukee services, Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 a.m. (414) 286-CITY (286-2489)

Don't Let Your Pipes Freeze -- make sure your pipes are exposed to warm air.

Take action now to prevent the freezing of your water pipes and water meter. If your pipes freeze, you will have no water. Frozen pipes can cause more than $5,000 in damage. Please follow these suggestions  Evite tuberías y medidores de agua congelados

Be Aware of scam artists posing as utility employees

Please be aware of scam artists who try to gain access to your home to rob you by posing as a utility employees. The Milwaukee Police Department in January reported a man posing as a Milwaukee Water Works employee talked his way into a home, telling the homeowner he needed to check for frozen pipes in her basement. While the man and the homeowner were in the basement, a second man who had been waiting in a truck in front of the house entered the house and stole cash. Only after the men left did the woman realize they had tricked her and robbed her.

Protect yourself and your family:
•    Do not open your door to someone you do not recognize. Do not allow anyone to enter your home if you are not sure of any person’s identity.
•    Ask to see photo identification (I.D.) through a window. Milwaukee Water Works and other utility employees and contractors carry photo identification. Legitimate employees will be happy to show you their I.D. if you ask, or call the utility to verify identification.
•    Call the Milwaukee Water Works Customer Service Center, (414) 286-2830, if you are unsure about a person’s identification or to verify work to be done at your home. Call the police if you believe the person is an imposter.
•    Do not allow anyone to enter your home claiming to collect a past-due bill, inspect plumbing fixtures, or to sell utility products such as a meter or other equipment. Milwaukee Water Works employees do not engage in door-to-door sales, do not collect a past-due bill in person, and do not deliver rebates or refunds.
•    The Milwaukee Water Works does not solicit water testing from customers.
•    Advise your elderly loved ones, friends, and children about what to do if strangers approach their home and ask to come in.
•    Milwaukee Water Works employees on duty drive marked City of Milwaukee vehicles.

If a property owner calls the Milwaukee Water Works Customer Service Center and asks for an investigation into high water use or other water service-related issue, the Milwaukee Water Works may send an employee to a residence or business. The utility also may send an employee to investigate high water use or a possible meter issue, or to replace a meter, without a customer-initiated service request. Again, these employees will readily show identification. You may contact the utility to confirm we are cold-calling in your service area.

Do not provide your credit card number if you receive a phone call.

February 9, the national Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center  (WaterISAC) advised utilities that two large water utilities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area were reporting a new, ongoing scam to steal account information from customers. In recent days, individuals pretending to be from the utilities have contacted residents offering discounts on water bills and asking for account information, presumably to steal credit card details. The utilities have contacted law enforcement agencies and issued public notices warning customers.

Ozone Purification

Ozone disinfection of our Lake Michigan source water is back in service at the Linnwood Water Treatment Plant. We've completed installation of valves upstream of the ozone process to facilitate different water flow paths through the treatment process. This provides increased flexibility in operating the plant and add a layer of redundancy, to the benefit of all customers.

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

In March we complete phasing in a rate adjustment approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC). Water use and service charges, 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) saw an increase of $6.86  per quarter for a water bill of $55.07 per quarter, or $18.35 per month. The new rate applies to water we sell after Nov. 1, 2014. One gallon of water costs one-half cent.

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 details about the water usage and water service charges on your Municipal Service bill at our Customer Service pages. Here is the detailed final decision

Read more on a fact sheetMilwaukee customers

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.

Back to TOP