About the Milwaukee Water Works
The Milwaukee Water Works (MWW) is a national leader in providing high quality, healthful drinking water. We are recognized by the water community for our comprehensive water quality monitoring and applied research.
The Milwaukee Water Works was organized on April 18, 1871 and began operations September 14, 1874. We are proud to serve as the longest continuously operating water utility in Wisconsin. The utility is owned utility of the City of Milwaukee. Policy is set by the Mayor and Common Council. We follow regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for facilities, operations, and water quality. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) sets water rates and service charges and monitors our accounting.
We purify Lake Michigan water to provide pure and fresh drinking water to 865,000 people in 16 communities in Milwaukee, Ozaukee and Waukesha Counties.
- Average daily pumpage in 2016 was 97 million gallons, down from 98 million in 2015.
- The daily per-person, indoor and outdoor use in Milwaukee was 41 gallons in 2016.
- The utility has 312 employees in Plants, Distribution, Business, Engineering, and Water Quality work units.
- 2016 Utility Statistics
- View all annual reports
Since 1993, the Milwaukee Water Works has invested $508 million in its infrastructure, to ensure a reliable supply of pure, safe drinking water.
A Milwaukee is a National Leader in Water Quality
The Water Research Foundation (WRF) awarded its 2016 Outstanding Subscriber Award for Applied Research to the Milwaukee Water Works. The award honors member utilities that have successfully applied WRF research to make notable improvements to their water treatment, delivery and management processes and "celebrates the persistence and dedication of some of WRF's most influential partners." Milwaukee water continues to participate in WRF projects benefitting the drinking water community, as seen in a video here. Read the Milwaukee Water Works and Ozone story.
The Wisconsin Section of the American Water Works Association presented its 2016 Utility Special Achievement Award to the Milwaukee Water Works for working effectively with health and regulatory agencies to shape field and water quality monitoring activities and customer outreach to reduce lead at customers’ taps. Read about the Lead Service Line award.
The MWW water quality team was published nationally in January when the Journal of the American Water Works Association ran their research findings about lead and drinking water sampling, which were reviewed by the City of Milwaukee Health Department, Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Department of Natural Resources and EPA. Access is available to members of the AWWA: "Lead Water Service Lines: Extensive Sampling and Field Protocol Protects Public Health"
Milwaukee is enriched with an abundant water resource in Lake Michigan. Water treated and used is returned to the lake. The Milwaukee Water Works practices environmental stewardship, reducing its energy, carbon, and water footprints to use water wisely and conserve energy resources.
The Milwaukee Water Works was established 145 years ago on April 18, 1871. The utility began operations on Sept. 14, 1874. We are proud to serve as the longest continuously operating water utility in the State of Wisconsin.
Read about the origin and development of the Milwaukee Water Works, "A Century of Milwaukee Water" by Elmer W. Becker, Former Superintendent (1964-1972). The 29 chapters are divided here in thirds. Find the Table of Contents on page 2.
Historian John Gurda explores how the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan spurred Milwaukee's growth. (A production of Wisconsin Eye Public Affairs Network in collaboration with Milwaukee Public Television.)