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Milwaukee Downspout Disconnection Program

Did you receive a letter about disconnecting your downspouts?

That means that one (1) or more of your downspouts may meet the criteria for disconnecting from the combined sewer system. To find out the next steps for the program please read the letter carefully, fill out the Right of Entry form and submit it back to us. 

There are three ways to submit your Right of Entry form:

1. Mail the form to: City of Milwaukee Environmental Engineering 841 North Broadway, Room 820 Milwaukee, WI 53202 

2. Email the form to:

3. Fax the form to 414-286-2010

After the Right of Entry form is submitted, The Department of Neighborhood Services will contact you in 4-6 weeks to set up a pre-inspection of the downspouts on the property.  No disconnection work should be performed until after the pre-inspection.  If you have more questions please check out the Program Documents on the right side of this webpage. 

Why Downspout Disconnection is Important?

Like many cities, the older portions of the City of Milwaukee’s sewer system carry both rain water, also known as clear water, and sanitary sewage in a combined sewer system to be treated by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's (MMSD) wastewater treatment plant. A large source of clear water within the combined sewer is from rain that falls on your roof and is collected by downspouts that are directly connected to the sewer system. During rainstorms, this additional clear water can overwhelm sewer pipes and MMSD's treatment plant which can lead to street flooding, basement sewage backups, and sewage overflows directly into our neighboring waterways.

In an effort to reduce the amount of clear water that enters the combined sewer system during rain events, the MMSD amended their Rules and Regulations to require the disconnection of downspouts at residential properties of four units or less in the combined sewer service area as long as the disconnections comply with the criteria set forth in the City’s plumbing code and MMSD’s Rules and Regulations. In order to comply with these rule changes, the City of Milwaukee has begun the implementation of the Downspout Disconnection Program.

Downspout disconnection involves cutting the downspout, attaching an elbow and extension to direct the stormwater flow away from the house onto a grassy area and capping the standpipe.

The Downspout Disconnection Program only applies to properties within the Combined Sewer Area with downspouts that are connected to the combined sewer system and that meet criteria for disconnection.

Which properties will be disconnecting?

  • Do you live in the Combined Sewer Area?

  • Do you have downspouts connected to a combined sewer?

  • Do you have green space around your house where water can be diverted?

The combined sewer area spans approximately from Capitol Drive to Oklahoma Avenue and Lake Michigan to North 60th Street.  Please enter your address in the interactive map below to see if your address is in the Combined Sewer Area. If you are in the blue overlayed area your property is in the Combined Sewer Area.

If you answered "Yes" to all three questions, you may be required to disconnect.  More information will be mailed soon!




Department Logo  

Contact Us

Municipal Building
841 N. Broadway
Room 820
Milwaukee, WI 53202  

414-286-CITY (2489)

Program Schedule

  • Late Spring 2019 - Second notification sent to properties with program details

  • Early Summer 2019 - Property pre-inspections will begin

  • Summer 2019 - Disconnections performed and post-inspections

  • Late Fall 2019 - Property inspections will end for the year

For More Information

For more information please call 414-286-CITY (2489) or follow this link. Choose Downspout Disconnection on the linked page.