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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.
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
To date we have had no customer inquiries about any change in the taste or smell of their water since we temporarily turned off the ozone system Oct. 29 at the north side Linnwood Water Treatment Plant. We are installing valves upstream of the ozone process to facilitate different water flow paths through the treatment process. The modifications will allow us to take the ozone contactor out of service for repair or maintenance while still allowing for conventional water treatment including chlorine disinfection. This will increase the flexibility in operating the plant and add a layer of redundancy, to the benefit of all customers. Here's a diagram of the project. We expect to resume ozone treatment at the Linnwood Water Treatment Plant within 12 weeks. The rest of the water treatment system at the Linnwood plant will be fully operational, including chlorine disinfection, which provides effective disinfection to meet all water quality regulations. The Howard Avenue Water Treatment Plant remains fully operational, including ozone and chlorine disinfection.
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, a possible difference in taste and smell. 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
Diagram of the ozone project
For news media inquiries, please contact Department of Public Works Communications Manager, Sandy Rusch Walton, (414) 286-3261 or SLRusch@milwaukee.gov.
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. 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 sheet:
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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