Use Water Wisely

Our Customers Are Saving Water

The Milwaukee Water Works helps customers find and repair water leaks to reduce water waste, control water costs, and conserve the water resource. Our Use Water Wisely program was designed in collaboration with the environmental group Clean Wisconsin. Read our Use Water Wisely Report.

From billing data, Customer Service employees identify customers with unusually high water use and advise them on how to find and fix leaks. They then mail customers the Use Water Wisely brochure and toilet leak-detecting dye tabs. Toilet leaks are the most common culprit of higher water usage and higher-than-normal bills.

Meter Services technicians provide these informational packets as they investigate high water use cases, approximately 100 a month. The Milwaukee Water Works has a multi-year program to replace over 156,000 water meters in homes and small businesses in Milwaukee and Greenfield, Hales Corners, St. Francis, and West Milwaukee. A letter detailing meter replacement is mailed in advance of the meter exchange appointments, and it includes the Use Water Wisely brochure. Meter technicians also offer the Use Water Wisely packets as they make their calls. To date in 2014, Meter Techs have delivered nearly 13,000 brochures.

Of customers who returned the feedback card in 2013 and to date in 2014, 76% said they used the leak-detecting dye tabs and 33% said they found and fixed water leaks in their homes. Forty-six percent of the leaks fixed were in toilets, 31% fixed a leaking faucet, 15% fixed a leaking garden hose or hookup. Only a small percentage of leaks were reported at shower heads and water heaters. Ninety-six percent of the customers said they found the Use Water Wisely information useful. Thank you for finding and fixing leaks!

To receive your brochure and dye tabs, please call or write to our Customer Service Center (414) 286-2830 Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Write to MWW, 841 N. Broadway, Milwaukee WI 53202. Email us at

Make a leak check throughout your home at least once every season of the year.

Calculate how much water might be leaking in your home!

Leaks can be loud or silent. Leaks can be constant, like a dripping faucet or shower head, or a noisy, running toilet. Leaks may only occur every now and then, only at certain times, or after a certain amount of use of the appliance. You may tighten a faucet footing but it loosens with time and use, and then leaks again. The dishwasher may leak all over the floor only every now and then. A toilet may only run on weekends or may “ghost flush” even though no one flushed it. Find and fix these leaks to save water and control water costs. A leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day and a dripping faucet can waste hundreds of gallons of water in one month.

Sewer charges are based on how much water you use.
The City of Milwaukee Local Sewerage Charge and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) Sewer Treatment Usage Charge are based on the amount of water that passes through your water meter, whether you consumed the water or it dripped, leaked, and was wasted down the drain.


A toilet that runs all day and night will waste 200 gallons per day, at an additional cost of about $100.00 each billing quarter or over $400.00 each year.

Most leaks are easy to repair with parts from a hardware store. Or, call a plumber for help.

Do you have high water use that could indicate leaks? 

The typical person in Milwaukee uses 10 Ccf of water per quarter. Multiply 10 by the number of people in your household to give you the number of Ccf of water used in one quarter (for example, 4 people x 10 = 40 Ccf). If you are using much more than 10 Ccf per person per quarter, you may have water leaks. Large fluctuations in use could indicate leaks. Expect increased water use during warm weather months if you water your lawn and garden, fill a pool, or wash your car frequently.