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Drinking Water Filter Program

Milwaukee's drinking water meets current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for water quality and is regularly tested. You can find more information about Milwaukee's water treatment here.

Do I Need a Drinking Water Filter?

In Milwaukee, our drinking water is treated to reduce the risk of lead getting into our drinking water, but some older homes still have water pipes, called service lines, that bring water into their homes, or pipes made of lead inside their homes. The City of Milwaukee Health Department recommends that families who live in homes with lead service lines and who have children under the age of 6, pregnant, or breastfeeding women in the home take additional steps to further reduce their risk of lead exposure, including using a drinking water filter. This is especially important for infants who drink formula made with tap water.

To find out if your home has a lead service line, you can look up your address on the Milwaukee Water Works page here or by calling Milwaukee Water Works customer service at (414) 286-2830.

For more information on additional steps you can take to reduce your risk of lead exposure through drinking water, visit our Drinking Water Safety page.

What Filters Remove Lead?

Home drinking water filtration systems can reduce or eliminate lead. Be sure to look for products certified by NSF/ANSI under Standard 53 for the removal of lead. Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines on the installation and maintenance of the product. Find products certified to remove lead through NSF International or Water Quality Association, or download a list of examples here (Open PDF).

Where can I get a Drinking Water Filter?

Drinking water filters certified to remove lead (look for NSF/ANSI Standard 53) are widely available at hardware and home goods stores, as well as online retailers.

The City of Milwaukee Health Department has partnered with Aquasana, an A.O. Smith company, to provide all residents of the Milwaukee area with a discount to purchase drinking water filters online. Visit Aquasana.com and enter the code "Milwaukee" to shop with the discount.

City of Milwaukee Drinking Water Filter Program

In 2016, the City of Milwaukee Health Department began a pilot program to provide a limited supply of free drinking water filter starter kits to eligible families. Thanks to funding from United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County and the health system partners of the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership: Aurora Health Care, Ascension Wisconsin, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, the City of Milwauke Health Department partnered with two community-based organizations, the Social Development Commission and Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, to distribute filters.

In 2017, the Drinking Water Filter Program is providing filters to community-based organizations including Social Development Commission, Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, and area Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Programs, while supplies last. If you live in the city of Milwaukee and cannot afford a filter, you may be eligible for a one-time, free drinking water filter starter kit through these programs.

To be eligible for a one-time, free drinking water filter starter kit, you must:

  1. Be a city of Milwaukee resident

  2. Live in a home with a lead service line. Find out if you have a lead service line by looking up your address here or by calling Milwaukee Water Works Customer Service at (414) 286-2830.

  3. Be pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning pregnancy in the near future, or have children under the age of 6 in the home.

For more information, call the City of Milwaukee Health Department at (414) 286-3521.


More Information on Lead Poisoning Prevention

City of Milwaukee Health Department Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

Lead-Safe Milwaukee: Get Lead Safe in Three