Water Rates and Service Charges

Milwaukee's water rates are determined by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) and are intended to ensure the financial stability of the utility and fair value for customers.

Milwaukee water is an excellent value. 2.5 gallons cost one cent. As measured by your water meter, 100 cubic feet (748 gallons) cost $1.73. (rates effective 2013)

Residential customers are billed quarterly; most commercial accounts are billed monthly. The typical person in Milwaukee uses 10 Ccf (100 cubic feet) of water per quarter. Multiply 10 by the number of people in your household to give you the number of Ccf for water used in one quarter (for example, 4 people x 10 = 40 Ccf). If you are using more than 10 ccf per person per quarter, you may have water leaks.

Here are two charts that show current service charges as they apply to customers billed quarterly and monthly and according to the size of the water meter. The charts also show water usage, or consumption, charges per 100 Ccf and also per 1,000 gallons.

The Milwaukee Water Works uses a declining block rate in which cost per unit of volume decreases with usage. This rate structure is appropriate where there is an abundant, renewable supply of water, Lake Michigan, and all water is returned to the lake. The utility has more than adequate treatment and distribution capacity so there is no need to build or expand facilities to meet demand. However, water rates cover the cost of purifying the water for drinking, and the costs to pump the water and keep the plants, pumps, and pipes in reliable working condition.

Information about the most recent rate case of June 2013 is found in the PSC Simplified Water Rate Case 3720-WQ-103. Copies are available at the Milwaukee Water Works Customer Service Center, 841 N. Broadway, Fourth floor. In the 2013 rate case, the PSC retained the original Rules and Regulations Governing Water Service submitted in 2002 and updated in 2007, so the information presented here is effective for 2011 and beyond. Documents related to the case are available at http://psc.wi.gov. At "Link Directly to a Case," enter case number 3720-WQ-103. 

The "water bill" now known as the Municipal Services Bill, includes more than just water charges. It includes City of Milwaukee Local Sewerage, Storm Water Management, Snow and Ice Removal, Solid Waste, and Extra Garbage Cart charges; and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District charges billed by the water utility. Please refer to the Municipal Services Bill brochure at the left.

The Milwaukee Water Works sells water at a wholesale rate to Brown Deer, Butler, Greendale, Menomonee Falls, Mequon, New Berlin, Shorewood, Wauwatosa, and West Allis. These communities operate their own drinking water utilities and bill their customers. Contact municipal offices in these communities for information about water and other municipal service charges.

pop-upHydrant and Water Connection Charges

Current rates for hydrant permits, water connection permits, and other water services took effect May 1, 2011. Water service permits are available from the Department of City Development Permit Center. Call (414) 286-8208 or email. Or, apply online for an ePermit.